Side to Side: A Posterior Chain Workout

Dancers are notorious for having underdeveloped glutes and hamstrings. But studies have shown that a strong posterior chain can build power – hello explosive jumps and controlled landings! Additionally, cross-training with a posterior chain workout can reduce the risk of injury.

That’s why we made this week’s Workout Wednesday session target your posterior chain to get that power building! 

So, are you ready to blast those glutes and hammies with this posterior chain workout?

Great. Let’s gooooo!

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift 3 x 10

The Romanian Deadlift, a variation on a proper dead lift,  specifically targets the hamstrings and glutes making it an exceptional place to start our posterior chain workout. 

The biggest difference between RDLs and traditional dead lifts is the starting position. Conventional deadlifts require you to pull the weight from the floor upward. This requires a deeper knee bend which recruits more of the quads. For the Romanian dead lift you’ll begin standing with the weight in hand. 

Once you’re set with your feet hip width apart and dumbbells in hand brace your core. Slowly hinging from your hip joint, knees soft, lower the weight toward the floor. Keep the weight close to your body (as if to skim the shins). Press through the bottoms of your feel and push your hips forward to return to standing. 

Repeat for ten reps. Complete three sets. 

**Rest between sets: 2-4 min**

Looking for a form check? Give this video a watch. 


Superset 1

The next four exercises in our posterior chain workout will be done in supersets. To perform a super set, simply perform the first round of exercise 1, then immediately move on to exercise 2 before taking your rest period. After your rest, return to exercise one. 

Dumbbell Curtsy Lunge 3 x 8 each leg

For the dumbbell curtsey lunge grab a pair of medium weight dumbbells. Stand with feet hip width apart, cross one leg behind the other and lunge into a curtsy without dropping your chest. Keeping your chest upright and your core engaged, push through your front heel to return to standing. 

Repeat for eight reps on each side. 

**Immediately move on to neutral-grip pull-ups.**

Neutral-Grip Pull-Up 3 x AMRAP

Neutral-grip pull-ups are an excellent way to build upper body and core strength. Should you need to modify, feel free to use a band or pull-up machine so you can perform multiple reps with good form. 

Set yourself up so your arms are directly in front of you, like a boxer, and grab the bars so your palms are facing one another. Pull your abs back and up toward your spine, engage your lats and pull up. 

Perform as many reps as possible with good form. Then take your rest period. After your rest, return to curtsey lunges. 

**Rest between sets: 2-3 min**


Superset 2

Here we are, the final superset of our posterior chain workout! Grab a sip of water, and buckle up, we’re going to finish strong today!

Foot-Elevated Single-Leg Glute Bridge 3 x 20 each leg

To set this up, lay perpendicular to a box or bench on the floor. Place one of your feet on the bench and lift the other leg up so it’s at a 90-degree angle to your hip. 

Then, squeezing your glutes and bracing your core,  press into the foot on the bench and lift your hips up to the ceiling. Be sure not to arch your back! Then, slowly lower the hips back to the ground. 

Repeat for twenty reps on each side. 

**Immediately move into side planks**

Side Plank 3 x 30sec per side 

For the side plank, lay on your side, propped up with your elbow directly underneath your shoulder joint. Make sure your hips are stacked, then lift your hips up so you are balanced on the side of your foot and your elbow.  If this is too intense, you may perform this balancing on the side of your knees instead. To up the intensity, reach the arm up toward the ceiling. 

No matter what, make sure your hips and shoulders remain stacked. Hold for 30 seconds on each side. Repeat for three sets. 

**Rest between sets: 1-2 min**

PHEW! How you feeling? This posterior chain workout was sure to get your whole body involved. If you like this workout tune into the Dancers Who Lift Blog every Wednesday for a new workout designed with dancers in mind. 

Want something more consistent? Check out Body Mechanics. A full time personal training program complete with nutrition and fitness education to take your cross training from good to great. 

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