T Nation

Glute Ham Raises for Olympic Lifts

I’ve been debating the effectiveness of GHR’s, yes they are a great tool to make indestructable hams and help your deadlift, but how beneficial are they in terms of the Olympic lifts, and especially Sprinting. Some Sprint coaches say to never train the hamstring in flexion but it seems that the swing leg does have some knee flexion, are GHR’s effective for sprinting and explosive movements?

Use GHRs, Olympic lifters need more direct hamstring work. Hamstrings both extend the hips and flex the knee. While there is a bit of both in the Olympic lifts and their variations, you still need some knee flexion work in there (so no, just doing GM and RDL variation won’t be optimal).

Mike Burgener over at Mike’s Gym uses resistance band leg curls all the time. Greg Everett over at Catalyst Athletics prescribes GHRs in circuit fashion all the time. You should too.

Although they may be helpful, what are you current Snatch and CJ. If they are not particularly high, your time is better spent doing classical lifts and its variations instead of GHRs

GHR = strength in glutes + hamstrings

No disrespect but… Why are you questioning the effectiveness of GHR in a strength sport like OLifting? If you have access to GHR machine use IT!

Well, what about the effectiveness of glute ham raises for sprinters, does these teach the hamstrings to work improperly?

[quote]scotty41593 wrote:
Well, what about the effectiveness of glute ham raises for sprinters, does these teach the hamstrings to work improperly?[/quote]

If you are doing your sprint/technical work, you shouldn’t have to worry about improper teaching/habits.

If you are that the level of competition that you should even be worried about this issue, you should have a coach/trainer guiding you along the way.

Firstly, GHR is the most bad ass hamstring work you can do. Secondly, Even if GHR’s didn’t make your hamstrings and glutes faster and better able to extend hard against the bar, they at the very least make them BIGGER. A bigger muscle will ALWAYS yield more force due to a larger cross-sectional area. Unless you are in a constant battle to stay in a low as fuck weight class then i suggest anything you can do to activate more muscle and get those wheels kicking hard.

-chris

Makes me stronger for the first pull. I do them at the end of every other session. I’ve been doing them for the past 6-8 weeks or so.

Koing

[quote]Neospartan wrote:
GHR = strength in glutes + hamstrings

No disrespect but… Why are you questioning the effectiveness of GHR in a strength sport like OLifting? If you have access to GHR machine use IT!

[/quote]

Because weightlifting is all quads and technique roll eyes

[quote]Koing wrote:
Makes me stronger for the first pull. I do them at the end of every other session. I’ve been doing them for the past 6-8 weeks or so.

Koing[/quote]

Goog good. [rubs hands together maniacally]

Next step is to get some of yall bench pressing. My evil plan to convert everyone to powerlifting is beginning to work.

But on a serious note GHRs are great for injury prevention. I’d think that benefit would be pretty universal.

I’ll agree that they’re good for injury prevention, and general cross sectional size with the hamstrings, but I’d rather train my hamstrings with Good Mornings, Stiff Leg Deads, KB swings, and even Dimel Deadlifts, to engage my hamstrings properly, that alone will increase my sprinting performance and olympic/ explosive strength better than GLute Ham raises.

Adding on here - most lifters end up with a muscle imbalance that contributes to anterior pelvic tilt which is usually from inactive glutes and weak hammies.

The fix = GHR

Try it before you slam it - most can’t do it when they start, then they do it and wonder why their lifts skyrocket over old plateaus…

[quote]scotty41593 wrote:
I’ll agree that they’re good for injury prevention, and general cross sectional size with the hamstrings, but I’d rather train my hamstrings with Good Mornings, Stiff Leg Deads, KB swings, and even Dimel Deadlifts, to engage my hamstrings properly, that alone will increase my sprinting performance and olympic/ explosive strength better than GLute Ham raises.[/quote]

What does this even mean? Properly? What justifications do you have for this statement? I know several sprint coaches who swear by using GHR’s in their sprinters training cycles. If anything, because GHR are a closed kinetic chained exercise and the hip/knee mov’t pattern, it would be very beneficial for a sprinter to use them. If you want to use other exercises thats cool, but it seems you are speaking negatively about a superior exercise for posterior strength, power and kinetic chain development.

Here are a couple good links/discussions on GHR’s and also GHRs with sprinters;
http://robertsontrainingsystems.com/blog/Exercise+of+the+Week:+Glute-Ham+Raises/
http://drsquat.com/content/main/training-and-nutrition/ghr-sprinters

Quote from one of the discussions;

[quote]laujik wrote:

[quote]scotty41593 wrote:
I’ll agree that they’re good for injury prevention, and general cross sectional size with the hamstrings, but I’d rather train my hamstrings with Good Mornings, Stiff Leg Deads, KB swings, and even Dimel Deadlifts, to engage my hamstrings properly, that alone will increase my sprinting performance and olympic/ explosive strength better than GLute Ham raises.[/quote]

What does this even mean? Properly? What justifications do you have for this statement? I know several sprint coaches who swear by using GHR’s in their sprinters training cycles. If anything, because GHR are a closed kinetic chained exercise and the hip/knee mov’t pattern, it would be very beneficial for a sprinter to use them. If you want to use other exercises thats cool, but it seems you are speaking negatively about a superior exercise for posterior strength, power and kinetic chain development.

Here are a couple good links/discussions on GHR’s and also GHRs with sprinters;
http://robertsontrainingsystems.com/blog/Exercise+of+the+Week:+Glute-Ham+Raises/
http://drsquat.com/content/main/training-and-nutrition/ghr-sprinters

Quote from one of the discussions;

I agree with this. I makes far more sense to use GHR for hamstring recruitment in the context of sprinting because it recruits via the heel pull as opposed to the hip pull. Last time I checked knee drive and heel pull are what make great sprinters.

Also why the hell is this in the OL forum if the OP is focused on sprinting. Take it to the conditioning forum.

A better question might be:
why did the OP come on here, ask a question about GHRs, is given the same answer (they are good) by several different posters, and then conclude the opposite of what he has been told.

[quote]scotty41593 wrote:
I’ll agree that they’re good for injury prevention, and general cross sectional size with the hamstrings, but I’d rather train my hamstrings with Good Mornings, Stiff Leg Deads, KB swings, and even Dimel Deadlifts, to engage my hamstrings properly, that alone will increase my sprinting performance and olympic/ explosive strength better than GLute Ham raises.[/quote]

You’re right about training the hams with hip extension exercises for sprinting improvements. From personal experience no exercise fucked my hams up as much as GHRS (From a sprinting perspective).
About 5 years ago I started doing GHRs, within 2 weeks of starting the exercise I had the first ham pull of my life, what followed was a string of ham injuries that must have cost me 2 years of good training. Since cutting them out about 3 years ago I havn’t had a hamstring injury since. If you are doing any sort of sprint training I would advise you to STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM GHRs (and leg curls) and train your hams purely via hip extension exercises (All types of hypers, deadlifts, cable work etc). Charlie Fracncis never used knee flexion exercises with his athlets but prescribed hyperextension work and reverse leg presses as his auxilary exercises for the hams.
If you must do GHRs then I would advise you to cut out all running from your program and then cut out the GHRs when you start speed work again, however if you are a sprinter then this is risky and unpredictable.
Of course from a purely lifting perspective I’m sure they are a decent exercise.

Good Luck!

[quote]supa power wrote:
You’re right about training the hams with hip extension exercises for sprinting improvements. From personal experience no exercise fucked my hams up as much as GHRS (From a sprinting perspective).
About 5 years ago I started doing GHRs, within 2 weeks of starting the exercise I had the first ham pull of my life, what followed was a string of ham injuries that must have cost me 2 years of good training. Since cutting them out about 3 years ago I havn’t had a hamstring injury since. If you are doing any sort of sprint training I would advise you to STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM GHRs (and leg curls) and train your hams purely via hip extension exercises (All types of hypers, deadlifts, cable work etc). Charlie Fracncis never used knee flexion exercises with his athlets but prescribed hyperextension work and reverse leg presses as his auxilary exercises for the hams.
If you must do GHRs then I would advise you to cut out all running from your program and then cut out the GHRs when you start speed work again, however if you are a sprinter then this is risky and unpredictable.
Of course from a purely lifting perspective I’m sure they are a decent exercise.

Good Luck![/quote]

All you are saying is GHR’s did not work for you based on whatever genetic or bio-mechanical reasons applying specifically to you. In no way can you take one single event and “advise” for/against something. Everyone reacts different, so they will work for some and not for others.

Its great to give your opinion on the subject with past experience but unless you have more than 1 example, you can’t justify it. I train with all kinds of track athletes who use GHR’s and know several coaches who swear by them for their sprinters and actually only use them DURING cycles with major sprint training. If anything, GHRs have only helped athletes stay injury free when it comes to ham issues. Again, there will always be exception; such as yourself.

Just throwing that out there.

[quote]laujik wrote:

[quote]supa power wrote:
You’re right about training the hams with hip extension exercises for sprinting improvements. From personal experience no exercise fucked my hams up as much as GHRS (From a sprinting perspective).
About 5 years ago I started doing GHRs, within 2 weeks of starting the exercise I had the first ham pull of my life, what followed was a string of ham injuries that must have cost me 2 years of good training. Since cutting them out about 3 years ago I havn’t had a hamstring injury since. If you are doing any sort of sprint training I would advise you to STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM GHRs (and leg curls) and train your hams purely via hip extension exercises (All types of hypers, deadlifts, cable work etc). Charlie Fracncis never used knee flexion exercises with his athlets but prescribed hyperextension work and reverse leg presses as his auxilary exercises for the hams.
If you must do GHRs then I would advise you to cut out all running from your program and then cut out the GHRs when you start speed work again, however if you are a sprinter then this is risky and unpredictable.
Of course from a purely lifting perspective I’m sure they are a decent exercise.

Good Luck![/quote]

All you are saying is GHR’s did not work for you based on whatever genetic or bio-mechanical reasons applying specifically to you. In no way can you take one single event and “advise” for/against something. Everyone reacts different, so they will work for some and not for others.

Its great to give your opinion on the subject with past experience but unless you have more than 1 example, you can’t justify it. I train with all kinds of track athletes who use GHR’s and know several coaches who swear by them for their sprinters and actually only use them DURING cycles with major sprint training. If anything, GHRs have only helped athletes stay injury free when it comes to ham issues. Again, there will always be exception; such as yourself.

Just throwing that out there.

[/quote]

Just making the guy aware and to be cautious, I don’t want him to go through the same crap I had to put up with.
I’m very doubtfull about the exercise for sprinters, it’s usually strength coaches in powerlifting etc who will make assumptions that GHRs should be essential to all sprinters and will “bullet proof your hamstrings” however in the real world I don’t know of one succesfull track coach that uses it. I think the key to injury free powerfull hamstrings is to have them strong in hip extension and to ensure that the glutes are firing strongly.

[quote]supa power wrote:

[quote]laujik wrote:

[quote]supa power wrote:
You’re right about training the hams with hip extension exercises for sprinting improvements. From personal experience no exercise fucked my hams up as much as GHRS (From a sprinting perspective).
About 5 years ago I started doing GHRs, within 2 weeks of starting the exercise I had the first ham pull of my life, what followed was a string of ham injuries that must have cost me 2 years of good training. Since cutting them out about 3 years ago I havn’t had a hamstring injury since. If you are doing any sort of sprint training I would advise you to STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM GHRs (and leg curls) and train your hams purely via hip extension exercises (All types of hypers, deadlifts, cable work etc). Charlie Fracncis never used knee flexion exercises with his athlets but prescribed hyperextension work and reverse leg presses as his auxilary exercises for the hams.
If you must do GHRs then I would advise you to cut out all running from your program and then cut out the GHRs when you start speed work again, however if you are a sprinter then this is risky and unpredictable.
Of course from a purely lifting perspective I’m sure they are a decent exercise.

Good Luck![/quote]

All you are saying is GHR’s did not work for you based on whatever genetic or bio-mechanical reasons applying specifically to you. In no way can you take one single event and “advise” for/against something. Everyone reacts different, so they will work for some and not for others.

Its great to give your opinion on the subject with past experience but unless you have more than 1 example, you can’t justify it. I train with all kinds of track athletes who use GHR’s and know several coaches who swear by them for their sprinters and actually only use them DURING cycles with major sprint training. If anything, GHRs have only helped athletes stay injury free when it comes to ham issues. Again, there will always be exception; such as yourself.

Just throwing that out there.

[/quote]

Just making the guy aware and to be cautious, I don’t want him to go through the same crap I had to put up with.
I’m very doubtfull about the exercise for sprinters, it’s usually strength coaches in powerlifting etc who will make assumptions that GHRs should be essential to all sprinters and will “bullet proof your hamstrings” however in the real world I don’t know of one succesfull track coach that uses it. I think the key to injury free powerfull hamstrings is to have them strong in hip extension and to ensure that the glutes are firing strongly.
[/quote]

I agree, a balance view is necessary. I too pulled my hamstring multiple times (not really bad, but still) doing GHRs. However, the only time I pulled them was low rep, high weight. I personally just keep the sets to 3 x 12 or 5 x 10 to add some volume. This seems to strike a balance in my efforts.

Just my opinion.

[quote]honest_lifter wrote:

[quote]supa power wrote:

[quote]laujik wrote:

[quote]supa power wrote:
You’re right about training the hams with hip extension exercises for sprinting improvements. From personal experience no exercise fucked my hams up as much as GHRS (From a sprinting perspective).
About 5 years ago I started doing GHRs, within 2 weeks of starting the exercise I had the first ham pull of my life, what followed was a string of ham injuries that must have cost me 2 years of good training. Since cutting them out about 3 years ago I havn’t had a hamstring injury since. If you are doing any sort of sprint training I would advise you to STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM GHRs (and leg curls) and train your hams purely via hip extension exercises (All types of hypers, deadlifts, cable work etc). Charlie Fracncis never used knee flexion exercises with his athlets but prescribed hyperextension work and reverse leg presses as his auxilary exercises for the hams.
If you must do GHRs then I would advise you to cut out all running from your program and then cut out the GHRs when you start speed work again, however if you are a sprinter then this is risky and unpredictable.
Of course from a purely lifting perspective I’m sure they are a decent exercise.

Good Luck![/quote]

All you are saying is GHR’s did not work for you based on whatever genetic or bio-mechanical reasons applying specifically to you. In no way can you take one single event and “advise” for/against something. Everyone reacts different, so they will work for some and not for others.

Its great to give your opinion on the subject with past experience but unless you have more than 1 example, you can’t justify it. I train with all kinds of track athletes who use GHR’s and know several coaches who swear by them for their sprinters and actually only use them DURING cycles with major sprint training. If anything, GHRs have only helped athletes stay injury free when it comes to ham issues. Again, there will always be exception; such as yourself.

Just throwing that out there.

[/quote]

Just making the guy aware and to be cautious, I don’t want him to go through the same crap I had to put up with.
I’m very doubtfull about the exercise for sprinters, it’s usually strength coaches in powerlifting etc who will make assumptions that GHRs should be essential to all sprinters and will “bullet proof your hamstrings” however in the real world I don’t know of one succesfull track coach that uses it. I think the key to injury free powerfull hamstrings is to have them strong in hip extension and to ensure that the glutes are firing strongly.
[/quote]

I agree, a balance view is necessary. I too pulled my hamstring multiple times (not really bad, but still) doing GHRs. However, the only time I pulled them was low rep, high weight. I personally just keep the sets to 3 x 12 or 5 x 10 to add some volume. This seems to strike a balance in my efforts.

Just my opinion.[/quote]

I fully agree with you both and not arguing that they can hurt people (especially taking intensity and volume into account) but Im just suggesting to be more cautious about making bold statements. Just like any exercise, they can be beneficial and harmful for different individuals for different tasks.

Really we shouldn’t be debating this since we are all OLifting companions! Minor miscommunication and just wanted to clarify that while its good for him to get different views and opinions, its also important not to make it sound like no one should ever attempt them. Cheers.