The glute-ham raise focuses on the knee flexion function of the hamstrings. But when most lifters perform a glute-ham raise for the first time, they'll arch their back to the max, and then start cranking out reps like it's their job.
The problem? They're in a ridiculous anterior pelvic tilt; they're crushing their spine and lumbar discs with a lordosis. And they're trying to effectively train their hamstrings while they're in a long and weak position.
Instead of throwing in the towel and resorting to the leg curl machine for the rest of your life, let's instead focus on optimizing your performance on this amazing hamstring exercise. Here are a few tips that should improve your performance:
- Exhale hard, brace your core, and try to "tuck" your pelvis underneath you to get to a more neutral pelvic alignment.
- Do NOT let the hips shift back! Instead try and keep them in line with your knees and shoulders throughout.
- If you can't do a standard rep, start with isometric holds (working from the top-down), or use a band and work on eccentrics until you can start to perform a full range of motion rep while maintaining a neutral pelvis/lower back position.