Did you know that there are only seven basic movements that can be performed by the human body, and all other exercises are variations or combinations of the fundamental movements? Those seven movements are: Pull, Push, Squat, Lunge, Hinge, Rotation and Gait.
Today we are going to talk about Hinge! A hinge (or hip hinge, this is the same fundamental movement) is executed by kicking your butt back and leaning your torso forward while maintaining a neutral spine. Think about this like when you begin to lean forward to pick up something- a slight bend at the knees with your back straight and a forward lean pushing your hips backward. This movement works the posterior chain (calf muscles, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, latissimus dorsi and the erector spinae muscles), which is often overlooked but very important to a complete body fitness routine. You should be able to feel a stretch of your hamstrings and quadriceps, but the power of this movement is all in your hips!
This movement is crucial to daily life. Some daily tasks that require this type of movement are things like sitting down in a chair, bending to take a closer look at something, or picking something up off of the ground (without squating). Hip hinges require mobility, strength, and flexibility when done correctly, they can increase mobility and flexibility, and the increased strength can help prevent injury. Some examples of exercises that require this movement are deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, and kettlebell swings.
When performing ANY hinge exercise, important things to remember when performing the movement are: keep your chest up, keep weight back on the heels to load the hamstrings, push the hips backwards, maintain a tight core in order to maintain a neutral spine, drive the hips forwards and stand tall, squeeze your glutes at the top, and finally, don’t overextend or lean backwards. Doing this movement incorrectly (especially when adding weight to things like deadlifts) can cause injury and at the very least may not work the desired muscles.