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Why is it important?
Your posterior chain encompasses all of the muscles on the back side of the body and provides the foundations for a stable movement system, counteracting forces, sudden movements and physical demands on the body (Lane, Mayer 2016).
A healthy posterior chain also encourages optimal posture and motor control which, when combined with the previously mentioned, helps in the prevention of injuries and lower back pain. (Lane, Mayer 2016)
Although there is no “cure” for lower back pain as its origins vary (and are typically unknown), having a strong, stable and well-developed posterior chain can certainly help!
The single-leg row
For me, the single-leg row is the epitome of a great posterior chain exercise as it activates pretty much everything. The benefits of unilateral training are widely researched and documented, so it won’t come as a surprised that the single leg position for rows is favourable for injury prevention training purposes (De Men et al, 2011)
If you’ve read my previous posts then you’d know I’m all about bang for your buck, and these single-leg rows provide just that!
It is important to note that, whilst the single-leg row is a very effective exercise; this only stands true if you can complete them correctly. In essence it is an intermediate – advanced exercise that should be treated as a tool for progression.
- Start off feet hip width apart
- Keep your weight shifted in your heels, feet flat
- With a soft knee, hinge back on one leg, holding the kettlebell (or dumbbell) on the opposite side of the body (lowering the weight towards the floor as you do)
- When you reach parallel to the floor (or as close as you can to parallel), hold the end position
- Row the weight towards your hip, driving back through the elbow
Keep your hips in line
Avoid any rotation through the trunk
Maintain a proud chest throughout