“Posterior chain” may not be a term that’s familiar to you, but the muscles that make up that chain undoubtedly are. As a runner, keeping your posterior chain strong and functional is the key to healthy running.
As runners, we rely on muscle strength and coordinated movements to carry us through our miles. While you may not think about these muscles when they’re healthy, you become all too aware of them if you get injured.
The muscles that make up the posterior chain comprise the entire back side of your body. Runners will primarily focus on the lower portion of that chain, which includes the glutes (gluteus maximus, medius and minimus), the hamstrings (biceps femoris, semitendonosis, and semimembranosus), and the calves (gastrocnemius and soleus).
The muscle groups that this chain includes are also the areas that are a common source of injuries for runners. The entire posterior chain plays an essential role in gait dynamics and propelling you forward, and if they don’t function properly your running will suffer.
Dr. Asher Henry on the essential role of the posterior chain
This week’s podcast guest, Dr. Asher Henry, is a runner, coach, and physical therapist who loves to help runners get and stay healthy! She is also a certified strength and conditioning coach, and a 4 time All-American and top 5 finisher at the USA Trail Half Marathon and 10k Championships.
Asher was a co-coach with me on a recent Endeavorun Running retreat, and her knowledge, energy, and enthusiasm for what she does is contagious. We discuss all the essentials of the posterior chain and its importance in your running, including:
- Common issues associated with dysfunction in the posterior chain
- How taking care of your muscles allows your connective tissues to do their job
- Why drills and plyometrics can be great but you need to be strong enough to handle them
- Methods of testing and continued assessment to determine your problem areas
- Using isolated strength to improve weak areas before working larger muscle groups
- How to avoid building dysfunction on top of strength to aid injury prevention
Enjoy my conversation with Dr. Asher Henry!
Links & Resources from the Show:
- Follow Asher on Instagram and Twitter
- Visit Asher’s website
- Wall Sit with Calf Raise
- Single Leg Bridge Test
- Single Leg Hamstring Bridge Test
- Multi-Way Calf Stretch on Wall
- Ball Rolling
- Learn more about the link between mobility and weight training
- Let me help you prevent injuries!
Thank you Elemental Labs!
A big thanks to Elemental Labs for their support of this episode! They make electrolyte drinks for athletes and low-carb folks with no sugar, artificial ingredients, or colors. And you can get a free sampler pack of 4 flavors and 8 individual packets when you pay $5 in shipping.
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There’s now mounting evidence that higher sodium intake levels are not unhealthy – and athletes need substantially more than your typical sedentary person. Of course, ask your doctor if you’re worried. But for those athletes running outside in the heat, an electrolyte replacement makes a lot of sense. So check out Elemental Labs to try their new flavor or get a free sampler pack.
Thank You Athletic Greens!
Thank you to our sponsor, Athletic Greens! They are a health and wellness company that makes AG1. This is a category-leading greens mix that has 75 vitamins and minerals, prebiotics, probiotics, antioxidants, and adaptogens.
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For our listeners, they are offering a year’s worth of free Vitamin D and 5 free travel packs of AG1 with your first purchase. You can sign up for single shipment or for a monthly drop – the choice is yours. Check out Athletic Greens to redeem your offer today.