An Exercise You Need To Try: Pull Throughs

Admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve put up any video related content, let alone any content that has had to do with specific exercises.  And while I think I’ve put up some really good content over the last several weeks (yes I just tooted my own horn), I know you all enjoy video demonstrations.

So before I get into the “what” and the “how”, let me give you the “why”.

“Posterior chain” is a term used to describe the musculature along the backside of the body.  Some people will tell you that it includes all the muscles from head to toe along the back of the body, others will say it’s just the glutes, hamstrings and low back, others will settle somewhere in the middle.  For the sake of this blog, were going to use “posterior chain” to describe the musculature of the spinal erectors, glutes and hamstrings.

For most individuals, the posterior chain is frighteningly weak.  This is the case for a variety of reasons, but in short, people are weak in these muscles because they don’t use them much.  And being weak through the posterior chain can cause A TON of problems-pain through the back, knees, hips, ankles and shoulders, let alone the fact that it makes you much more prone to injury.

So yeah…it’s pretty important to strengthen.

OK, here’s the “what” and the “how”.

While movements like the deadlift, deep squats are great for strengthening the posterior chain, often times a newer trainee lacks the mobility to squat deeply or get into a full deadlift position.

Enter the Pull Through.


-Keep the shoulder blades tucked down and tight.  Think of trying to put them in your back pockets.

-Begin the movement by pushing your hips back towards the weight stack.  Don’t focus on bending the knees, but let them naturally follow the hips.

-Let your torso drop towards the ground.  If you don’t the weight will pull you backwards.

-From the bottom position, think of driving your heels through the floor and your hips forward.

-Finish the move by squeezing your butt cheeks as tight as you can.

Yes, this move will get you some weird looks (did you see the girl on the leg curl machine), but chalk it up to people being ignorant and not knowing what’s good for them.  It can take some time to get the hang of, especially from a balance stand point, but it’s well worth the time it takes to master it.

Give it a shot and let me know what you think!


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