You care about your health — that’s one reason why you’re working out in the first place, right? But it’s important to ensure you’re exercising the correct way because not doing so could be worse for your health than not working out at all. Just one wrong twist, lift, or movement could be enough to injure your body and force you to stop exercising while you heal.
Focusing on your body’s posterior chain can be a strong defense against overuse injuries. The more you strengthen these areas, the less at risk you may be of incurring an injury that will put your fitness goals on hold.
What is the Posterior Chain?
The posterior chain is a group of muscles on the back side, or posterior, of your body. These muscles include the glutes, hamstrings, trapezius, erector spinae muscle group, and posterior deltoids.
Exercising these muscles in a chain-like manner (as opposed to exercising them in isolation one by one) contributes to stronger core muscles, which can help to reduce injury or back pain.
Best Exercises for Posterior Muscles
If you’re currently involved in weightlifting, you are probably already doing some exercises that activate the posterior chain. Let’s look at a few of the most common ones:
Squats can be performed with or without weights and involve the thighs, hips, hamstrings, and glutes.
To start, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. Then, bend your knees and sit back and down, as though you’re sitting in an invisible chair. Lower yourself so that your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles. Then return to standing —that’s one rep.
Good Mornings are usually used with a single barbell across your shoulders but can be performed without weights. This exercise builds the lower back and works your hamstrings and core.
To start, place the barbell across your shoulders, not your neck. Holding the bar in place, bend forward at the hips with knees slightly bent and back flat. Keep bending forward until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, then return to an upright position.
Perfect form is absolutely critical to this exercise, so check with your chiropractor or training coach to ensure correct execution.
Like Good Mornings, deadlifts require the proper form to avoid injury. This exercise works your legs, back, and glutes and can help to reduce the risk of back injury or pain.
To do a deadlift the right way, put your feet midway under the bar, then bend over and grab the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees until your shins touch the bar, then lift up your chest and straighten your back. Lift the bar and move into an upright position, hold it for a few seconds, then lower the bar by moving your hips back, bending your legs, and keeping your back straight.
How to Maintain Peak Performance
At Peak Performance Chiropractic, we’re not just a name. We’re dedicated to helping athletes stay at the top of their game by maintaining strong physical health. We put just as much focus on education as we do on the services that will help you grow as an athlete so you can take charge of your health with every workout.
Contact us today for a consultation and let us help you achieve and maintain peak performance!