View Full Version : glute ham raises

Alan O'Donnell
03-30-2009, 09:14 AM
Kind of an idle question, but can any of you actually do these with full ROM? I've been playing around with them lately at home, by wedging my feet under my sofa and putting a pillow under my knees. I can only go down about 30 degrees or so before my hamstrings threaten to cramp severely.

My training plan is to just keep plugging away at them, maybe a couple times a day, GTG-style. I'm doing static holds and "aborted pulls", lowering down as far as I can go under control and then pulling back up. That seem reasonable?

And for those of you who can do them with full ROM, any idea how long it might take me to get there? Not very patient here :p

Garrett Smith
03-30-2009, 09:58 AM

Donald Lee
03-30-2009, 10:55 AM
Is the person assisting supposed to sit on the other's feet?

I've done GHR on the machine, on a seated calf-raise machine, and on the floor with my own ghetto setup next to a wall. I tried it last week with someone holding my ankles, and it was an utter failure. The person assisting couldn't provide adequate force on my feet for me to actively contract my calves.

Peter Dell'Orto
03-30-2009, 11:11 AM
What do you mean by a full ROM?

I've done them on a GHR apparatus both preceded by a back raise (so I'm bent in half at the waist at the bottom, kneeling in place at the top, toes pointed), from the mid-point dead stopped (ugh, harder, can't use momentum), and on the floor with a partner holding my calves.

I think the floor GHRs are the hardest of the three, because you can't use your calves to help finish the movement. The ones in that video Garrett linked to are interesting, it's sort of a mix - calves held down, but you can go below parallel and come up with some momentum into the sticking point.

I would imagine which version you want to do depends on what you're trying to accomplish.

Alan O'Donnell
03-30-2009, 11:24 AM
Hmm, I don't think what I'm trying to do involves my calves at all - I put on shoes and wedge the heels under the bottom of my sofa, so it should be like having someone sit on my calves. At the depth I'm able to get to, I'm almost entirely useing my hamstrings - I'm not even using my glutes or spinal erectors all that much, I think because I just can't lower far enough down for them to really come into play.

Full ROM in my case would be 90 degrees, from vertical to hovering just above the floor/horizontal (so no momentum help, although you can do a little pushup at the bottom for assistance).

What exactly do the different versions accomplish anyway? I'm not really doing these for any particular reason, I just noticed they're really hard and thought it would be cool to get good at them.