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Hinging and LIFTING?

ndisalvatore's picture
Last seen:
9 years 5 months ago
06/28/2012 - 10:56am
Hinging and LIFTING?

I'm wondering if there are any tips about LIFTING and moving heavy objects around. Do I use the hip-hinging technique for this? Or do I revert to Conventional Wisdom's "lift with your legs/knees, and not with your back." I'm a little confused. Because it feels like I want to "hinge" down to get close to the object (say, a buck of water), but how then do I pick it up and move it around? Do I swoop from hinge position into a bent-knee position to, as it were, get "under" the weight of the object? Or do I literally grab the object and hinge back up? If it's the latter option, is this safe? How much weight can I do?


Nick in Boston

charlenehannibal's picture
Last seen:
10 months 1 day ago
12/15/2010 - 7:51am

Hi Nick,

Excellent question!  Heavier or bulkier items do require special attention.  When my students first begin their Hip Hinging technique, I don't encourage them to begin with heavy objects until they feel comfortable with their form. 

As the form is feeling more natural and easy, then you can apply the technique to heavier items with a few tweaks.  The goal is to keep the back straight and use all the muscles available to you in that hinged position.  So, absolutely use your Inner Corset.  You may want to take a wider stance.  You will probably want to bend your knees more than with lighter items as well.  This way your glutes and quadriceps will take some of the brunt of the object, along with your Inner Corset muscles, rhomboids and erector spinae muscles (and a few more, I am sure).  The main difference between hip hinging this way and just bending the knees with a flat back, is that your legs get a lot more help.  You are spreading the work over as much of your body as safely as possible.  And you are correct, once you have your item, if it is small enough,  keep using your IC and bring it close into your body as you un-hinge and straighten the knees as much as necessary/safe.



I hope this is helpful to you.


Charlene Hannibal

Gokhale Method Teacher, Palo Alto and San Francisco

bencrvr's picture
Last seen:
7 years 8 months ago
05/29/2010 - 6:23pm

She's pretty much describing a dead lift. Olympic weightlifting and old strongman techniques are amazing. I had a hard time with some of the GM stuff til I got a kettlebell, feeling the weight provides an intense boost in kinesthetic awareness. All the sudden I could really feel my inner hip socket and what kind of tilt I had going above my waist. Just go slow, be careful, and ideally begin with a good teacher who can watch you and make sure you don't act out any kinesthetic shadows where you think you're in one position but you're not. Like when learning to tallstand at first. Also, check out the MovNat videos. Erwan lifts, carries, and throws big rocks and logs while maintaining a beautiful spinal groove in everything he does. I'd freak out to take a joint class between him, Esther, Gray Cook, and Brad Pilon (intermittent fasting expert, Eat Stop Eat). There's so many great teachers out there! Fluid movement and joy to you :)

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