two exercises you need
Train your posterior chain with these two overlooked exercises to improve performance and relieve annoying back pain.
You may have a strong back or elastic and well-tuned back muscles, but probably not both. Most training programs neglect to strengthen posterior chain coordination.
That’s too bad, because the posterior chain is your body’s power cord — the essential element of your athleticism that runs from your heels to your head. These components are usually trained individually, but an ensemble approach can significantly improve performance.
Even better, a strong and well-coordinated posterior chain is your ticket to a pain-free back. Two game-changing exercises? Nordic curls and neck bridge.
First, a quick recap. The posterior chain is a series of muscles in the back of the body. It includes your lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves, all the way down to your trapezius and neck muscles.
Think of the posterior chain as the powerhouse of the body. Every explosive move, every lift, every jump and every sprint relies heavily on this interconnected muscular system. They are the primary movers and stabilizers of body balance and alignment. Neglecting these muscles often manifests as back pain.
It is crucial to know the muscles involved:
- calf: Start moving and stabilizing your body.
- Hamstrings: Responsible for knee flexion and hip extension.
- Glutes: Works hip extension, rotation and stability.
- Lower back and back: Stretches and stabilizes the spine.
- trap: Moves and stabilizes the scapula and supports movement of the neck and head.
- Neck muscles: Supports your head, allows rotation and flexion, and helps maintain posture.
Two simple exercises cover all of these musculature and help train them as a whole, resulting in a powerful intelligent system that supports great performance posture and form the basis for powerful movement.
1. Nordic Curl
This hamstring-strengthening exercise has been lauded for its injury-preventing benefits, especially for those involved in sprinting or high-speed sports.this Nordic curls put extreme tension on your hamstrings, which builds strength and flexibility.
With Nordic curls, you can improve your hamstring strength and work towards better overall posterior chain balance and coordination, which can greatly reduce back pain.
Even if your deadlifts are great, you’ll know right away that you need to do this exercise the first few reps. Don’t be surprised if your hamstrings cramp or spasm. This shows that you need this exercise!
You can see this practice in the wrestling world, but it’s rare in the average gym. Neck bridges help develop the muscles in the back of the neck and trapezius. When executed properly, it also engages the muscles in the spine and hips.
Neck bridges, while intense, can significantly strengthen the neck, upper back, and spinal muscles. Do this exercise carefully. Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity as your strength improves.
Incorporating Nordic Curls and Neck Bridges into your routine can give your posterior chain the challenge it needs. These exercises go beyond regular squats, deadlifts, or rows to focus on the often overlooked (but integral) part of building a strong, balanced posterior chain.
Not only does a stretchy rear chain reduce back pain and cushion potential injuries, but it’s also your secret to superior athletic performance. Whether it’s lifting more weight, sprinting faster, jumping higher, or staying agile, it all starts from the back. Some initial discomfort is a small price to pay, but you’ll gain huge gains in overall strength, recovery, and performance.