Exercise of the Week: Waiter’s Bow (Hip Hinge)

 In Mobility & Movement Blog

Luke Lewitzke

Certified A.C.E. (American Counsel on Exercise) Personal Trainer

Weight and Lifestyle Management Specialist

The Waiter’s Bow exercise is going to strengthen your hamstrings, gluteus maximus, adductor magnus (inner thigh), and spinal erectors (lower back).

Performing the Waiter’s Bow

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and a soft bend in your knees.
  • Hold a dowel or broomstick along your spine so that it touches your butt, upper back, and back of the head.
  • Slowly hinge at your hips, pushing your butt back towards the wall behind you while maintaining a tall, straight spine. NOTE: You should feel your hamstrings get tighter as your hinge.
  • Make sure to maintain 3 points of contact with the dowel at all times, head, back, and butt.
  • Actively push your feet into the floor and drive your hips forward to stand back up tall.
  • Perform up to 10 repetitions for 1-3 sets.
  • Progress to holding a weight tightly against your chest while maintaining good form as you hinge.


Starting with the dowel and learning the hinge pattern is the regression. Perform this movement with the dowel until you can perform 10 perfect hip hinges without losing contact with the dowel at any point, either hips, back, or head. This makes sures that you are able to maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement. If you do lose contact with any point, as you hinge, STOP. That is your current range of motion. Try to progress a little further each time as long as you don’t lose contact with the dowel.

Alternative Exercise

Supine Hip Thrust

  • Sitting on the floor with a bench behind you, lay back so your shoulders are on the bench.
  • Sit on the floor with a physioball behind you, with the ball against the wall. Lay back so that you upper back is in contact with the ball.
  • While maintaining a neutral spine, brace your core, drive your heels into the floor, and drive your hips up to the ceiling, coming into a fully extended position.
  • Hold this position for 5 seconds.
  • Slowly lower your hips back towards the floor without actually resting on the floor and while keeping a straight spine and neutral neck.
  • Perform 10-15 repetitions for 1-3 sets.