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Glute/Ham Raises -- Why?

I was wondering why glute/ham raises are such a popular excercise and so widely recommended.

It appears that if done “natural style” without a dedicated bench or even on a bench without a back extension first, they work primarily the knee flexion fuction of the hamstrings. And I thought, well I know, the hip extension function of the hamstrings is more important in most athletic endeavors.

Thanks
Collin

not sure if this is the answer you want but 9/10 athletes wil be very weak in their hams and low back and as you know this is perfect to develop that area. Yes with the new sloped hyperextension machines it does make it hard to do it…not sure if that helps

Doing Glute Ham Calf raises on a real GHR machine is different than ‘natural’ ghr’s.
It is not simply knee bent by hamstrings. It works the hammies at both ends, the glutes, calves - most of the posterior chain.
The increase in sprinting speed and squatting strength gained from regular use of GHR is noticable.

On a side note…it is very easy to do GHRs with incorrect form. Even on a GHR bench.

What’s the best way to do a GHR without the GHR bench?

Bump that. I work out at home where I have a rack and 2 benches (1 incline/decline). Is there any way for me to do GHRs with my setup?

DB

[quote]Mule359 wrote:
What’s the best way to do a GHR without the GHR bench?[/quote]

[quote]Mule359 wrote:
What’s the best way to do a GHR without the GHR bench?[/quote]

2 ways

  1. get in position on a flat bench and have a partner hold your feet
  2. adjust the pads on the lat pulldown machine so that it’s as tight as possible and do them there

[quote]CollinAshmore wrote:
I was wondering why glute/ham raises are such a popular excercise and so widely recommended.

It appears that if done “natural style” without a dedicated bench or even on a bench without a back extension first, they work primarily the knee flexion fuction of the hamstrings. And I thought, well I know, the hip extension function of the hamstrings is more important in most athletic endeavors.

Thanks
Collin[/quote]

Why don’t you try them and find out for yourself? Then the next day when you can’t walk, you can spend all day on the computer debating what part of the hami they affect.

[quote]timmwwaa wrote:

Why don’t you try them and find out for yourself? Then the next day when you can’t walk, you can spend all day on the computer debating what part of the hami they affect.[/quote]

I find this completely uncalled for. I do in fact do natural glute ham raises because I do not have a bench, or rather I should say I try to because I do not yet have the strength do to one unassisted.
I did not bad mouth the excercise at all. All I did was ask a question in the hopes of actually understanding how to train better.
Just in case though I will make my question a little clearer. I understand they are a great excercise, but why from an anatomical viewpoint are they so great?

Thanks for all the replies at any rate,
Collin

Hey man, I also work out at home and this is what works best for me.

Lie face down on your bench and place your heels under the pad for preacher curls. OR if you have a bench designed specifically for situps place your heels under that…its the same principal.

Hope that helps.

One of the big components of the GHR on a GHR bench is pushing with your toes against the foot pad. Unfortunately for me I don’t have one and I incorporate natural GHR’s into my workouts just like I would any other exercise.

RDLs and Goodmornings (close stance and wide stance) are a good substitute.
Do yourself a favor and save your money, buy a GHR from Elite.

Your deadlift will thank you.

Oh yeah, and the answer to your question is that a true GHR will hit the whole hamstring versus a leg curl(common for BB’s) really on hit part of the hamstring.

Thank you all for the positive replies.

Collin

Also, if you start in the bottom(hanging over the bench) and “roll” back, starting at the head and flexing the spinal erectors down the spine, toward the tailbone, until the torso is stickin straight out, then pull with the hammies, you will get good back work and it will crush the glutes and hams. You should finish in a back arched position.

[quote]CollinAshmore wrote:
timmwwaa wrote:

Why don’t you try them and find out for yourself? Then the next day when you can’t walk, you can spend all day on the computer debating what part of the hami they affect.

I find this completely uncalled for. I do in fact do natural glute ham raises because I do not have a bench, or rather I should say I try to because I do not yet have the strength do to one unassisted.
I did not bad mouth the excercise at all. All I did was ask a question in the hopes of actually understanding how to train better.
Just in case though I will make my question a little clearer. I understand they are a great excercise, but why from an anatomical viewpoint are they so great?

Thanks for all the replies at any rate,
Collin
[/quote]

Hey sorry didn’t mean to offend, it’s just I would just hate for you not to try an exercise, just becuase some internet “guru” didn’t like the exercise. But from an “anatomical viewpoint” there are a couple reasons (that I think) that make is such a good exercise. First and formost, it is much like a pullup, in that there is little or no cheating when performing the exercise (as long as you keep your body relatively straight at the hip), and like a pull up you have to lift your own weight–you can lift more, but not less (compare that to the weight you used on a leg curl machine!) As far as musculature, you know that all the hamstrings are bi-articular and yes it is true that the primariy function of the hamis in a glute-ham is knee flexion, however I feel that they work quite strongly isometrically to keep the hip extented.

As a side note, I’m not sure of the EMG studies, but I would say that there mostlikely is some transfer from training knee flexion carring over to hip extension. Hope that answered your question.

Wow, thanks timmwwaa. I really appreciate the answer. It makes a lot of sense.

Thanks again,
Collin

I wondered the same and a coach I met recommended leg curls and glute ham raises as the only iso movements we ever really need to be doing. When I asked why he told me that as hammies work as hip extensor and knee flexor then they must be worked both ways for maximal development. As no heavy compound exercises involve knee flexion then an isolation move for the hamstrings is necessary to maximise potential. Biceps work hard enough during pull ups and rows if you do them right so isolation work is strictly cosmetic in this case, and in the case of nearly every muscle.

Not his exact words but those where the main points.

[quote]ConorM wrote:
As no heavy compound exercises involve knee flexion then an isolation move for the hamstrings is necessary to maximise potential.[/quote]

Wouldn’t squats and deadlifts involve knee flexion? You are bending and straightening your knees right?

Straightening your leg is knee extension, a leg curl is knee flexion.

[quote]Testy1 wrote:
ConorM wrote:
As no heavy compound exercises involve knee flexion then an isolation move for the hamstrings is necessary to maximise potential.

Wouldn’t squats and deadlifts involve knee flexion? You are bending and straightening your knees right?[/quote]

yes they do, I have no idea where he got that from