Master The Hip Hinge: Bend Forward Without Back Pain

Keep reading until the end for a short hip hinge practice video! 

There is recent discussion in the media about how tribal cultures have much less incidence of back pain AND they spend much of their time in forward bending work postures. However, their forward bend posture is not a bend at the waist, but rather a HIP HINGE. So what is all this talk of the HIP HINGE, and how can it improve our back and spine health, stretch our hamstrings, strengthen our hips and glutes, and create a foundation for functional movement ? 

Read on friends .... 


The hip hinge is a method of forward bending where the "bend" is coming from the hip joint instead of the spine. It requires us to "load" our hips, use the big muscles of the glutes and hamstrings, and maintain a neutral or straight spine. This is a super helpful technique to learn for anyone but especially useful with long or short spinal fusions.

When you hip hinge, you decrease pressure on the spine, especially the lumbar spine, sacrum, and SI joints.

These are common areas for pain, inflammation, and injury. For those with spinal fusions, learning different variations of the hip hinge is crucial to preserving unfused vertebrae health, while allowing us to still bend forward. AND if you are a long fusion to the sacrum, you are a natural hip hinger so congrats!!!

Forward bending is a functional movement required to get the hands to the ground (or hands to feet) and is needed in daily living skills such as housework, and lower body dressing.

Forward bends are also a large component of traditional yoga class sequences, and most are taught with forward flexion of the spine as well. When you learn to hip hinge, you can still practice forward bends but with a spine protective technique.

Hip hinge with knee bend in ADLs (activities of daily living) below! 


You also see the hip hinge used in weight lifting and fitness circles as a back protective posture that allows you to strengthen and stretch the hamstrings. 


As well as in some yoga postures like ardha uttanasana or half forward bend posture.


So lets learn how to hip hinge, practice in various styles and positions, with knees straight and bent, and see how this technique can provide healthy back and spine variations for forward bending.

Follow along with me on as I  start the #hiphinger challenge, and lets learn this in community. 

Be a hip hinger, your back will thank you !