“Back Wins The Show” – Jay Cutler, Professional Bodybuilder

I am a bro at heart. I grew up on bodybuilding the Jay Cutler vs. Ronnie Coleman way during my young and impressionable years. Prior to that, I was a young kid watching Arnold Schwarzenegger in everything from Predator to the Terminator. You name it, if Arnold was in it, I watched it.

The point I am driving at is I was always amazed by how these guys looked. They were larger than life to a kid like me. Now I know we all love the “show muscles” (chest, abs, and jacked arms), and Jay, Ronnie, and Arnold all had them. However, they also had some of the most amazing “go muscles”. Yes, you read that right. I said go muscles. These are literally the muscles that help you move faster through life – your backside, a.k.a. your posterior chain. Not to mention having a strong, defined back does wonders for how your physique looks - a nice added bonus to say the least.

Your backside is the driving force behind the athlete in you, literally. I would argue that your posterior chain is the biggest influence on your ability to move your body through space. Meaning, your backside is the prime mover, pushing you forward through life when you walk, jog, skip, shuffle, and sprint.

That alone should be a good enough reason to train your backside, and train it often. To break it down into simple stupid terms, when I say posterior chain I am talking about your calves, hamstrings, glutes, and back.

If you want to get your science on, here are the textbook terms –

Main functions and muscles include:

  • Multifidus (spine support)
  • Erector Spinae (back and spinal extension)
  • Gluteal Muscles (hip extensors, femoral rotation)
  • Hamstring Muscles (hip extension, knee flexion)
  • Gastrocnemius or Calf (plantar flexes ankle, knee flexion)
  • External Obliques (back and spine support, in tandem with anterior core)

 

Remember this phrase next time you guys are designing a training program or going into your training sessions. It’s the big muscles we can’t see that make us the athletes we are – back, hamstrings, glutes.

Often times we get so obsessed with what we can readily see in the mirror (arms, chest, shoulders, legs), we end up neglecting our backside. For the average couch-to-athlete trainee, a good rule of thumb would be to train your posterior chain at a ratio of 2:1 from your anterior. For example, for every set of bench you do you are hitting two sets of deadlifts. This ensures you are giving your backside the much-needed love it deserves.

So, what are the best exercises to work your backside? Below are just a few of my favorites. If you want to get more ideas and see them in live action, jump over to Olympian Labs YouTube by clicking here and check them out. And if you want even more, click over to the Jeremy Scott Fitness YouTube channel. We are adding videos weekly so there are always new fun ideas popping up for you guys to check out.

1. Sprinting

2. Hip Thrusts –Glute Bridges

3. Deadlifts

4. KB Swings

5. Zercher Squats

6. Goblet Loaded Split Squats

7. Pull-ups – TRX Row Variations

8. Sled Pushes

These are just a few of my favorite exercises that offer the best bang for your buck when training your backside. If nothing else, by training your backside properly you will become stronger, feel better, and look the part of an athlete. As Jay Cutler put it so simply years ago, “Back wins the show.”

Enjoy and have fun with these the next time you train.

Until next time eat well, train hard & be nice to people. 

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