T Nation

Heard Of Backchaining

Has anyone heard of backchaining? I read a blurb about it but it didn’t contain any real info.

It appeared that it was a method of breaking a movement down in phases. Starting with the end range and then slowly progressing backwards, increasing the range until the full movement was performed.

Example- For a throwing athlete (baseball) the coach would start by developing strength at the end range of the throw (last 15 degrees of movement) and perform a number of sets. Then working backwards each time increasing the range until eventually the entire range had been covered.

Its claimed to be a eastern bloc training method. What isn’t?

I’ve never heard of such a method, nor am I sure it makes sense.

Before I chalk it up to marketing, I wanted to see if anyone else was familiar and could perhaps shine some light on it.


 The Soviets taught the Olympic lifts in reverse order (from the top down).  For the snatch: overhead squat, hang snatch, hang below the knees, snatch from the floor.  It is generally a better way to learn movements because by the time you get to actually doing the full movement you've already mastered each of the subsequent phases.  Of course, it could be applied to anything and doesn't require a special coach (assuming you yourself can teach the technique properly).
 I'd say this is a marketing rehash of an old, proven method and you could do it yourself with a little work.

I broke a six-month bench plateau doing something similar. I hit my goal weight with four boards on week one, hit it with three boards on week two, two boards on week three, one board on week four, then I hit the PR on the fifth week. Plan on doing it again here soon.