What’s up with the GHD?

Author: Karie Patzer
#GHD #Hamstrings #Glutes #core #midline #absfordays

We all have looked at it and thought “what the heck is that and how do I use it, or even get into it”? The GHD (glute/hamstring developer) has many different functions. Not only is it a glorified place to hang your coat, it works even better to build strength in many different areas of the body.

Pad Placement

The first step is to adjust where the pad sits on the body, so where does this actually happen? The picture below shows the dissection of the torso, hips, and legs. For either extensions, the hips must be PAST the pads. So to adjust correctly, you simply move the feet holder to the correct distance.

Back Extensions

Now we won’t want to lift with a bent back, the back extension is performed by having the spine flex and extend. This can develop muscles around the spine to promote strength and more awareness to a neutral spine.

Hip Extensions

Now here we want to have a neutral spine. The pelvis is just past the pads in order for the hip hinge to happen. From there, the spinal erectors and hip extending muscles and joints raise the torso. The hip extension is very similar to squats, deadlifts, and other movements. This also creates body awareness if you ever struggle with using your posterior chain (your backside). With changing the same movement to a new angle, this may help with using your hips for power versus using more upper body to perform movements like kettlebell swings.

Back & Hip Extensions

With both hip extension and back extension discussed, now we can marry the two. To perform, the hips are past the pads and you will begin with the spine and legs extended. From here you will begin to flex the spine while still keeping the legs engaged. As you reach the bottom, you will extend your spine in the opposite direction back to the beginning of the movement. Very similar to a snaking motion throughout the movement.

GHD Sit-ups

This can be a great option for toes to bar if your hands just aren’t feeling it that day or wanting to change it up a bit. The ghd situp can also develop stronger hip flexors and quad strength. Before performing a full ghd situp, have a coach spot you as demoed below.

Once you can hold a supine situp for :15, your coach will know you can safely perform a full ghd situp. With your coach gradually bringing you lower towards the ground, you then can begin performing these with deeper ROM until you reach the full extension of the movement. As you can see in the picture below, it is very important to have the pelvis past the pads in order to not have hard compression at the bottom. Otherwise, the hips and spine are pressed with too much pressure which can cause lower back pain and discomfort.

Wanting to build up your glutes, hamstrings, or back muscles to help support your body and avoid injury during everyday movements, sign up today! CrossFit Current


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