Shoveling and the Hip Hinge

We’ve been stuck in a snow globe that keeps getting shaken, and it seems like the only person enjoying it is our puppy boxer Loa. With lots of snow usually comes lots of shoveling, and odds are  you probably don’t appreciate shoveling too much.

More importantly, the guys over at say that shoveling is the most common cause of back injuries during the winter months.

Luckily for us,  we have been deadlifting and squatting a lot which has helped us with  shoveling  tremendously. For Lola, not so much as the aftermath of prancing around in the snow has gotten the best of her. Lola Tired

Want to know how deadlifting can help with shoveling?

The hip hinge is a fundamental movement pattern that everyone should know how to perform correctly. Unfortunately for most people,  the ability to move the right way through a series of poor postural habits and other things has been lost.

I know what you may thinking…I’m not an athlete so why do I need to learn the hip hinge? Well that is a perfectly good question, and I will tell you why.

You see, the hip hinge is a pattern that everyone does at some time throughout their life . It is a pattern that assists you with picking up that heavy box off the floor, grabbing your baby on the go , or even how you go from standing to sitting .

More importantly, for those of us in the North East, it is a pattern that helps keep your low back safe when  shoveling three feet of snow.

Here you can see how the hip hinge carries over into shoveling. Shawna carefully uses her hips to dig into the snow instead of her low back.

Here are some excercises that can help you develop a good hip hinge pattern ( Videos will be back up soon)

Body Bar Hip Hinge Patterning

This is a great way to teach your body to move through the hips. Set up with a PVC Pipe, Body Bar or broomstick along your back. Initiate the movement through the hips while keeping the bar in contact with your head, upper back, and lower back. If at anytime you lose the 3 points of contact, you should return to the starting point and try to master the movement before moving on.


 Band Pull-through

We like this exercise a lot as it forces people to own their body throughout the movement by maintaining proper alignment , tightness in the core, and reaching  full hip extension. A great exercise to hammer the hips while not putting any undue stress on the spine.



Where to go from here?

Once you have mastered the above techniques, its time to add a little extra load. Our first go to is the Kettle Bell Sumo Deadlift.  It is a great way to teach people the basics of hip hinging with a little added load.


To be little mote creative with a hip hinge you can also try some single leg stuff. Check out Shawna crushing the single leg deadlift. Mind you, these are not that easy and if you have not mastered the above basics, it is not recommended that you jump right into a weighted Single Leg Deadlift.


Of course there is  a lot more exercises you can do that involve the hips, but if you try some of these out your body will be thanking you on the days where you have to shovel 3 feet of snow!

Happy Shoveling and don’t forget to share with your friends!

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