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Digital Products in the Kinesiology of Exercise

Glute-Ham-Gastroc Raise

Major Muscles and Actions Involved

Glute-Ham-Gastroc RaiseIn the hip joint the major muscles are the hamstrings, the hamstring upper tendons, and the gluteus maximus to perform hip joint extension. In this action you raise your trunk, keeping it rigid, until it is in line with your legs.  In the knee joint, the major muscles are the hamstrings and the lower tendons of the hamstrings together with the gastrocnemius muscle. They are involved in knee joint flexion, in which you raise your entire body from the knee upwards while keeping your shin in place. Note that this latter action is the opposite of what takes place in the knee curl but the action and muscles are the same. 

Sports Uses

The glute-ham-gastroc raise involves movements that are important in all sports that require lifting or rising up with a normally arched back such as cleans and rising out of the squat in weightlifting , powerlifting squat and deadlift, football linemen coming off the line, and baseball fielding and catching overhead balls. The exercise actions are also important in all jumping activities, especially in jumping from a one-half to a deep crouch position. Examples of this include basketball (jumping for rebounds), volleyball (blocking and spiking), the high jump, and the standing long jump. 

Did you know...

  • In this exercise both ends of the hamstrings go into contraction in sequence, not simultaneously, to create maximum shortening. This is essentially why the glute-ham-gastroc exercise is so effective for total hamstring development. It is also the reason that this exercise is used effectively in rehabilitation and for the prevention of hamstring injuries.