Very few movements train the hamstrings at both joint angles (hip and knee). This is critical because this is how your body works when it runs, jumps, squats and pulls. Approximately 40 percent of the power for sprinting and jumping comes from the glutes, 25 percent from the hamstrings, and about 5 percent from the calves. Not to mention if your keen on developing the type of ass cheeks that could crack walnuts at christmas, you might want to add this to your repertoire!
That’s why it’s imperative that people concentrate on strengthening these muscles with assistance exercises such as the glute-ham raise. Think of the difference that could be made by strengthening these muscles with the right movement.
- You would add weight to your squat.
- You would pull more weight in the dead lift
- Your clean would go up.
- You would be able to run faster.
- You would be able to jump higher.
- You would develop some smokin butt and legs
In walks the glute ham raise machine. You often see these dork articles on how athletes train that are blatantly false. Well here is a movement that has been improving performance in the athletic population for decades. And developing those athlete legs!
As most of you are now aware Bondi Platinum has undergone some serious renovations to improve the facility as a whole. One of the many positives to come out of this is the plethora of new equipment. This piece of equipment just might be the single best piece of equipment in the gym. Why? Anyone who has trained with me knows how much I love the hamstring and how important it is in strength and conditioning. Usually in my programming you will have a exercise for the hamstring at the knee and the hip but now you can hit both.
How to do it
Before performing the glute-ham exercise, it’s important to adjust the machine for your height. Start by adjusting the footplate so that when your feet are secured, your upper thighs are resting on the center of the bench and you can hang your upper body over the edge of the bench so that it is perpendicular to the floor. Next, adjust the height of the footplate to a comfortable position – if the footplate is too low, the pad will dig into your thighs.
Begin by lying facedown on the unit. Using the hand grips for support, place your feet on the footplate with your toes pointed downward. Hang over the bench, bending at the hips so your upper back is at a 90-degree angle to your lower body. Place your hands across your chest, and raise your trunk so your upper body is perpendicular to the floor – keep your back straight (i.e., in a neutral position) throughout the exercise. From here, continue raising your trunk by flexing your knees – you should be pushing the footplate with the balls of your feet to activate your calves, as they are involved in knee flexion.
This is a particularly brutal and humbling exercise when done for the first time so a appreciable amount of strength is needed. Start with 3 sets of max reps working up to 3 sets of 8-12. Once you can complete this you can start to add weight. Weights held above the head will be harder than the same weight held against the chest. Example rep ranges could be :
4 sets x 10 reps,
5 sets x 6 reps,
100 total reps
Embrace the pain!
See you in the gym
Personal Training – Bondi Junction