One Small Habit: Got Back Pain? Start Hip Hinging.
I'll go into more detail on some easy ways to strengthen your back and core on future posts. For now, I'd like to leave you with this one small tip: hinge from your hips when bending over. All the time. Every time.
I am constantly "barking" at my yoga classes and those I work with when personal training about hip hinging. If you're a fitness enthusiast, you know exaaaactly what I'm talking about (please share this with all of your family and friends who frustrate you with their unhealthy movement patterns). If you don't know what I'm talking about, keep reading...
Hip Hinging is a basic/essential/foundational/super important tenet in physical fitness. It is a movement pattern that is vital for you to understand in order to have optimal back health. If you think I'm being dramatic, stop and think about how many times you bend over in a typical day. Even if you have a desk job, how about unloading groceries, putting on your shoes, doing laundry, picking up clutter around the house, gardening, picking up a child, feeding your dog, or if you're as clumsy as I am, constantly picking up things you drop. 🙂
Therefore, if you're constantly bending over in an unsupported way, it makes perfect sense that you would eventually develop some kind of back pain. You're basically putting too much strain on your spine.
The hip hinge can be explained in any of the following ways:
• Start a bending or squatting movement by hinging from your hips, as opposed to starting by bending your knees and/or rounding your spine.
• Bend as if you had a yardstick attached to your back, which prevents you from rounding the spine.
• Think of bending over by leading with your heart, not your face (again, another way to explain how to avoid rounding).
• Keep your spine neutral. Try not to slouch or slump. (And yet another way for me to tell you not to round your spine.)
Still unclear? Here's a short 2 minute video of ME (!!!) showing you how to hip hinge.
Please take care of your spine! You only get one.
Love & Light.