T Nation

Posterior Chain Question


which is more functional?

the glute-ham raise (on bench)

the manual leg curl (aka natural glute-ham raise)



Answer: the glute ham raise (on a GHR bench)

I'm 99.99% sure that a natural glute ham raise is when you do a GHR on the floor and someone holds your feet. A leg curl has no business being compared (functional or not) to a GHR. A GHR on a GHR bench is THE way to go.


I think with the leg curl you can focus to a greater degree on the fast twitch characteristic of knee flexion, but it doesnt focus on the hip extension component of the hamstring. As an absolute I would say that exercises that use the hip flexion function of the hamstring are a better overall exercise. However, I think that the knee flexion function of the hamstrings is largely ignored in comparision, the leg curl is group in with the leg extension to some degree but there is a definite purpose to work the knee flexion function of the hamstrings, think sprinting, all knee flexion, (no hip extension relative to a neutral postion).


I would think the hip extension function of the hamstrings would be much more important than the knee flexion, but it is a good idea to include training of both. As far as knee flexion, I would definitely take GHR over leg curls anyday.


Thanks for the reponses.

The reason I ask is because Dave Tate mentioned that there was a difference between the two exercises but excepting the bench, wouldn't the movements be identical?


yea basically-most gyms dont have GHR benches unfortunately-those are better than natural ones.


The curl machine applies resistance much more effectively than can be done with GHR. As far as which is more "functional", well, I don't really believe in the whole "functional" thing, so I can't answer that.