Question for Chris T. EQI for hamstrings


I was curious how you implement EQI stretching for hamstrings. I have chronically tight hams and think this form of stretching may be helpful.

Thanks in advance,

I was curious also, I thought maybe get into a keystone deadlift position(because this takes the back out of the equation right), load up a barbell with a light amount of weight and lower it to full and try to hold that position?

A romanian deadlift/keystone deadlift would be best. Hold the bar 2-3" below the knee cap and really push the hips back as far as possible to stretch the hams. As fatigue sets in, let the bar move down slowly. As your flexibility increases you’ll have to perform this drill standing on a platform/box.

I’ve been doing these for a while now without really knowing exactly why :slight_smile:

The RDL is the best for this, but GHRs can also be used effectively. Additonally, EQI Lunges with only the front foot on a high box can also hit the hams well.

What about Glutes? They get hit with the same movement right, as their involved in hip extension so when the hip joint is stretched arent the glutes stretched also?

Yep. Flexed hip = stretched hip extensors.
Of course, with GHRs not everyone does them with hip flexion at the bottom. Many people make it a strict knee flexion movement, which won’t effect the glutes.

could someone give the explanation of what EQIstretching is for christmas?

Eccentric Quasi-Isometrics, it involves a max duration isometric hold in an extreme position. As you fatigue the isometric turns into a very slow eccentric stretching the tensed muscle. They are detailed in CT’s book. An example would be the RDL as discussed here. Go to the max stretch and hold that position, as you fatigue you will slowly start to stretch at the hip joint and the weight will start to lower to the ground.

If I can bother you for a little more information, how do you do these on a glute-han machine? Should the body be horizontal across the machine? Can’t get a picture in my mind on how to do this one.

Thank you.

Simply get into position to do a glute-ham on the machine and lower yourself (extend at the knees) until your knees are close to lockout and hold. Maintain hip extension throughout the movement.

Remember that you must keep tension on the muscles, so you should not lock your knees out.

This is not as effective as the EQI RDL because you cannot continue to sink lower into the movement, but it still works well.

Also, if you are doing this for hamstring flexibility, make sure that your hamstrings are really what is tight. It is not that common for an athlete to have tight hamstrings. Check CT’s first book to learn more about muscle testing.

How many such strethes (EQI) do you reccomend following a workout.

I do mine at the start of a workout, just one long iso hold. Nice warmup and you get static dynamic bonus effect

sit and reach has improved dramaticly after a month!

It depends on the volume, intensity, and methodics used.

If the goal is to enhance recovery by relengthening contracted tissue, then the stronger and more voluminous the contractions, the more EQIs will be done.

Generally, one EQI done to failure is enough. Failure is a relative thing however, since the more experienced (and likely more mentally prepared) athlete will have a higher threshold for lactic acid and the subsequent pain. For a beginning athlete, several EQIs may be needed to reach anywhere close to true muscular failure.

However, a beginning athlete is not likely to be performing contractions that result in muscle spasms and the like. So the use of EQIs at the end of a training session has limited value for the beginning athlete. In this case, EQIs would be used for their other benefits at the beginning of a training session.

For an experienced athlete, using advanced methodics such as supramaximal eccentrics will elicit a very strong contraction. Many people are prone to muscle cramps when performing a high volume of this methodic. In this case, 1-2 EQIs done to faliure is sufficient. With experienced athletes I also like to implement a drop-set technique when it is applicable. For example:

  1. EQI Push-up (feet and hands on boxes)
  2. EQI Push-up (feet on floor and hands on boxes)
  3. EQI Push-up (hands on boxes and knees on floor)

There are several variations to this which can be implemented.

What about EQI’s for pulling movements?

Would a chi/pull up bottom position hold for time be considered an EQI exercise?
If so, would You please expand on other possible exercise/positions?


Me too!!
I guess it just seemed like a natural way to use a weight to help lengthen the hams after a lifting session while I was in that position!

So are these done at the beginning or end of sessions?

You can do them at both times, except when done at the beginning do not go to failure.

Yes, EQI chins are possible, but the grip is usually a limiting factor. Use straps or other grip aids if needed.

For upper body pulling movements the stretch is generally limited. Things like EQI chins and EQI chest-supported rows can be done. Jay Schroeder uses a 1-arm BB curl with a similar methodic.

However, with all of these movements you are limited by the structure of the body which does not allow you to take the muscles into an extended ROM. This negates some of the benefits of EQIs; chiefly the relengthening benefits.

For the lats, the most beneficial EQI movement would be the pullover. This allows you to get into an extended ROM.

How many times/week are you doing them?