The ultimate guide to fire up your muscles and get the most out of your Glute Hamstring Developer.
A once obscure piece of fitness equipment that most gym goers passed on their way to the water fountain, the Glute Hamstring Developer (GHD) is now adorned by strength coaches and sports conditioning athletes across the globe. Although it may resemble a medieval torture device, it is one of the top pieces of equipment to develop and build the posterior chain.
This endlessly versatile tool can be used for more than just GHD raise and sit ups. Want to know how to get the most out of your GHD and fire up your muscles for a complete full body workout? Keep on reading.
1. Hip Extension
The purpose of the hip extension is to strengthen your hip extensors. Locking your feet into the foot pads with your quads positioned on the support pads and legs straight, ensuring your hips are fully extended and torso parallel to the ground. As you descend forward the key is to keep a static trunk with the movement stemming from a dynamic hip. Whilst keeping your core stabilised you want to pull with your glutes squeezing for a brief pause when you reach the starting position.
2. Back Extension
Similar in technique to the hip extension, you want to fix your hip to the back of the support pad making your hip static. For this movement your back will be dynamic. As you descend forward the key is to contort your back rounding it around the pad keeping a static hip and using your back extensors to pull yourself out of the rounded position into an extension. During the back extension your back should go from spinal flexion to spinal extension strengthening the muscles in your back.
3. Sorenson Hold
Positioning yourself in the hip extension position with your hips positioned on the support pads, maintaining a static trunk, instead of descending forward the key is to remain as rigid as possible. Squeeze your hip extensions and core to keep your body parallel to the floor and to avoid overextension of your back.
4. GHD Raise
The GHD raise is one of the more challenging exercises offering a full posterior chain workout. Locking your feet into the foot pads and knees flexed, resting on the support pad you want to begin with your torso perpendicular to the floor. As you begin to descend forward the key is to maintain a static trunk until you become parallel to the ground. As you begin to ascend extend your hips and pull with your glutes and hamstrings until you reach the starting position.
5. Sit Up To Parallel
The sit up to parallel is a great core movement for beginners or those new to using the GHD. Sitting on the support pads, position the foot pads so that your glutes are sitting off the seat keeping a slight bend at the knee. As you descend your torso the key is to keep a static trunk with the movement stemming from a dynamic hip. When you reach a parallel position, straighten and lock your knees using explosive power to bring yourself back to the starting position whilst maintaining a static trunk throughout the whole movement.
6. Sit Up Full Range
A more advanced variation of the sit up to parallel is the sit up full range. The difference between these two movements is the position of your back coming past parallel so that your torso is perpendicular to the floor whilst lifting your arms overhead until one or both touch the ground. Using explosive power, gently swing your arms and upper body back into the starting position.
7. Sit Up Full Range With Medicine Ball
Once you’ve mastered the sit up full range, try adding medicine ball throws for a full body workout. Position the GHD in front of a wall and start with the medicine ball at your chest with your elbows out as you begin to descend your torso. As you pass parallel lift your arms and medicine ball overhead until the ball touches the ground. Using explosive power, gently swing your upper body and ball back in the starting position and throw the ball at the wall. As you catch the ball begin to descend once again and repeat.
8. Reverse Hyper
No reverse hyper machine? No problem. This exercise will assist in activating and strengthen your hip flexors. Positioning yourself so that your hands are gripping the foot pads with your torso resting against the support pads allowing your hips to be dynamic. Pulling with your hip extensors, lift your feet off the ground until they are parallel to the floor. Squeeze your glutes at the top for a brief second before descending back down.
The Glute Hamstring Developer is hands down one of the best tools for developing the posterior chain – Shop Online