Stand with feet hip width apart, with a slight bend in your knees, your back straight and your core braced, start to take your hips back as though they were on a train track feeling length along the back of your hamstrings. Take hold of a moderate to heavy kettlebell placed between your feet on the floor. Grip the handle tightly and imagine breaking the handle in half to create engagement of the lats, which will, in turn, help support your lower back. With a driving dynamic movement, push the hips forward so you end up in a tall standing position, actively engage your glutes at the top of the movement. For the duration of the exercise ensure that your arms are straight but that they are not too relaxed, actively hold onto that kettlebell. When looking down at your shins, they should be at a 90 degree angle to the floor at all times.
This is the next progression from the kettlebell hip hinge. Once you have mastered the foundational movement of the hip hinge, then you are ready to start to load the movement. By adding a heavier weight to the movement, you will create more activation in the glutes. The glutes are our powerhouse and as we age we see a decline in the power of these wonderful muscles. So incorporating hinge based exercises into your strength workouts, you will be creating some additional strength and stability that we see lacking in the older generation.
Don’t be scared to go heavy with this exercise. You will be totally surprised how heavy you can go, but don’t be in a hurry. I find this exercise to be its most beneficial when performed slower with special attention to your form. Try driving up quickly to the full standing position but then slowing the return portion (eccentric) to a count of 3 and tell me your hamstrings aren’t screaming!.
As with the kettlebell hip hinge, this exercise should be performed under tension to ensure that the lower back is constantly supported, the glutes are the main driving force during the exercise to make sure that you squeeze them at the top of the movement.
Perform with a moderate/heavy weight kettlebell executing 10 to 12 reps.