Do Bend at the Waist or the Hips

Every training session at my Gym for the last 3 years has included a “Hinge” movement.

But WHY you may ask

Well simply when you bend over you have two choices, to bend from the waist or bend from the hips

Bending from the waist exposes your lower back to some stress, now that’s OK if it’s only once or twice  with no loads, but I read somewhere we actually bend over up to 200 times per day going about our daily lives and activities.

Just this morning alone I noted some of my bend overs…..

1. Picked up a golf club from the floor
2. Pan from bottom cupboard for porridge
3. Brushing up flour which fell out of cupboard whilst getting porridge.
4. Getting dark chocolate out of cupboard for porridge
5. Put banana skin in the bin after adding banana to porridge
6. Picked up cushion for outside chair to eat porridge
6. Getting first aid box from low cupboard, not related to porridge
7. Playing golf today will include bending over 18 times to tee ball up, 18 times to pick ball out of the hole, 3 to 4 per hole picking clubs of the ground, picking the flag up etc etc

You get the idea how many times in one day you bend down

Most people if asked to pick up a feather in front of their feet would move their head first, look down, starting an incorrect process of bending the spine resulting in that all to familiar  “C” shape, much like a cashew nut.

In the image above you can see your trainer and coach lifting his ageing Labrador Abbey who weighs in at a tidy 25g, (or 4 stone in old money).  Abbey can no longer jump into my estate car boot, hence the Hinge Lift.

Step One – Find towel, she was a little mucky
Step Two – Take a wide stance
Step Three – Push your hips back as far as you can and when you feel your large hamstrings muscle tighten, bend your knees and lower to the ground
Step Four – To stand up by driving your big glute muscles forward and lift the dog.
Step Five – Clean the dog with towel and close the boot.

When you bend from the hips you use the large muscles of the hamstrings and glutes, NOT the small muscles around the lower back, this safeguards the bodies most valuable asset your spine.

Finally, your hips are a ball and socket joint, they are designed to be able to flex, extend and move side to side. All this movement is driven by some impressive muscles.

So back to the start, first we learn to hinge correctly and once we can do the move correctly we can start to load that movement and get even stronger.

This strength will have so many positive carry overs in everyday life from pain reduction in the lower back, to better golf shots, improved walking and climbing

Happy Hinging

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