Kickstand Hip Hinge for Back/Sciatic Pain

The hips are an essential component for both preventing and recovering from back pain. 

Thus, the hip hinge pattern is of paramount importance in regards to healthy movement. 

This is what has lead to the success and popularity of Foundation Training, which is a method that utilizes a hip hinge with posterior chain and lumbar spine tensioning.

However, not all backs are the same. Not all approaches fit everyone. 

I've had a few patients with acute herniated discs and/or sciatic pain that have gotten worse by trying the Foundation Training approach. This is because it can create a lot of neural tension and irritate these sensitive tissues.  

While it's a great goal to get back to bilateral hip hinge patterns and deadlifts, it's not a good first step for some.  

What to Do

Instead, use asymmetrical patterns that allow for more freedom in the peripheral nervous system. Like the kickstand deadlift (below). 

It offers posterior chain eccentric control, concentric strength, stability, back strengthening, and pain free dynamic neural loading. All while allowing for a greater degree of freedom (which is important for sensitized systems).

Keys to Performance

  • Be sure to hinge at the hip

  • Keep most of the weight on the front leg

  • Keep the back leg relaxed and light

  • Use hip and posterior chain muscles to come back to upright

Where to go Next?

Progressions would increase the loading of the front leg.

Here are 2 easy progressions that will allow for strengthening of the hips and back, without tensioning the nerves.


Every back is different. One approach doesn’t work for everyone. The most important concept is that it requires an assessment to determine the best course of treatment. If you’re in Asheville, give us a call.