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View Full Version : Glute-Ham Sit-ups and Lumbar Compression


Greg Everett
10-13-2006, 05:59 PM
What's the experience of people with GHD sit-ups in terms of lumbar spine compression at the bottom of the movement? Do you find this occurs only with tight iliopsoas not allowing the pelvis to rotate posteriorly and take up some of the ROM? Or is it a given regardless of flexibility without the fulcrum being moved all the way under the lower back?

Steve Shafley
10-16-2006, 05:26 AM
I have never had a problem with lumbar compression doing GHR sit-ups. I have been doing them for well over 15 years now, off and on.

Greg Everett
10-16-2006, 09:16 AM
Where do you place the pad/fulcrum when you do them? Under your glutes? Under your lower back?

Steve Shafley
10-16-2006, 10:46 AM
The pad is under my glutes. I generally brush the floor with my hands as well. I have the feeling this issue is very specific from one person to another. There are at least two old training partners of mine who didn't tolerate this as well as I did.

When you say:

Do you find this occurs only with tight iliopsoas not allowing the pelvis to rotate posteriorly and take up some of the ROM?

I think you are probably close to the matter, because I don't have tight hip flexors, and rarely have had them in the past.

I will generally do GHR sit-ups as have been described in the CFJ and on the CF forum, but sometimes, afterwards, I'll slide fowards so the pad is underneath my lower back, and do a crunch or sit-up like movement (like you would on a swiss ball or ab mat). For me, this brutalizes my abs.

Robb Wolf
10-16-2006, 06:00 PM
Somewhat related...how much dynamic movement does one want on a GHR? Is it "good" to have some back extension or does one fix the hips and completely use the glutes hammies? Different situations?

This thing from BFS is pretty good:
http://www.biggerfasterstronger.com/uploads/Glute-Ham%20Book.pdf

Also!!! What is some loading/frequency? I found this from Difranco's site:
http://www.defrancostraining.com/ask_joe/archives/ask_joe_04-04-02.htm

I've used the GHR intermittently, mainly as a finisher. I know Rutman uses the heck out of it.

Steve Shafley
10-16-2006, 07:24 PM
Somewhere in some of Charniga's or Yessis' translated literature is are specific recommendation for weekly GHR repetitions according to your level as a lifter.

I prefer not to break at the hips, and make the hamstrings carry more load.

Ben Kaminski
10-19-2006, 09:44 AM
Are two different things being discussed here? Greg mentions putting the pad under your glutes or lower back, which seems to indicate a "Jim Baker" situp on the GH device. However, the other posts reference hamstring work and seem to indicate a "Glute Ham Raise." I'm not nitpicking, just confused and trying to make sense of it all.

Robb Wolf
10-19-2006, 02:58 PM
Ben-
Yep! I changed gears and asked about GHR/GHBE whereas Gregs original question concerned GHB-sit-ups.

Greg Everett
10-25-2006, 08:38 AM
way to hijack my thread, robb. you want to go out with my girlfriend too?

just kidding of course.

as far as whether or not to allow back movement in a GHR, I say depends on the circumstances. Generally, I like including back movement--I get enough fixed back work as it is--the o-lifts, squatting, pulls, stiff-leg deadlifts, etc.--so the GHR is a chance to strengthen the back dynamically.

Robb Wolf
10-25-2006, 02:38 PM
way to hijack my thread, robb. you want to go out with my girlfriend too?

just kidding of course.

as far as whether or not to allow back movement in a GHR, I say depends on the circumstances. Generally, I like including back movement--I get enough fixed back work as it is--the o-lifts, squatting, pulls, stiff-leg deadlifts, etc.--so the GHR is a chance to strengthen the back dynamically.

Hmm...Performance, Health Longevity...and Girlfriend swapping. I think we may be on to something here.

I think if one is really hammering the Glutes/hammies the locked back, non-dynamic version is the way to go.

Greg Everett
10-25-2006, 03:24 PM
If taxing the shit out the hamstrings is your goal, try the hunchback variation, ala Powerlifter Mike.

Steve Shafley
10-25-2006, 08:08 PM
Greg:

I get enough fixed back work as it is--the o-lifts, squatting, pulls, stiff-leg deadlifts, etc.--so the GHR is a chance to strengthen the back dynamically.

This isn't clear. In all cases you are bending at the hips to some degree or another. The back position in the squat is the least dynamic of all the above listed lifts, whereas the stiff legged deadlifts differ from the back extension movement portion of a GHR only in the way how in the back extension you finish with a 90 force upon the lever created between the hips/legs and torso, and in the SLDL there is force at a 0 angle between the hips/legs and torso. (shear vs compressive forces at the end of the movement)

Are you talking about some degree of spinal flexion?

Greg Everett
10-26-2006, 10:02 AM
yes - by back, i mean spine in this case. during squats, SLDL, etc., the only flexion/extension is occuring at the hips--the back/spine is fixed. the GHR can be performed of course in the same manner, or the spine can be allowed to flex and then extended along with the hip as the legs flex.

Garrett Smith
12-23-2009, 02:58 PM
Bumping an old thread...

Shaf, do you still feel the same way as you used to about GHR situps?

Greg, why do I see GHR or GHD seemingly everywhere else as the abbreviation, but on the CA WODs it is "GHB"? Could be a joke, I get that, but if not what does the B stand for?

Alex Bond
12-23-2009, 04:09 PM
Bumping an old thread...

Shaf, do you still feel the same way as you used to about GHR situps?

Greg, why do I see GHR or GHD seemingly everywhere else as the abbreviation, but on the CA WODs it is "GHB"? Could be a joke, I get that, but if not what does the B stand for?

I would think "Glute Ham Bench".

Greg Everett
12-23-2009, 05:13 PM
Thought I replied to this, but apparently didn't. What Alex said - GHB = glute ham bench. I write GHR for the exercise glute ham raise. I've just lost the taste for the abbreviation GHD.

Steve Shafley
12-25-2009, 07:02 PM
I don't even remember writing that shit, but, hell, there it is.

I think I still hold basically that opinion. If you need clarification on a specific point, please let me know.

Leslie Poole
12-28-2009, 10:32 AM
So why are some people experiencing more lumbar compression during the GHB sit up? Will increased flexibility resolve this?