Improve your posture and build functional strength with Chris Hemsworth's trainer's five-move workout

Prevent back injuries and ease pain with these simple dumbbell and kettlebell moves

Woman doing a kettlebell swing
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Few things pump the brakes on your fitness plans like a sudden injury. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to protect yourself from unwanted aches and pains. 

Even better, you only need a kettlebell and a couple of dumbbells to try these exercises for yourself. This makes them an ideal option for home workouts or for building functional strength when you're tight on time.

Kettlebells can be expensive, especially if you're after a few different weights to use. Fortunately, there are budget-friendly alternatives available, like this Tru Grit Adjustable Kettlebell which is currently just $29.99 at Best Buy

Tru Grit 20lb Adjustable Kettlebell | was $120, now $29 at Best Buy

Tru Grit 20lb Adjustable Kettlebell | was $120, <a href="" data-link-merchant=""" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">now $29 at Best Buy

Save $91 This adjustable weight has seven settings, ranging from 5lbs to 20lbs, increasing in 2.5lb increments. The weights plates slide out for quick load changes, the handle is wide enough for two-handed kettlebell swings, and the cast iron design is durable enough for exercising outside on hard surfaces. 

"Obviously people often want to train to look different, but there’s so much more to being functionally strong and living a better life through having better movement and better strength. That’s the endgame in a way," Centr app trainer Luke Zocchi explains. 

That's why he prescribes strengthening your posterior chain. These are the muscles that run along the back-side of your body, which play a starring role in supporting your back, improving your posture and protecting you from injury. 

To help you bolster your back-side, Zocchi has shared his five top posterior chain exercises, from kettlebell swings to squats. Helpfully, he also explains why each move is worth a place in your workout routine and provides demonstrations of each one in the video below. .

Watch Luke Zochhi's five-move posterior chain workout

Core strengthening exercises are often recommended to prevent back pain, and rightly so. Bolstering these mid-body muscles can take strain away from the base of your spine when carrying out everyday tasks like lifting a box off the floor. 

However, core workouts aren't the be-all and end-all of back injury prevention, Zocchi explains. 

"Everyone says, ‘You’ve got a bad back, you need to strengthen your core’, and that is true," he says. "But the posterior chain keeps your whole back aligned; it’s basically the primary core for your back.

"If you break it down, the human body is designed to recruit muscle, and for everything to work together. Being functional and strong in your core is a part of that whole process."

If you struggle with pain around your spine, you can do weight lifting for back pain to strengthen your back, core, and upper-legs to support your body safely and ease some of the discomfort. 

Or, if you want more of Zocchi's routines, he's a regular contributor to Chris Hemsworth's workout app. You'll need to take out a subscription, but as we found in our Centr review, it's one of the most accessible options for home workouts with minimal equipment. 

Harry Bullmore
Fitness Writer

Harry Bullmore is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering accessible home workouts, strength training session, and yoga routines. He joined the team from Hearst, where he reviewed products for Men's Health, Women's Health, and Runner's World. He is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, and splits his time between weightlifting, CrossFit, and gymnastics, which he does to build strength, boost his wellbeing, and have fun.

Harry is a NCTJ-qualified journalist, and has written for Vice, Learning Disability Today, and The Argus, where he was a crime, politics, and sports reporter for several UK regional and national newspapers.