Training the posterior chain (trainer speak for the glutes, hamstrings, calves, and back muscles) is important for a lot of reasons ranging from building and maintaining a nice booty to being able to walk upright. It is because of this important that it is imperative you learn how to "hinge" or bend at your hips properly. Developing the ability to hip hinge allows you to train the posterior chain while minimizing the risk of injury to your lower back. If you have a great hip hinge that hold up under load then you can stimulate your posterior chain with heavy loads and lots of volume which will help you look better and move better.
The difficulty part though is learning to hip hinge properly. It looks rather easy when someone demonstrates it and it sounds even easier when someone explains, however looks and sounds can be deceiving when it comes to mastering the hip hinge. I would say next to a one arm row it is one of the most difficult movement patterns to teach and coach.
This means that if you want to learn to hinge properly so you can build your best posterior chain you need to work on it and work on it often because as with any new skill you are trying to learn the name of the game is repetition and practice. Which means as a coach my job is to give the trainee as many opportunities to practice the hinge as possible.
One way I have found to get this accomplished is to program in one or two hip hinge drills into their dynamic warm up. It is a simple tweak to a program yet it can make a huge difference in the hinge learning curve. This way the client will get a dose of hip hinging for sure everyday regardless of whether we are going to be attempting to train that pattern or not. It also serves as a great way to warm up the hip and knee extensors before being placed under load.
This practice could also work great for you if you find you struggle with bending at the hips correctly.
Thus I wanted to share with you one of my favorite drills for practicing the hip hinge.
It is an old school exercise with a bit of a new age twist. The exercise is a kettlebell good morning. You perform it by holding a kettlebell by the handle with both hands and elbows bent while the keeping the kettlebell overhead laying against your back between your shoulder blades. Then you initiate the movement by keeping the back flat, flexing your hips, reaching your but towards the wall behind you, and bending your knees slightly. You reverse the motion to return to the start.
I know like I said it sounds easy, but in reality it is one of the hardest movements to master.
Below is a video of me demonstrating the exercise. If you want to be a better hinger try adding this exercise to your warm up before every training session for the next month or two. You will definitely notice an improvement in your hinging abilities.
Happy moving and heavy lifting!
Practical, Purposeful, Effective Training