What is the posterior chain and why is it important?

A woman performing deadlift - what is the posterior chain blog featured image.

What is the posterior chain and why is it important?

The posterior chain of muscles encompasses all the muscles on the backside of your body, all the way from your head to your ankles. Continue reading to learn what is the posterior chain exactly and why it is so important.

This includes hamstrings, glutes aka the muscles in your bum, calves and the muscles supporting your spine and back.

The posterior chain has some of the largest and strongest muscles in your body. In a nutshell, this chain is a massive powerhouse!

It’s important for many forms of movement. Running, jumping, bodily rotation, pulling or pushing all involve this huge muscle group. It is also integral for the stability of your knee, hips and spine. It helps to maintain your balance and posture which is important for everyday life as well as sporting endeavours.

A strong posterior creates a powerful central force which will improve your movements in and out of the gym.

For highly active individuals and athletes, the posterior chain is integral to training routines. The stronger their core (pun intended) source of power, the higher they will be able to peak during their physical performance. The joints throughout the posterior chain such as the ankles, knees, hips and spine will benefit from muscular support; A powerful posterior chain will also reduce their risk of sporting injury.

Does your work or schooling involve sitting at a desk all day? Well this can have a negative impact on your posterior chain if you do not look after your body properly. Sitting creates uncomfortable positions for your body. Many people are at risk of rounded shoulders, neck and back pain as well as weakened hip flexors.

Strengthening your posterior chain will reduce the risk of losing your muscle tone and protect your body from further injury, such as declining posture. For example, strengthening the glutes will help you offset the time spent sitting and encourage taller posture.


The deadlift is the perfect exercise to include a majority of the posterior chain. Begin by squatting at a weighted bar and grasp with your arms straight. Use your legs to push upwards to lift the weight into a standing position. As you do this your core should be engaged and your back straight. To lower, just reverse the step. Remember to only lift with weight you are comfortable with.

Activating the posterior chain is an awesome way to further activate your daily life and sporting ventures. Our friendly team of physiotherapists at Pivotal Motion are always here to help and provide you with more information on how you should incorporate the posterior chain into your active lifestyle.

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