Hip hinging is an essential component to performing a hip strategy squat and deadlift. The weighted squat complicates things because the ankles and knees are moving as well. Not only are the joints influencing or limiting movement, but muscles that cross multiple joints can limit motion as well. Calf tightness, quad dominance, and a lack of hip mobility are some common limitations to correctly performing a standing functional squat. This is a challenging movement to perform, let alone teach.
The brain is amazing and teaches the body to always be great at one thing: move through the path of least resistance! If motion is limited somewhere, the body will naturally seek a compensatory strategy to still perform that movement. The problem with this is that you’re then learning a poor movement pattern. Poor movement patterns will lead to overusing or excessively stressing muscles and/or joints, ultimately increasing the risk of injury.
Limiting degrees of freedom is an excellent way to achieve desired movement strategies. By limiting degrees of freedom, you can focus on a single joint and not have to worry about the added complications that come with having to move multiple joints. If you want to improve your squat form by adding a proper hip hinge, perform this hip-specific exercise utilizing a resistance/super band. The sport chord positioned at my hips helps me perform a proper hip hinge, promoting hip hinging with synchronized trunk movement. Be sure to keep your core engaged to limit excessive lumbar movement. The best part is that the knees and ankles are removed from the equation so you can focus completely on your hips!