Workout of the Day

The Almighty Hinge


I’m fond of finding ways that our in gym activities relate to out-of-gym activities. It’s a simple game of connect the dots that clarifies purpose and transferability and adds context to our movement practice.

I can think of few movements as relevant, transferable, and essential as the hip hinge.

In short, the hip hinge is a folding (flexion) and standing (extension) at the hip. In the gym, this looks like a deadlift, a kettlebell swing, or lapping a heavy stone or sandbag. In life, this is everything from bending over to tie your shoes, to lifting a moving box, to hoisting a body onto your shoulder. It’s also one of the most powerful and capable movement patterns we have, and taps into a huge muscle group known as the posterior chain. This makes it effective at moving large loads and at moving very quickly.

Consider it a tragedy or perhaps an incredible opportunity, the hip hinge also happens to be one of the most poorly executed movements by the average untrained stranger. Years of poor movement practices and sitting on our hip muscles until they go dormant means that the average person’s hip hinge has a lot more rounding and a lot less hinging. It just so happens that this is a very common mechanism of injury, too (see: America’s back pain problem).

Perhaps the capacity to pick something heavy off the ground safely or to sprint or jump explosively doesn’t carry the same Instagram-worthy glamour as toned abs, but it just might be one of the most important tools in your human mover’s toolbelt.

What’s your favorite hip hinge movement?

- PS


  • Powerlifting Total

  • In 36 mins (12 mins for each lift), establish a 1rm:

    • Back squat

    • Bench press

    • Deadlift