Let Us Talk About the GHR
have you seen this funky looking contraption in your local gym? Well.. let’s talk about it!
GHR stands for “glute-hamstring raise,” and can be commonly found in most Strength and Conditioning gyms. They have also begun to pop up in some commercial gyms as well!
Now.. what can you do on it?
Well... quite a bit.
The most common movements performed are the classic GHR curl and the back extension. Both are wonderful exercises if you want to build substantial strength in your posterior chain (primarily glutes and hamstrings) with only your body weight, and you can vary the resistance with bands and free weights.
GHR Curl: make sure that the pads are right under your hips. Commonly, this movement is over-exaggerated by starting with the torso too low, which lets momentum take over. You want to begin in a plank position (which is also the end position of the back extension). You then want to imagine curling your heels towards your glutes and SQUEEZE YOUR BUTT at the very top. Do not let the chest lead the movement, as this can lead to over-extension of the lumbar spine, and ultimately take the hips completely out of it! If this movement is difficult at first, you can modify it by attaching a band to the back pole, located between the feet. We also recommend that you master the classic leg curl, either lying on the floor with a stability ball or lying face down on a prone hamstring curl machine.
GHR Back Extension: start with the same set up of the machine that you with the GHR Curl, get your legs straight, and hinge from the hips so that your body is almost at a 90-degree angle. Squeeze your hips into the pad and lift your upper body up. With this movement, even though it’s known as “back” extension, it is actually driven primarily by the hips! So you shouldn’t have a gnarly back pump after, rather, you should have some tired glutes. Pro tip: round your upper back, tuck your chin, and give yourself a hug before performing the movement. It makes it WAY harder to lead the movement with your lower back.
Utilizing this piece of equipment can be a great way to add variety in your training and build solid strength during your accessory work, but like all movement, we want to ensure that we perform these movements CORRECTLY. That way, we can get the most out of our time and our effort.
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