Having a posterior chain that receives the message to ‘turn-on’ is going to help us in the world of movement for many reasons. Apart from being a major contributor to uprightness and posture, it is also a contributor to lifting load off of our joints and creating internal force in your system. The posterior chain lifts us up, draws us back, and engages our muscles inward. Synergistically it works with the anterior chain to create a pliable structure capable of dynamic movements with optimal pliability in the tissue. This kind of posterior neurofascial activation will subsequently let the fascial chain in the front of your body (anterior chain) feel relaxed enough to expand, lengthen, and absorb load as well. And if the anterior chain works harmoniously with the back body, to create lift, length, and strength, then efficient optimal movement is the end result. Sadly, people will have a posterior chain locked in a position of spreading out or being locked tightly, and an anterior chain frozen long or frozen short.
If we can ‘turn on’ our posterior chain, the anterior body will lengthen and help to produce elasticity in the front body’s muscular system, and also take stress off of the joints. Since the anterior chain can get locked long (posterior chain usually then locks short), it can become difficult to re-pattern the posterior chain’s functionality because muscles get so tight and inelastic or un-pliable. And then again, the anterior chain can also get locked short, and posterior chain locked long, making it hard to teach the posterior chain the new format for moving. The question remains the same, how can we figure out a way to harmonize both sides? How can we create that drawing back effect while simultaneously creating a lifted up adaptation in the front body? To do so we have to figure out a consistent way to balance out the front and back.
Everyone’s posterior chain will fire differently based on relationship of pelvic cavity position relative to knee positioning (and if we go deeper we discuss head, diaphragm, ribcage, but for today we will not). There are also many theories that say posterior chain positioning can stem from emotional trauma, psychological states, and overall neurofascial ‘learned’ patterns throughout the day, to which I agree all three. Though psychology aside, if we can start by engaging with our anterior chains systemically and ‘cueing’ the posterior chain in a consistent way we will be able to better balance out the front and back bodies. If you can get anybody’s posterior chain to draw back and in, you will also be creating the possibility to open up the accessibility to the anterior body.
Check out the video above, try the movements yourself, and let me know your thoughts!