Chains are definitely lesser discussed than other anatomical functions.
Understanding your Anterior & Posterior chains though will undoubtedly help your fitness, progression & performance whilst reducing your risk of injury and skeletal imbalance.
What are they?
The Anterior Chain:
This refers to the muscles on the front side of the body including:
The anterior chain plays a vital role in controlling forward movement, an essential in nearly all sports especially where direction changes are needed. Further to this your core muscles provide the foundation of all movement and power, an undeveloped or weak core will prevent you from training/progressing beyond a certain point as well as increasing the risk of falls.
The Posterior Chain:
This comprises of the muscles on the rear of the body, including:
– Rotator Cuff & Scapula Retractors
The Posterior Chain is responsible for holding us upright, without it we would flop forwards. Additionally they allow us to generate backwards force such as rowing and pulling.
How Can I Train My Chains:
Anterior Chain Exercises:
– Bench Press & Push Ups
– Planks, Sit Ups, Leg Raises
– Leg Extensions, Squats & Lunges
Posterior Chain Exercises:
– Cable Pull Throughs
– Hamstring Curls
– Rows, Lat Pull Down & Pull Ups
Training For Balance:
Whatever your goals are it remains important that you have a balanced training plan unless you are training to address an existing imbalance, eg. a front chain dominant physique.
We recommend for every Anterior exercise or workout you do that you then do a Posterior exercise or workout… You could split this in many ways, an easy way to do so is to simply have 2 workout days, #1 Anterior & #2 Posterior…you could then use a 3rd session to address any muscles missed (delts & calfs etc) or run a hybrid workout that contains key lifts from each chain.
Using large, compound movements as detailed above will also aid you in recruiting the most muscle fibres and secondary muscles such as the Biceps & Triceps.
A balanced training plan and physique will not only provide the best platform for fitness, progress & performance but will also minimise your risk of developing structural issues such as pelvic tilt & shoulder instability.
We hope that this is helpful, we’re happy to help you apply this if you simply give us a shout.