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The kettlebell swing is an example of an explosive exercise that targets not only the hamstrings, glutes and quadriceps but the abdominals and back as well.
This exercise, when performed correctly, generates a hip hinge. Hip hinge is movement at the hip-joint and should not be confused with movement of the spine.
It is imperative that this form be mastered before proceeding to the kettlebell swing or other exercises that involve this joint such as bent-over rows or deadlifts. The video below provides a demonstration/assessment (one of the best I’ve seen) of this movement.

Another way to assess, practice and incorporate proper hip hinge form is through the use of a pole (see picture below).
If you work out at home and don’t have access to equipment found in gyms, the use of dowels, brooms, rakes, ski poles, etc. make great substitutes.
With feet together, hold the pole behind your back. One hand rests against the neck with palm facing inward. The other hand is placed at the small of the back with palm facing out.
Rest pole against the upper head, upper back and tailbone.
As you move backwards (as demonstrated in the video above) these three points of contact with the pole must be maintained.
Once contact is lost at any one of these points, proper form is compromised and a return to the original position must be made.

hip hinge assesment

Next week – the kettlebell swing.  In the meantime, practice the hip hinge movement so you will be ready to conquer the swing!  Please leave a comment…