The Glute Ham Raise is one of the best ways to get a fighter strong in his/her low back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. There should be a line to get on this piece of equipment in every weight room! Majority of fighters/athletes at all levels suffer from some form of weakness in the hips and hamstrings. It's just the way it is! Ultimately, severe weakness in the hamstrings can sideline you with the all too familiar phrase "I think I pulled a hammy!" It's ashame because if you really knew how much you could benefit from this movement, it would be put at the top of the list in your training.
Remember, the calves are considered a knee stabilizer crossing over the back of your knee. The hamstrings not only cross over the back of your knee, but originate from a few areas of your hip making them a knee and hip stabilizer. If you take a look at the gluteals in the picture provided, they not only look like the ultimate hip muscles, but are actually considered to be a huge factor in knee stabilisation. All joints and the musculature around them are interrelated with each other. Simply put, greater hip strength coupled with flexibility provides the femur (upper leg bone) with enough control, enabling the knee to have the least amount of unwanted stress placed upon it. Less unwanted stress from weakness/muscle imbalances, less chance of a knee injury. I told you the GHR is important!
Bottom line without all the "fluff" is everyone needs to get strong in the GHR. This movement gives you the greatest "bang for your buck" because it trains the muscles you need to be strong in. Getting strong with this movement will bring balance into your lower body training, decrease your chances of a lower body injury, provide increased strength to the posterior chain which will enable you to move more weight in the squat and deadlift, and increase your bodies ability to jump higher and be a stronger and faster fighter.
The Glute Ham Raise:
Slide feet securely onto toe plate of the GHR equipment. Place thighs on thigh pad making sure your knees are off the thigh pad by approximately two to three inches.
Start with your body positioned horizontally on the GHR and begin motion by pushing toes into toe plate while flexing your hamstrings to pull you up. In the top position, squeeze your glutes before you descend for the next rep.
This movement can be looked upon in the same manner as a push-up or pull-up. It can be performed every day as a general way to condition the body (General Physical Preparedness), especially if you are weak with it. You can start out by performing one set of as many reps as you can every day. If you can only bang out 3 solid reps, than do three reps per day for your first week of training and increase to 4 reps per day on your second week. Follow this format until you can get at least 10 a day.
Another way to train these is to incorporate them on your leg day. If you are training legs and your first movement is a deadlift or squat variation, throw these in as your second exercise. Try to perform 3 sets of five reps or better yet, 5 sets of five reps. There are so many ways to get rolling with these, but if you haven't yet than get to it!
A Side Note:
The best damn GHR is sold by EliteFTS.com. They really have perfected this peice of equipment. How? The very people who created it actually train!
If you are familiar with the GHR and looking to change it up a bit, head over to our YouTube page and you will find a bunch of variations of this movement. (Click on the link on the right side of this site to access).
Another Side Note:
Stay tuned... We are going to have some kick ass content including interviews coming this way. I'm headed out to Ohio to meet with some unbelievable minds in the world of training and athletic performance! It should be something good.