Phase 1: What is the movement?
At the most basic level, I look in the exercise to understand what move is being performed. This is in contrast to any leg curl that is also knee flexion but instead has the thigh as the core point. This difference is significant because some studies point to the occurrence that if the same move is performed with conflicting anchor points, the recruitment pattern of the involved muscles is altered.
One of the key graphs in exercise physiology is the length-tension that reveals how the relationship between muscle length and muscle force is an inverse U. When the muscle fiber is long, its strength production capabilities are limited. At slightly past resting period, the muscle is the strongest. When the muscle shortens, its force creation capabilities decrease again.
In many cases, based on its arrangement, an exercise can be considered to challenge a muscle chiefly at the long, midrange, or short span. To comprehend at what length the GHR targets the hamstrings, we consider the length of the hamstring in the most difficult purpose of the exercise. In the GHR the hamstrings are elongated at the knees (the knees are straight), but contracted at the hip (the hips are impartial). Hence, we can conclude that the GHR chiefly challenges the hamstrings at the midrange.
One framework in which to pick exercises that ensure a full stimulation of a muscle would be to choose three exercises:
Exercise 1: Challenges the muscle in the elongated spot.
Exercise 2: Challenges the muscle in the mid range.
Exercise 3: Challenges the muscle in a shortened position.
Taking a look at the GHR, one might also expect some activation of the back extensor muscles.
Phase 2: Try the movement.
If I’m able to perform the movement, I try it. Initially, the GHR lived up to the expectations there was a feeling of powerful contraction in the hamstrings region, together with in the lower back. Contrary to what the name implies, I consider that the GHR is not a glute exercise (hip extensor exercise). The glutes (gluteus maximus muscles) are certainly active in the GHR, but that’s not sufficient to optimally stimulate the muscle.
To learn about a brand new movement, I also watch videos and read posts from individuals whose views I value and trust. During my first evaluation, I recognized that there was no tension on top of the movement. What I had not considered was that the alternative would be to angle the entire GHR seat.
In the video, Dave talks about pressing the toes into the plate to shut down the calves. During my procedure for comprehending the GHR, I merely took note of the clear contraction (maybe I got it wrong) and attempted to sort it out after.
Phase 3: Hunt for scientific research on the particular exercise.
In my first hunt last autumn, I found no scientific research on the GHR. This has since changed, but what I did find in the fall were several studies that investigated the Razor Curl. This exercise is supposedly a more practical exercise to train the hamstring muscles.
In the above-mentioned video of the Razor Curl, you can observe that the torso is kept horizontal through the move. This keeps the hamstrings elongated at the hip, as opposed to shortened in the hip as in the GHR.
Noncontact-ACL injuries usually occur in sports that need cutting, pivoting, sudden deceleration, and jumping. Environmental, hormonal, anatomical, and motor control harms have been mentioned as culprits for non-contact ACL injuries in women.
Among the listed variables, motor control variables are the simpler to modify. It is often documented that during jumping, girls tend to show decreased knee flexion (they land on more upright knees), increased quadriceps activation, decreased hamstring activation, and increased knee valgus (knees drop inwards) than their male counterparts.
Female athletes have been described as quadriceps dominant during many different athletic activities including running, cutting, and jumping. Quadriceps dominance refers to the quadriceps firing or being activated first during activities that would have been more valuable to possess the hamstrings fire simultaneously or before quadriceps activation. Early and sufficient hamstring activation is desired the contraction power with that muscle group is the thing that protects the knee joint from anterior tibial anxiety. This is the stress that predisposes an athlete to an ACL injury.
Perfect leap touchdowns call for about 90 degrees of hip and knee flexion. This location demands the hamstrings to bend the knee joined when the hips are bent. Lack of strength in this posture may bring about landing on extended knees, which predisposes athletes to ACL injuries. When the hamstrings are weak, the appropriate time of the firing is given.
This study analyzed the so-called Razor Curl that’s done on a GHR. The athlete starts with the knees extended and the hip joint unbiased. The concentric phase is performed by coincident knee and hip flexion. The purpose of the Razor Curl will be to reinforce the hamstrings as knee flexors while the hips are flexed.
The researchers were happy that it was the medial hamstring muscle group that showed the greatest muscle activation since this muscle groups insertion (of the anterior element of the medial tibia) provides an excellent line of pull to safeguard against anterior tibial anxiety. The lateral hamstrings that add in the fibula head and also the IT Band provides for an inadequate protection against the anterior tibial strain.
This study analyzed muscle activation of the Razor Curl compared with a prone hamstring curl. Eight female intercollegiate athletes (Division 1) with resistance training expertise participated in the analysis during their off-season. Fundamentally, the load in the Razor curl is body weight, but it wasn’t reported which weight or reps wares used in the prone hamstring curl. For a perfect comparison, the researchers would have calculated the percentage of the body weight that is lifted in the Razor Curl and used a similar load in the prone hamstring curl.
The difference, however, wasn’t essential.
This study examined hamstring activation in four distinct exercises: the GHR, the good morning, the Romanian deadlift, and the prone leg curl. Resistance trained subjected participated in the analysis and muscle activation levels were analyzed during the concentric and eccentric phases of single repeats with 85% of 1RM in the respective exercises. (3)
The GHR and Razor Curl both results in high degrees of hamstring activation by using similar moves. However, the hamstrings are disabled at different muscle lengths. Exercises which are somewhat similar can be used in a periodized sequence. The following episode will reveal how the GHR, the Razor Curl, and other hamstrings variations can be periodized within the Flexible Periodization Approach.