Learning How To Hinge


The Hinge is one of the six foundational movement patterns we all should be training two times a week. It is what we do when we pick something up like a deadlift etc.

First, you must understand that the hinge is a hip dominant movement, so there will be a lot of bending of the hip and slight bending of the knees. The movement will always start by bending the hips then slightly bending the knees and then proceeding to drop your chest. Once down, come back up and squeeze your glutes as hard as you can.

We want to keep a neutral spine, which means not round but not super arched as well. One big mistake most people make when someone is hinging is to not keep a straight spine. If you can look at yourself in the mirror while you're at the bottom position of the hinge, then you are not keeping a straight spine. When your chest is down the only way to look at the mirror is by putting your head back and that takes your skull out of alignment with the rest of your spine.

To avoid this mistake, always push your neck back or create a double chin throughout the whole movement. Basically speaking, your nose should be pointing where ever your chest is facing. Yes, you may look at yourself at the top of the hinge or deadlift because your chest will be facing the mirror, but as soon as your chest drops your face must follow.

When it comes to hinging there is also a "going too low problem" this will all depend on one's flexibility but for most cases, you are going too low. You probably will try it out right now and say “I’m fine, I’m flexible enough......" but what you won't realize is that for you to reach that low you will need extremely flexible hamstrings and when you don't have that ( most of the population ) then the only way to get down that low is by rounding of the lower or mid-back. Yes, you CAN reach down there but now you are putting your whole spine in jeopardy.
In conclusion, don't curve your skull at the bottom of the hinge ( look at yourself in the mirror ) and set up an elevated surface for your hinges ( 2 bumper plates for barbell hinge) ( yoga block or bumper plate for kettlebell hinge ), etc... Definitely, you shouldn't be deficit-hinging...

See below on how to execute a Kettlebell Deadlift, one of the most commons hinges.