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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Glute-Ham Raise Progressions

Hello Mike!

I hope you do not mind me contacting you directly. I have read many of
your articles at T-Nation, and always enjoy your intelligent
well-thought out approach. I have an exercise phys background myself
and am a bit of a nerd/geek/etc when it comes to training and
performance. Not that I claim to be a rocket scientist or anything...but
I have enjoyed the process of learning how things fit together and how
imbalances, posture, etc,etc affect what we are trying to accomplish. I
am an assistant coach at the University of South Carolina where I work
with athletes on a regualr basis on the field and in the weight room.

My question: how do you progress people into glute-ham raises that
cannot do them at all or cramp up after a few reps? Often times, at the
start of the training year, the newbies experience cramping and then a
fear factor when it comes to doing the glute-ham raise. Is this a
strength issue? a flexibility issue? both? I have had sprinter athletes
who can put up a double bodyweight squat or more, look like an anatomy
map, and glute-hams destroy them. This is not true of everyone, but it
surprises me that explosive people with excellent strength to bodyweight
ratios have so much difficulty with this exercise.

If you need more information to answer, I will be happy to provide it.
Thanks for your time and I hope to hear from you,

Mike Sergent
Assistant Track & Field Coach
University of South Carolina

Michael -

Here's the general progression I use with clients/athletes:

- Negatives only - Get up to the top, lower under control, and then get back up to the top in whichever way is necessary

- Band assisted - Place a band across their chest and which attaches behind them. In this position, the assistance is greatest at the bottom (where they are weakest), and lowest at the top (where they need it the most).

From there, it's useful to start mixing in some un-assisted with assisted reps until they can get the prescribed numbers.

Good luck!


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