One common mistake people make when bending to pick something up from the floor or tie their shoes is that they bend from the lower back. This adds unnecessary stress on the joints, ligaments, soft tissues, and discs of the lumbar spine. This is because our lumbar spine is meant for stability and our hips are meant for motion. Think of the discs of your spine like a jelly donut. When you push on the front, where does the jelly go? To the back. In the case your spine, your disc can be pushed back, and potentially outward, pushing on the nerves such as the sciatic nerve. Repetitive bending can create disc problems as well as damage the ligaments and soft tissues that support the lower back. Mastering the hip hinge will protect your spine, and help maintain proper hip motion (save yourself from a hip replacement!)
How to hip hinge:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed forward.
2. Keep your arms at your side, shift your weight onto your heels, push your hips back toward the wall behind you and hinge forward at the hips. Bend forward at the hips until your torso is midway between vertical and parallel to the floor. Let your knees slightly unlock (keep them above or slightly in front of your ankles.)
3. Contract your glutes and push up off your heels. Push your hips forward and upward, slowly returning to upright.
Repeat 10 times. Do daily.