Forums General Hamstring/Posterior Thigh Pain when Hip Hinging Re: Hamstring/Posterior Thigh Pain when Hip Hinging

AvatarNathan Richer

In the video, it is hard to tell but it looks like your pelvis is not completing its rotation and “getting left behind” as the rest of your spine continues bending, as you are hip hinging to 90 deg.  If you have been lifting (say deadlifting or KB swings) in this manner, it is possible you now have issues in your discs which may cause the pain down your legs when you bend – as you bend over, it is possible that the discs get squeezed out because of the spinal joints, touching the nerves there and causing pain.

You may want to see a good PT and have your back and discs examined. The other thing I would do is really look at your hinging mechanics.  
Practice hip hinging with a pole. Put the pole on your back and you should touch at 3 points: back of head, mid back bet shoulder blades, and between your butt cheeks. In order to touch at the 3 points, you absolutely must have good posture. Now try to hip hinge without losing contact at any of the 3 points.  How far can you bend over.I’m guessing that you won’t be able to make it all the way down.  Use the pole as a guide for what you have to turn on in your bracing as you hinge.  Use this drill as a way to reinforce proper hinging mechanics and what to keep braced when you do the movement.  Bend over only as much as you can hold the pole touching in the 3 points, then come back up. Try to bend over a little more each time you practice but do not go beyond if you lose contact at any one point. 
I would have a pole handy at work or around the house and just pick it up and do some reps every time you walk by the pole. The more you practice good mechanics, the faster your body will adapt.
Some other things to consider:
1. Are you resetting your femurs into the back of the sockets? If they have moved forward because of our 21st century lifestyles, you should work on banded distractions to get those moved back into the sockets. If your femurs are not in the right place in the hip sockets, your body knows this and will freeze up your muscles to protect itself. If the hams get frozen because of this, then they will keep the pelvis from rotating properly at the end ranges of motion. This could be contributing to the problem, which led to a spinal problem.
2. Check your stance. Try hip hinging with a wider stance, potentially feet just a bit wider than shoulder width. Does that help get your hips down further? Closer stances can be tougher if you are not as mobilized.
3. When you hip hinge, pull strongly with your hip flexors: psoas, abs, quads, rectus femoris, etc. Pull yourself down into the hinged position strongly like you’re clamshelling your upper body shut with the top of your legs.  The firing of these muscles signals their counterparts on the other side to elongate, versus staying tight and resisting.  It also encourages proper hinging mechanics.
4. As always, brace 20% in the torso and 20% in the glutes BEFORE you start the hinge. Always organize yourself properly before you start any lift.  Maintain the bracing in the torso (you’ll have to let go slowly on the glutes to let them elongate) the whole way down. You most likely have issues maintaining proper bracing through the whole range of the hinging motion.
You might want to stay away from weights until you get checked out by a PT.  If you feel pain AT ALL in anything you do, you should back off and stop. Never work through pain like this – if you blow out a disc, that would set you back more than you would want. It’s not worth it.
Good luck!