Coaching The Hinge vs. The Squat

Ian Nimblett personal trainer

Lower body exercises break down into two categories: The squat and the hinge. The squat is quad dominant while the hinge is hip dominant.

Understanding the differences between the two and being able to teach your clients to perform each correctly, will get your clients better results and most importantly keep them injury free. Here is a side by side comparison of the two movements.

Demonstrating what you want the client to do and what the client actually does, are usually two completely different things. Having a clear and concise approach will help clear up the confusion for your clients and get them to perform the exercise correctly. Lets break down, how to trouble shoot both the hinge and the squat.

3 Most Common Squat Mistakes

  • Excessive forward lean with torso
  • Knees caving in (valgus)
  • heels coming off the floor or feet moving

3 Most Common Hinge Mistakes 

  • Knees moving forward
  • Butt going down
  • Shoulders going below hips

How to Coach Clients Through These Common Squat Mistakes

How to Teach People to HINGE Correctly

Putting it all together

Understanding the differences between squats and deadlifts will clear up what each movement should look like. When you think of pulling something off the floor such as deadlifts, kettlebell swings, and barbell cleans; think hinges.

When you think of movements that require your knees to move slightly forward think of squats. Practice these fixes on your clients, coach it right, and get your clients better results while keeping them from getting hurt.

[info type=”facebook”]Join the conversation on the NFPT Facebook Community Group.[/info]


Ian Nimblett, CFSC, CSCS, NFPT-CPT and is a functional strength & conditioning coach, personal trainer, and author. He is the founder and owner of Premier Fitness Group LLC in South Salem, NY, a world-class functional training facility that provides private, semi-private, and group training.
Get 35% off certification packages

Celebrating 35 years

We’re celebrating 35 years with 35% off!

Our biggest discount EVER!

Get 35% off certification packages.