T Nation

GHR - Spawn of Satan

I’ve never done these before this morning. Are they supposed to suck this badly? I’m going to have trouble using the john tomorrow morning, I can feel the pain already.

But a question re: form - why is it called a “glute” ham raise? I didn’t feel glutes contributing at all. So am I doing it wrong?

You should be feeling it where the hamstring attaches into the buttocks, along with at the knee.

Hamstring curl only works the knee attachment point, and that’s why glute-ham raises are generally considered a superior exercise.

For me to really feel it in my glutes, I have to think of actively locking out my hips, like on the deadlift.

Were you on a machine or doing natural ones?

Natural. I seriously only felt it at the knee, but that could be because I do a lot of deadlift and GM variations, and rarely (except lately due to shoulder probs) hamstring curls.

No glute feeling at all, but looking at those machines I guess they must work the glutes more?

Awesome exercise though, will definitely add this one in regularly. I couldn’t do them before but the gym has just added a rail along one wall that is about the right height to lock my feet under.

Oh I now what you mean, these are a bitch the only thing I don’t like about it is I cramp on it very easily might be because of height but its one of the few things that can give me a cramp in my hamstring-another is heavy benching- sometimes in my calves also which is odd.

We have a very nice one at my college gym, but an average one at the commercial gym these combined with romanian deadlifts will make it very unpleasant to walk.

Yeah, I started to cramp on one of my early sets, right down into my calf. I cramp badly on the hamstring curl, which is one of the (several) reasons I don’t do them too often.

What’s your foot position during GHR/leg curls?

Try pulling your toes towards your shin (dorsiflexion) - that should help eliminate calf cramps.

Funny you should mention that about the toes.

This morning I tried them again, with my feet locked under a rail. I noticed I was pushing my toes back, but the wall was too far behind so I sat a plate against the wall so I had something to push against.

Not only could I complete 10 full ROM reps (small band assisted), but I felt it more in my upper hammies, glutes and calves - and no cramping feeling at all.

The gym owner tells me he’s moving the rail - bummer. I might rig something up at home.

[quote]DragnCarry wrote:
Funny you should mention that about the toes.

This morning I tried them again, with my feet locked under a rail. I noticed I was pushing my toes back, but the wall was too far behind so I sat a plate against the wall so I had something to push against.

Not only could I complete 10 full ROM reps (small band assisted), but I felt it more in my upper hammies, glutes and calves - and no cramping feeling at all.

The gym owner tells me he’s moving the rail - bummer. I might rig something up at home.[/quote]

Home doorway chinup bar setup low to the ground wrapped in a towell. A towel/cushion to kneel on.

Could set up another doorway chinup bar a little higher up to use as an anchor point for bands.

Natural GHR are a hell of a lot harder then those performed on the specialised rigs in my experience.

EDIT: Also…

  • you could skip the second chin up bar and simply use an explosive pushup to get yourself back up.

e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nAbU1UxnXw

  • if you still want to train in the gym - try doing them on the lat pulldown machine… and hey presto you have an instant variable assistance method too.

e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXOBHtZrxAk

When using this method I really exagerate the pulling into the back of the neck and actively locking out the hips.

When I look around youtube it seems a lot of stuff is called GHR even though it is really hamstring raises.

GHR:
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Hamstrings/BBGluteHamRaise.html

Hamstring raises:
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Hamstrings/BBHamstringRaise.html

Am I wrong?

[quote]benmoore wrote:

Home doorway chinup bar setup low to the ground wrapped in a towell. A towel/cushion to kneel on.[/quote]

Great idea, thanks!

I tried them on the two lat pulldown machines at the gym once before, no go unfortunately. The seats are too short to support my knees.

I once wrote an email to the gym suggesting that a Reverse Hyper would be a great investment, explaining it’s use for back rehab etc and I got a really snippy reply. I should suggest a GHR and see what sort of genius reply I get about that.

[quote]cookie_sq wrote:
When I look around youtube it seems a lot of stuff is called GHR even though it is really hamstring raises.

Am I wrong?[/quote]

You’re not wrong according to exrx! Honestly, I think Hamstring Raise is a much better description for the “natural GHR” as I really don’t feel it in my glutes at all.

It really is better to push your toes down (plantar flexion) while you do them. It can help produce a stronger contraction in the hamstrings.

[quote]Ryan P. McCarter wrote:
It really is better to push your toes down (plantar flexion) while you do them. It can help produce a stronger contraction in the hamstrings.[/quote]

Please explain.

Well, I’ve forgotten where I read that. I’ve looked and looked for it, but can’t find it. So, take that with a grain of salt.

It feels about right, it’s definitely a better exercise if you have something to push your toes against.

I’m surprised how much it works calves, too, when you do it with something behind your feet.

I guess it has something to do with the fact your gastrocnemius does assist in flexing the knee.

GHR’s are BRUTAL. They do wonders for you tho… keep at them.

when your toes are dorsiflexed your gastrocnemius are more involved than when there pointed

GHRs do wonders, a great exercise.
amazing how many buff looking guys can’t do them.
important to stay rigid thru out the movement and under control, squeeze the butt cheeks at top.

I could usually do 3/4 of the stack on the leg curl machine at the gym for a solid 6 reps. Recently I tried the “natural GHR” and couldn’t even do a full rep, and could only hold the negative for about 1/2 the way down. Did about 4-5 sets of max reps, 2 days later I was walking around like Ed Norton after his prison rape in american history X.