Posts Tagged ‘posterior chain’

Every athlete I train undergoes an initial evaluation and then periodical re-evaluations every 6 weeks to monitor progress. A few of the things we test are squat strength, deadlift strength, vertical jump, 20 yd dash, 5-10-5 agility test, and broad jump. Having measured all these things hundreds of times, I’ve started to notice some interesting patterns and come to realize that the broad jump might be the best indicator of overall athletic ability. 

I don't give a shit how much you can bench. What's your broad jump?

I don’t give a shit how much you can bench. What’s your broad jump?

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Here’s 2 exercises you can add to your program that will increase your strength on the deadlift by strengthening your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. Incidentally, these are the same muscles that make you run fast, so not only will you get better at deadlifting, you’ll get better at sprinting and playing sports too.

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I don’t technically train the lifter in these videos, but he helps me out a lot by taking videos and pictures for my articles, so I return the favor by putting together programs for him and coaching him on the lifts. He’s 5 months removed from major knee surgery, trying to join the Marines, and looking to get bigger and stronger. For these reasons, one of the lifts he’s been doing a lot of is the deadlift. I can’t think of many other exercises that will build overall strength quite like deadlifts will, and building glute and hip strength is a necessity for people coming back from knee surgery. Deadlifts will also help pack on muscle like nobody’s business. In the past month while following the program I made for him, his body weight has gone from 165 to 180 lbs; not a small increase by any means.

I posted a video of him deadlifting a few weeks ago, and while watching it I noticed that his lower back tension was lacking. Somehow I missed this while actually videoing the exercise, probably because I was looking at a tiny camera screen while doing so. At any rate, we made a small adjustment to his deadlifts today and his form is now much better as a result.

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“Posterior chain” training is getting a lot of hype these days, and for good reason. Building a strong, powerful posterior chain will improve athletic ability dramatically by allowing you to run faster, jump higher, throw harder and hit farther.

There are other ways to hit baseballs farther, but I don't condone some of them.

There are other ways to hit baseballs farther, but I don’t condone some of them.

What is the posterior chain?

Simply put, it’s the muscles located on the back (posterior) of your body. When talking about sports performance, it typically refers to the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. (more…)