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October 09, 2021 8 min read

Your hips and their hinges are really good at keeping you upright and moving. Injuring these parts of your body can sometimes lead to more serious damage to your lower back and lumbar spine.

So it is important to follow the correct form when you decide to do these exercises. Before we get into which particular exercises rely on hip hinge mobility, let’s look at warming up the muscles and joints that you will be using for these upper body workouts.

Warming Up Your Muscles and Joints

Hip hinge exercises can be good for training the strength and stability of your core. They offer a fundamental movement pattern that can also help mobilize your thoracic spine and your hips. It is extremely important to have enough general mobility before you attempt any kinds of new exercises. You never want to start doing any exercises that are beyond the range of motion of the muscles you are trying to train. 

fitness, sport, exercising, training and people concept - couple stretching on city street

Although hip hinge exercises might seem like painful movement patterns at first, putting your body into new and different positions can lead to many benefits when it comes to improving the health of your core and your spine, such as improving your overall body strength and increasing the range of motion of those muscles. These are especially important factors for you to consider as you get older.

As with other exercises, be sure to do a proper warm-up to avoid any type of risk of injury.

Warming up properly for the exercises you will be doing and following a regular  diet plan are some vital factors that many athletes sometimes overlook when they are starting a new training routine. It may seem like a waste of time and energy to spend a large portion of your workout simply warming up, but it is well worth the effort when you consider how well it can prevent injuries.

What Are Hip Hinge Exercises? 

Hip hinge exercises require you to keep your back straight and rest on your hips and heels. This position allows you to power through your movements using your posterior chain. The posterior chain as a whole is the main focus of all of these exercises. The posterior chain consists of the muscles in the back of your legs and around your spine. These muscles affect your posture and ability to stay active as you age.

Staying active also drastically reduces the likelihood of developing sciatic nerve pain. 

The hip hinge movement is a slight bend at the knees with your back straight and a forward lean pushing your hips backward as you stretch your hamstrings and quadriceps. All the power of this movement is in and around your hips and your glutes. The hip hinge works these two muscles in particular as they pull around your pelvic bone. This movement is essential to many different training styles including strength training, yoga, or cycling.

This movement is designed to protect your spine when completing these different exercises.

If you think about the movement for a deadlift or powerlifting, you’ll realize that it can be very dangerous for your low back and spine health if you do it with the wrong form. Never place a lot of pressure on your spine. Your spine is a delicate series of bones not made to take on the pressure of movement in the transverse plane. 

If you don’t use a hip hinge motion, you will end up using more of your spine and the muscles around your spine. Always be sure to maintain a neutral spine right from your starting position so as to reduce the risk of back pain. Remember that you can experience pain in your upper back too, so keep that in mind as you are lifting.

It is always better to place the bulk of the weight on your hips and the rest of your posterior chain, because these muscles are much more sturdy and they are able to absorb most of the power you’ll need for lifting and other similar movements. The hips are able to distribute the weight you are lifting evenly across your entire body.

Before Attempting Hip Hinge Exercises 

A series of different stability functions and controlled movements is necessary to master these exercises. One of the most important muscle groups in ensuring stability around your lumbar spine is the core. If you have enough core stability, you can really reduce the chance of injuring your spine.

At the same time, you can really improve your hip mobility and the overall stability of your body.

So you will be trying to develop your core strength along with your hip hinge mobility. The most important stabilization muscles involved in all of these exercises are going to be your obliques, your abdominal muscles, your spinal erector and your transversus abdominis. If you haven’t heard of those muscles before, don’t worry too much because they are more commonly referred to as simply the core muscles.

More About Core Strength Training  

If you are going to be doing a lot of reps, your lower body and your core muscles will be sure to get a lot stronger as you are doing your toning. Although they are pretty simple exercises, hip hinges offer plenty of benefits. One of the biggest of these is core strength training.

Doing these types of exercises regularly, as well as other ab exercises like  cable crunches or movements with dumbbells, can help you feel younger, make your day to day tasks more manageable, and improve your overall health.

Mastering the hip hinge and increasing your strength and mobility might even help relieve any pain that you might have in your lower back. Always reduce the amount of pain you experience in any workout by staying as hydrated as possible, stretching, and rolling out your body. Most importantly, never overwork yourself when you are just getting started with a new exercise. There is no surer way to deter beginners than getting a bad injury right as you are starting out.

With a lot of these exercises, you might find the tension in your deep inner-core muscles intensifying. Try to keep your chest up and your weight on your heels. Before adding any resistance or weight, practice with a dowel (a cylindrical rod, usually made from wood, plastic, or metal) on your back as you make contact at three points: your head, between your shoulders, and your glutes. These are some of the key things to remember when you are getting started with the exercises.

1. Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebells are a very popular piece of equipment to use when you are getting into hip hinges. Kettlebells will help you build the strength of the muscles in your posterior chain. Kettlebell swings are very technical and they often use your glutes as the main force, so they can be a good way to add some mass to your glutes.

Fitness Kettlebells swing exercise bearded man workout at gym

Line your feet shoulder-width apart and complete the basic hip hinge movement as you start to pick up the kettlebell. Bend your knees slightly and keep your back straight. Use your glutes until you are not bending your knees. While holding the kettlebell at both of the horns, rest the bottom of it just beneath your belly button, in between your hips. 

2. Kettlebell Twists

The simple hip hinge exercise is a basic movement that can be modified into the kettlebell twisting hip hinge. This refers to when you twist to the left or right as you move downwards through the movement. The leg on the opposite side of the twist will take more of a bend than the leg on the side you are twisting to. You will also need to rest the kettlebell as the base of your sternum instead of your torso. 

3. Kettlebell Deadlifts 

Kettlebell deadlifts strengthen the hip hinge and improve your hip mobility. They are safer for perfecting your form before attempting a deadlift with heavier weights. For this exercise, first complete the hip hinge movement downward to grab the kettlebell. Then, bring your elbows in and push out your chest. Push upwards using your thighs and glutes and bring your hips forward as you complete the movement. 

4. Resistance Band Hinge

A resistance band is another type of equipment that is very versatile and it can be really good for hip hinge exercises and other upper body workouts. Using resistance bands can help improve your hip mobility and develop this type of movement as a really strong muscle memory. As you’ll notice in the upcoming exercises, resistance bands can actually be combined with kettlebells for other hip hinge exercises as well. 

5. Banded Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift 

A kettlebell Romanian deadlift is an exercise that uses a resistance band that is tied to a sturdy post. The resistance band should ideally be placed around your torso so that you feel a degree of resistance when you push your hips forward as you lift the kettlebell upward. This exercise begins at the standing position instead of the point at which you pick up the kettlebell. 

6. Over the Shoulder Banded Hip Hinge

This exercise can come in several variations that can be useful if you are trying to increase resistance and intensity. An easier version is standing on the resistance band and pulling it over your shoulder blades. Make sure to place the band over your shoulders and not over the back of your head. Keep holding the band between your forefinger and thumb, then complete the hip hinge movement.

You can also try this exercise with another variation, such as using an unlooped band so that you can cross it over your back. It should rest on your glutes and cross over at the lower back. Then you pull it over your shoulders and hold it there. Once again, complete the hip hinge movement and push through with your hips. 

7. Resistance Band Deadlift 

Increase the level of difficulty by tightening the resistance band and hold it in your hands instead as you stand on it. This will help you to focus on your form because the source of resistance will now be in front of you. You can use this exercise to get you better prepared and help you to develop a stronger sense of muscle memory before you attempt to complete deadlifts with heavy weights. 

8. Hip Thrust 

This is a simple exercise where you lay your back on an elevated surface while keeping your feet planted on the ground. All you should be using here is your core and your glutes to raise your torso from the seated position to where your shoulders, hips, and knees form a straight line. Put all the weight on your heels and your shoulders and keep your core tense the whole time. Flex your glutes as you push upward. 

9. Barbell Hip Thrust

This is the same motion and exercise but it should be done with a fairly heavy barbell. Completing this exercise with a heavy weight means that you must focus on your core stability to stay balanced. Make sure to keep your back straight and keep all of the pressure on your hips and never on your spine. You can also do this exercise with a resistance band instead of weights, although it won’t be quite as effective.

10. Glute Bridge or Camel Bridge

The glute bridge is kind of the same as the hip thrusts we have just described, but this time you will be laying on your back to complete the movement. You can use a knee band to increase the difficulty of the exercise. Once again, make sure that your shoulders, hips, and knees form a straight line. 

The camel bridge offers a way to stretch during your hip hinge and it should help relieve glute, lower back, thigh, and full body pain. Sit on your knees with your legs shoulder width apart and your feet pointed behind you. Sit back on your heels. Reach around and put your palms on your heels. Then push forward to arch your body so that it creates a “hump” like a camel.

Start Exercising!

Doing all of these exercises in the correct way can really lead to some impressive results. Combining all of your workouts with healing rest and recovery periods can also be a vital factor for your bodybuilding regimen. If you are feeling low on energy, an excellent supplement as you get started with these types of exercises is our Hyperbolic Stack

Using certain dietary supplements can really expose your inner beauty and help you lose all of the belly fat that might be hiding those six pack abs. If you are concerned about your body weight, you might be interested in our Shredded Stack.

And if you are lucky enough to get any personal training for hip mobility, your trainer will be able to help you with the proper form for these hip hinge exercises and get you following an effective workout regimen.