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Natural glute raise

Terrific article. Is the athlete perfoming this exercise one of yours or was the picture just stuck in the article? His hip flexor/glute strength needs to be assessed. That exercise is very difficult to perform. Probably the most difficult hamstring exercise there is.

Yes, I was going to ask about this myself. Optimally wouldn’t one strive to maintain a more vertical/upright trunk throught he movement? That is, in alignment with the thighs.

Those are a booger, huh. I think that the best example, damn I wish I could find it, is Adam Archuleta and his trainer. There were some vids of him being trained by Jay Schroeder. ESPN had them I think. What is the other name for this exercise, Harrup or something???

The guy has poor form. His hips and butt should not be sticking out but should be in neutral position therefore making the movement a lot harder and activating the hamstrings tremendously. It is a very hard movement and I’m just now beginning to be able to lower myself all the way down under control with no hands after months of using them. A very humbling exercise and prepare to limp around the gym after doing them.

Ike, not vertcal. I think what you mean is the pelvis and upper body should be “connected” better. There should be no arch in the low back. He should be straight as a board from glutes to shoulders. Briefly, in this picture, his glutes aren’t firing. Therefore the “connection” between lower body and upper body is “lost”. One can “cheat” the concentric this way. Flex the hips and walk your hands back to the starting position and perform the eccentric portion. But, if the eccentric is done incorrectly, the exercise is too advanced or needs to be modified. I’ll explain more in complete detail if requested.

Right, that’s what I meant. That “stiff as a board” look. As in, a straight line between shoulders and knees (as you said). ie, no forward tilt at the hips/waist.

Well, I think we’re all agreed here. Damn, I need to get to doing these again, fantastic exercise.

The “athlete” is myself (new haircut). As for the GH form I must confess that I’m less than pleased as to how it came out. Understand that I had to hold the pause for a long time because I have a rather rudimentary digital camera. So sometimes the positions that are hard to hold might be caught in a bad moment.

Im looking to incorporate the glute hame raise into my workout, and possibly others of the 7. My question is, how many hamstring exercises do you incorporate in a single sesssion? and how often do you variate? and what are the best set,rep,rest strategies for these exercises? I would like to use these with either my squat or deadlift.

The amount of direct hamstring work I include in a given training program varies greatly, depending on the need of the athlete.

For exmaple, my weak point has always been my hamstrings. So I do a lot of work for them. In a given lower body workout, on top of my squat or other main exercise I may do 3 or 4 hamstring exercises. This is done twice a week.

For individuals requiring less hamstring work I generally go for 1-2 exercises once or twice per week.

I generally keep the workload at 3-4 sets per exercise. The intensity andreps vary greatly during the year and according to each exercise.

I did 3 sets of negatives for 10 reps of glute-ham raises two days ago. Right now, the outside heads on my hams are sore as sh!t, but the inside feels almost normal- is this part of the exercise or is it my fault? my knees were close together and I anchored my heels under a car, feet flat with toes pointed away. Definately a keeper.

Hey Chris - what shoes are you wearing?
Are they hard wearing?

CoolcolJ, I’m wearing my olympic lifting shoes. The sole is hard wood so that there is no deformation when I catch a clean or snatch.

Damn Christian you look huge. I used to write “Voices from the Pit” for Bigboys, way back in the day (6-7 years ago?). We had similar stats and weights at the time if I remember corretly you were playing rugby at the time, and recently I read you switched back towards football.
Currently Im doing well rugby wise, however have a bit of a reoccuring hamstring problem, which is slow to heal. As for your article great suggestions, I happend to be one of the few people that can do a natural GHR, ive done 2 but my brother ripped out 6 or 7 the other day, however we are both rather large legged/assed and have smaller torsos. Currently training renegade style its been awesome. Anyway keep the great articles coming. If you have any suggestions for hammie rehab let me know. Or even volumne intensity during rehab. Thanks, Dan K.

Wow, “Bigboys” that takes me back!

I’ve not practiced any sports other than olympic lifting for the past 3 years. I am currently making the switch from athlete to professional strength coach, which is always hard to do psychologically. But I’m getting used to it.

As for being huge, I would not really say huge. On the pictures I was 232lbs on 5'9", actually I'm at that weight on the "bald" pictures. On the hair pictures which are older I'm 215-217 (that was before a competition).

I’m actually far from top form as I’m slowly adjusting to my heavy workload. At my peak this summer I was up to 245lbs and much leaner than I’m now.

Furthermore I just started training my upper body again after basically doing zero direct upper body work for the past 3 years, so I'm not where I should be in that department yet. As an olympic lifter, excessive upper body mass is not beneficial. But as I'm now more geared toward coaching, I can let myself go wild! Actually, today was my first biceps workout in almost 4 years and I must admit that it was a nice change of pace!

Please go into detail on proper form…this is an exercise that doesn’t get much written about it.

Chris - I meant what brand of shoe is it - model?

I have some Addias Ironwork weightlifting shoes, but the sole under the solid heel is wearing too fast for my liking after only a few weeks. Just looking for pointers to a nice durable weightlifting shoe.

Oh the brand! They are Power Firm weightlifting shoes. They are very very durable, a friend of mine had his for over 10 years and they are still in good shape.

A pair will cost you 90$ US and they are custom-made for your foot size.

You can look them up at: http://www.weightliftingshoes.ca/


I did the one leg back extensions last night and I have a few questions. I started with my left leg because that anytime I do one leg ham work (curls or stiff legged deads) that seems to be my weak leg. Anyway, when I did the extensiions I found that my right was weaker, which kind of shocked me. When I did them with my left leg my foot pointed straight down, but my right leg felt like it was rotated to the left so my right foot looked pigeon toed. This put quite a different stress on my right hamstring than my left. I was wondering if you have seen this with any of the athletes you train, and if so what can I do to correct the problem? Also, what do you think about using the kind of back extension bench that puts you at 45 degrees to the floor instead of parallel, just until the person is stronger? Thanks

Hi Christian, I’ve always used stiff legged deadlifts as my primary hamstring exercise. I was curious as to why you prefer the good morning over the stiff dead. Not that I find one “better” or “worse” than the other but just curious to know your experiences and preferences. Thanks.

I do like both the Stiff legged goodmorning (Russian deadlift) and stiff-legged deadlift. I prefer the goodmorning version because I feel it more personally. And because it allows me to give a break to my upper back and hands as I already do a ton of pulling exercises.