T Nation

Glute Ham Raise

People say that stiff legged deadlifts, good mornings, and glute ham raises are better exercises than the leg curls for hamstrings, but how are glute ham raises better than the leg curls if they do the exact same motion in the exercises?

Dude, just try the exercise. Then ask questions if you can manage to crawl to your computer.

because glute ham raises include hip extension and leg flexion

Dude, comparing the glute/ham raise to the leg curl is like comparing the pull up to the lat pull down. Just try it and you’ll see.

I’m not sure if I’m answering correctly… but in a GHR, the load is moving three dimensionally in space. Whereas in a leg curl, you’re just sliding the load along a set path. As dylan says, it’s like a comparing a latpull and chin.

There are two movements associated with ‘natural glute ham raise’ (i.e. as done on a lat pulldown bench) that are commonly confused:

1-The reverse hamstring curl: In this movement your hip is completely extended (you squeeze your bum all the way in!!) and all movement is about the knee. This is the exact same movement as a leg curl except instead of the lower leg moving about the knee and the rest of the body immobile; the rest of the body moves about the knee and the lower leg is immobile. The key difference is in the loading. Because your bodyweight is the load, as your body becomes more perpendicular with gravity… the load on your hammies increases, feeling like your hams are going to tear right out!!! The load increases isometrically on the spinal erectors and glutes as you go down too. I hold a rubber ‘bodybar’ (one of the only good uses for this thing!) against the floor with both hands to spot myself. A machine hamstring curl has a more consistent load throughtout the movement though ‘cams’ can vary it some, and the load on the rest of the body is virtually non-existent.

2-The manual GHR: I believe this is an attempt to mimic a true GHR by stopping the knee flexion short while the rest of the movement is performed about the hip. Don’t quote me on this as I haven’t bothered trying this myself… I use ball and the ledge under a gym mirror for my GHR imitation, works really well!!!

Read up on some westside. To do a REAL GHR you need the GHR bench so you’re not to doing a reverse leg curl.
Three of the hamstring muscles cross the hip joint to assist in hip extension so GHRs work the hams in a complete practical and natural manner.
http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/Hamstrings.html
http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Hamstrings/BBGluteHamRaise.html
http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/frames.asp

What goatninja said. You can find an alternative if you get creative.

I do GHRs over my old boxing bag, which works pretty well because its stuffed pretty tight and doesn’t sag.

I then just plant my feet against a wall, and have someone hold my feet so i get great calf use as well. (as opposed to only one part of your foot being pressed against something).

Here is your reason: The biceps femoris short head only crosses the knee.The rest of the hamstring musculature (semitendonosis,semimembranosis,biceps femoris long head) crosses the knee and the hip (they are biarticular.)GHG raises,deadlifts,goodmornings and the like activate the knee and the hip as a synergy,they way that they are designed to fuction.Just check out an anatomy text.The pull up vs a pulldown is a closed chain vs open chain arguement.Equally valid but not all there is to it.Now you have 2 reasons…peace,z

There are many different ways to do a Glute-Ham raise and to creatively make an affordable alternative to an expensive machine. Here is one option which can be simply accomodated by attaching a wood beam to a wall -

Let me know if I can help.

In faith,

Coach Davies

Goatninja explained it perfectly…and not only is the load much higher in a GHR, but the resistance lever is also much longer than in a leg curl…simple physics…these two factors make it that much more challenging…For myself, I barely can do them, my hammies cramp up like crazy…oh well :frowning:

One of my old strength coaches was a big advocate of the GHR, but, my school didnt have the right machine, go figure. Anyways, what we did was take a mat and kneel down on it, have a partner hold your ankles and lower yourself eccentrically as slowly as you can. At first you wont be able to do it that well and when you reach a certain point, but eventually you will get better and better at it where you can lower under control the whole time.

Reading above, I think I do reverse leg curls, using the lat pull down bench (hooking my ankles under the cross piece, and (keeping everything above my knees in a line) straightening my knees.

I don’t quite understand the difference. Can someone post more pictures of the exercise (Coach Davies’ pic looks to be the starting position). What are the middle and last positions?

Thanks

gosh…more and more pics. Hopefully this helps.

I hope this helps.

In faith,

Coach Davies

[quote]Coach Davies wrote:
There are many different ways to do a Glute-Ham raise and to creatively make an affordable alternative to an expensive machine. Here is one option which can be simply accomodated by attaching a wood beam to a wall - [/quote]

I like this! I work out at home and am contantly inventing ways to do exercises of expensive equipment. I have built a T-Bar Rows machine out of threaded pipe from a hardware store, and just recently a parallel dip station mounted to a wall from left over parts of my old deck! I figured I saved about $350 so far. The GHR was next on the list

The Coach Davies version is almost exactly what i was talking about earlier, only difference is with the ‘ledge’ over your feet, you can hit the hams better as you can pull up against it with your heels.