Now, more than ever, every one wants a nice butt, maybe a nice back and fitness folk, some nice hamstrings. Those all compose the posterior chain. The posterior chain is not just important for us aesthetically but functionally as well. The stronger your entire posterior chain is, the stronger all your movements will be. This is not my opinion, it is a fact. The posterior ties in with the core. They are a team. Core is strong, glutes are strong, you are strong.
What does the posterior chain consist of?
Simply put, everything in the back of your muscular structure so glutes, hamstrings, calves, erector spinae muscles, traps, posterior deltoids.
The posterior is important because it is the whole mechanical drive behind jumping, running and even throwing. To build this is crucial as it is part of our every day routine even if we aren’t seasoned athletes.
What can you do to make it stronger?
Between compound movements and isolated ones, there are a few worth while exercises. I have listed 3 of each for you however, all of them will require good form in order to build muscle and see results. Compound moves especially require good form each rep or another muscle may compensate for the one you’re supposed to use.
-Hip thrust. is the number one exercise, scientifically backed, to target glutes. It’s the same concept of a bridge however, your back is elevated. This can be done with a barbell, bands, a smith machine or even a dumbbell.
-Squat. There are many variations of this, so form depends however, with any squat, the movement starts at the hips, hinging them backwards. Often, people think squatting is a knee movement, it is not. Keep your knees in line with your shins or behind the toes.
-Deadlift. Great for building hip extension and your back as well as glute contraction. A deadlift, similar to the squat, has many variations so form here is also key. This is the king/queen of posterior chain exercises.
-Pullup. This is a most definite posterior builder, working your whole back however, most commonly done wrong. I have seen a lot of halfies. To really work the lats properly, you should start hanging, and pull all the way up, squeezing the lats. That is how you develop strength and also, not going as quick as you can. Slow and controlled will truly challenge those muscles.
-Hamstring curl. (seated, laying, nordic) Zones in to really target the hams.
-Kickback. (cable, bodyweight, banded) Focusing on the glute contraction, this is a great one for isolating the glutes, different angles can also hit the entire gluteus muscles.
-Hyperextension.This is great for the erectors, from behind the pelvis up towards the neck, as well as hamstrings and glutes. Best done with a back extension equipment piece in your gym, when you squeeze to pull your self to about that 45 degree angle, keep it there. Overextending can actually cause injury and do more damage than good.
And with these, you will not only build up your posterior but you will also stand stronger, feel stronger and move stronger. Get to work.