Archive for November, 2010

November: Exercise of the Month

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Natural Glute/Ham Raise

The glute/ham raise is fantastic exercise for the posterior chain because it trains the hamstrings, glutes and lower back in knee flexion. It is an exercise that is not often seen in commercial gyms, but as with all the other ‘FMT Exercise of the Month’ posts, this is an exercise that provides the ‘biggest bang for your buck’. In fact, I view this exercise as a crucial movement for quick progress in my programming. I’ll often have clients that start of with 2 sets of 3 reps (because it’s so tough) and by the time they’re up to 3 sets of 6 reps (and beyond) their running speed, jumping ability and all over lower body strength increases dramatically!

The stiff leg deadlift is often regrarded as the best way to train the hamstrings, and while it is a good movement, it is performed with hip flexsion. This means you could load up 120kg on the bar and complete 4set of 8reps on the stiff leg deadlift, but could you do 4 sets of 8 reps with bodyweight of glute/ham raises?

Don’t be concerned if you do not have a glute/ham machine – the video below shows how to perform this in a regular/comercial gym.

Instead of reinventing the wheel and explaining why the posterior chain is so important, you can read an article I posted earlier in the year that covers everything you need to know.

Give this exercise a go and your hamstrings will thanks you, as will your back squat, and running speed!