The Best Hip Hinge Fixes

The Best Hip Hinge Fixes

The hip hinge is a fundamental movement pattern needed for both sports training and activities of daily living. But many individuals struggle with performing this basic movement pattern, placing their bodies in sub-optimal positions for lifting heavier loads.

The hip hinge is the most basic, regressed pattern of the deadlift and kettlebell swing, but often coaches/athletes/clinicians forget that a good hip hinge is also necessary to squat with good form.

This week I’m excited to have Jarod Hall join me to share our favorite hip hinge fixes that will improve the deadlift, swings, squat pattern, and more!

Wall Touch/Slide

Set up anywhere from 6 to 12 inches away from the wall depending on the height of the client. Have them go into a squat while trying to reach their butt back and touch or slide on the wall. In this video I played the role of the client who is feeling out the exercise to find the wall and create a hip hinge.

TRX Assisted Hip Hinge

By pressing downward into the suspension straps, you will brace the anterior core musculature, helping to keep a more neutral spine while going through the hinge pattern.

Don’t Knock the Roller Over

Stand up  a foam roller at the end of your toe and go into a squat without knocking the foam roller over. If the heels elevate or the squat is to vertical without a hip hinge the knees/tibia will track too far forward and knock the foam roller over. Shifting into a hip hinge decreases anterior tibial translation which allows the foam number to stay upright.

Kneeling Squat

This drill takes the knees completely out of the equation. From this position the only available movement to go down deeper is a hip change. The client requires full knee range of motion and the pain free ability to bear weight on their knees to complete this drill.

Banded Hip Hinge

By using a resistance band, you can provide your body with tactile cueing to move the hips through the hinge pattern.

BAND ASSISTED HIP HINGE for tactile curing to improve the hip hinge pattern.

A post shared by Zach Long, DPT SCS Cert.CMFA (@thebarbellphysio) on

Butt to Seat/Target

This drill is very similar to the wall touch drill. Again, set up 6 to 12 inches away from the target depending on the height of the client. The difference with the chair target is that it allows for the client to come into a full sitting position and you can train pause squats and pause hip hinges a little easier. It’s also a very good drill for working slowly into a deeper patterns as you set slowly lowering seat heights as the target.

Toes Elevated Squat

By elevating the toes at the beginning of the squat, you place the ankle into a greater degree of dorsiflexion as the client moves into the squat. This causes the ankle to much more quickly come to full available dorsiflexion range of motion. Once the ankle is at full dorsiflexion the only way to continue to go deeper into the squat is to elevate the heels or hip hinge. At this point, you cue the patient to keep their heels on the floor which will force a hip hinge to posteriorly shift the clients
weight and allow for a deeper/full squat.

Stick Behind the Back with Overhead Touch

Place a stick behind the client’s back with the top extending 8-12 inches past the head. The stick must touch the back of the head, the thoracic spine, and the sacrum. When the client goes into the squat have them touch the stick to the wall over their head. If their squat is too vertical or doesn’t have a good hip hinge they won’t be able to touch the stick to the wall.

Reverse Active Straight Leg Raise

The Rev-ASLR is essentially a hip hinge pattern where the legs move around the body while lying down (versus in the actual hip hinge the torso moves more around the legs). This gives lots of feedback on core stabilization as the hips move through motion. Several variations are shown here.



Co-Written with Dr. Jarod Hall

Dr. Jarod Hall, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS is a physical therapist in Fort Worth, TX. His clinical focus is orthopedics with an emphasis on therapeutic neuroscience education and purposeful implementation of foundational principles of exercise in the management of both chronic pain and athletic injuries. Jarod has shown clinical excellence in securing designation as an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). He is also adjunct assistant faculty at the UNTHSC DPT program, instructing in the assessment and treatment of orthopedic injuries, pain sciences, and manual therapy. Dr. Hall regularly presents continuing education at the state and national level for practicing physical therapists. Additionally, Dr. Hall is an internationally recognized blogger, whose work has focused on how to succeed in the clinical environment as a new grad, debunking common exercise and rehab myths, manual therapy, and pain science.