All About the Hinge

Hinging biomechanics, coaching, and programming

Movement Debrief Episode 121 is in the books. Below is a copy of the video for your viewing pleasure, and audio if you can’t stand looking at me.

Here is the setlist:

  • What mechanics are involved in hinging?
  • What range of motion restrictions does hinging improve?
  • What are my favorite hinging exercises and when do I prescribe them?
  • What regressions do I use to improve hip extension?
  • How can I improve hinging for different infrasternal angle presentations?
  • What mechanics does the Camporini Deadlift improve?
  • How can a snatch grip RDL improve thoracic spine mobility?
  • What is the foot position for a hinge and how do I coach it?

If you want to watch these live, add me on Instagram. Enjoy!

and the audio version:    

Zac Cupples iTunes
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Show notes

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If you want to deep dive into squats, check out this debrief.

Check out a kettlebell deadlift, my first activity that I program when introducing the hinge:

If you want to learn about how reaching at various angles changes thorax positioning, check out this debrief.

My terminal hinge for most people is the trap bar deadlift: 

A split RDL is a great way to introduce single-leg hinging and improve hip extension:

You can progress that to a single leg RDL:

If you want to learn about pump handle mechanics, peep this debrief here.

If you need to improve hip extension, I like the wall stride as a great starting point:

You can then progress that to a sidelying stride:

and finish it off with a rockback hip extension:

Here is my guy Iordan Krouchev performing the Camporini deadlift:

Motion of the shoulder complex during multiplanar humeral elevation – This is a great article that illustrates how the shoulder girdle moves as you progressively go overhead

Programming hinge exercises 

I was wondering about how we can get more finessed in our prescription of hinging activities to improve sacral nutation and thus extensions and IR measures. Would the changes we see at the hip and pelvis as a result of these exercises be reflected at the thorax? 

Hinging for wide infrasternal angles 

If you have a wide infrasternal angle with a limited hinge pattern, what’s your favorite strategies for restoring adduction and internal rotation to increase the hinge?

Improving hip extension 

How would you actually go about recapturing hip extension yourself ?

Hinging for narrow infrasternal angles 

What would be your go-to to improve a hinge on a narrow infrasternal angle who has compression in the dorsal rostral area?

Camporini Deadlift

What would the Camporini Deadlift be useful for?

Snatch Grip RDL 

You have a blog post on deadlifts where you recommend Snatch Grip RDL as a regression Could you explain why Snatch Grip RDLs force more thoracic flexion?

Foot position during the hinge 

For the hinge pattern, you noted this as an exhalation strategy thus biasing a pronatory twist of the foot. A lot of teaching is to activate the foot, 3 points of contact, which results in a more supinated “tented foot position” Is this going to lead to a compensatory and lower power position? What are you cueing and teaching for ground or rooting mechanics to hingeing athletes?

Sum Up

  • A hinge is a horizontal and posterior pelvic displacement that involves sacral nutation and femoral adduction with internal rotation.
  • Hinges can be programmed for both hip extension limitations and an inability to break parallel on a squat
  • Drive posterior expansion and inhalation mechanics before driving the hinge pattern.
  • When improving hip extension, coach the stack, then drive end-range hip extension
  • Snatch-Grip RDLs can be used to increase posterior thorax expansion because the scapulae will be more internally rotated
  • The hinge is more exhale bias, so foot position would be more dorsiflexed and everted compared to a squat. Tripod foot should be coached for both

Image by Taco Fleur from Pixabay 


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