Why You Should Train Your Posterior Chain

(Short read) The importance of building your posterior chain

The posterior chain (back side) is arguably the most important part of your body is often the most neglected. If you’re not training your posterior chain then you’re missing out on some serious gains. Last week, I tried good mornings for the first time in my life and it was a wake up call for me. I only did 85 pounds using a barbell but after that first set my hamstrings were on fire!

Benefits of Building Your Posterior Chain

Athletic Performance: If you want to be a successful athlete, you’ll need strong posterior chain muscles. To jump or sprint, your glutes and hamstrings are doing a lot of work. To throw a ball or a punch with power, your hips and glutes will be highly engaged.

Weight Room Performance: Your glutes and hamstrings play an integral part in various weight room exercises. The most obvious one is the deadlift. If you don’t feel your glutes and hamstrings while deadlifting a decent amount of weight then something is wrong. In my experience, when my glutes and hamstrings were strong, deadlifts felt easier. The posterior chain is also important for the squat, especially the low bar back squat.

Injury Prevention: Strong glutes and hamstrings will reduce your risk of injury in a number of ways. One way is that the stronger your glutes are, the less work your lower back has to do when lifting an object/weight. Your hamstrings are one of the biggest stabilizer muscles for your ACL. A lot of times people who suffer torn ACLs, have a weakness or deficiency in their hamstrings.

Look Better: Who doesn’t like a nice pair of glutes? If you want to maximize your aesthetic gains, you need to train your posterior chain especially the glutes. In addition to looking nice, I find having strong glutes helps me stay upright and maintain good posture. A strong posture is also visually appealing.

Best Posterior Chain Exercises

Below are the best Posterior chain building exercises that I’ve used. If you want strong glutes and hamstrings, do these exercises.

  • Sprints/Hill Sprints
  • Barbell Hip Thrust
  • Kettlebell Swing
  • Bulgarian Split Squat
  • Extreme Isometric Lunge
  • GoodMorning

In the comments below, tell me your favorite posterior chain exercises!

My Favorite sprint workouts- Sprints, Sprints, and more Sprints

More about the benefits of kettlebell swings- Get an Awesome Body With Kettlebell Swings

Why you should start doing the Bulgarian split squat-Squat Replacement

Photo by RUN 4 FFWPU from Pexels

Build Your Armor

This article is about the movements that get your stronger and help fight off injuries.

Like many lifters, I’m a big fan of the Big 3 lifts; Squats, Deadlifts, and Bench Press. These lifts will help your performance in other physical activities. I paused to be strong but we often forget about building our base.

I’ve had injuries in the past that really limited what I could do. Those injuries helped me grow a lot as a lifter and I learned lessons from them. One of the most important ones was the importance of building your armor.

What Is Your Armor?

Your Armor is your body. One of the biggest keys to performing your best and staying healthy is to have your body as solid and fluid as possible. Solid as in your body is strong and can take on external forces. Fluid as in your body can move effortlessly.

I’m not saying you’ll never get injured because life can be unpredictable. When you build your armor the odds are in your favor of staying healthy. Things will hurt less. I still have some tweaks from time to time since I’m constantly pushing myself but I’ve been able to bounce back easily due to building my armor.

How Do You Build Your Armor?

You build your armor by strengthening your stabilizers. You build your armor by making your mobility is on point. You build your armor by fixing muscular imbalances and making your core powerful In order to accomplish this is by choosing the right exercises.

I first heard the concept of building your armor from Strength Coach Dan John. He listed some exercises that he believed would best build your armor. Below is a list of armor building exercises that I use to stay strong and healthy. These are the exercises that have worked for me.

Farmers Walk

The farmer walk is one of the best armor building exercises. It works every muscle on your body and builds overall strength. For armor building purposes, the farmer walk strengthens your core muscles. It teaches you to brace when dealing with external resistance. A stronger core and the ability to brace is necessary when doing heavy compound lifts. Your back will have a lower risk of injury as a result.

Bulgarian Split-Squat: Another great armor building exercise is the Bulgarian split squat. This move will help fix muscular imbalances in your lower body because it targets one leg at a time. One side of your body will always be stronger but the closer they are in strength, the better your movement will be when performing bilateral movements like squats and deadlifts. Better movement and better strength means a lower chance of getting hurt. You can’t go wrong with this move.

Contra lateral Movements: Contralateral movements like the deadbug and bird-dog are great ways to solidify your armor. These movements teach your core muscles how to work together at the same time. When performing an intense movements, you’ll want your core as solid as possible. Contralateral movements will help you do that. I do the bird-dog before every workout I do. It sends a message to my brain that I need my core to be as strong as possible.

Yoga: Yoga will build your armor two different ways. The isometric poses will strengthen your body’s stabilizers. You’ll also improve your flexibility so your movements will feel natural rather than forced. I honestly think yoga is a big reason I’ve been able to bounce back quickly from injuries.

Closing Thoughts: This isn’t your typical rehab article. I’m a big supporter of doing prehab and rehab exercises. Why not do movements that provide the same benefits and provide a good workout? These armor building exercises have been a major part of my training throughout the years. I’ve even had training weeks dedicated only to these movements. The results were normally better physical performance and appearance. Don’t be surprised if your posture improves by doing these exercises. What exercises do you do to build your armor ? !

 

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