The Posterior Chain: What is it and Why is it Important?

The posterior chain is the group of muscles that make up the backside (posterior = back) of your body.

These muscles include the glutes, hamstrings and calf muscles, as well as the erector spinae (long muscle around your spine) and the latissimus dorsi, or ‘lats’ (muscles of the mid back).

The term ‘chain’ is used because together these muscles form a chain that provides the support required for almost every movement.

It is important to exercise the posterior chain, as for most of us we spend a lot of our day sitting at a desk. A sedentary lifestyle can cause the body to lose its balance. This happens when we sit at a desk for extended periods of time, your quads and hip flexors become tight. This affects the posterior chain’s job in supporting your back, spine, and pelvis, leading to pain and tightness.

So, how do you exercise your posterior chain? Here are a few exercises you can do at home!

The Superman

  1. Start by lying down on the floor or mat with your arms stretched out in front of you.
  2. Lightly raise both arms and legs and hold for about 5-10 seconds. You should feel your back muscles, glutes and hamstrings squeeze.

Bird Dog

  1. Start on your hands on knees, knees directly under hips and hands beneath your shoulders.
  2. Lift one arm out in front of you along with the opposite leg behind you.
  3. Hold this position for 5 seconds before switching sides and repeating 3+ times. You should feel your upper and mid back muscles along with your glutes and hamstrings contracting (squeezing).

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