In the last article from our featured guest blogger Martina Marson in a 2 part blog around the Posterior Kinetic Chain, “Nothing but the Hips”, Martina talked about the role of the glutes and how their isolated training is necessary to improve every sport performance and to prevent injuries. In Part 2, this article attacks the rest of the Posterior Kinetic Chain, focusing on the hamstrings in particular.
Glutes, hamstrings, lower back, quads and abs form the core of the body. This is the place where the kinetic chain of all the movements are made from. A kinetic chain can be defined as a group of muscles that work together, in the same direction, to accomplish a dynamic movement. One of the main kinetic chains is the posterior one. It is composed by the lower back, glutes, hamstrings and calves. They are the prime movers of forward propulsion as they are involved in walking, running, jumping, squatting and pulling. It is obvious that every athlete should add some specific workouts to strengthen these muscles.
One of the most used exercises by NFL players and powerlifters is the GHR: Glute Hamstrings Raise.
Dave Tate (Head Coach and CEO of Elite FTS) said he increased his squat from 780-840 lbs to 935 lbs just adding GHR on his training program 2-4 times a week for one year. 1)www.elitefts.com
GHR TUTORIAL 2)Video courtesy of Elitefts.com
As you can see in the tutorial posted, it could be a little bit hard to perform. I needed two or three attempts to understand how to do it properly. My suggestion is to start with body weight until you are able to perform at least 10 reps before adding weights. You also could do half movement, from the horizontal position to the top, in order to avoid the the hyper-extension of the back and concentrate the effort to the hamstrings and the glutes. Otherwise, if you need to strengthen your lower back, stop the raising of the body at the horizontal position or a little bit higher.
I still find this exercise really tough and I can’t do more than 8 reps, but I tried to make a couple of variations of the GHR just to prove to you the advantage of using BEAST and having some fun of course!
I did two sets of the standard GHR as a warm up (body in horizontal position, toes pushed into the toe plate, curling my body up by using the hamstrings and squeezing the glutes at the end, reaching the vertical position) wearing the sensor on my wrist and keeping my hands close to my chest. The average of velocity was about 0,58 m/s.
Then I decided to take a 5kg plate and hold it to my chest. The velocity drop down to 0,47 m/s. I really thought that my hamstrings were about to explode and I only could do 6 reps.
My last test was with a light band around my neck. The velocity was similar (around 0,46 m/s) but the feeling was completely different because the band added resistance at the top the movement.
Depending on your goal, you can choose between many different training methods. Doing some sets to failure is a good option for hypertrophy, otherwise, if your focus is on strength, you can do some slow eccentric motion or break the movement in three holding position each for 5-10 seconds.
Below you can verify my workout. These are the pictures from the brand new version of the app of Beast. The first one is related to my body weight set. I’ve chosen “Max Strength” as target, in fact Beast suggests me to add load. In the second picture I was using 5 kg plate and, in the third one, the elastic band. In both of them I hit the target speed to develop absolute Strength (from 0,1 m/s to 0,5 m/s), reaching the “Beast Mode”. Suggestions from the app makes your training easier and motivates you to do your best in every single repetition.
Goals and Velocity Based general indications:
|VELOCITY m/s||NUMBER OF REPS||NUMBER OF SETS||TIME OF REST (seconds)
|STRENGTH||from 0,1 to 0,5||Max 6||Min 3-4 - Until the Average Set Speed drops constantly by +10%||Complete (120")|
|HYPERTROPHY||From 0,4 to 0,6||Min 8 Max 12|
Check the drop of speed (-20%)
if 0,4 -> 0,3
if 0,5 -> 0,4
if 0,6 -> 0,5
|At least 4-5 until Average Set Speed drops constantly by +30-40%||Uncomplete (max 90" - 120")|
|POWER||From 0.7 to 1.3||Min 3 Max 8||Until average Set Speed drops constantly by 20%||Complete (120")|
References [ + ]
|2.||↑||Video courtesy of Elitefts.com|