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Matthew Woodley
01-25-2009, 01:43 PM
I am trying to put together a garage gym and would like to know what would be more beneficial to my training a Glute Ham developer or Reverse Hyper Extension?
Eventually I plan to own both. What would be the best one to start off with?

Here are links to both of them:

GHD http://www.getstrength.com/GS-Specialty-Gym-Equipment/Getstrength-Glute-Ham-Raise-Machine/flypage.tpl.html

Reverse Hyper http://www.getstrength.com/GS-Specialty-Gym-Equipment/Getstrength-Pro2-Reverse-Hyper-Extension/flypage.tpl.html

Garrett Smith
01-25-2009, 02:55 PM
Depends on what kind of training you do...?

Matthew Woodley
01-25-2009, 03:21 PM
Depends on what kind of training you do...?

I mostly do a combination of power lifting, Olympic lifting and gymnastics / bodyweight conditioning.

Garrett Smith
01-25-2009, 06:03 PM
I'd say get the GHD first then.

On the GHD, you can do:

GHR (obviously)
Hip and/or back extensions
Reverse hypers (by turning around on it, you could add some weight through DBs or ankle weights)
GHD Situps (if you don't like your lower back much, I'm sure McGill sees that exercise and cries inside)

If you're going to get both, might as well get the more versatile one first.

Allen Yeh
01-25-2009, 08:17 PM
I vote for GHD as well.

Don Stevenson
01-26-2009, 04:42 AM
+1 for a GHD

We use bands or chains to perform reverse hypers on it too.

Ari Kestler
01-26-2009, 06:09 AM
I'd say get the GHD first then.

On the GHD, you can do:

GHR (obviously)
Hip and/or back extensions
Reverse hypers (by turning around on it, you could add some weight through DBs or ankle weights)
GHD Situps (if you don't like your lower back much, I'm sure McGill sees that exercise and cries inside)

If you're going to get both, might as well get the more versatile one first.

Don't mean to hijack but from the sound of this it sounds like you don't like ghd situps? What about ones that aren't full rom?

Garrett Smith
01-26-2009, 08:33 AM
I've come to think of GHD situps as a very bad idea.

McGill's big saying is "spare the spine". GHD situps do not do that. They overuse the spine.

GHD situps are one of the biggest culprits of causing rhabdo in the CF community. Happens nearly every time they come up in a WOD with some poor newbie.

I see no "functionality" of being in a horizontal position with the legs fixed and aggressively hyperextending the spine and then reversing the motion. It would seem that every other branch of physical fitness approaches avoids this movement as well. It's always been there for everyone to use, and yet they don't.

I think they are a poorly designed exercise, often done to great excess. Bad combo.

Should I go on?

Patrick Donnelly
01-26-2009, 06:08 PM
Pavel recommends the GHD sit-up (he says Roman Chair, same thing) in Super Joints as a good mobility exercise. As long as you don't do them ad rhabdum, and already have sufficient flexibility to do them without pain, I don't see why you shouldn't.


Garrett, it just seems like you'll use every chance you get to take a dig at all things CrossFit. (Not that I don't agree with you at times, but it's pretty excessive, and not very subtle either.)

Garrett Smith
01-27-2009, 04:51 AM
GHD sit-ups as a mobility exercise are a very different animal than 150 reps of them for time.

Mobility exercises are done (or at least should be done) in a very controlled manner, with the intention of improving spinal health and ROM.

GHD situps "as Rx'd" are aggressive, jerky, fast, and done with the intention of increasing power output.

Explosive/plyometric exercises, IMO, should be done in their time-tested manner--in lower reps with impeccable form. This includes the GHD situp, if one decides their risk-to-benefit ratio is acceptable.

I had a big long post, but I know discussing the merits of CF is not okay on this board...so I won't...but I almost took the bait, Patrick.

Garrett Smith
01-27-2009, 08:49 AM
I have sent Dr. McGill an email containing the videos of the GHD sit-up from the CF website and asked for his professional opinion (as well as any laboratory analysis he might choose to do). We'll see what comes of that.

Dave Van Skike
01-27-2009, 09:47 AM
GHD>reverse hyper.

high rep GHD situps=concentrated stupid.

there are about ten jillion ways to work the anterior chain that don't have potentailly nasty side effects. I'd use those instead.

Personally I'd spend any moneys on a better/more bars, a better rack, plywood for boxes, thick bars or more rope. The efficacy of a any equipment setting on the floor is questionable when compared to the MOST effective pieces of equipment...a power rack and a mini fridge full of beer and chocolate milk.

Frank Needham
01-27-2009, 10:00 AM
In the park by my house there is a hyperextension station and of course you can flip over if you want and use it to do GHD stuff. I like to use it for both but am very conservative when using it for GHD. The difference, at least to me, in using it carefully vs. agressively is quite stark. Thrashing yourself on it when doing GHD gives one a very bad feeling in the lower back.

Garrett Smith
01-27-2009, 10:56 AM
The Bigger Faster Stronger GHD book:
http://www.biggerfasterstronger.com/uploads/Glute-Ham%20Book.pdf
[From Page 9-10]
Sit-Ups with Hip Flexion
This variant of the sit-up develops the hip flexors, and major stress is placed on the lower abdominals. Position your pelvis so that you sit on the far side of the rounded seat. Lean backwards until there is a slight arch in your lower back. This is the starting position. Cross your hands on your chest and sit up until your trunk is approximately 45 degrees or more to the horizontal.

For strength, do 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions (use weights if necessary). For strength and endurance, do 2 sets of 20 repetitions. For endurance, do 1 set of 50 repetitions.
There are pictures included in the book. Note that there is no touching the floor requirement, nor mention of forceful straightening of the knees to return upright, nor flexing of the spine to touch the footpost bar. While they do mention higher reps, this is a greatly truncated ROM from what most of us were initially exposed to as the GHD sit-up.

Brian Lau
01-27-2009, 12:36 PM
I have sent Dr. McGill an email containing the videos of the GHD sit-up from the CF website and asked for his professional opinion (as well as any laboratory analysis he might choose to do). We'll see what comes of that.

Nice. Would be very cool if he responds.

Patrick Donnelly
01-27-2009, 03:38 PM
I had a big long post, but I know discussing the merits of CF is not okay on this board...so I won't...but I almost took the bait, Patrick.

Discussing CrossFit (both the good and the bad parts) is perfectly fine on this board - after all, this is the website of a CrossFit affiliate. That being said, I have seen Greg step in a few times to lock threads when they degenerated into pointless ****slinging, as he should. I'm not arguing either for or against any of your arguments. I'm just pointing out that you seem to be on some of anti-CrossFit crusade. It's just a little weird that your so gung-ho about it, that's all.


So much drama. Man.

Garrett Smith
01-27-2009, 04:43 PM
If what I said was true, then it isn't a "dig" or ****-slinging.

I keep my general comments about CF as a whole to myself these days, due to things like you mentioned in the past. I tried to keep my discussion to the GHD sit-up and its application (which is familiar to many on this board). CF is the major group promoting their GHD sit-up variation these days, so they'll be included in the discussion as that's where most of the feedback comes from (like in this thread).

If CF is the main group that does the extended-ROM, aggressively fast GHD sit-ups that I think are misguided and potentially injurious in the long run (IMO), I'm still talking about the use of the exercise, not the group/approach as a whole. If I don't like the Sumo DL High Pull and I say so in a discussion, that doesn't mean I'm speaking badly of the rest of the CF approach.

In all honesty, my perceived "anti-CF" stance is only one of great disappointment in the program. I had such high hopes (I helped start an affiliate, remember) and it never became what I hoped it would.

Patrick Donnelly
01-29-2009, 12:31 PM
Garrett, I'm not sure exactly what you were hoping for, but remember that it is a pretty good program. Some things may be a bit reckless in it, and the attitude of some members of the community may be poor at times, but it has done a tremendous amount of good. If nothing else, there'll always be "Fitness in 100 Words."



Tried some "GHD sit-ups" on a pommel horse last night, while at gymnastics practice. Felt completely different with the forced bent-knee set-up and positioning of the glutes on the end of the horse (rather than fully off the pad of a GHD), though I was still getting a deep ROM (I have above average flexibility). Liked it. Get one of those. It's effectively two GHD's, and you can do much more stuff with them.

Garrett Smith
01-29-2009, 01:33 PM
I'm not totally understanding the set-up you're describing, Patrick. Were you hooking your feet in the grips? Is it like a bent-knee extended-ROM situp, just off the end of the horse? When you say it is like 2 GHDs, I'm definitely confused, unless you're referring to two people doing sit-ups (each using one grip for their feet).

I also agree with you on the "Fitness in 100 Words" and my favorite still "What is Fitness?" Much like in medicine, the philosophy/ideals that are portrayed are often quite different than what actually materializes in real-life practice. The best example in medicine of this is "First Do No Harm". Sounds great on paper, but I think most here know that it is an afterthought at best (not to me, in much the same way that I hold on to the 10 qualities of fitness).

Patrick Donnelly
01-29-2009, 02:43 PM
I'm not totally understanding the set-up you're describing, Patrick. Were you hooking your feet in the grips? Is it like a bent-knee extended-ROM situp, just off the end of the horse? When you say it is like 2 GHDs, I'm definitely confused, unless you're referring to two people doing sit-ups (each using one grip for their feet)

Yeah, hook the feet in the grips. You've got two grips on each pommel, ergo two places for sit-ups, GHR, etc.

Garrett Smith
01-29-2009, 02:45 PM
Got it.

Craig Brown
01-29-2009, 02:49 PM
The pommel horse is also good for multi-person odd object lifting...

Duke McCall
01-29-2009, 03:15 PM
Am I missing something? Is the price quoted for the GHD and Reverse Hyper for a single unit? If so, I would suggest shopping somewhere else. You can buy high quality equipment for MUCH less.

Duke McCall
01-29-2009, 03:19 PM
And, yes, I did the exchange rate conversion. The prices still sound really high to me. I have to belive you could buy quality equipment for less in NZ.