Many people know the saying “Lift with your knees, not your back.” What that saying SHOULD be is “Lift with your hips, not your back OR your knees.” The rarely known hip hinge plays a large role in protecting yourself from injury. The ability to hinge through the hips is a fundamental movement pattern which can spare your knees and low back from injury, especially over time.
Sedentary postures tend to rule our lives nowadays, ultimately leading to muscle tightness, weakness, and joint restrictions. These impairments breed poor movement patterns. Remember that time you, a family member, or friend “threw their back out” when building or lifting? Chances are, it wasn’t that single lift that caused injury, but rather weeks, months, and years of improper movement patterns. Think about that one bend as the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
A good starting point to learning a hip hinge is through a proper squat. The squat instructions clearly state: don’t let your knees pass your toes and to get the butt back. A squat is for more than gym goers. Squatting is part of everyday life. You’re squatting when getting up from a chair, or picking up a box, or getting down to the ground. Employing a proper squat when strength training is one thing, but the same techniques should be applied for everyday situations.
Want to learn how to master the hip hinge? In the video below, I cover multiple steps to help you learn to squat and hinge pain-free with ease!