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Running Exercises Blog Series 5/5

Running Exercises Blog Series

Part 5 of 5: Hip Hinge with a Dowel

Sara Carpenito, MS, LAT, ATC


Let's put it all together with the fifth and final post in this blog series. This where we can use all of the strength gained from those exercises and apply it to a more "functional" movement. By functional movement, we mean a movement that we would relate to in our everyday lives or activities.


A hip hinge is reminiscent of a "stiff-leg" or "Romanian" deadlift in its basic form. A hip hinge is a very important movement to master as it is, to some degree, in many of our movements. A hip hinge is needed to: squat, jump, run, skip, bend over to grab something, and more.


Try to remember the other four exercises from my prior posts. Keep those muscle groups and those feelings in mind when performing your hip hinge:

  1. Grab a dowel (I use a broomstick handle at home) and position it vertically along your spine

  2. Make sure the dowel is touching:

    1. the back of your head

    2. your upper back between your shoulder blades

    3. the top of your buttocks

  3. "Unlock" your knees (put a slight bend in your knees)

  4. With your knees at that slight bend and the dowel touching those three spots, shift your hips backward as your shoulders tip forward (much like a seesaw)



You may be feeling that the bottom part of the dowel lifted off of your bottom, you fell backwards, or that your knees want to bend more. Those are common issues that happen with the hip hinge. Again, it seems like such a simple movement and that you are essentially just bending over. We are so used to bending at our waist and knees, which leads to lower back and knee pain, instead of using our hips.


Flag, like, save, send, and remember to visit this blog series any time you want to check in with your body before running.

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