The Hinge: A Perfect Approach to Low Back Pain.
We all do it! When you are on a snowboard, picking up the kids, or groceries we drop into that squat position. How many of you often perform these tasks with straight legs, bent from the hip, and back bowing? I can only assume many you fit this picture well.
You may know better but it is just so easy to pick something off the ground with minimal effort. Until it is not…
You see, there is no definitive evidence showing that specific movements lead to low back pain. It is a myth that performing these tasks a certain way will lead to future arthritis or herniated discs. Our bodies just simply may not be adapted well enough to handle the stress. There are far to many factors involved and correlation does not always equal causation. Stress, trauma, movement, lack of strength/ flexibility, and genetics are just a few.
In reality, this hinge is the bread and butter of so many daily functional activities, on a snowboard and with exercises. So, what the *!%$ is a hinge?
Essentially, we are minimizing the flexion in our lumbar spine, exercising our glutes/ hamstrings, bending our knees and forwardly tilting our pelvis. Yeah yeah, a lot of fluff but why do we need it?
We utilize the hinge because it is efficient and powerful. We are utilizing our hips and the muscles surrounding it the way they were meant to be used. No longer are we depending on our low back and spine to take the load.
What does a hinge help with?
Does it help to protect our vertebral discs in our spine? Maybe, but it certainly does not hurt! Truthfully, we can take some of the load off our low back and utilize our hamstrings and glutes the way they were made to be used.
Try it out, it may reveal that your hamstrings/ glutes are tighter than a fresh rubber band leaving the factory. And, if you do this movement at work on a daily basis, you can thank me later…
Rule of Thumb:
As mentioned above, your back doesnt need to be as straight as a board but generally we are limiting that forward flexion. We tilt our pelvis forward (anterior).
We then bring our hips backwards like someone is pulling it back with strings attached at the hip.
Slight bend in the knees and voila, we have ourselves a good ole fashioned hinge!
Snoga is a perfect supplement to the hinge if you find that your hamstrings/ glutes/ and low back feel ‘tight’. Feed your muscles and allow them to work with efficiency like they were made to do.