Eight Essential Posterior Chain Exercises

Aimee LaurencePerformance, TrainingLeave a Comment

The posterior chain refers to the muscles on the posterior side of the body from the lower back down to the calves. Devoting time and energy to your posterior chain is known to help gain overall strength in the body and reduce pain during exercising. It is great for your spine and will contribute to toning your gluteal muscles. 

With no surprise, you will experience some soreness after trying out the exercises described below. Always let yourself develop at your own pace and give yourself time to recover afterward. 

Loaded squats

Squats are one of the best and most well-known exercises to increase the strength of the posterior chain. Most people know them for their boosting effect on the gluteal muscles. Loading your squats will promote the strength of your quadriceps too. Equipment you can use to load your squats includes dumbbells, body bars and so on. The main thing to consider with equipment is that you are using them correctly in terms of positioning: do not place them onto your cervical spine; balance them on your upper traps and shoulders instead. 

Hold your upper body upright with your lower hips protruding backward as if sitting into a chair. Maintain your torso and shins parallel to one another. Lower your hips further downwards and backward, then raise back up into a standing position. Repeat this almost vertical movement until the repetitions are finished. 

Single-leg glute bridge

Lower body strength is often increased alongside posterior chain strength. This is true for this exercise, which also requires no equipment. To perform this exercise, lay with your back flat against the ground with your knees angled upwards. 

Raise your left leg straight upwards and raise your hips into the air. Slowly lower them back to the ground with your left leg still straight up in the air. Repeat this until you have completed a set and then complete a set with your right leg. 

Plank rows

“These are popular for their maximizing effect on core strength, though they also increase upper back strength as well. Furthering this, they are ideal for increasing posterior chain strength too.” Says Thomas D. Tye, CrossFit coach at Academized and Assignment Service.

To increase the intensity of this exercise, incorporate dumb-bells or a kettle-ball. 

Get into a full regular plank position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Have your hands extended below you shoulder-width apart as well, then use one arm to pull the weight you chose to incorporate up off the floor. Pull your elbow directly backward, then lower the weight back down again. Complete the set with that arm and then complete another set with the other arm. 

Stability ball hamstring curl

If you are into workout additions, this exercise will be fun for you. Stability balls are a great way to make a workout more enjoyable and varied. Using them for hamstring curls will help you increase both core strength and upper body balance. 

Lying with your back on the ground, keep your heels and lower calves on the stability ball. Your hands should remain on the floor and your legs should remain straight. Raise your hips into a bridge, then pull your knees back towards your hips as you allow the ball to roll from your calves to your heels. Repeat the exercise slowly. 

Gluteal – Hamstring raise

If you have access to a particular piece of equipment called a Glute-Ham Device or GHD, this exercise is like a limited-edition chocolate to your workout routine as it targets both your gluteal muscles and hamstrings together. At first, you will only be able to complete two to four repetitions, though you will eventually work this up to around ten repetitions or more. 

Hook your feet and press them in against the plate. Bend your knees at right angles. Your torse should be upright. Lower yourself and let your legs straighten themselves while your back is flat, until your torso is at an angle of 45 degrees. Then contract your gluteal muscles and hamstrings to bring yourself back up.


This is an intermediate exercise that mainly targets the upper back and shoulders. Whether you do a standard overhand pull-up or a band-assisted version that is a bit easier, they will push your back muscles to a higher efficiency. This is because they engage your whole back and take some of the weight off your shoulders. 

“Stand on a low bench before the pull-up bar. Grab hold of the bar with an overhand grip that is wider than your shoulders. Raise your feet off the bench and pull yourself up until your chin raises higher than the bar. Keep doing the exercise until you have reached your limit.” Says Dana Paine, sports blogger at State Of Writing and Paper Fellows.

Seated band row

If you have a small space to exercise in, seated band rows can be a perfect way to increase posterior chain strength, as well as the strength of your chest and arms. 

Pull a band around a role and sit on the ground in front of it. Widen your feet and pull your feet downwards. Hold onto the band and bring it towards your chest with your elbows kept close to your body. Squeeze for a few seconds and then let go of your muscles slowly. 

One-arm dumbbell row 

Traditional bodybuilding movements such as this exercise are a great help in building the upper back. They develop a strong posterior chain and improve athletic performance. 

Holding a dumbbell with one hand, keep your feet hip-width apart. Bring one hand back onto a bench and pull the dumbbell to your upper chest. To complete this exercise properly, hold your elbow in tightly, keeping your shoulder blades as together as possible and with controlled movements of the weight. 

These exercises target the lower back (erector spinae), hamstrings, gluteal muscles (maximus, medius, and minimus), which are crucial for many athletic movements. Keep these muscle groups strong, flexible and fluid to enhance your efficiency. Complete the exercises in two to three sets of eight to twelve to make the most out of all of them. You’ll see how training the posterior chain helps you maintain a strong core and helps you avoid pains and acquired injuries when working out. 

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Aimee Laurence

Health and lifestyle editor, as well as fitness training blogger, Aimee Laurence works for the UK Assignment Service and Custom Essay Writing Service websites. She is also a tutor at Best Essays For Sale.

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