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Hip Hinge

This spine-sparing exercise can help prevent low back injuries.


Dr. Stuart McGill, PhD has studied the biomechanics of low back pain. In the video below, Dr. McGill explains how your low back and hips move together. His “Hip Hinge” concept is critical to understand if you want to avoid irritating your lumbar (low back) discs.

The “Hip Hinge” is a spine-sparing exercise developed by Stuart McGill, Ph.D. that if practiced and applied to daily life can help to prevent low back injuries and pain.

The main concept is to bend at the hips while keeping the lumbar spine straight. This will help to protect the intervertebral discs, spinal joints and soft tissues. This is one of the most, if not the most, powerful movements we can perform. It should be applied to lifting objects off the floor, bending for any reason, sitting from standing, standing from sitting, etc.

Keep in mind that this is not a strength training exercise. It is a movement conditioning exercise that will help to develop a strong mechanical foundation. It should be practiced every day with the intention of it becoming second nature.

Please watch Dr. Bobinski’s video below for a thorough understanding. There is a more in-depth video from Dr. McGill (run time of 43 minutes) here.