by Ian Ledger
What is the hip hinge?
The hip hinge is a basic movement pattern that everyone must have! It is a posterior movement through the hip joints with both feet contacting the ground. It requires the hips to move backwards prior to the knees bending while the buttock stays high. This will allow the lower back to stay in a neutral position and the knees to stay behind the toes.
What is the hip hinge squat?
The hip hinge squat is the squat pattern (knee bend) that is done after you hip hinge. It allows you to move closer to the floor protecting your back and knees from injury.
Why do the hip hinge/hip hinge squat?
The hip hinge allows you to load your hips which have the strongest muscles in your body. This will reduce the strain on your low back and reduce the chance of developing lower back pain or disc injuries (or help low back pain problems heal). If knee problems are present, the hip hinge/hip hinge squat will reduce the load on your knees and help reduce knee pain even with an osteoarthritic knee. It is also the dominant movement that is the basis for most athletic movements and required for the athletic stance.
What muscles are involved in the hip hinge/hip hinge squat?
The muscles that are activated when you hip hinge are the gluteals. If the hip hinge pattern is a problem for awhile, there may be a “lower crossed” muscular imbalances that develop. This is where the gluteal and abdominal muscles become weak and the hip flexor (psoas) and erector spinae (lower back muscles) become tight. Using a good hip hinge pattern with a light abdominal brace and having the psoas and erector spinae muscles released often helps if lower crossed problems are present. Common techniques used to release tight muscles are massage, ART, stretching, and myofascial release.
What activities require the hip hinge/hip hinge squat?
The hip hinge/hip hinge squat is required for daily activities such as getting on and off a chair or toilet, picking up objects from the floor, lifting grocery bags, lifting children or grandchildren etc.... It is also required for athletic activities like basketball, hockey, cross country skiing, etc......