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Scott Robertson 05-27-2007 02:51 PM

I just set up my new GHD machine and am anxious to get started. I have never used one before and want to make sure my technique is correct.

Back Extensions - I have found several sites that show individuals doing back extensions until their bodies are almost perpendicular to the ground. They bend their knees and are almost straight up. This seems to be the consistent range of motion. Has anybody tried this movement? Is there a reason that the Crossfit videos only show a range of motion to parallel with the ground with no bend in the knees?

Sit-up: I've watched the Crossfit videos on technique. Am I to understand that as someone new to the GHD machine I should stop my backward range of motion when I am parallel with the floor and not extend further until I have built up the required muscle/strength for this movement.

Is there any guidance in how high/low the feet should be in relation to the hips when doing these movements? I have a range of motion on my machine of about 1 foot for the feet. I'm sure there is a setting that I should be aiming for.


Guest2 05-27-2007 03:32 PM

The back extension you describe is really a glute-ham raise (GHR). There are 3 basic variations--back extension, hip extension, GHR--and then various hybrids of the three.

Videos on those three (safe links):

[url=] onID=3&exerciseID=113[/url]

Back ext:
[url=] onID=3&exerciseID=29[/url]

Hip ext:
[url=] iseID=46[/url]

The defining differences are simply where you flex and extend.

As far as the sit-up goes, the idea is to start conservatively--it's a potent movement and it will tear you up way worse than you expect. The way to break into it is by limiting the ROM and the volume, i.e. stop at parallel or even higher and do maybe 5-10 reps total your first time. Gauge your response to that load and adjust from there the next time you do the movement.

For foot placement, I'd start it so it sets your legs parallel to the floor. From there you can play with it a bit to change at what point of the ROM the moment is greatest.

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