T Nation

GHR's vs natural GHRs


#1

Alright, i was reading the eight keys and a few other post on here that said natural GHRs (where you have someone hold your feet or have that thing on the latpulldown tower hold your feet) are not even ghrs but are just manual hamstring curls. I've yet to use a GHR bench (would love to but dont have the cash and my school gym doesnt have one) it looks to me like its the same movement just on a fancy machine, i realize this isnt the case but could someone explain to me what the diffrence in the movements are?


#2

there are going to be lots of people more qualified than me but....

loading is different...

and more importantly the use of the calves is GREATLY enhanced in the real thing... you can push your legs/toes into the toe pad which is something that Tate and simmons seem to really stress and could possibly alter/enhance recruitment ....


#3

When you do a GHR on a GHR you are supported by the thigh pad. This acts as a pivot point by keeping your back rounded over the pad so you can flex at the hip and subsequently extend it on the concentric part. This the major difference. With the manual GHR you are only really working your hamstrings in knee flexion not the more important hip extension. Also you have no toe plate to push against which further activates the hips extension part of the hamstrings.


#4

If you keep your back straight and not fold over at the waist during natural GHRs, then you are indeed performing a hip extension. You can easily perform natural GHRs using an improvised toe plate. The pushing of the toes into the toe plate is what separates the knee flexion from hip extension. Push your toes into an object and you activate the hip muscles. You should have more pressure on your toes, as opposed to behind your ankles, when performing the exercise. The lack of pushing of the toes is the determining factor that makes most natural GHRs incorrect. Use an improvised toe plate, and it is the same movement. Also keep in mind, that a natural hamstring curl is much more difficult than a GHR because the hip musculature is taken out of the exercise.


#5

As the other posters have mentioned there are differences. I feel that they are both good exercises that can be cycled effectively in your assistance exercise selection. That said, I do most of my work on the GHR machine doing different schemes, but throw in natural GHRs for a different stimulas every once in awhile.


#6

Loopfitt
How can you be performing hip extension if you're hip is already extended?
The hamstrings will have to work isometrically to keep the back straight but there is no flexion or extension at the hip joint if you keep a straight back.


#7

"When you do a GHR on a GHR you are supported by the thigh pad. This acts as a pivot point by keeping your back rounded over the pad so you can flex at the hip and subsequently extend it on the concentric part."

Creed the thing is though that Tate says NOT to flex at the hip and still says they are different....

"With the manual GHR you are only really working your hamstrings in knee flexion not the more important hip extension."

Hmmm... they are still acting to extend the hip... if they didnt you would fall into flexion... its an isometric movement with respect to the hip??? and concentric/eccentric at the knee ???

"Also you have no toe plate to push against which further activates the hips extension part of the hamstrings."

Yeah... Loop made a good point about adjusting a NGHR such that it has that function... Adam Archulettas video clip on the net somewhere shows a AA doing a NGHR with proper toe/foot activation...


#8

Holding the back straight while fighting off gravity or the pull of a stretchband is the hip extension part. The pivot point is the knee as opposed to the waist, this is what makes it harder than a regular back extension. You are still using the muscles of the hip and lumbar structures if performed as I described it. It may look like knee flexion, but it is not.


#9

Understand what you are saying but if the hip joint angle does not change then there there can be no extension or flexion at that joint. I agree that the muscles around that joint have to fight gravity but this is an isometric contraction and will only strengthen in the ROM (give or take 30 degrees). This makes it inferior to the dynamic contraction of the proper GHR.


#10

Maybe I am misunderstanding Dave Tates description of the GHR's but he distinctly says to round the back.


#11

Loop

this part of your post confuses me

"It may look like knee flexion, but it is not."

Knee flexion DEFINETLY occurs during a NGHR, and GHR as done by westside...


#12

Creed i dont know who you are talking to me or loopfit but...

Dave does say to round the back... but i dont think he is referring to the lowerback...

"To do a GHR, you'll start with your body in a horizontal position on the bench with your toes pushed into the toe plate. Your knees will be set two inches behind the pad and your back will be rounded with your chin tucked. You then push your toes into the pad and curl your body up with your hamstrings while keeping your back rounded. As you approach the top position, squeeze your glutes to finish in a vertical position."

The whole starting at horizontal thing indicates to me that you start with the hips extended...

hes said more clearly somewhere else too (i think... i hope:) )... unfortunately its past my bedtime and im too tired to look for it... ill have a look tomorrow if i have time though...


#13

hmmm
yes I can see what you mean about the horizontal starting position. Maybe he means flat back as opposed to arched back when he says rounded. I'm sure the term rounded doesn't actually mean rounded in Westside parlance.


#14

Chris Aus is correct. When doing GHR, even on a GHR bench, you do not go all the way down and fold at the waist as in a back extension. You keep the hips isolated in extension the entire time. You keep the upper back rounded because it keeps more bodyweight forward when coming up, this obviously makes it harder. And yes, there is knee flexion involved but the brunt of the work is probably around 50/50 between knee flexion and hip extension. You have to try it to understand. When I do it, I get a great stimulation of the glute-ham tie in and the hips and the lower back. Leg curls(knee flexion) do not give you this same stimulation.


#15

Does anybody have a video clip of somebody performing a glute-ham raise on the machine. The only clips i've seen have been of people doing the so called "natural" version.