T Nation

Hamstring Work


I only have a hyperextension machine at my gym, no glute-ham raise. I generally put a lot of rubber plates under it to raise it to parallel and get my partner to sit on the back so it doesnt tip over when I do GH raises. Anybody have other ideas?

Also, regarding natural GH raises. I am unable to do a full raise and lower without pushing myself up at the bottom. How much of a benefit is there compared to machine GH raises when I don’t have as much range of motion where my muscles are under tension with the natural ones? How often would you recommend I incorporate them into training in place of GH raises in my circumstances and what set/rep schemes?

I have a long history of hamstring pulls and feel it may be due to quad/hamstring imbalance. My quads are much stronger/larger than my hamstrings. Any ideas on hamstring specific programs on leg days? I do not deadlift currently as I clean and snatch two days a week. Think DL’s would do the job? Sorry for rambling off with a million questions.

good mornings, deadlifts(regular,sumo,romanian,stiff-leg,dimel, elevated, snatch-grip), reverse hypers, dynamic lunges, pull throughs, bulgarian split squats, step ups on a high enough surface to activate glutes&hams, box squats. Do these exercises, mixing them up in your workouts as needed.

Also, search the site for hamstring work, as its very important and often neglected. Read Dave Tate articles and go to elitefts.com for more info.

I’m sure there people alot smarter then me that should reply but I will give you my $.02…

it sounds like with the natural GHR if you keep working at them you should be able to build up the strength where you don’t have to help with your hands so I would stick with them.

The best results I’ve had for hamstring size/strength gains definatly came from good mornings. Good mornings are also great because you can do alot of variations with them so they are easy to keep in most training cycles.

Also Romanian deadlifts are great, expecially if you do not want to include heavy regular deads into your program. Form is really important on these to make sure you get a good stretch in the hams.

[quote]JNeves wrote:

Also Romanian deadlifts are great, expecially if you do not want to include heavy regular deads into your program. Form is really important on these to make sure you get a good stretch in the hams.[/quote]

The only reason not to include heavy deads… Well you know… There’s really not many unless you count not having legs…

I enjoy heavy deadlifts but have been concentrating on bringing up my squat lately as my sumo deadlift in Powerlifting senior year of High school was 475 at bodyweight 162 and my squat was 390. I am worried about overtraining while doing heavy o-lifts, squats and DL’s every week. Anyone know a split that might allow for this or have done a similar routine without overtraining?

If Glute-Ham Raises are indeed what I think they were, then there may be an easier way for you to do them, one that doesn’t require a partner:

Use a barbell.

Put a number of weights that aren’t too tall on the barbell, and place it on the floor. Change position to your knees, and slip your feet under the barbell. You can then lower yourself in the same fashion as a GHR, and easily give a little push to help yourself up. The barbell should keep your feet down and hold you in place. If not, add some more weight.

Pictures would really help here, as my explanation was rather poor. Let me know.


I have a glute-ham-gastroc raise machine & love that damn thing! It’s so baddass because when those 3 kickass muscles contract at the some time, BOOM! It’s the ultimate!

Does anyone out there do the Louie Simmons raise machine exercise? How is it?

Thanks flawlesscowboy, I will try the barbell thing soon. Can’t believe I didn’t think of that as I have tried quite a few wierd things at the gym to put my ankles under and hold my legs down for GH raises.