The Exercise: Resistance Band Good Mornings
For the initial progression, I start with a dowel or stick to teach the hinge pattern without weight.
That being said, I’ve noticed over the years that some athletes struggle to activate the proper muscles unless placed under a slight amount of resistance. That’s why this is one of my go-to teaching progressions.
Also, there is a lot of debate about mirrors in weight rooms, but I’m a huge advocate. When teaching the hinge pattern, it’s incredibly beneficial to have the athletes watch their side profile while executing the movement. It helps develop kinesthetic awareness by providing validation for what they’re feeling within their bodies.
Aside from using this as a teaching progression, it is also a fantastic activation exercise to reinforce the proper firing patterns of the hamstrings and glutes in hip extension. Many athletes have over-active spinal erectors that will take over the movement rather than allowing the true powerful hip extensors to work. To be clear, the spinal erectors WILL activate during the movement, but they should be providing stabilization NOT executing the hip extension. Many athletes have a poor habit of "pulling with the lower back." This is a very common cause of lower back pain and tightness; they are simply recruiting the wrong muscles for hip extension.
When in doubt, place a hand on your athlete's lower back to assess the timing of their muscles firing. I cue my athletes to contract the glutes and hamstrings at the bottom of the movement prior to extending at the hips; this ensures they're utilizing the appropriate muscles for the extension.