The hip hinge is a fundamental human movement. It is also the basis of the kettlebell swing. For a more in depth explanation of what this means see HERE. But for a simple visual, look at this picture. Minimal knee bend, a mostly vertical shin as indicated by the red line, and a solid loading of the hips.
A common mistake in swing technique is to turn the movement into more of a squatting motion. This can be for several reasons including but not limited to simple lack of knowledge or practice, habit of frequently using the quads and/or hesitation that the hinge is a safe movement for the back. That less than optimal technique will typically look something like the picture below. Notice again the knee position in relation to the red line. Much different. Notice that the bell is also a lot closer to the floor.
Enter a quick feedback mechanism called the mini hurdle. It’s not just for hopping and jumping anymore. I must give Max Shank credit for dreaming this up. If I’m not mistaken it was in April of last year during an RKC II seminar that he randomly said, “I just thought of something. Let’s try this.”, walked over to the shelf and busted out the hurdle for someone. Nailed it!
The hurdle gives instant feedback letting the person know if they’re knees and shins are moving forward as in a squatting motion. You only need one set up inside and close to the foot. Pictured is a 12″ hurdle. A 6″ might still work ok but may not be as effective. This also works great for the kettlebell deadlift as it is essentially the same pattern.
– Mike Baltren