Tag Archives: glute-ham raise

Get on the Glute-Ham Bench

26 Feb

DSCN1899DSCN1900In any sport that involves running — especially sprinting — hamstring strain injury is a common injury.

During sprinting, the hamstring muscle group is important because it decelerates knee extension and extends the hip.

Despite its importance, the hamstring muscle group is often ignored or neglected in favor of hip/quad dominant exercises (e.g., squat, leg press, etc.)

It has been demonstrated that risk factors such as weakness, lower hamstring-to-quadriceps ratio, and decrease in optimum length can be improved with hamstring eccentric training.

The Glute-Ham Raise is (arguably) the best exercise for the development of hamstring strength and hamstring injury prevention.  According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, “… hamstring eccentric training seems to be crucial to address different risk factors for hamstring strain injuries, such as eccentric and concentric strength, hamstring-to-quadriceps ratio, and flexibility.” (Guex, K et.al.)

Try performing the exercise by lowering yourself (eccentric phase) slowly — for example, to a 4-second count — then quickly and forcefully returning to the upright, starting position.

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The Best Hamstring Exercises

29 May

maxresdefault[1]Squats and deadlifts are great hip/quad exercises for developing and increasing lower-body strength and power.

But if you really want to improve your athletic performance, you’ll also need to focus on the complementary, opposing muscles of the posterior chain — lower back, glutes, and hamstrings — especially the hamstrings.

Whether your goals include the development of power, strength, size, muscle endurance, or injury prevention, hamstring exercises — when paired with hip/quad exercises — can help you reach those goals.

At our facility, we favor hamstring exercises like Glute-Ham Raises and Romanian Deadlifts (RDLs) for the athletes we train.  A recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that RDLs and Glute-Ham Raises produced more significant muscle activation than any other hamstring exercise.

Here’s an article from SpeedBot titled, The 10 Best Hamstring Exercises.  The author discusses the best way to achieve muscle activation, based on the athlete’s training goals, and provides several hamstring exercise variations to include in your training routine to help improve your hamstring strength quickly.


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Don’t Neglect Your Glutes and Hamstrings

16 Nov

Everybody does quadricep-dominant exercises like the squat and leg press.  And, with good reason.  These large, fast-twitch muscles, located on the fronts of your thighs, are responsible for generating lower-body strength and power, important for sport-specific movements like linear speed and vertical jump.  But, if you’re not also doing posterior chain exercises – those that focus on your glutes and hamstrings – you’re only doing half the job.

Your hamstrings are the large muscles that run down the back of each of your thighs.  They are opposing muscles to your quadriceps, and provide balance and stability to the knee joint.  These muscles are prone to injury if you do not work to keep them strong and loose, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Glute-Hamstring Exercises

Exercises like the back extensionglute-ham raise (pictured), and Romanian deadlift (RDL) are great complements to your quad-dominant exercises.  For every set of quad exercises, perform one set of glute-ham exercises.  Aim for 4-6 repetitions, per set, with perfect technique.

Benefits of Glute and Hamstring Strength and Flexibility

  • Prevents lower back pain – your hamstring muscles will better support your back and pelvis while you move if the muscles are strong and flexible.
  • Reduces injuries – strong and flexible hamstring muscles can support your body during exercise and help prevent injury, especially during running.
  • Improves athletic performance – having strong and flexible hamstring muscles can improve your performance in various sports.


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