Do you suffer from lower back pain? Are you starting to feel like your big lifts in the gym are stagnating? Or perhaps you don’t feel as powerful on the pitch as you should?

If so, the chances are that you’re not effectively training your entire posterior chain!
With so many exercises available to train the posterior chain it is baffling that many people will just train the deadlift and then consider the job done. The deadlift is a great exercise, and should be included in most posterior chain workouts, but the workout shouldn’t finish there: it’s important to use a variety of exercises that challenge the different ranges of the posterior chain: low, mid and end.

Below are exercises that work different ranges of the posterior chain:

Low Range
· Seated Good Morning
· Standing Good Morning

Mid Range
· 45’ Back Extension
· Romanian Deadlift

End Range
· Horizontal Back Extension
· Reverse Hyperextension

The conventional deadlift works the mid range, similarly to the Romanian deadlift, but it also has additional assistance from the quads at the beginning of the lift. Since a greater training intensity is achievable with the deadlift, if you are using it in your workout, it is generally advisable to perform the exercise at the beginning of the session.

When it comes to training the posterior chain it is important not to fall into the trap of using weights too light that don’t physically challenge you. Treat it like any other session and train with some real intensity: we often hold a heavy barbell for exercises such as the 45’ back extension, or grasp dumbbells between our ankles for reverse hypers.

For a truly powerful posterior chain and an impressive physique, knee flexion and calf training should be included in your weekly training, as well as training hip extension. Below are a number of exercises for knee flexion and calves:

Knee Flexion:
· Hamstring Curl
o Foot variations – toes in / toes out / toes neutral
o Foot variations: plantarflexed / dorsiflexed / poliquin
· Nordic Hamstring Curl
· Glute-ham Raise

Calves
· Standing Calf Raise
· Seated Calf Raise
· Donkey Calf Raise

When designing your next training plan, try to include a number of the above mentioned exercises. You could either design a stand alone posterior chain workout, or incorporate these exercises amongst your weekly split. An example of a stand alone posterior chain workout is below:

A1: Deadlift 4 x 6 reps – rest 180 seconds
B1: Hamstring Curl (poliquin) 3 x 4 reps – rest 75 seconds
B2: 45’ Back Extension 3 x 8 reps – rest 75 seconds
C1: Standing Good Morning 3 x 8 reps – rest 60 seconds
C2: Leg Press Calf Raise 3 x 12 reps – rest 60 seconds
D1: Reverse Hyperextension 3 x 8 reps – rest 60 seconds
D2: Seated Calf Raise 3 x 15 reps – rest 60 seconds