Recently at Health Mates we have had a new addition to our list of gym floor equipment.
The GHD or “Glute Hamstring Developer” is an apparatus designed to allow users to strengthen their posterior chain of muscles. This chain consists of the Hamstrings, gluteals and spinal erectors and is arguably one of the most unused or poorly conditioned groups of muscles for the average desk bound human. The consequence of weakness or dysfunction within this group of large and potentially powerful muscles include negative effects on the pelvis and lower back, poor power development or the inability to get up off the floor
The solution or at least a part of it is to strengthen those weak muscles!
We will look at 3 basic exercises used to strengthen the “posterior chain” using the GHD
This is the most commonly performed exercise on the GHD. The trunk extension uses the Hamstrings, glutes and lower back muscles to extend the hips. The key to this movement and all other hip extension variants is to ensure that the hinge action occurs through the hip and not the spine. I.e. the spine remains straight while the hip opens and closes.
Glute Ham Raise
The Glute Ham Raise takes the exercise above and add a little more difficulty. For those ready to move to the next level, simply add a knee bend at the top of the movement. The knee bend forces the hamstring to work as a knee flexor much like in a leg curl. By adding knee flexion to hip extension we have the hamstring working from top to bottom.
Reverse Hip extension/Reverse Hyper
This variation has the participant flip themselves around on the machine so that they are holding the handles where the feet usually go. The torso remains still while the hips are extended by bringing the legs up until the hips are fully open. This offers the easiest option of the 3 provided.