What would the field of strength and conditioning be without buzzwords? Core training, functional training Ė every few years someone invents some new term that coaches start bringing up in everyday conversation. The latest buzzword term is posterior chain, which in the BFS dictionary translates into glute-ham raise.
The posterior chain refers to the muscles on the lower backside of your body, especially the glutes, hamstrings and calves. These muscles have garnered special attention from strength coaches because they are the major muscles used in jumping and running. In fact, itís estimated that approximately 40 percent of the power for sprinting and jumping comes from the glutes, and 25 percent from the hamstrings. Yes, squats will work the posterior chain, but better choices include power cleans, power snatches and deadlifts. But the best single exercise, your one-stop-shopping exercise so to speak, is the glute-ham gastrosoleus raise, or glute-ham raise for short.
Whatís unique about the glute-ham raise is that it enables an athlete to train the muscles on the entire length of the spine and both the knee and hip extension functions of the hamstrings. This exercise is not possible with the back-extension benches found in most gyms, as the legs must bend to work the knee flexion. Thatís why our Glute Ham Developer has a curved hip pad rather than a flat one.