Mastering the GHD: A Guide to Perfect Form and Scaling Tips

Written By Charleh Knighton  |  GHD 

Today, I'm going to walk you through the art of setting up and executing GHD exercises flawlessly. Whether you're a seasoned athlete or just starting, I've got some valuable scaling tips to ensure your GHD game is on point.

So, let's dive in and get you GHD-ing like a pro!

Foot Positioning For GHD

One of the most common mistakes I've observed in people setting up their GHD is their foot positioning.

It's a simple yet crucial detail that can make all the difference. Often, folks place their feet too far away from the GHD pad, thinking their butt should rest on it. This leads to an ineffective setup, resulting in difficulty reaching back without hyperextending the trunk – something we definitely want to avoid!

Instead, let's set the record straight. When you arrange your foot positioning, your knees should have a slight bend, and your hips and butt should hover slightly off the pad. Trust me; this positioning will work wonders. Let's find that sweet spot together – not too far back and not too far forward. You'll notice the difference immediately!

Scaled Version for GHD

Now, let's discuss scaling options. Scaling down is a fantastic way to build your GHD skills safely. One option is performing partial reps – aim for about parallel or straight across.

In this variation, you bend at the hips until your body forms a roughly horizontal line, and then return to the starting position. This scaled version provides an excellent stimulus for your glutes and hamstrings without going full throttle just yet.

Mastering the GHD A Coach's Guide to Perfect Form and Scaling Tips

Full Range of Motion (Rx) GHD

For those ready to take the plunge into the full range of motion (Rx) GHD, brace yourself for a challenging yet rewarding experience. Here's how it's done: fully extend back until your hands touch the floor behind you, and then explode up to the finish position. 

Knee Extension

Now, here's a little insider tip to boost your GHD prowess. As you finish the rep, actively extend your knees – don't just stay bent. By straightening your knees, your quads engage, propelling you to the top position like a rocket! This little trick can make a world of difference, allowing you to conquer those GHDs with finesse.

So, let's put it all together with a quick example. Picture this: I set up my GHD with my feet at that perfect distance – knees slightly bent, butt hovering above the pad.

Now, I'm ready for action. In the scaled version, I go to about parallel, and then complete the rep. Nice and controlled, feeling that glute activation.

But for those seeking the ultimate challenge, I go all out with the full range of motion GHD. I reach back, touch the floor with my hands, and then boom – explode back up!

 Remember, that aggressive knee extension will power you to the finish line. Your quads will thank you later!

To Summarize

Trying GHDs for the first time can be scary, but with these top tips, you’ll conquer them in no time. For those who may have missed some details, let me summarize the key points:

  • Foot Positioning: Avoid placing your feet too far away from the GHD pad. Instead, position your feet closer to the pad with your knees slightly bent and your hips and butt off the pad.
  • Scaled Version: For beginners or those looking to scale down the movement, you can perform partial reps by going to about parallel or straight across. This means you bend at the hips until your body forms a roughly horizontal line and then return to the starting position.
  • Full Range of Motion (Rx) GHD: For those ready for the full challenge, you can perform the GHD with a full range of motion by going all the way back until your hands touch the floor behind you and then exploding up to the finish position.
  • Knee Extension: When finishing the rep, remember to aggressively extend your knees. This engages your quads and helps you propel yourself to the top position efficiently.

Let me know how you get on in the comments below!

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