Perfecting the Hinge
In a world ruled by squats, the hinge is often forgotten. But I’m here to remind you that the hinge is like the super fruit of the exercise world! The hinge allows us to load our back side, primarily our glutes and hamstrings, while also engaging our back and core muscles. And depending on the type of hinge, our quads can still get in on the action.
We hinge more often throughout our day than we realize. Bending down to tie our shoe, to grab an item from the floor, or pick up something heavy. To be more efficient and hurt less when executing these movements, we need to perfect the hinge.
Let’s break it down. From a standing position, retract and squeeze your shoulder blades, bend forward at the hips (aka hinge) and allow for a slight bend in the knees while maintaining a flat back and engaged abs. Reverse the hip hinge motion by engaging the glutes and hamstring as you rise to stand. Relax and reset your stance before you move again.
To practice the hinge motion, try these 3 exercises:
SURGE® Hydro Ball Deadlift
With a double-handle grip, keep the Hydro Ball close to your legs as you hinge down and up.
Option: Add water oscillation as you hinge down and up by making small, quick circles with the Hydro Ball. Notice the difference in core activation.
SURGE® Storm Single Leg Dead Lift
Standing with your weight on one leg, place the other foot beside the heel and lightly rest on the toes. Keep the SURGE® Storm close to the working leg as you hinge down and up. Keep the water as quiet as possible.
Option: Allow the non-working leg to lift off the ground during each rep for more core and balance challenge.
SURGE® Storm Swing
Standing with your feet slightly wider than hip distance, swing one end of the SURGE® Storm between the legs with a hinge. Squeeze through the glutes and hamstring, while powering the hips forward to swing it up and overhead.
Option: Oscillate the water by alternating which end of the SURGE® Storm comes through the legs each time.
Things to avoid:
- Squatting, or dropping the butt, rather than hinging at the waist
- Rounding the shoulders as you hinge forward
- Over-arching the back as you rise to upright
- Disengaging the core
Alison Galvan has a Masters degree in Kinesiology and works with athletes, college students, kids, older adults, and everything in between. In additional to working as a SURGE® Master Trainer, Alison owns EnergyX Fitness in San Antonio, Texas.