The Hip Hinge and Your Lower Back

Learn simple steps to improve your posture and coordination

The hip hinge is an important part of our daily movements. Anytime you sit down, squat, or pick up your grandkids, you're using your hip hinge. Your hip hinge helps support your lower back. Even small things like washing your face, brushing your teeth, and doing the dishes involve a hip hinge and low back muscles. This video by chiropractor Aaron Armetta at the Omaha, NE VA Medical Center has some simple tips to help you learn to use your hip hinge.

Chair squat

A chair squat is the same as sitting down and standing up. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, without increasing the arch in your lower back, lead with your butt as you lower down to tap the chair lightly and then stand right back up. Reach your arms out in front of you if you need help balancing. In your daily routine, make it a habit to hip hinge forward first and then stand up. It will help with comfort and posture.

Picking something up

If you need to pick an object up off the ground, use that hip hinge with a slight knee bend. Grab the object, then stand back up again. Keep your low back in a neutral position, and do not increase the arch.

Keep in mind

Remember to use a hip hinge every time you sit down, stand up, or pick something up off the ground. When you plan and think about how you move your body, you are more likely to develop a habit and make it an automatic motion.

Lower back pain is common, but if your pain persists, it's best to talk to your doctor. Use the pain tracker on My HealtheVet to log when you experience back pain. You can send your pain log in a secure message to your provider, or bring it with you to your next appointment.

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Updated December 27, 2021