The Posterior Kinetic Chain
by Steven M. Ledbetter
2 minute read
Look in the mirror and what do you see? Pretty face, nice chest, good abs. You’re a sexy mofo! But wait a minute… your back always hurts, you couldn’t pick up a sack of flour off the floor, and your 40yd time would be measured in minutes. What? Why?! Because you got no bootie, lats or hammies. You’ve neglected your Posterior Kinetic Chain!
The PKC is all the muscles that you don’t see in the mirror, but account for most of the strength, speed, and sexy you can amass in the human body. The hamstrings, gluteus maximus, erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and trapezius muscles are the muscles that are abnormally large in humans (compared to other primates) because they keep us upright. They pull axially and horizontally and are responsible for almost everything we call “good posture.” Athletes obsess over these muscles because they are responsible for propelling us forward at maximum acceleration, lifting anything off the floor, or maintaining us on two feet when rude people do things like hit us really hard.
But what if you’re not interested in hitting people? Let’s say you just wanna look good naked. Well, who looks better naked than athletes? Better question, who looks better than pole vaulters? Pole vaulters do two things: sprint forward as fast as they can then pull horizontally as hard as they can. Combine that with having the highest possible ratio of strength-to-weight (that means low body fat), and you have the recipe for hottest possible body. And it’s all in the Posterior Kinetic Chain. Evidence? Yelena Isinbayeva. The best female pole vaulter in history and the only woman to crack 5 meters. Oh, and the best freaking backside in human history.
But maybe you’re not vain. Maybe you’re not worried about all the leering that your girlfriend does at football players, wrestlers, and mixed martial artists. Maybe you just want a healthy back and shoulders that never give out on you. Then you definitely want to train your PKC. The glutes and lats especially protect your erector spinae from over working as hip and trunk extensors. The better you are at moving from the hip and engaging your lats, the less strain you will place on your lower back and rotator cuffs.
Posterior Kinetic Chain Training
If you workout with Coach Stevo, then you will hit all the major movement patterns including horizontal and vertical pulling as well as hip thrusts. These target the PKC, but there are movements that you can do every day at home that will work on your glute activation and shoulder packing. I do Cook Hip Lifts, Jane Fondas, Side Clams, Quadruped Hip Extensions and Fire Hydrants every day before working out. You should too. I do scapular wall slides and kettlebell arm bars between sets. These activation techniques combined with old-fashioned chin-ups, hip bridges, rows, squats, and deadlifts (single leg, please) are your ticket to the speed, strength, and sexiness of a world-class athlete. Preferably a pole vaulter.