We all know that one of the most important movement patterns that needs needs needs, did I say needs? Yes, needs to be included in a training program, not to say the others aren’t important, but I’d say it’s the one that gets forgotten by those that aren’t quite in the know.
With that, most of us can agree that one of the best exercise for this movement pattern is the deadlift, in some variation. Most coaches will nod their heads with the next point, many clients are either intimidated or even refuse to do a deadlift. Well damn what do we do, just pass over it? Hell no, we’re all smarter than that, we get the hinge pattern done somehow!
For those that may be fresh out of ideas and what to do for this pattern instead, here’s some ideas, I tried to list them in some order of progression;
(Note; if you feel any of these in your back either ask for help with technique or try going back to another progression)
This is the most basic of hinges, push those heels into the ground and track crack an acorn between your glutes.
The next step up, pick 1 foot off the ground, push the remaining heel on the ground and squeeze that glute.
Goat Belly Swing
Made popular by the one and only Dan John, put the bottom of the KB against your stomach, relax the knees and push those hips back.
Similar to the goat belly, put a heavy-isa band around your waist, push those hips back, stand up and squeeze those glutes hard.
Cable/Band Pull Through
One step further from the hinge, hold the handles taut, don’t actively reach through your legs with your arms.
Keep the shoulders on the bench, don’t arch through your back, keep your chin tucked. This can also be done on a bench, especially since most gyms don’t have an actual hip thrust machine.
1-Leg Hip Thrust
These suck, no way around it, but when they suck a little less, you know you’ve gotten better. Remember to push that heel into the floor, most people wind up on their forefoot or toes.
Leg Curls (Ball or Slider)
The slider variation of this makes your hammies SCREAM! If you find that you can’t keep everything in line through out the movement, try just doing the extension part slowly, then dropping your butt to reset first.
The arms should NOT be doing loads of lifting, they should be holding the bell, the hips do the lifting.
Squeeze the handles/bars real hard to keep those shoulders locked in, don’t go down beyond the point where your back starts to round (usually around knee caps to mid shin).
Hopefully those of you that might be a little scared of deadlifts (come on), but also try these so you don’t neglect those posterior chain muscles. You need that group to be super strong in order to stay health and continue to see progress.
That's what I got for you all today, everyone have a happy and safe Thanksgiving. Don't forget that 'getting after it' bit though!
Jarrod Dyke, CSCS