Perfect Your Posterior!
I am not referring to your bottom (well not only your bottom), I am referring to your posterior chain. The extensor complex – essentially the muscles etc that run down the entire back of your body. I have a few questions for you.
Do you get a dull burning in the middle of your back by your shoulder blades?
Do you get a dull ache in your lower back, particularly when you lay down?
If not great, lets maintain that! If yes, this CAN be avoided – it is NOT normal (in a functional and well balanced body)!
So we sit at our desks, in our car, on the sofa, and for us equestrians on the horse too. The posterior chain is neglected and then when we decide we want to get beach ready, its all about those guns, abs and quads – the mirror muscles. Poor posterior chain, no wonder it’s weak and droopy.
Riders are always saying to me ‘ I am strong I can carry hay bales and feed bags’ and you get them to do a scapular stability exercise with 2lbs and its all over! We need to go back to basics, to functional exercises! I have said it in every article I have written and this is no different! It is not always about performing the best RIGHT NOW, its off-setting future injury and maintaining longevity in the saddle too.
As riders we push wheelbarrows, muck out stalls and use the front of our bodies in this flexed ‘seated’ position, the chest is tight, the hip flexors are tight and we curl over like one of those red fish things you get out of a cracker! Riders, you need to work on your Rider MOT, get a tennis ball and or a foam roller and loosen up the front of your body and strengthen up the back! You can see a video link for that here
I will focus on the glutes in this piece. Everyone wants a nice butt, I want you to have a functional one 😉 When your glutes become inhibited they stop functioning properly, your lower back and hamstring take over the work of the glute and they get over worked. This lends the IlioTibial (IT band) (along the side of your thigh) to get tight (this often presents as knee pain) you might get a sore tensia fascia (TFL) along the front of your lower leg, and the piriformis takes on added load. This leads to lower back, hip, knee and ankle and foot problems. If this is sounding like a fog-horn in your ear, then great, lets get to work! Below I have listed a few key exercises that you could incorporate to activate your posterior chain including your back and glutes.
Here’s a few videos of exercises you could incorporate to ensure your posterior chain is getting some attention. Of course, the reps, sets, and progression of exercises that are suitable for you will depend on your individual needs. Contact me for more information about bespoke programming for riders to have a programme put designed just for you!
Glute Hamstring Bridge
Reverse Lunge with Raise
Of course these are just a few of many examples so please comment below with any questions that you might have!