Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Box Life Magazine: Strengthening Your Posterior Chain

by WILLIAM IMBO (BOXLIFE MAGAZINE)

[The posterior chain, or the group of muscles, tendons and ligaments that comprise the posterior of your body are crucial to quality athletic movement. BoxLife looks at the reasons why – The Opedix Editors]

Here’s a statement that will grab your attention straight off the bat: the posterior chain is the most influential muscle group in the body. Why? Well let’s ask the founding father, Coach Glassman:

“Powerful hip extension alone is necessary and nearly sufficient for elite athletic performance. That is, our experience has been that no one without the capacity for powerful hip extension enjoys great athletic prowess, and nearly everyone we’ve met with that capacity was a great athlete.”

Well wait a minute, Glassman is referring to hip extension—what’s that got to do with the posterior chain? Everything.

The reality is the muscles that make up the chain are directly responsible for producing hip extension.

  •         Multifidus (spine support)
  •         Erector Spinae (back and spinal extension)
  •         Gluteal Muscles (hip extensors, femoral rotation)
  •         Hamstring Muscles (hip extension, knee flexion)
  •         Gastrocnemius or Calf (plantar flexes ankle, knee flexion)
  •         External Obliques (back and spine support, in tandem with anterior core)

Now think about the multitude of exercises and movements, in and out of the box, that rely upon these muscles (not to mention hip extension in general). It’s safe to say that the health of your posterior chain not only affects your athletic prowess—but your ability to move. They contribute to jumping, pushing, pulling running and even something as simple as sitting down and standing up. It’s literally the prime mover of forward propulsion.  

Unfortunately, ensuring that you have a strong posterior chain is tricky for a number of reasons. First, most people sit on their glutes (arses) all day, leading to quad dominance; in essence, their butt now becomes their feet. The glutes lose their primary role of hip stabilization and extension. Second, many people have placed too much focus on the muscles of the anterior chain (which include the abs and quads) either intentionally—as these are the ‘beach and mirror muscles’—or unintentionally through incorrect programming. [READ THE FULL STORY HERE]

Visit BoxLife and see more articles by William Imbo HERE