In the first of this two-article exercise progression, I said that mastering the hip hinge is important, regardless if you’re looking to hit the golf ball farther, improving athletic conditioning, or carrying the groceries into the house.
You can read that article by clicking the following link to Start Your Golf Fitness Program with the Basics – Hip HInge Progression.
That article provided a movement screen to test your ability to hip hinge, and included four basic hip hinge exercises to improve the movement.
Herein, are four additional exercises that will strengthen and reinforce the hip hinge mechanics. The exercises will help you push your hips back, keep them there, and strengthen the muscles responsible to hold the joints in place throughout the movement.
Why is the Hip Hinge Important?
Not only is the hip hinge a basic human movement, it also helps the golf swing by pre-loading the lower body with elastic energy that will be released during the downswing.
In other words, the hip hinge stores power.
Golfers with a limited hip hinge or lack the proper mechanics during the hip hinge are losing an easy source of power for their golf swing. Without a good hip hinge, you won’t create power or will have to generate power in some other way.
For golfers that suffer from back pain, improving your hip hinge will increase your power output and reduce the need for you to twist your lower back this reducing your pain.
I said the hip hinge is an easy source of power because the hip hinge is the most straightforward limitation to correct.
First Hip Hinge Progression
As mentioned, this article is the second hip hinge progression and concentrates on strengthening the muscles responsible for hinging at the hips.
Read the article linked below to see a screen that will test your hip hinging ability as well as exercises that will help you improve your hip hinge. Once you’ve accomplished the ability to properly hinge from the hips you should add the exercises shown below to your golf conditioning program.
I believe the hip hinge is very important to the golf swing, in fact, it’s a requirement for a good golf swing. Because of that, I’ve published two additional articles with exercises that will help improve your hip hinge. They’re linked below.
Exercises in the Second Hip Hinge Progression
Below are the four exercises you should add to your golf fitness or conditioning program to strengthen and further improve your hip hinge. I’ve included the exercises in the order you should follow the progression.
There are a couple of ways to implement this progression.
You can add one of the exercises to your regular workout by doing 3 sets of 8 repetitions until you master the movement.
Or, you can do the progression as a workout. Again, do 3 sets of 8 repetitions increasing the resistance or weight when the exercise becomes easy.
After the workout, or more likely a couple of hours after the workout, your hamstrings and possibility your core should feel tired. If not, check your positions when you do the exercises or add more resistance and weight the next time you do the progression.
Dowel Hip HInge with Band
The first exercise is a repeat of the Dowel Hip Hinge with added resistance by attaching a band to the top of the dowel. The band adds resistance and makes it harder to lower your upper body in the hinge.
Any band will work, but I use my Bodylastic Bands because they’re easy to attach to the anchor point and to create a loop to put over the top of the dowel.
Second Exercise in the Progression
The second exercise is a Chest Weighted Hip Hinge. In this exercise, you hold weight to your chest.
You’ll find that the weight will make it easier to push your hips backward and will test your hamstrings. The added weight will also make it harder to raise our upper body and strengthen your hamstrings, lower back, and core.
Be sure to activate your glutes and snap your hips forward and lock them in place at the top of the exercise.
You can use any weight for this exercise as long as you can hold it tight to your chest. I find that Olympic weight plates are the easiest to use.
Third Exercise in the Progression
Next, I recommend putting the weight behind your head and completing a hip hinge.
Again, the Olympic weight plate is a great tool to use for this exercise, but any weight that you can hold close to the back of your head will work.
The static weight high on your body will make it easier to go into a deep hip hinge. The weight will help you push your weight back once you start hinging.
Be careful that the weight doesn’t round your back or push your head below the tailbone and T-spine plane. Remember to keep your tailbone, T-spine and back of the head level with each other.
The weight will make it easier to hinge deeper and work the hamstrings, as well as the core when you stand back upright. This exercise is my favorite of the four, as I can feel that both my hamstrings and core have done some work after 3 sets of this exercise.
The Fourth Exercise in the Progression
The last exercise in the hip hinge progression is the band assisted hip hinge.
Again, I use a Bodylastic Band this time attached to a waist-high anchor point and looped around my hip joints. Be sure to keep the band below your waist and on the hips.
The band will help pull your hips as you push your hips backward during the hip hinge.
However, the exercise has an added bonus as it strengthens the muscles responsible for you to snap your hips forward. These are the same muscles that you use after impact with the golf ball.
Use your legs and glutes to snap forward after hinging and lock those hips out and push the pelvis forward. This is the same motion used at the top of the deadlift. Exaggerate the motion with power and speed.
Hip Hinge Progression Summary
In my golf conditioning programs the hip hinge is the first movement pattern that is tested and corrected.
The exercises and those in the other three articles linked to in this post provide you with all the screening, guidance, soft tissue, and exercises necessary to improve and strengthen your hip hinge.
Working on this basic human movement will add power to your golf swing that will convert into more distance on the course.
The hip hinge not only will increase your distance, but will help you stay in posture during your golf swing, cutting down on other swing characteristics and allow you to hit the ball more consistently during the round.
Let’s also not forget the bigger picture, the hip hinge is a basic human movement pattern. Improving the hinging pattern will place less stress on yoour lower back and knees, reducing pain and decreasing the chance of injury not only on the golf course but at work and around home.
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