The Posterior Chain: what is it, and why is everyone talking about it?

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In recent years, lots of people within the health and fitness industry have been talking about training and strengthening your posterior chain - but what exactly is it?

Your posterior chain is the muscles on the back of your body, but more specifically it consists of your erector spinae (lower back), glutes, hamstrings and calves.

 

Why is training your posterior chain so important?

 With all the science and research about the posterior chain we could write a very extensive article (and in the future we might) about why you should train your posterior chain both effectively and frequently, but to keep it simple here is a very brief summary of what you should do and why:

Nowadays, most people spend a large chunk of their day sat down behind a desk.  Not only does this lead to tight/shortened hip flexors and weak glutes, but it can often be why people have a more hunched posture and experience lower back pain.

By effectively strengthening your posterior chain, you can reduce knee and back injuries and feel stronger in all aspects of your life (not just in the gym). With a stronger foundation, you may also notice an improvement to your posture. On top of this, the posterior chain ties in closely with the core - so don't be surprised if you notice a significant increase in your core strength, and as a result, your athletic ability.

However it is still important to be symmetrical, so whilst training your posterior chain is important, don't neglect training your anterior chain (front of your body) to avoid any muscular imbalances. 

So what exercises should we be doing to strengthen our posterior chain?

As always, there are going to be countless exercise variations you could use to target and stimulate the posterior chain. However, we suggest starting with, and basing your training around, the fundamentals. So, here they are - the exercises we suggest basing your posterior chain training around: 

Core

Plank

Deadbug

Pallof press

 

Lower Back

Deadlifts (different variations)

Rack Pulls

Hyperextensions

 

Glutes

Hip Thrusts (any variation)

Glute Bridge (any variation)

Monster walks

Kickbacks (cable or bands)

 

Hamstrings

Romanian deadlifts (single leg, both legs, Barbell, Dumbbell)

Hamstring curls (machines, dumbbell, trx, cable, swissbal)

Good mornings

Nordic Hamstring curls

 

Calves

Calf raises(standing, seated)

 

We hope you found this short article useful and if you have any questions on the topic feel free to get in touch at: CoreTrainingPT@gmail.com