Learn How to Hip Hinge
My favorite exercise for building strong hips is a squat with a good hip hinge.
This hip hinge is key to preventing lower back pain every time you bend over and we bend over a lot in life. (Dishwashers, washing machines, stuff on the floor, etc.)
Start by learning a simple hip hinge:
See how in picture 1 my back stays in neutral and in picture 2 it’s curving?
Think about this next time you wash your hands. Do you hunch for the sink or protect your neck and back by hinging?
Learn how to do a proper squat.
To do a correct squat, keep your head in line with your body. Tight your core (TAs) and sit back into a chair. Keep your knees in line with your feet and your feet in line with your hips. If you let your knees cave in, it will effect the alignment of your patella (knee cap) and cause knee pain.
If you are having trouble getting your core to fire then press your hands gently into your sides during the whole squat just like you did learning how to contract your TAs. Do not relax your core at any point during the exercise. This will ensure you are braced properly to prevent all future lower back pain! Once you know your core is contracting properly you can hold your arms up in front of you for counter balance weight.
Hip hinge squat: See how I’m sitting back into my glutes.
This squat is done incorrectly, see how I’m loading the front of my knees and not sitting into my glutes.
This squat demonstrates leaning forward too much. Usually this person has weak glutes and over loads their hamstrings, causing additional stress in the lower back.
Good squat: look for knees inline with feet.
Bad squat: See how my knees are caving in. Look down and check your knees, if they are inside the big toe that is bad!!!
If you are having trouble getting your glutes to fire, try putting a band around your knees and pressing out. This will help turn on the glutes and banish lower back pain forever!
For an advanced hip hinge exercise try a dead lift. If done improperly, this exercise can cause severe lower back pain and stress but when done correctly, it has amazing benefits.