It is estimated that 8 out of 10 Americans will suffer from back pain during their lifetime. Back pain could result from a variety of causes and the majority of pain can be eased byby sitting or standing, walking or working out a little differently than you’re familiar with. The key to achieving more pain-free, comfortable movement may be to learn how to make a tiny adjustments to your posture, beginning at your hips.

Front Chain and Back Chain – Explained

The term “chain” refers to how muscles which are close to each other are activated in a series that is similar to the chain. A chain is made up of muscles in both sides in your physique.

“Back chain dominant describes a hip back posture. When your hips are back strong muscles in your back like your glutes hamstrings and erectors, are placed in a position that provides your body with stability and strength.” According to Brady Vernon, health fitness specialist at SamFit Corvallis.

There are many who tend to pull the muscles that are located on the front of their bodies to increase strength and stability. This can lead to persistent back discomfort.

“A forward hips posture, that is known by the term front chain dominant is a good way to shorten the backside muscles as well as extends the muscles on front side of the hips,” explained Vernon. “This position assigns responsibility for stability and strength to the front of the body, but less to the back side.”

How can you tell the two positions different? Practice the following hip postures:

  • Get up.
  • Place your hands behind your back and pull your hips back to the maximum extent you can. Are you able to feel the back muscles working when they get longer? Do you feel that your spine appear to be long? If yes, then that you are in an back chain dominance position.
  • Next, hold your elbows using both hands, as if you’re cross-legged, and extend the hips to as much as you can. Can you sense your upper muscles flexing as they grow? Do you notice that the lower part of your back feel tight? If yes, it means your back is resting in the front chain dominant position.

“Repeating these steps several times will aid in understanding the differences and allow you to make adjustments to ensure the body’s in the position to feel at its most optimal,” said Vernon.

Understanding the distinction is vital because back chain muscles are important since back chain muscles are strong as well as stability the front chain muscles cannot. The muscles of the front chain are not the best to provide spine stability and their constant activation can cause long-term back pain. Which direction your hips travel in response to force, may be the reason for your back is hurting.

“Back pain could be caused by poor position,” added Vernon. “People often think that posture corrections happen at the shoulder, but posture may originate from your hips. If your hips are pointing forward and the glutes are inactive the front part of your body will be stronger than the back side. This results in a more rounded forward posture.”

Moving your hips forward when walking, sitting, or working out can cause the appearance of a curled spine. The area at which the spine curves is an articulation point that can handle an incoming force, however, the spine isn’t the best choice for hinge joints. this could cause back pain that becomes worse over the course of the day.

The Chain is Dominating the Back

The most effective way to get rid of front chain dominance as well as the chronic back discomfort it causes is to correct your hip posture. It may seem too simple for you to believe, however the fact is that gravity does not stop so also your posture should not.

“How one handles gravity could be a source of relief or cause of discomfort. Simple actions like keeping your lower back, hips back, spine erect, and shoulders pulled back will make a significant impact in long periods of time” explained Vernon.

Check out Vernon’s video below, which includes suggestions and exercises to help you become back chain dominant. Also, adhere to these four rules:

  • Be aware of your hips’ posture all day long. If you stand to perform tasks such as washing dishes or brushing your teeth or making your meal, lean forward and pull your hips back. Make sure your hips don’t reach the counter.
  • If you are sitting, pick an angle that slants your shoulders back while rounding your shoulders back. It is beneficial to keep your arms supported by either your legs, or a table. Be careful not to lean back for prolonged periods of time because this can result in the back chain muscles relaxing and the spine being curved. Place your body on a flat surface to ease your back chains muscles.
  • When moving, bend forward to pull the hips back. A step that is too big to hit your heel on the ground could push your hips too far forward. Therefore, you should take steps in smaller increments that put less stress on your heel.
  • Do resistance training to your entire body in an back chain-dominated manner.

“What an individual does in their daily life determines their character in general, which includes the ability and suffering that follows,” said Vernon. “It can be done your life without back pain, however it might mean that you have to be more relaxed in your chairs and keep those hips back when walking. The power lies in your hands or, more specifically, your hips and you can start practicing now.”

Are you ready to achieve back your chain’s dominance? Want to learn more about exercises to aid in keeping your muscles healthy? Get in touch with SamFit’s staff at SamFit today.