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What is the Posterior Chain? 10 Best Exercises for a Stronger Posterior Chain

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What is the Posterior Chain? 10 Best Exercises for a Stronger Posterior Chain
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Strength training is crucial to any workout routine. One of the best ways to get stronger lifts is by incorporating exercises that target your posterior chain.

A posterior chain is a group of muscles located along the back side of the body, from your lats down to your calves. It includes the latissimus dorsi, erector spinae, glutes, hamstrings, and calf muscles.

These muscles work together to help you maintain good posture and provide stability while performing activities such as walking or running. The posterior chain also provides power for athletic movements like sprinting, jumping, and pushing/pulling heavy objects. Having a strong posterior chain can make these tasks easier and safer for your body in the long run.

This article will discuss 10 exercises designed to strengthen and build your posterior chain. We’ll discuss how to execute these exercises correctly.

Let’s get started!

Why is the Posterior Chain Important?

A strong posterior chain is essential for everyday movements, athletic activities, and long-term health. Weakness in these muscles can lead to an increased risk of injury while performing certain activities. It can also cause poor posture and make lifting heavy objects or doing repetitive work difficult.

The posterior chain plays a crucial role in maintaining proper balance and coordination when you move quickly or perform explosive activities like sprinting or jumping. Strengthening these muscles will help increase your power output, which can benefit athletes, weightlifters, and anyone who does physical labor for a living.

10 Best Posterior Chain Exercises

Scroll down to find out the 10 best posterior chain exercises:

1. Pendlay Row

The Pendlay Row is an excellent exercise for targeting your back muscles, particularly the lats and rhomboids. It helps strengthen the lower back, shoulder blades, and arms. To perform the Pendlay Row properly:

  • Start in a bent-over position with your knees slightly bent.
  • Hold onto a barbell with both hands at shoulder width apart or more comprehensively.
  • Pull the barbell towards your abdomen while keeping your core tight and chest up while squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  • Pause for 1-2 seconds before slowly returning to the starting position.

2. Rack Pull

The Rack Pull is an excellent exercise for targeting your posterior chain muscles. It helps strengthen the lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and quads. To perform the Rack Pull properly:

  • Start by setting up two rack bar supports at hip height.
  • Place a barbell between them and load it with weight plates of your desired resistance level.
  • Stand between the two power racks, gripping the barbell with an overhand grip (palms facing you).
  • Keeping your chest up and core tight, drive through your hips while lifting the bar off the supports until you reach the lockout position (legs fully extended).
  • Pause for 1-2 seconds before slowly returning to starting position.

3. Cable Pull Through

The Cable Pull Through is a great exercise for targeting the posterior chain muscles. It helps strengthen the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back as well. To perform the Cable Pull Through properly:

  • Start by standing between a cable with an attached rope at shin height.
  • Grip it with both hands and stand tall.
  • Keeping your core tight, flex your hips backward while allowing the rope through your legs.
  • With force extend your hips into full extension, pulling the weight of the cable with your glutes strictly.
  • Pause for 1-2 seconds before slowly returning to starting position.
  • Don’t use your arms to pull the rope. Your arms are strictly used to hold the rope.

4. Barbell Overhead Carry

The Barbell Overhead Carry is a great exercise for targeting the posterior chain muscles. It helps strengthen the shoulders, core, and back as well. To perform the Barbell Overhead Carry properly:

  • Start by loading a barbell with weight plates of your desired resistance level.
  • Grip it with an overhand grip (palms facing you).
  • Keeping your chest up and core tight, lift the bar off the ground until you reach the lockout position (arms fully extended overhead).
  • Slowly walk forward for 30-60 seconds before returning to the starting position.
  • Pause for 1-2 seconds before repeating.

5. Barbell Bent-Over Row

The Barbell Bent-Over Row is a great exercise for targeting the posterior chain muscles. It helps strengthen the back, arms, and core as well. To perform the Barbell Bent-Over Row properly:

  • Start by setting up a barbell with weight plates of your desired resistance level.
  • Come into a bent-over position with your knees slightly bent and grip the barbell with an overhand grip (palms facing you).
  • Keeping your chest up and core tight, pull the bar towards your abdomen while squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  • Pause for 1-2 seconds before slowly returning to starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.

6. Hip Thrust

The Hip Thrust is a great exercise for targeting the posterior chain muscles. It helps strengthen the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back as well. To perform the Hip Thrust properly:

  • Start by sitting on the ground with your back against a bench.
  • Place a barbell loaded with weight plates of your desired resistance level across your lap.
  • Keeping your chest up and core tight, drive through your heels while thrusting upwards until you reach the lockout position (hips fully extended).
  • Pause for 1-2 seconds before slowly returning to starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.

7. Kettlebell Swing

The Kettlebell Swing is a great exercise for targeting the posterior chain muscles. It helps strengthen the core, glutes, and hamstrings as well. To perform the Kettlebell Swing properly:

  • Start by gripping a kettlebell with both hands in front of you.
  • Keeping your chest up and core tight, drive through your heels while thrusting the kettlebell forwards until it reaches shoulder level.
  • Reverse the motion and swing back towards starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.

8. Glute-Ham Raise

The Glute-Ham Raise is a great exercise for targeting the posterior chain muscles. It helps strengthen the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back as well. To perform the Glute-Ham Raise properly:

  • Start by setting up a Glute-Ham Raise machine with your feet securely placed into the footpads.
  • Keeping your chest up and core tight, slowly extend yourself until your body is parallel to the floor.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.

9. Barbell Good Morning

Strengthening the posterior chain muscles has never been easier with the Barbell Good Morning. This exercise effectively targets and builds your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back while providing an intense workout.

To perform the Barbell Good Morning properly:

  • Start by setting up a barbell with weight plates of your desired resistance level.
  • Place the barbell on your back.
  • Keeping your chest up and core tight, bend forward at the waist while keeping your legs straight, with soft knees, until you reach your end range.
  • Pause for 1-2 seconds before slowly returning to starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps.

10. Landmine Single-Leg Deadlift

The Landmine Single-Leg Deadlift allows you to target the posterior chain muscles while challenging your balance and stability. To perform the Landmine Single-Leg Deadlift properly:

  • Start by setting up a barbell in a landmine station with weight plates of your desired resistance level attached to one end.
  • Come into a single-leg deadlift position and grip the other end of the barbell with your outside hand (palms facing you).
  • Keeping your chest up and core tight, lower yourself towards the floor while extending the same side leg until you reach your end range..
  • Pause for 1-2 seconds before slowly returning to starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps and switch legs.

FAQs

1. What exercises hit the posterior chain?

The posterior chain muscles include the lats, glutes, hamstrings, and erector spinae. Exercises such as deadlifts, bent-over rows, Romanian Deadlifts (RDLs), hip thrusts, good mornings, and back extensions are all practical for targeting these muscles.

Additionally, bodyweight exercises like pull ups, reverse hyperextension, and bridgework can be beneficial for developing strength in the posterior chain muscles. Exercises like glute bridges, step-ups, and back extensions can benefit those looking to increase their muscular endurance.

Finally, stretching is essential for maintaining good posture and preventing injury in the posterior chain muscles.

2. What exercise grows glutes the most?

Exercises like hip thrusts, barbell squats, and deadlifts are all fantastic options for growing the glutes. Additionally, bodyweight exercises such as single-leg glute bridges, donkey kicks, and reverse lunges can effectively build strength and size in the glutes. Exercises like glute bridges, step-ups, and back extensions can benefit those looking to increase their muscular endurance.

Ultimately, it is essential to include a variety of exercises to see the best results. Additionally, proper nutrition is essential for the growth and development of these muscles.

3. What are 2 exercises that work the posterior back of your body?

Two exercises that work the posterior back of your body are bent-over rows and Romanian deadlifts (RDL). Bent-over rows target the latissimus dorsi, rhomboid, and trapezius muscles. RDLs focus on the hamstrings, glutes, and erector spinae. Both exercises can increase the posterior back muscles' overall strength and stability.

They can help prevent injury and improve posture. It is crucial to ensure correct form when performing these exercises to achieve maximum benefit.

4. What exercises can strengthen the posterior portion of your upper body?

Exercises that can strengthen the posterior portion of your upper body include bent-over rows, lat pulldowns, face pulls, and chest-supported rows. These exercises target the lats, rhomboids, rear deltoids, and trapezius muscles.

Moreover, reversing cable flys and reverse pushups are great for targeting the rear deltoids and upper back. It is essential to include a variety of exercises to stimulate the muscles from different angles for maximum benefit. Additionally, it is essential to ensure correct form throughout each exercise to see the best results.

The Bottom Line

You can build muscle strength and power for better athletic performance by engaging in exercises that target the posterior chain muscles. Combining these ten exercises into one workout routine can effectively target and strengthen the posterior chain muscles for an intense and effective workout. These exercises also prevent injuries and offer you long-term health. Remember to perform each exercise with proper technique, form, and control to maximize the benefits of your workouts.

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