The hip hinge exercise (or bird nod exercise) is an Elite and Athletic level warm up exercise from the Exercise for Better Bone program. It is one of several warm up exercises you should do before starting the strength exercise component of the Exercise for Better Bones.
Hip Hinge Exercise
The following are the instructions for the hip hinge exercise (also referred to as bird nod).
I call it the Bird Nod because it reminds of those little red birds when I grew up that would nod back and forth and that’s essentially what you’re going to be doing. It’s a great warm up for your hamstrings, for balance.
- With your hands centered you’re going to bend the supporting knee slightly.
- You bend your supporting knee and as you start to lift the unsupported leg.
- For every degree that you’re lifting the leg, you’re going to let your torso drop so that eventually you come into a horizontal position and back.
- If you only have the stability to go to 45 degrees, go to 45 degrees until you build that stability.
- Another point that I want you to think about is keeping your pelvis level, so here as you’re coming out keep the pelvis level.
- I don’t want to see this happening.
- That’s a common mistake that you’ll see people make, that I see people make.
- If you could visualize a ruler across your buttocks, you would be keeping that ruler nice and level as you come down, so you don’t want this coming across.
- Let’s look at this on the other side.
- Here you take your breath.
- And for every degree that your leg is lifting your torso is dropping just like a teeter totter, and back.
- So I’m going to demonstrate the Bird Nod one more time without the stick in its entirety. Center, and center.
That’s it for the hip hinge exercise.
Hip Hinge Exercise • Professional Tip
Often what will happen is with your client, they don’t have an association of where their torso is for keeping it straight, so they will either drive their leg up far more than they’re dropping their torso, or vice versa, they’ll have their torso dropped before their leg comes up.
One of the ways that I encourage them to visualize that is working with the mirror to their side, is having them think about that unity between the shoulder, the hip, and the knee.
And so as they’re moving, and having them start even just with 10, 15, 20 degrees at a time, so that they’re getting this concept, this moving as a solid unit with the trunk hinging around the hip joint for the Bird Nod.
So I hope that helps you with your clients.
Hip Hinge Exercise Alternatives
Here is a video I did several years ago on how to bend forward safely using the mechanics of the hip hinge exercise.
Osteoporosis Exercise Plan
Visit my Osteoporosis Exercise Plan page for more information on this topic.