The Hip Hinge entails making sure, whenever we sit down and/or get up, as well as whenever we need to pick up and lift something, that we bend at the level of the hips, keeping the back super straight. This might seem like common sense, but if we don’t pay attention to how we’re moving, the back can easily be taxed. It is also important, especially if we lift something, to engage the abs and other core muscles before lifting the item.
Sitting down and getting up is pretty much like doing a small squat (the squat is one of the 4 Primal Essential Movements, along with pushups, pullups, and plank). You want to slightly activate the core muscles, keep your weight on your heels, but still be able to grip with the toes. Also be sure that you engage the glutes especially when you get up. The hardest part in the beginning of this transition is just to remind ourselves of this technique, whenever we have to sit or lift things.
Of course, the more we practice something, the more it gets ingrained as a habit, as explained in my first blog post. After a while, practicing the hip hinge will become second nature and it will not feel like a chore.
There are also exercises we can do to help us integrate the hip hinge in daily life and strengthen our backs at the same time. Two books I have read that outline the importance of the hip hinge are Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move with Confidence and True to Form: How to Use Foundation Training for Sustained Pain Relief and Everyday Fitness both by Dr. Eric Goodman. If you wonder what “Foundation Training” is about, this simple video highlights how this training can help correct the poor movement patterns we unconsciously execute on a daily basis.
Practicing the hip hinge can lead to better wellness all around.
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