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

Make The Most of Your Weightlifting Program

Include these movements in your weight training program and you’ll see great results!

Weight training is awesome! It can help anyone with their fitness related goals. It has so many benefits like strength gain, muscle gain, and fat loss. If you want to make the most of your weight training program, you have to include the right movements. One of my favorite strength coaches, Dan John believes that all weigh training programs should include some fundamental movements. If you’re not doing these movements, you’re missing out.

Squat: The squat is one of the most fundamental human movements. You learn to squat when you’re a toddler and in some cultures people squat to use the bathroom. There are several squat variations available but my preferred method is the back squat. The back squat will make your legs strong as hell. Unlike the leg press and leg curl, the back squat hits several leg muscles including the quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

Hinge: Hinge exercises focus on the horizontal thrusting of your hips. These movements are great for building your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. Some examples of hinging exercises are kettlebell swings and the barbell glute bridge. The best hip hinge exercise in my opinion is the Deadlift because it builds great overall strength and stimulates the most muscle. Incorporating high quality hinging exercises in your program will help you from lower back pain. The key is having proper technique.

Push: Pushing exercises like the bench press and overhead press are a great way to build your upper body especially the the chests, triceps, and shoulders. Bench press variations are great for chest and tricep development. Overhead and military presses will target your upper back and shoulders. You can do standing shoulder presses to engage your core.

Pull: Pulling exercises like the bent over row and pull-up will build your back muscles. They’re a good balance to pushing exercises. Doing one without the other will lead to shoulder pain and bad posture. My go to pull exercise is the weighted chin-up. It builds my upper back muscles and my biceps.

Loaded Carry: Loaded Carries might have the biggest carryover to real life. Essentially, you’re grabbing weights and walking with it for a distance or time period. Their are many variations to the loaded carry but my go to is the Farmers Walk.

I originally used these as a fat burning exercise by carrying dumbbells for long durations but now I use it as a strength builder. For strength I carry heavy weights for short distances. Loaded carries can help you with just about any fitness goal.

Unilateral Movement: I believe every workout routine needs some unilateral movements. Unilateral movements are exercises that involve you working a single limb. These are great for fixing muscular imbalances since you’ll be working on one leg or arm at a time. The more balanced you are on each side, the better you can perform and the lower your risk of injuries. In addition to injury prevention, unilateral movements help with injury recovery.

All of the movements I mentioned have a couple things in common. They’re all compound movements which use multiple muscle groups and they’re all highly functional. You can apply any of these movements to some aspect of your personal life.

Photo by Leon Martinez from Pexels

Total Body Workout For 2/21/19

I’m sharing the total body workout I’ll be doing tomorrow. This will be part of my current routine.

Fitness is an experiment. You try different things to see how your body responds. You can mix your sets and reps or follow a new workout program. Tomorrow I’ll be doing a workout I’ve never done before. I’ve done all the exercises that will be mentioned but never in one workout. This workout follows the trend I’m going in my fitness.

I’m currently doing a total body workout split. I prefer this method because it let’s me get more work done in less days. I also prefer total body workouts over bodyweight splits because I feel less soreness the following days. The only drawback is total body workouts affect your energy levels more. Different things work for different people but so far this approach has been working for me.

The goal of my workouts is to hit as many muscle groups as possible while also activating a lot of muscle fibers. I talked about the benefits of activating a lot of muscle fibers in my previous post How To Build An Impressive Body .

The Workout

Below is the workout I’ll be doing.

Dynamic Warmup

Dumbbell Overhead Press: 5 sets of 3 with 3 minute rest in between. I’ll be using 85% of my one rep max. I’ve been doing more overhead presses because I feel like my shoulders have been a weak point. Dumbbells allow me to work each shoulder equally.

Squats: 60% of my 1 rep max. I’ll do 5 sets of 3 with 1 minute rest in between. I’ll be using the Compensatory Acceleration Training (CAT) method Use CAT For Strength Gainz.

Farmers Walk: I’ll carry two 90 pound dumbbells for 45 seconds and rest 2 minutes in between sets. It’s hard to do a one rep max percentage for farmer’s walks but you should aim for at least your body weight for the total weight you’ll be carrying. I’ll do 3 rounds of this.

Jump rope for 5 consecutive minutes. I’ll be switching from a steady to a fast pace throughout.

I’ll finish off with some static stretches.

What I like about this workout is that my body won’t be bored. I’ll be working almost every muscle in my body in different ways. This workout has strength, speed, and conditioning in it. If it sounds interesting, give it a try and see how your body responds to it.

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