Glute-Ham Raises are the most overhyped, overrated exercise.

Glute-ham raises are highly overrated. They are billed as the secret russian exercise for super athletism. I think this nonsense has to do with people pushing $1000 glute-ham raise machines. Most elite sprinters dont even do them. Romanian and stiff legged deadlifts are superior hamstring exercises for sprinters.

I don’t recall any big time sprinters doing much more than squat, bench, clean, some deads some snatch.

I’ve never seen glute hams, stiff leg dl or romanian dl in any program

I don’t recall Russians being big on machines period. Weren’t they too poor?

I didn’t think the Glute-Ham Raises was a machine anyways, I thought it was a stationary piece of equipment, nearly identical to the back extension equipment.

Is there a point to this? $1,000 is nothing for a piece of gym equipment that an entire team can use. Hell a pole costs $500.

It would seem that knee flexion strength would be the limiting factor in hip extention output here.

Historical note:

The Glute ham “Machine” came to the United States after Dr. Yessis, among others, took their trip to the Soviet Union in the early 80’s.
The Soviets used a pommel horse and wall-mounted gymnastics bars to secure the feet of the lifters. While I have very little track knowledge, I have seen pictures of Pisarenko (olympic weightlifter) and one of Bondurchuck’s throwers doing the exercise…
Yessis took the idea, and came up with the design. (I wish I would have thought of this).

Personally, I like the exercise for my athletes. (Please note that I do NOT train sprinters.) We use it as part of their post-chain training, along with Good mornings, rdl’s, and reverse hypers…
“Now picture this: Valery Borzov, the great Russian sprinter (Olympic gold medalist in 1972) in the same archaic setup doing explosive hip extensions followed by an immediate bending of the knees to simulate the glute-ham pull characteristic of sprinters in full stride. He carries 7-0 pounds behind his head. That means 1) far greater gluteal and hamstring speed-strength, which is something no other sprint training exercise can claim, and 2) almost one hundred percent injury-proofing against hamstring pulls, which is also something no other sprint training exercise – or any exercise for that matter – can claim.”

One hundred percent injury proofing? Boy I wish I had one…wait, I do. I still like the exercise even if it is over-hyped.

The reason most sprinters, and other athletes, don’t do them is because their gyms don’t have an actual GHR station. They are similar to hyper extensions, but you can’t do a proper GHR on a hyper station.

I won’t try to speak to the fact that they do or don’t improve sprint speed. But most of the big squaters, such as those that ascribe to Westside style trainging, swear by them, along with reverse hypers and good mornings.

To say that they are overhyped is a bit much…1) they’re rarely even discussed on this board and 2) I’ve seen no evidence that they do or don’t help sprinters.

Actually, if you go to the Vancover 2004 thread, and even though Charlie did not say this directly, it is in there. In a review of the seminar they were cited as being one of his Charlie’s favorite exercises. Charlie can correct me if I’m wrong. Personally I think deep squats are good. But if you need something else why not try romanian deadlifts. Maybe reverse leg press on sled, if they have it.

I think by overhyped people mean that every article by powerlifters (particularly those affiliated with westside) talks about the GHR being the best thing for the hamstrings when it is a good exercise, but nothing points to it being the end all be all. While I respect Westside and the affiliates (EliteFTS, etc.), there is a huge financial interest for them to sell a machine that is patented and very expensive. A pat on the back between the guys (article about how great a ghr is in return for some discounted equipment) has been discussed numerous times.

That said, I like doing GHRs and I wish my gym had a legit one instead of the knock off. My high school gym had one from EliteFTS and it was good, but I cannot say it did more than most other assistance lifts and it definitely stressed the knee flexion the most, for me.

We have 2 at our facility(Power Lift) and I love them. Great for Hyper Complex (CF’s), GH’s, GHG’s and a number of other exercise. I would rather use them instead of a leg curl machine.

It is most definitely better than a leg curl machine having many more uses: GHR, hypers/hyper complex, reverse hypers. abdominal exercises, etc. I just don’t know if I would say it is the best exercise period and make claims like 0 chance of injury. I also wouldn’t lstrictly ook at one group of powerlifters when they make a very substantial profit on selling those machines.

A couple of engineers who used to train at my old gym measured up a elitefts GHR and then got an identical one machined for about $250 US. Not bad, eh?

I’v used it and I agree that it is an incredible exercise for hamstring emphasis - but I do wonder how specific it is to sprinting? I’d be interested to hear from people who coach sprinters and use it in there programs.

I have used one since I first started college track (9 years ago?) and with my athletes with moderate success since I started coaching over 5 years ago. I have seen several hamstring injuries over that time (4?) even with consistent GHR use so it’s not always hamstring insurance.

I think it is beneficial especially as assistance for the squat even thought it may not have a direct impact on sprint performance(I find the squat to correlate highly with 55/60m or jump performance). It’s also a great way to hit the posterior chain without murdering your CNS with heavy deadlift variants.

Is it a knee flexor dominant activity? yes, but so what? the way most people squat is knee extensor dominant and the way most people deadlift is spinal erector dominant.

Your point is well taken, but they sell lots of different equipment. My guys have worked out with, and talked at length with, the west side boys including Lou Simmons. Lou and several others are very helpful to young lifters and the message they give in person in a casual setting is the same as you see on the website. I don’t think they sell alot of that stuff, and I certainly don’t think they would mislead young lifters for a buck. They are athletes first, businessmen second. That’s what I truly believe about those guys, having read numerous email exchanges and listened to my guys recount the conversations they’ve had with the west side crew.

Charlie sells videos etc. on this website…does that mean he doesn’t give us the straight dope on sprinting? Like Lou, I think Charlie is a trainer first, businessman second. He wouldn’t advocate a device or machine that he didn’t believe in, just to make a buck. Give Lou the same benefit of the doubt.

You can do the same exercise without that.
1)on floor, incplete versione.
2)Russian style, with pommel horse or similar, hip extension + knee flexion.

How does the on floor version not smash your kneecaps. I may never understand this. I have tried them and it doesn’t feel too reassuring. Pivoting your 200lb body on your kneecaps on the floor through 90 degrees of movement (even a padded surface like that on a weight bench)…

I use 20cm absorbing mats for Gymnastic by Fonti…(used in international gymnastic…)

GHR is primarily for knee flexion, especially outer range if one is strong enough. This is very beneficial for reducing hamstring injury which mainly occurs at the end of swing phase ie. when the hams are controlling outer range knee extension strongly.

For power at the hip other exercises obviously take over, squats, deads, back hyper, reverse hyper etc.

The GHR however can help with power at the hip by ‘tying in’ the posterior chain ie. teaching the muscle groups of the posterior chain to fire together which doesnt necessarily happen easily in other movements. When performing the GHR the spinal erectors and hip extensors need to fire to control posture at the same time as knee flexion/extension so the whole post chain is firing together.

GHR can be performed naturally on the floor, knees on cushions, heels clamped.

Maybe for sprinters GHR should be progressed in GPP and then maintained there on so as to not overstress the muscle once speed increases.