Updated: May 19
The GHD was recently featured by CrossFit HQ as "potentially one of the most under-utilized and under-appreciated pieces of equipment in the CrossFit gym" which is a massive statement to make, especially with the variation and range of equipment used in CrossFit and how often they program the GHD in CrossFit programming.
What is the GHD In CrossFit?
The GHD stands for Glute-Hamstring Developer and is commonly described as an extreme sit up.
Non-CrossFit publications describe the GHD as "The worst thing you can do for your spine" which incidentally was written by someone who obviously doesn't do CrossFit and the research given was taken out of context - so a bit of an irrelevant argument.
CrossFit says that the GHD is primarily used to develop the musculature of the core (the abdominals, spinal erectors, and hip flexors) and the posterior chain (largely the glutes, hamstrings, and spinal erectors).
They go on to say that both muscle groups play an important role in midline stabilization, which is integral to athletic performance. The core serves two main roles: stabilizing and protecting an athlete’s spine and assisting in the transfer of force from athlete to object (whether that object is a barbell, medicine ball, or the athlete’s body).
How to perform a GHD Sit Up
Take a look at this CrossFit H video on how to perform a GHD Sit-Up.
Are GHD Sit Ups Safe?
Yes, when performed correctly, GHD sit ups are perfectly safe. No different to many of the other "crazy" CrossFit movements, with the right coaching and the right cues the GHD sit up can have more benefits than drawbacks.
CrossFit Says "The muscles of the posterior chain play an important role: They open the hip. This action, known as hip extension, is a critical component of both weightlifting and gymnastics movements, as well as hitting, throwing, jumping, and punching.
The GHD has always occupied a prominent place in CrossFit programming. Its ability to train and develop both the core and the posterior chain is, arguably, unmatched."
Where Can I Buy a GHD?
Luckily, if you want to at a GHD to your home gym or even your box, you can buy them from Amazon for reasonable prices and great quality.
Signature Fitness SF-GHD
Solid Steel Construction
Portable & Functional
Rep Fitness V2 GHD
Alloy Steel Construction
Valor Fitness CB-29 Adjustable GHD
High Density Padding