How to Master the Hip Hinge

Our hips create a lot of power and its important that we learn how to harness that power, especially in the golf swing. How do you harness the power, through a proper hip hinge. What is a hip hinge? The hip hinge, is flexion and extension originating at the hip. It is a fundamental pattern, that we use in the gym, on the course, in the kitchen, the driveway picking up the paper. As you can see, we all hip hinge, every single day, but are we doing it properly? If we aren’t hinging properly, we are putting ourselves at risk for serious injury. When hip hinging, our goal is to keep a neutral spine and bend at the hips, not the lower back.

This is not always the easiest thing to do. How do we correct an improper hip hinge? The first step is figuring out what is causing the limitation. In many cases,I find the problem to be either tight hip flexors or hamstrings. This inhibits the ability of our core and glutes to be activated when we bend and causes us to use our lower back. The second step is teaching the hip hinge. A method I like to use is something I call the PVC drill. I like to coach this drill because is gives my clients intent feed back. To preform this, place the PVC Pipe on your back and there will be three places of contact, the back of the head, upper back and top of your gluten (sacrum). Once all three points are contacted along the PVC pipe push your hips back while maintaining all three points of contact on the PVC Pipe. If you lose contact with the PVC pipe you are doing the movement incorrectly.

I normally start my clients off with two sets of fifteen reps. You will learn the proper movement quickly because as i mentioned before it gives you instant feedback. Once you have mastered this exercise, it is important that you preform the same movement but under tension. Why you may ask? it is important that we learn how to stabilize and perform a proper hip hinge under tensions because almost 99% of the time we are picking or lifting something up when in that position. One of my fellow trainers, Christian Anto, showed me a great exercise for this. It is the same exact exercise as the PVC drill, however you are using a shoulder rock. Hold the shoulder rock above your head and preform the same movement.

The added tension will make it harder to keep contact with the bar but is a great way to teach the movement under tension.

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