There are a few things to consider when going to lift something from the floor: 

  1. How heavy is the object? 
  2. Have I lifted something this heavy before?
  3. If so, when’s the last time that I’ve done it? How often do I do this? 

The answers to these questions will dictate how you should proceed to lift the object. 

In cases where you are going to lift something relatively heavy, we recommend using a movement pattern called the hip hinge to your advantage.

 

Why is the hinge so effective? It places more stress on the areas of your body that can handle relatively higher loads (e.g., hips and knees), while offloading some of that stress from areas such as the lower back. 

Lifting something heavy from the ground won’t always look as pretty as performing a deadlift in the gym, but mastering the hip hinge will set you up for success when you find yourself needing to do so. 

Here are some key points of performance the next time you’re picking up something heavy:

  • Hinge at the hips and shift your hips back, better engaging and using your glutes
  • Keep your back stiff 
  • Allow your knees to bend & then push through the ground while you thrust your hips up and forward
  • Keep the weight as close to your body as possible

To be clear, we’re not saying that bending your back is bad. In fact, we encourage it in many cases. We’ll discuss more on this next week, with the topic of performing a back exercise that intentionally takes the spine through bending under load. Stay tuned, and happy hinging friends!

Check out this video to learn the basics of the hip hinge.

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