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Hip Hinging! Are You Doing It Correctly?

Updated: Nov 3, 2022


What is a hip hinge? What does it look like? What does it benefit ? How do you know you're doing correctly? Odds are if your're a beginning or even a novice in the lifting world you're doing them incorrectly and not getting the most out of this exercise. A hip hinge is what I refer to as a base movement, its a movement everyone should learn if they want to keep healthy hips and have a safe long gym life. Many people tap out of working out early on because of hip/low back issues. These issues could of been prevented if they had been properly taught to hip hinge and had developed strength in the surrounding muscles of the hips. A hip hinge is essentially what the name is, its hinging of the hips. We hinge at the hips for exercises such as the Deadlift, Squat, Romanian Deadlift ,Good Mornings, Glute Bridges, Step Downs, Single Leg Romanian Deadlift ,Hang Cleans and Cable/Banded Pull Throughs. What do all of these exercises have in common? They all work the posterior chain, the posterior chain is a series of muscles that work synergistically together. These muscles include the Erector Spinae (group of muscles that run the length of the spine), Traps, Rear Delts, Lats, Glutes and Hamstrings.

Why would we want to hip hinge? Well, it's same reason we want to do any other movement in the gym, to create strength and stability of the surrounding muscles and joints! The difference with the hip hinge is it can make or break you. If you don't have the mobility/strength to perform a hip hinge movement, other areas of you're body are going to compensate to make up for the lack of movement/strength in your hips. You know what takes the stress of stabilizing your body when your hips are too weak/unstable to do so? Remember that lower back pain we were talking about earlier? Well, when your hips lack range of motion and strength, your body is going to find another way to stabilize and that's going to be through the lower back muscles and you're hip flexors which really isn't ideal for anyone. Don't get me wrong! We want strong lower back muscles but we don't want them to be doing what our hips are suppose to be doing and that's stabilizing! Having full range of motion in you're hips can save you a lot of pain down the road because immobile hips will cause other joints surrounds the hips to compensate as well. Practicing full range of motion in our hips will keep them healthy! For demonstration purposes we will use the Romanian Deadlift as our movement to demonstrate a hip hinge. Now when you hip hinge does it look like once of the videos below?

1. Rounding of the upper back takes tensions off the hips and puts it on lower back and letting the chest drop allows the upper back to round. You will feel this in your lower back

2. Breaking at the knees first doesn't allow you to stretch your hamstrings maxi