Top 10 Hip Hinge Exercises

To perform a hip hinge correctly, you'll need strength, body awareness, and mobility.

This workout has a lot of crossover with other exercises you'll do in the gym, in sports/activities, and in everyday life.

The muscles that make up the hip hinge are crucial for hip hinging and hip flexion.

They are in charge of keeping you upright, moving you forward (walking, running), and propelling you upward (climbing) (jumping, climbing stairs).

Because we spend so much time sitting these days, these muscles are most likely to atrophy the fastest as we age.

As a result, maintaining hip hinge strength is even more vital as you age in order to maintain your capacity to move and stay active.

Top 10 Hip Hinge Exercises
Top 10 Hip Hinge Exercises

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In exercises like the deadlift and Olympic lifts, the muscles and movement pattern of the hip hinge enable strength athletes attain their full potential.

It's also a fantastic method to work the hamstrings.

Any lower-body exercise, including squat, can benefit from stronger hamstrings.

The Hip Joint Hinges

The hip hinge occurs when the waist bends with limited knee bend and the hips move backwards.

Any hip hinge movement pattern will predominantly target the muscles of the posterior chain.

The hamstrings (back of the legs), glutes (back of the legs), and erector spinae (lower back) are all important for improving health, strength, and power.

The Hip Hinge's Advantages

To perform a hip hinge correctly, you'll need strength, core stability, body awareness, and mobility.

This is why the hip hinge is such a beneficial movement pattern to incorporate into your workout routine. 

Due to the modern lifestyle of excessive sitting and general inactivity, these muscles are frequently misused from a health standpoint.

People prefer to train what they see in the mirror rather than what they see behind them.

This is one of the reasons we don't have mirrors at our gym, unless you're trying to build a social media following by posting every angle imaginable of your glutes while in the gym.

Another reason is that we want our members to focus on how the activity is carried out rather than on how they appear in the mirror.

Strengthening these posterior muscles will help you achieve better structural balance, which can lead to better posture and lower back pain.

A Romanian deadlift is an excellent hip hinge workout.

Hinge Exercises Activate Muscles

During the hip hinge, the following muscles are used:

  • Glutes
  • Hamstring

The following muscles are also needed to help maintain the spine during the hip hinge.

  • Abs transverse
  • Erector spinae

Who Should Use the Hip Hinge Pattern and Hinge Exercises?

The hip hinge is something that everyone should learn and use.

It is beneficial to acquire good lifting technique or fundamental movement pattern for general population clients in order to decrease back pain and enhance muscular balance.

Because it is the primary “power stance” that athletes will use in sports, strengthening those muscle groups through hip hinge movement patterns can help athletes produce more power.

Female athlete are 5 times more likely than male athletes to tear their ACL, so strengthening the target muscle like hamstrings and glutes via the hip hinge is very important for minimizing the risk of knee injuries and ACL tears.

The hip hinge exercise is particularly important for strength athletes who want to deadlift heavy weights, as well as for both strength and physique athletes who want to build their physique while lowering their risk of injury due to muscular imbalance or poor movement patterns.

Even the most experienced lifters are occasionally unable to achieve a suitable hinge position without personal trainer for proper hip hinge.

It's critical to understand and apply optimal spinal and hip mechanics during the hip hinge progression.

Exercises for the Hip Hinge

Here are some great hip hinge exercises to incorporate into your routine.

This hip dominant exercise can be used to simply learn the hip hinge pattern, while others can be used to strengthen the muscles that support the hip hinge and avoid low back pain for lumbar spine and thoracic spine.

1. Romanian Barbell Deadlift (RBL)

Romanian Barbell Deadlift (RBL)

Important movement hints for upper body and shoulder width:

  • The entire foot is always in contact with the ground as a starting position.
  • Hip width in stance
  • Maintain a tall posture with a neutral spine.
  • Keep the bar close to your body and glide it down your thighs.
  • Feel the stretch in the back of the legs as the hips travel back.
  • Knees unlocked (very small bend) – knees should not move forward.
  • Stand erect at the end, not sagging through the low back — hips into the bar, glutes squeezed

If you're new to training, use a dowel or broomstick to practice this movement.

If you're not sure if you're doing it correctly, try recording yourself or enlisting the advice of a professional coach.

You can incorporate other hip hinge patterns into your program once you've mastered this one.

2. Romanian Deadlift with Kettlebell Split Stance

Romanian Deadlift with Kettlebell Split Stance

Important movement hints:

  • The entire front foot is always in contact with the ground.
  • With the heel of the front foot off the floor, line up the backfoot with the heel of the front foot.
  • Hip width in stance
  • Maintain a tall posture with a neutral spine.
  • Hips travel back – Notice how the back of the front leg stretches.
  • Unlocked knees (slight bend) – Knees should not be able to move forward.
  • Stand tall at the end, not sagging through the low back.

3. Romanian Deadlift with a Single Leg

Romanian Deadlift with a Single Leg

Important movement hints:

  • Front foot – keep the entire foot in touch with the ground.
  • Keep your spine in a neutral position.
  • Don't allow your hips to rotate.
  • Hips travel back – Feel the stretch in the back of the legs as you do this.
  • Unlocked knee (slight bend) – knee should not move forward.
  • You can hold on to something stable.
  • You can do this with a dumbbell, kettlebell, or your own bodyweight.

So, the next time you're in the gym working on your favorite muscles or activities, be sure to spend some time on the hip hinge movements described above.

Hip hinge exercises can help you live a longer and more active life, no matter what your aim is – getting stronger/fitter, decreasing weight, sports performance, or winning at life.

4. Exercise for Hip Hinge in Front of a Wall

Exercise for Hip Hinge in Front of a Wall

This is a simple hip hinge drill for beginners for hip mobility.

  • Stand 1 to 2 feet in front of a wall with your back straight, your focal point forward, and your feet at hip width.
  • Keep your back straight and your head in a neutral posture as you push your hips back into the hinge until your butt meets the wall.

5. Using a Dowel Rod as a Hip Hinge

Using a Dowel Rod as a Hip Hinge

Another starting drill to teach the hip hinge is this one.

  • You keep a stick on three spots on your body during this drill: your sacrum, shoulder blades, and back of your skull. Those three points of contact will be maintained if you hinge correctly.
  • You will lose contact with the place on your sacrum or the back of your head if you circle your back.
  • You will lose contact with your shoulder blades if you arch your back.

6. With a Plate Behind the Head, Hip Hinge

With a Plate Behind the Head, Hip Hinge

After students have mastered the drill with the dowel or stick, I teach them this drill.

  • With elbows open, the trainee now holds a plate behind his head.
  • The feet should be hip width apart and the spine should be neutral.
  • The student must next press his or her hips back into the hinge while keeping a neutral spine.

7. Pulling the Cable Through

Pulling the Cable Through

The cable pull through is an excellent exercise for strengthening the hip hinge while also strengthening the glutes and hamstrings.

This exercise is also easy on the spine because the weight is behind the body.

  • Place the rope attachment's grips at the bottom of the cable pulley. Increase the weight by a moderate amount.
  • Hinge at the hips, with a neutral hold on the rope handles, and pull shoulders back and down into the torso.
  • Unrack the weight with a hip hinge, then take two steps forward into a slightly wider than hip width stance.
  • Feed your hands back behind you in a hinge position, keeping the rope taut and close to your body. Then, at the peak of the pose, contract glutes to stand tall.

8. Kneeling Windmill (1/2)

Kneeling Windmill (1/2)

Assume a tall half-kneeling position, with your rear foot parallel to your front leg. This exercise is good for knee flexion.

  • In your front hand, hold a light kettlebell at shoulder height.
  • Lift the kettlebell to your shoulders and press it high towards the ceiling.
  • Push hips into a hinge, keeping spine neutral, until glutes hit bottom leg.
  • To get back to the starting posture, contract your glutes.

9. Glute Bridge on the Ground

Glute Bridge on the Ground
  • Maintain a neutral spine while powering up to a tabletop position with your glutes.
  • Return to the beginning after one count.
  • By adding a barbell, dumbbell, or other load to the hips, this exercise can be made more difficult.
  • To avoid bruising and pain when using a barbell, place a padded mat between your hips and the bar.

10. Hip Thrust

Hip Thrust
  • Place your upper back on a box that is about halfway between your shins.
  • Use glutes to power into a complete table top position with feet at hip width, knees bent to roughly 90 degrees, and feet flat under knees.
  • Even at the apex of the action, keep your chest and chin tucked in.

Hip Hinge Programming Exercises

The hip hinge can be incorporated into your workout in a variety of ways.

For strength and power, do sets of 1 to 5 reps each set.

With these rep ranges, you'll need to do a lot of sets to acquire enough training volume along with physical therapy.

Training the hip hinge pattern for strength or hypertrophy can be useful because the glutes and hamstrings respond well to both strong and relatively heavy loads, as well as lower rep ranges.

Furthermore, because the glutes and hamstrings play such an important part in athletic performance and power, concentrating on strength and power training with the hip hinge can be helpful for both team and power sport athletes as well as endurance athletes.

For hip extension, rep ranges of 6 to 15 reps per session are most beneficial.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is an example of a hinge exercise?

The Kettlebell Swing is an example of an explosive hinge workout.
The Kettlebell Swing uses the Hip Hinge movement to build muscular strength and power.

What do hinge exercises do?

Maintaining your shins perpendicular to the ground, bending over by swinging your hips, and keeping your spine aligned are all part of the hip hinge movement.
This increases the strength of your spine and prevents it from becoming overly stressed.

Is Split Squat a hip hinge?

The split squat is a lunge-like squat with a staggered stance.
The high rear-leg position is perhaps why it's termed a squat.
The raised position encourages a hip-hinged, forward trunk stance similar to a squat, in addition to moving the body mass over the forward leg.