Glute-Ham Raise

Glute-Ham Raise

Hinge
Mastery
Level: 10
Target Action: Eccentric
Assistance
Kit: GHR
Play Video

Driving the hip through the final few degrees extension is a critical competency for maximising lower body power output. I call this True Hip Extension. The massive value you get from Glute Ham Raise (GHR) is extending into True Hip Extension when there’s very little feedback to know if a) if your doing it right and b) if you are actually achieving a fully open hip with a braced neutral lumbar spine. Because of this complexity amongst minimal feedback, we consider the Glute-Ham Raise an advanced exercise (level 10-Mastery Theme). It is frequently executed badly because of limited hip extension range of motion, poor coordination and strength and/or poor athlete focus or awareness. 

In order to set your athlete up for success with a GHR, you will need to ensure some core Hinging competencies are already in place. Immediately preceding GHR’s are a simple 1-step progression from the isometric prone hold variations of the Challenge Theme. Deploying these exercise in a progressive way ensures you athlete develops an awareness for True Hip Extension and develops the strength and coordination to access it in prone positions. 

You will notice that the Hinge-Glute Ham progression has no Fundamental or Corrective progressions. This is because there are no simpler glute-ham exercises than prone holds but they remain a relatively complex exercise and there are far easier ways to teach hip extension tasks: 

From complete beginner I would recommend the Hinge-Nordic/ Hinge- Deadlift trio of exercises in the Corrective Theme to let your athlete find their own braced lumbar neural position in closed-chain hip hinging. Braced Lumbar Neutral (and associated pelvic tilting) leading into the last 10-20 degrees of hip extension is critical so establishing quality lumbar-pelvic control in Hinging tasks is vital. Follow the Deadlift and Nordic threads through the Fundamental Theme to expose you athlete to all sorts of Hinging tasks and develop strength and coordination over numerous training cycles. 

The last piece of the Hinging jigsaw to pick up before attempting the Hinge-Glute Ham Sub-Category is training loading True Hip Extension. This is best done with Hip Thrust variations with a good target exercise being a Hip Thrust with Band Resistance. Other lesser exercises which cue True Hip Extension from across the Hinge Category include Romanian Deadlift with Band Resistance, Deadlifts with Band Resistance, Hip Thrust with Band (BW) as well as single leg variants like Bridges on SL or even Single Leg Thrust variations (Hinge-Thrust-Challenge Theme). I’d recommend peppering these throughout a programme to maximise motor learning. 

GHRs (even with a barbell) offer low hamstring tensile load when compared to Nordic and Stiff-Legged Deadlift so GHR’s feature as a more coordination heavy hamstring variation in a training week and cause low amounts of soreness. As such they can feature nicely in game day-1 training days, warm ups for important sessions or active recovery sessions. Since they are prone to lazy technique and lumbar over-extension, they should feature early in workouts in low-ish volumes to facilitate perfect execution. If an athlete can’t do these properly (compromised technique or repeated poor focus) then it’s not worth wasting your time with GHRs in my opinion. 

Hinge The Hinge series owns the deadlift derivatives that form a cornerstone of an effective strength programme. Fundamental to the hinge progression is the ability to maintain a neutral spine position under duress. By developing strength in a stiffened trunk position we can have a tremendous impact on both lumbar spine injury prevention and performance of our ability to transfer force through the body in the Kinetic Chain. This lumbo-pelvic control is perhaps the single most important skill that you need to develop. Because of this it builds roots into every exercise category in the SSOS.
What series of strength exercise would, if performed optimally, demonstrate the extremes of human movement and maximally test local and global stability strategies with high relevance to sports performance? The Mastery Theme houses these exercises across all 14 Exercise Categories. The most extreme demands of multiple Exercise Categories completely converge leaving absolutely nowhere for movement deficiencies to hide. These exercises demonstrate an exquisite balance of strength, flexibility and reactive stability and represent elite movement competency in a gym setting.

PROGRESSION-REGRESSION LADDER

Supine Bridge Holds
Supine Bridge Holds
Hinge
Corrective
Level: 1
Supine Bridges
Supine Bridges
Hinge
Corrective
Level: 2
Good Morning
Good Morning
Hinge
Corrective
Level: 3
Hip Hinge
Hip Hinge
Hinge
Fundamentals
Level: 4
Romanian Deadlift
Romanian Deadlift
Hinge
Fundamentals
Level: 5
Romanian Deadlift (Snatch Grip)
Romanian Deadlift (Snatch Grip)
Hinge
Fundamentals
Level: 5
Romanian Deadlift with Band Resistance
Romanian Deadlift with Band Resistance
Hinge
Fundamentals
Level: 6
Romanian Deadlift in Sumo Stance with Band Resistance
Romanian Deadlift in Sumo Stance with Band Resistance
Hinge
Fundamentals
Level: 6
Romanian Deadlift (Snatch Grip) with Band Resistance
Romanian Deadlift (Snatch Grip) with Band Resistance
Hinge
Fundamentals
Level: 6
Nordic Hamstring Curls
Nordic Hamstring Curls
Hinge
Fundamentals
Level: 5
Nordic Isometrics Holds
Nordic Isometrics Holds
Hinge
Fundamentals
Level: 6
Nordic Hip Hinges
Nordic Hip Hinges
Hinge
Fundamentals
Level: 4
Floor Thrust
Floor Thrust
Hinge
Fundamentals
Level: 4