Prioritizing Your Back Side

The Importance of Posterior Chain Training

If you have been doing a lot of home workouts or just been inactive, a lot of us are wondering, “What’s the best way to get back in shape” or “How can I get my physical status back to where I want?” and the simple answer is more posterior chain training.

The posterior chain is classified as the collection of muscles on the back of the leg and spine. The major muscles in this group are the hamstrings, glutes, spinal extensors, and lats. Getting these muscles brutally strong is the most efficient way to improve posture, stability, functional efficiency, and overall athletic performance.

I prefer to define the term “functional efficiency” as the ability to perform all activities that our daily life requires of us without excessive fatigue or struggle. The need for someone with a much higher physical stress on their body throughout the day (healthcare workers, maintenance/construction workers, or teachers) to train and improve their posterior chain is just as important as those with a much lower physical stress throughout the day (accountant, lawyer, or many jobs with lots of driving). While jobs requiring lots of movement need employees healthy for performance, jobs with lower amounts of movement still need employees healthy for longevity. This is where posterior chain training comes into play.

The best way to train the posterior chain is to practice different movements and create a wide variety of variables so that the body is constantly adapting to new stress and getting stronger.

These variables include:

  • Using different types of equipment
  • Adjusting the angles of different joints on the body
  • Switching between movements that isolate specific muscles and movements that use more than one muscle
  • Single leg or multi leg movements
  • Low weights for many repetitions or higher weights for less repetitions
  • Training for quick bursts or longer periods of time

Below are 5 of the posterior chain exercises that the coaches at CrossFit South Shore love to use and 3 variations to go along with each exercise!

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