It’s summertime, and you may see many people in the gym focusing on the mirror muscles. Abs, chest and arms, mainly for the men. But what about the parts of the body you don’t see in the mirror? This is what we call your posterior chain.
The posterior chain refers to all the muscles on the backside of the body, from the back of your head down to your heels. The posterior chain includes some of the biggest and most powerful muscles in your body.
The muscles in the posterior chain play a massive role in everyday activities, such as picking something up off the ground, sitting down and standing back up. If you play any form of sport, you definitely don’t want to neglect the posterior chain.
The strength and power of the posterior chain, in a balanced body, may be the difference between winning and losing. More importantly, a solid posterior solid chain helps reduce your chance of injury and aids your recovery.
Before I go on, it’s essential that you also have a solid anterior chain, these mirror muscles, as we must have a balanced strength ratio.
We may have to focus on our posterior chain that little bit more due to our lifestyle of sitting for long periods and holding poor postures.
This puts a tremendous amount of strain, and imbalance on the body, which is something we need to rectify. If we don’t, then that’s where our sore backs, weak knees and tight shoulders and necks will come into play.
One of the best ways to improve your posterior chain is through strength training.
Exercises like deadlifts, Romain deadlifts, good mornings, rows and pull-ups are exercises you should consider adding to your training program. I always like to train using a push-pull method.
If I push with one exercise, such as a bench press, my pulling exercise is bent over a row. This means that I’m focusing on my anterior and posterior chain in one session.
Other reasons why you should focus on your posterior chain include
Slouching over as you work at your desk or on your phone is not good for the body. A poor posture can lead to all kinds of injury and discomforts.
With strength training and mobility work, you will soon feel confident in the way you sit and carry yourself
Improving your posture can lead to improved confidence in yourself and body language. You feel strong and proud with a fantastic looking back and peachy bum.
A better night’s sleep
Having a solid posterior chain will take away the discomfort you may feel when lying down at night.
When you lay in bed at night, you won’t feel the pain of sitting all day or find too many awkward and restless positions as you try and sleep.
It makes you go faster
Stronger hamstrings and glutes equal more powerful legs, which equal faster runs. What’s more, if you’re a runner, you want to bulletproof your posterior chain to keep your ankle, knee, and hip joints healthy and ward off injury.
Improving your posterior chain will improve all your lifts in the gym. The body works as a kinetic chain, and if one bit of the chain is weak, it won’t work as effectively or even break. With a solid posterior chain, you can increase all your lifts.
Before you jump straight into your posterior chain exercises, always focus on your technique. Over-loading on poor technique and weak muscles is one way to increase the risk of injury. Seek some personal advice if you are in any pain when carrying out any form of exercise.