10% OFF Spring Sale

Your cart

Your cart is empty

10 Best Posterior Chain Stretches

10 Best Posterior Chain Stretches

You must have heard the term “posterior chain” in your gym or from your gym instructors. These are the most crucial muscles that help you to move and function properly. These muscles range from the back of your skull to the ankles.

Collectively these muscles make the biggest and strongest muscle group in your body.

1. What are Posterior Chain Stretches?

Posterior chain stretches are stretch exercises that specifically target the back muscles and tissues including the lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. These muscles work together to help you build a good posture, and maintain balance, and stability.

These stretches extend and release the muscles present at the back of your body. They provide a better range of motion as well as great blood circulation. By incorporating posterior chain stretches into your daily routine, you can improve your overall health and well-being. These stretches are not fixed for any age group. Rather people in old age can also adopt them and not only will they enjoy the benefits but their overall fitness will also improve.

2. Why Posterior Chain Stretches are Important?

One of the misconceptions is that posterior chain stretches are essential for athletes. That is not the case. Posterior chain stretches are great for your overall fitness. These stretches can be performed if you suffer from any back muscle problem. These stretches are great for everybody. Even just after a session of these stretches, you will feel the change they have on your whole body.

3. Posterior Chain Muscles

Posterior chain muscles are present at your back. These muscles spread from the back of your skull down to your heels.

They are called posterior “chain” muscles because all these muscles work as a unit to create facilitated movement in your body. It is also called intermuscular coordination. These muscles propel your body forward to help it move easily.

Gluteus Maximus: It is the largest muscle in the human body and is responsible for hip extension. It is one of the three muscles that move up to the thigh. It is also in control of the external rotation of the hip.

Erector Spinae: The erector spinae muscles run parallel to the spine and are responsible for back extension, as well as lateral flexion.

Hamstrings: Hamstrings consist of 3 muscles: biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus. They are responsible for knee flexion and hip extension.

Latissimus Dorsi: These are responsible for upper body movement.

Adductor Magnus: It is located on the inner side of the thigh and is crucial for hip extension.

Gastrocnemius and Soleus: They are present in the calf and aid you in walking, jumping, and running.

Claves: Calves help you to move your feet. They support your body when you try to stand. And the reason that you don’t fall is the perfect functioning of calves.

Posterior Deltoids: They help in the external rotation of the hip. They work together with other muscles and produce coordinated movement of the body.

Rhomboid: They elevate, contract, and rotate the scapula. They are present at the back of your shoulder.

4. Pre and Post-Workout Diet - Posterior Chain

4.1. Pre-Workout Diet

Small meals must be eaten before the stretches. Eating less food will keep you comfortable for the stretches. Your pre-workout food must be rich in carbohydrates and less in fats. It is because fats take a really long time to digest as compared to carbohydrates. Eat almost 30 mins before stretches and you will have a great amount of energy for the whole workout.

Food fuels the body. So it is important that you must choose your diet wisely.

You must eat:

  • Crackers with peanut butter.
  • A muffin with a glass of milk.
  • A sports drink.
  • A bagel with jelly.

4.2. Post-Workout Diet

After the stretches, it is essential that you provide your body with a nutritious diet so that it can replenish its energy.

After the stretches, you must eat:

  • Yogurt and fruit.
  • Low-fat chocolate milk.
  • Post-stretches smoothie.
  • Turkey on whole-grain bread with vegetables.

5. 10 Best Posterior Chain Stretches

Following are the best posterior chain stretches that will enable you to protect yourself from unwanted injuries and brace your muscles with unexpected exertions.

5.1. Standing Hamstring Stretch

Standing hamstring stretches to enhance flexibility in your hip flexors. They also allow a broad range of motion. Often athletes suffer from tight hamstrings. It can lead to a bad body posture if not treated on time. Standing hamstring stretch is an important and healing stretch for tight hamstrings.

To perform a standing hamstring stretch:

  • Stand on one foot and place the other on a table or chair.
  • Your foot placed on the table must be straight while your toes are pointed towards the ceiling.
  • Your knee must be straight and then you will feel the stretch at the back of your thigh. Make sure that your spine is in a straight position.
  • Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the process on the other foot.
Number of reps Time
2-3 reps on each foot 5 minutes

5.2. Seated Pigeon Pose

It supports your hips and allows enhanced mobility in the ball and socket joint. After hours of sitting your hips flexors become tired. The seated pigeon pose activates tired hip flexors and reduces back pain.

To perform the seated pigeon pose:

  • You can either sit on a chair for the stretch or on the floor.
  • Place your right ankle on your left knee and keep your right foot flexed.
  • Place one hand on your right knee and the other hand on your right foot to support them.
  • Lift up as tall as you can while sitting on the chair and gently bend forward. And don’t forget to breathe out.
  • You will feel a stretch in your right glute as you bend forward.
  • If possible, lower your head and hold the position for 3 to 5 seconds.
  • You must take deep breaths when you are in a bent position.
Number of reps Time
2-3 reps on each foot 5 minutes

5.3. Downward Facing Dog

Downward facing dog is a yoga pose. Along with building flexibility in your hips, this stretch is responsible for elongating your spine and smoothing blood circulation. It also alleviates headaches and brain fogginess.

To perform downward facing dog:

  • Appear in a dog-like posture on a mat. Your hands must be directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  • Place your elbows on the mat and bend down while keeping your hips up.
  • Let the back of your shoulders relax.
  • While you are down, take deep breaths.
  • As you have adjusted your position, the next step is to balance yourself only on your hands and feet.

Keep your head down and appear in the same position as shown in the image above.

Number of reps Time
5-6 reps 6 minutes

5.4. Sumo Squat

Sumo squats are one of those stretches that target your inner thighs. Sumo squats have leverage over other stretches as it is the only one that activates as well as relaxes your inner thighs. Sumo squats can increase the size of your thighs if you make them a permanent part of your workout routine.

To perform sumo squats:

  • Stand with your feet 6 to 12 inches wider than your shoulders and your toes pointed at a 45° angle.
  • Bend your knees and hips as if you are going to sit.
  • Lower your hips to the point that your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  • You must keep your spine straight while squatting.
Number of reps Time Rest
5-6 reps 5 minutes 60 sec

5.5. Lying Sphinx

Lying sphinx targets your spine and keeps it straight and in a balanced position. It maintains the natural curve of your lower back. It keeps your respiratory rate normal as you take deep breaths while stretching yourself. Lying sphinx is different from sphinx.

To perform a lying sphinx:

  • Sit while keeping your back straight and legs straight. Your foot must be 7 to 13 inches apart.
  • Turn your one foot in such a position that it appears parallel to the ground.
  • Sitting in the same position, turn and bring your both hands to the left side.
  • Breathe in and out and stretch while keeping your spine straight.
  • Repeat the same process on your other side.
Number of reps Time Rest
10 reps on each side 10 minutes 1 min

5.6. Bird Dog

Apart from strengthening, bird dog is also responsible for stabilizing your spine. It is also an effective stretch for people who suffer from lower back pain. It targets core muscles including the lower back and glutes. It strengthens the posterior chain allowing you to maintain and improve your overall fitness.

To perform bird dog:

  • Start on your hands and knees. Make sure your wrists are directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  • Engage your core muscles by pulling your belly in towards your spine.
  • Simultaneously extend your right arm straight out in front of you and your left leg straight behind your back.
  • Keep your hips and neck at level with your spine.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds and then return to the initial position.
  • Repeat the same stretch with the other leg, extending the left arm and right leg.
  • Take deep breaths during the stretch. It will help produce more myoglobin for your muscles.
Number of reps Time Rest
10-15 reps on each arm & leg 5 minutes 1 min

5.7. Posterior Chain Stretch

It improves flexibility in your posterior chain muscles. Apart from that your posture also becomes better. This stretch targets the muscles along the back of your body and brings coordination between them. They work together with better efficiency.

To perform posterior chain stretch:

  • Lay down on a floor with your knees bent and your feet on a wall.
  • Your hips must touch the wall.
  • Your knees and heels must be together.
  • Raise your legs a little bit while only touching your heels on the wall.
  • Retain the position for at least 1 minute.
Number of reps Number of Sets Time Rest
10-12 reps on each arm & leg 2-3 sets 10 minutes 1 min

5.8. Half Saddle Pose

Half saddle pose stretches your hips and thighs. It also alleviates lower back pain. This exercise exerts great pressure on your back. It is a rather difficult stretch when compared to others. It is because most people can not lower their upper body all the way to the ground. You can use a folded blanket to help you support the weight.

To perform half saddle posture:

  • Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.
  • Bend your left leg and bring your left foot towards your left hip, keeping your left knee on the ground.
  • Lower your upper body slowly towards the ground and your arms must be extended to your sides.
  • Place your right hand on the ground behind you and gently lower your right elbow to the ground.
  • Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, slowly lower your upper body towards the ground.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds.
  • Slowly return to your initial position.
  • Repeat the pose on the other side, bending your right leg and bringing your right foot towards your right hip.
  • This stretch might be difficult for beginners but you will adapt it as your body becomes accustomed to it.
Number of reps Number of Sets Time Rest
8 reps 3 sets 5 minutes in the beginning, later on 10-15 minutes 2 min

5.9. Supine Hamstring Stretch

It targets your hamstrings, located at the back of your thighs. Hamstrings are notorious for being extremely tight and many people suffer from tight hamstrings. Supine hamstring stretch stretches your hamstrings and induces flexibility in them.

To perform a supine hamstring stretch:

  • Lay down on a flat surface and keep your legs and arms extended on the floor.
  • Bend one knee and bring it towards your chest.
  • Grab the back of the thigh with both hands.
  • Straighten your leg while keeping the knee slightly bent.
  • Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Also move the foot as you stretch your leg.
  • You can also use a rope or resistance band for a more smooth stretch.
Number of reps Number of Sets Time Rest
8 reps on each leg 3-4 sets on each leg 5 minutes for each leg 1 min

5.10. Balasana (child pose)

Balasana known as child pose or child’s resting pose is actually a yoga pose. It relaxes your hips, spine, shoulder, and neck. It also enhances blood circulation to your head. Relieving stress and tension is also one of the perks of the child pose.

To perform child pose:

  • Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
  • Lower your hips towards your heels and extend your arms out in front of you.
  • You can either keep your arms extended or rest them on your sides.
  • Rest your forehead on the ground. You can also rest your chin on the ground if you are comfortable doing so.
  • Relax your shoulders and breathe deeply. Hold the pose for as long as you like, typically for 30 seconds to a few minutes.
Number of reps Number of Sets Time Rest
10 reps 3 sets 5 min 30 sec

6. Importance of Posterior Chain Stretches

Importance of Posterior Chain Stretches

  • Posterior chain exercises are important for proper blood circulation.
  • An efficient blood circulatory system ensures that your cardiovascular fitness is great.
  • As mentioned earlier, posterior chain muscles work as one unit. Increasing flexibility in those muscles allows your body to perform tasks at a faster pace.
  • Greater flexibility means that you will not suffer from injuries. Most people complain about their aching and strained muscles. Posterior chain stretches make sure that your muscles remain healthy.
  • As an athlete, your performance will boost. You will keep yourself safe and sound. As a non-athlete, your fitness levels will rise.
  • Even at an older age, you will not get tired easily.
  • You can easily pull and extend your arms and legs which means you have developed a great range of motion.
  • There is a less chance that you will suffer from arthritis if you keep on doing posterior chain stretches.

7. FAQs

7.1. Can Posterior Chain Stretches Be Done At Home?

Posterior chain stretches can easily be done at home. There is very minimal equipment required for these stretches.

7.2. What Type of Attire is Important for Stretches?

You can wear either gym attire for the stretches such as shorts and shirts or even go for any simple stretchable trousers.

7.3. How Does Diet Affect Your Muscles?

Diet plays a significant role in your muscles. It provides nutrients that help your muscles to gain strength and mass.

8. Takeaways

Posterior chain stretches are responsible for curing your back as well as coordinating all your posterior muscles. The posterior chain stretches work best for all age groups. They include standing hamstring stretch, seated pigeon pose, sumo squat, bird dog, and lying sphinx. These various stretches are important for your muscles at the back. Improved body posture and blood circulation are the benefits of posterior chain stretches.

"This article is originally posted on borntough.com, and borntough.com own the sole copyright on this article. If you read this article outside borntough.com, please report this website to the authority because they have stolen the content from borntough.com and violated borntough copyright"
Previous post
Next post