What Is the Posterior Chain?

What Is the Posterior Chain?The most common areas of dysfunction that we see here at Mind Body Spine and Cape Kettlebell are weakness in the core, or the posterior chain.  Most everyone knows what the core is, but what about the posterior chain?  This blog will give an overview of what makes up the posterior chain, and why it is so important to overall physical wellbeing.

The posterior chain is the anatomical name for what is seen as the backside of our bodies.  Although it includes all of the muscles from your neck to your ankles the most common areas of weakness or tightness are the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back.

The term kinetic chain refers to the concept of human movement.  Essentially segments of the body overlap as movement occurs.  Everything is connected in one way or another.  Think of it as the song Dry Bones by Delta Rhythm Blues:

‘Your leg bone connected to your knee bone.
Your knee bone connected to your thigh bone.
Your thigh bone connected to your hip bone.
Your hip bone connected to your back bone.’

So what does that mean?  A lot of issues throughout the body can be traced back to weakness/tightness in the lower back, glutes, or hamstrings.  When one or all of those areas are weak the body tends to overcompensate.  You might find yourself with pain in other areas, muscle imbalances, nerve issues, and more.

The good news is that fixing a weak posterior chain is not that complicated.  The first thing is to get checked by your primary care physician to make sure that it is nothing structural.  Once that hurdle is cleared next up is getting the muscles of the posterior chain mobile through stretching and myofascial foam rolling.  Tight muscles restrict the body’s range of motion, making everyday activities, like walking, more difficult.

Next up is stability through basic bodyweight exercises.  These can include things like front and side planks for the core, and hip hinges or bridges for the glutes and hamstrings.  Adding stability to mobility might be enough for most people suffering through chronic pain to feel some relief.

Once you are comfortable with the mobility and stability exercises it might be time to add strengthening in.  In most cases it is as simple as adding weight to some of the stability moves.  For example, turning a hip hinge into a kettlebell deadlift.  You will be amazed at how different you will feel with a properly functioning posterior chain.

Whether it’s low back or glutes. Whether you’re looking for mobility or stability.  Whether you want to run a marathon, or just be able to climb a flight of stairs without pain.  Whatever your posterior chain needs we here at Mind Body Spine and Cape Kettlebell can assist you in becoming your best self!

Give us a call, email, or just stop on by.



by Christopher Setterlund

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