Lesson 2 – The Squat and The Hip Hinge

We’ve prepared these two videos to cover the most important movements anyone who exercises should know. They are the Squat and the Hip Hinge. If you’ve trained with us, you know these movements well (right?). If you’ve worked with any trainer or coach, you should know these…if you don’t, FIRE that person immediately! No joke, fire them!

The Squat

The Squat is a total body movement great for hip mobility, fat loss, strength, and so much more. Actually, the Squat is so important, I’d be ok if this were the only exercise you did. Squats are easy to learn and have tremendous benefits, short-term and long-term.

The Hip Hinge

The Hip Hinge is what I spend a lot of my career teaching as it’s the most important position to know for back health, lifting safely, and getting the best overall results. The Hip Hinge is the foundation of big payoff exercises such as the deadlift, kettlebell swing, and bent row. You see, I just gave you a great training plan; squats, deadlifts, kettlebell swings, and bent rows 😉 No really, I mean it.

The Hip Hinge can be a difficult movement to perform without proper coaching. It requires you keep the spine neutral in positions that your body wants to curl up in. It’s a fine line between the perfect hip hinge and one that is more on the side of dangerous.

The Hip Hinge is something almost universally lacking in people’s training and the number one movement I see performed incorrectly in the gym, even among professionals. I’m renaming that version, the Hip Cringe…pause for laughter (comedy is not my specialty). With that said, the Hip Hinge can and must be learned.

Squat vs. Hinge

Which one is better? Both.

The difference between the squat and the hinge is very subtle, but very significant.

The Squat is a Knee-Dominant Exercise, however, it is still initiated from the hips. The squat emphasizes anterior (front) muscles such as the quadriceps, aka thighs, and the glutes, aka your 2-pack, aka your bum.

The Hinge is a Hip-Dominant Exercise, however, the knees bend only as a result of the hips shifting back. Confused yet? It will make sense when you are doing it right. The hinge emphasizes posterior (back) muscles such as the hamstrings, lower back, and your glutes.

Key Points of the Squat

  • Torso is Vertical, chest up
  • Shins shift forward at a slight angle, knees bent forward slightly
  • Hips below knees
  • Spine is neutral (not a hunch back)

Key Points of the Hinge

  • Torso is more horizontal or closer to parallel with the ground
  • Shins are vertical, but knees are bent
  • Hips above knees, hips back as far as possible
  • Spine is neutral (not a hunch back)

In the topics below, you’re going to watch and learn how to perform these two fundamental movements.

Lesson Content
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