Teaching the Hips to Move

June 25, 2008

As I’ve mentioned before, working in a gym training people is more than using exercise to get them stronger. With younger athletes, its especially important to train movement patterns. Efficient movement occurs by the body parts moving in a certain order which also happens to promote safety.

One thing I’ve found to be particularly difficult to teach is a proper hip dominant movement pattern.

What’s that?

A hip dominant movement pattern is used in exercises such as deadlifts and their variations, goodmornings, where we want to stress the glutes and hamstrings primarily. When done correctly the movement initiates with the hips moving backwards. What many people do naturally is bend over at their backs. This results in rounded back lifting and a far greater potential for lower back pain/injury.

What I’ve found particularly difficult in teaching the proper way to perform these movements is that many people don’t know how to differentiate movement at the lower back (bending over) and movement at the hips (pushing the hips back).

Now, some people do manage to get the hang of moving at their hips quickly, but for far more I’ve found this movement pattern a difficult one to re-program.

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