T Nation

My Progress to Natural Glute-Ham Raise

‘Natural’ glute ham raise is a glute ham raise without using a glute-ham raise machine, Otherwise known as a bodyweight leg curl.

This is a brutal exercise, it took me 4 months, was not a major goal, but one of my ongoing goals.

For the first time I used a training log, so I could see and track the progress.

If anyone is interested in progressing to do them, I did;

Started out only being able to do 3 eccentrics (and not even very controlled eccentrics) per set. Then used a thick band around chest to assist and got 5 reps. Kept increasing the first set by one rep every week, then increasing the 2nd set, then the 3rd, so it looked like;

5/5/5
6/5/5
6/6/5
6/6/6
7/6/6…etc… until I got 12 reps on all 3 sets.

Then I switched to a thin band to assist, and used the same rep progression formula.

Just tried them unassisted by bands today and got a SINGLE complete rep per set with my hands on my chest (slow eccentric, then a concentric) and 4 eccentrics. It doesn’t sound much, but I was very far from being able to do even a single rep when I started.

They are still brutal and it feels like your hamstrings are ripping when you do them.

I know that they’re not very popular as an exercise so I doubt many people care about this, but hey - decided to post it anyway.

Now just need to be able to bang out 10, like this guy;

I read that they applied too much pressure to the knee area but i tought it might be from doing them wrong. Than i had the feeling it was right(the kind of warning pain we do better staying away from) so i stopped them. You might be lucky and benefit from them.

these look brutal. I’ve been working hard on bringing my hamstrings and glutes up to par. In a few months I’ll give these a try! I looked up some old threads just now and people seem to recommend using a bosu ball under the knees to make it easier.

I lock my ankles/feet under something heavy and just use something soft (towel, blanket, quilted sheets ect) to protect my knees. I haven’t been able to do an unassisted rep yet, very close though.

Seen them done facing backwards on a pull down machine. Heels hooked under the knee guard bit and knees on the seat.

I just think these are basically a lying leg curl?

I love these…they are great. IMO…you should use a toe/foot plate. I get a cramp in my calve without one.

[quote]ESX wrote:
I just think these are basically a lying leg curl?[/quote]

A little different when the load is at the other end.

It is the same type of movement as glute ham raises, so it would basically be saying glute ham raises are nothing but a hamstring curl. Natural glute ham raises/russian leg curls (just different names for it) were mentioned in this article by brett contreras, http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/fantastic_hamstring_movements along with classifying the various exercise he mentioned into various movement patterns.