I really enjoy all your articles and I am a big reader of yours and Eric Cressey. I was wondering if you could clarify the technique for the glute ham raise. I searched the articles on t-nation and elitefts and none of them mention this aspect. When I perform the exercise I am able to do more reps with more weight when the bottoms of my thighs(VMO area) drive into the bottom of the pad while curling my body up. However, when I move the foot plate closer and try the exercise with my knees driving into the bottom of the pad I cannot do as much. I wasn't sure if the first way was incorrect and made the exercise too easy. Hope that makes sense.
Thanks very much,
You're doing it correctly, Ryan. In fact, I'll generally have someone hold a weight plate across their chest BEFORE moving the foot plate in. It's generally an easier progression.
As you move the foot plate closer, a larger percentge of your body weight is on the other side of the fulcrum, if you will. Basically, your hamstrings are forced to do more work in this fashion!
Here's the progression that I use with most clients:
- Set the foot plate at a point where you can get 8-10 repetitions
- Once this gets easy, hold either a 5 or 10 pound plate in your hands
- Once you can get to 8-10 reps in this fashion, move the foot plate in
- Generally when moving the plate in, your reps will drop quite a bit. Be happy with 6 or so for the time being, and then work back up in this fashion.
Hope this helps!