Best Posterior Chain Exercises

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    what do you think are the best exercises for posterior chain improvements and also how often should athletes be hitting this groups of muscles?


    in my opinion, stiff leg deads/romanian deads, reverse hypers, glute-ham raises and good mornings are all awesome.

    even kettlebell swings will get the job done to a certain extent.

    as for frequency it’s a big “it depends”, as with most things.
    time of season, training objectives, training age of the athlete, injuries… they all come in play.

    for my 2 cents, i tend to use a 3:2 ratio (roughly). so if i did 6 sets of a squat variation, i’d do 4 sets of posterior chain work.



    another good posterior exercise that ive had great results with are cable pullthroughs, not sure if you’ve used them before but place a rope attachment on a cable station and place it on the bottom setting and essentially just pull the cable up between your legs with the drive coming from your hamstrings and glutes.

    Here’s a video of them being performed, i love this exercise


    Personally i would only use high volumes of these types of exercises when running (be it sprinting or conditioning work) is at the low end. These types of exercises are very demanding on the main muscles involved in running mechanics.

    My preffered list-
    glute ham raise
    reverse hyper
    romanian deadlift
    and a drill shown to me by Frans Bosch…you are on a glute ham bench with legs straight, upper body leaning over pads. You then remove one leg from the roller pads. This is the set-up…now you perform 3-8 reps of back extensions-you will feel this immediately in the hamstrings. Frans believes in training the hamstring muscle in a lengthened position.

    Specifically i would target these muscles groups at the beginning of pre-season period so as to ‘condition’ them for the higher velocity work to come. Then further on through the pre-season rotate them so as to maintain the benefits. FYI I would never train the lower body more than twice per week at any stage of the annual plan (unless rehab demanded it).


    thanks for that info tom.

    do you know of any significant advantage to be had by pausing on the box during box squats?

    I mean even resting(if thats the right word) there for a second before driving back upwards? i have heard this is an excellent way to work the PC by allowing the pelvis to tilt and then have to contract to initiate movement again

    what are your thoughts?


    my opinion: In this order

    1, All Goodmornings
    2, GHR
    3, Romainen Deadlifts
    4, Reverse Hypers

    There are many more, but these would be my top four.


    We don’t just use box squats, as I’m more a fan of Olympic style squats to be honest. We still use them though just not as much. With regards to your question Dave Tate ( advocates saying ‘1000’ whilst sitting on the box then driving up. obvioulsy then main advantage of box squatting is the way it targets the posterior chain as supposed to a regular squat.

    The time spent on the box is reflective of a standard box squat, anything shorter than that and you are just using the box as a depth marker. However, you must have any athlete stay ‘tight’ during the box squat, as i have seen people in commercial gyms and other organizations just drop without control onto a box-this is a recipe for disaster.

    Hope this helps.


    do leg curls have any value? I don’t have access too a ghr machine and was wondering if knee flexion was important to train


    In athletes with a low training age, I would say that training knee flexion is important, in terms of building up the overall strength of the muscle. Personally, i always include some sort of knee flexion exercise in a general preparation phase-as competition moves closer we will stick with training hamstrings as hip extensors (this does not mean we dont revisit the lifts at times throughout the year), whether it be a glute ham raise, or for those without this try a nordic hamstring curl/natural glute ham raise. Search on youtube and you will find examples.


    @devs4858 1645 wrote:


    what do you think are the best exercises for posterior chain improvements and also how often should athletes be hitting this groups of muscles?

    Good Morning
    Good morning combo
    Glut Ham Raises
    Reverse Hypers
    Single Leg Back Extension
    Sprinters Squat
    Step ups
    KB Swings

    all have a role at various times in our training year, tine invested in these will make your time on the field more productive, ash


    with sprinters we also alternate between most of the exercises described above

    when they are heavy loading on squats we tend to chose lighter compressive loading posterior work – cable (rope or band) pull throughs/ reverse hyperextensions are great msucle loader and low compressive (even decompressive on spine)

    for explosive work we do pull thrus again (explosively) dumbell or kettlebell lumberjacks and bent leg (bum right out) explosive good mornings

    and for strength romanian DLS / often with a stability exercise like one leg stiff leg deadlifts and heavy good mornings

    we try to be aware of the total compressive and flexion/extension loads on the lumbar spine – sprinters are often very explosively strong thru leg and butt posterior chain but also a little weaker and hypermobile thru lower lumbar


    Agreed with all of the above, and I must add that I am a big fan of Knees to Feet Jumps as a dynamic method for training explosive hip extension


    Knees to feet jumps are a mainstay of our program, the variations you can add are also important to advance on just the basic version, we have a few that our players are using:

    knees to feet vertical up onto a gym flooring square, I have one player at Sanyo who does this onto a 20 centimetre box, quite amazing

    done with DB’s in the hands

    done for distance like a standing long jump but starting on your knees

    performing a snatch or a clean with a bar of DB’s

    all offer a progression, cheers, ash

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