“What is your favorite accessory lifts for building your posterior chain?”

The posterior chain are the muscles located on the posterior or back of the body. These muscles include the glutes, hamstrings, calves, rear deltoids, traps, lats, and erectors. As a strength athlete, that has mainly focused on powerlifting, my obvious choice for working the posterior chain would be the deadlift.

I alternate deadlifting from the floor with partial deadlifts out of a power rack. I utilize a conventional stance. I start my full deadlift by concentrating on driving my feet through the floor, and then I powerfully squeeze the glutes to complete hip extension. When training partial deadlifts I try to set my back in the right position and then extend the hips to finish the lift.

I like to follow up my regular deadlift training with Romanian Deadlifts. I take these just below the knee and really fire the glutes to finish hip extension. I use several different squatting methods to train the legs and the glutes. I have never been overly strong in the legs, but I have been able to build a strong back and powerful hip extension to squat some decent weights.

I like to use box squats and front squats as assistance on my deadlift training night. The box squat is a great assistance lift for posterior chain work. I do a variety of rowing movements to train my upper back posterior chain. I mainly concentrate on bent over rows, lat pull downs and one-arm dumbbell rows.

During certain times of the year I will finish my workouts with a lot of strongman training. Heavy sandbag carries really work the posterior chain. I always feel these in the hammys and glutes. Sandbag carries are a great way to finish off a workout.

Hall of Fame Powerlifter Brad Gillingham

Brad Gillingham

Brad Gillingham is a Hall of Fame Powerlifter who is a 6-time IPF World Powerlifting Champion and has more than 30 IPF World Championship medals under his belt.  Brad is the co-owner of Jackals Gym where he coaches a variety of athletes.  Brad is also strength and conditioning coach for wrestling and volleyball at Southwest Minnesota State University.


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