Maintaining a strong posterior chain is important for good posture, especially for those who are sitting or driving a lot during the day, as well as supporting many everyday movements such as carrying shopping, sitting down and standing back up.
One of the biggest advantages of a strong posterior chain is prevention of injury, as it helps to protect the lower back and knees.
A strong posterior chain can also help with jumping, running, sprinting and cycling, as well as weight training performance because it includes some of the biggest and strongest muscles in the body.
These muscles are located at the back of the body – from the back of the head all the way down to the heels. These include the glutes, hamstrings, calves, lats, rhomboids and erector spinae muscles.
The below 5 exercises will help to activate your posterior chain. Complete 10-15 reps and 2-3 sets of each.
- Bridges: Lay on your back, feet on the ground and push your hips up. Focusing on the core, glutes and hamstrings, then lower the hips down, one vertebrae at a time with control. Repeat.
- Lunges: Stand tall, with your feet hip width apart. Extend your right leg behind you and come into a lunge position. Swap legs and repeat on the other side.
- Romanian Deadlift: Begin standing with your feet hip width apart holding a barbell or dumbbells in front of you. Hinge at the hips, keeping the upper back activated by keeping a slight “pinch” between your shoulder blades. Keep the weight close to your legs and engage your core. When the weights almost touch the ground, engage the glutes and hamstrings and push to come back to standing position.
- Superman’s: Lying face down with your arms out in front of you, simultaneously lift your arms and legs off the ground, focusing on squeezing the glutes and hold for 3 seconds. Keep your chin tucked in slightly so your neck is aligned with the spine.
- Cobra: Similar to the Superman’s, start by lying face down. This time your arms will be by your side and you will rotate your hands, so the thumbs are pointing up at the roof. Slightly lift your chest off the ground, squeezing the back and glute muscles. Hold for 30-60 seconds and repeat 3 times.