This, Folks, is the Glute-Ham Developer made by Martix. We have recently added one to our downstairs weight room and it has proven to be quite the hit!
There are several exercises you can do on this contraption--you can't exactly call it a machine, since it has no moving parts, but no matter. Using physics and your bodyweight, you can get a grueling workout for your lower body on this that you will feel into next week (trust me...). Once you have gotten used to using your bodyweight over a period of a couple of weeks, you can increase your reps or increase resistance by holding a weight plate, weighted ball, or kettle bell while you perform the exercise. You can work your hamstrings (backs of your legs), gluteus maximus (your butt), your lower back, and your abs & obliques (center of your stomach & sides), as well as a few leg stretches.
1. Hyperextension: standing on the platform with the front of your body facing the humps, slide both feet into rear platform, and your stomach will lie on the humps with your upper body hanging freely. you can fold your arms in front of you if you like. Slowly contract the muscles of your lower back to bring your body to a straight position, you back will be straight. You don't want or need to go beyond the straight backed position.You will feel the muscles working in your lower back, with some assistance from your glutes. Be sure to isolate your back, not the backs of your legs. Slowly allow your back muscles to release you back to the original position. Do as many as you can. The first time you perform this exercise, your lower back will be tight the next day so it is important to not overdo it. Beginning with 8-12 reps using bodyweight only will get your body used to the movement. If you have lower back issues, you may want to avoid this exercise unless okayed by your doctor.
2. Reverse Hyperextension (lower back, glutes). Stand facing away from the two humps, you will see a pair of handles. Grab onto those and swing your legs over the humps, so your hips are resting on them and your legs are hanging freely. Squeeze your glutes and swing your legs upwards until your body is straight as if you are standing. Let them back down and repeat. This exercise is a little easier than the hyperextension, as glute muscles tend to assist the lower back muscles more. After a couple of weeks and your body is used to this movement, you can have a friend put a ball or dumbbell between your feet, or you can use ankle weights.
3. Roman Chair Situps: Abs & Obliques. These are easy on your tailbone and hard on your abs! When doing this exercise for the first time, you will feel it for almost week. If you have not done this before, start with about 4-6 reps. Face away from the humps with your rear resting on them. Put your feet onto the platform with the foot holders and keep themuscles in front of your calves tight, so your feet are like hooks. Cross your arms across your chest or lightly hold your head (don't pull on your head, just support it with your hands) and lean back, then use your stomach muscles to pull yourself back up. To work your obliques (sides), do the movement with one of your elbows pointing at your opposite knee so you twist at the midsection; then switch sides. After a couple of weeks and your body gets used to this, you can add resistance by holding a weight plate.
4. Glute Ham Raise: hamstrings & glutes (back of legs & butt). Facing the humps the same way as exercise #1, slide your feet into the foot holders but keep your body upright. The humps will be pressing on the fronts of your thighs. Allow yourself to lean forward at the knee with your midsection kept straight, then pull yourself back upright by squeezing your hamstrings and glutes.
Remember, don't overdo it at first.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!