Dr. Asher Henry on How to Assess and Prevent Posterior Chain Injuries

“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!

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Thank you Elemental Labs!

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