Glute Ham Raises

I do not have access to a glute bench.

Will I get sufficient development by improvising on a flat bench? I tried this the other day with my legs being held down by a partner while I hung over the flat bench.

The only alternative in the gym is a bench that is similar to a glute bench except that the foot pedals are near the floor leaving the hips much higher. I think this bench is more for the back.

In all pictures of the glute ham raise on the proper bench the feet are parallel to the floor so I thought a flat bench might fill in.

Since working the hams and glutes is so important I hope someone can help

There is also the natural glute ham raise option. Instead of the bench, all u need is something to pad your knee, and something to brace your ankles at the back. Ive tried both and personally feel the natural glute ham raise is the harder of the two, but what i use to hold downy my legs is a barbell with several 25lb weights on it(25 so the barbell is lower and with several to hold my body weight). You could give those a try if youd like.

Ive always used a lat pulldown seat for mine…just face away from the machine, hook your feet under the pad normally used to hold your legs down and go to town. The only problem with that is that the seat where your knees will rest may be a lil small.

You can get more development. Traditional benches couple back extension with the rise off the ground, whereas flat benches don’t. Persist with them. I have gone from not being able to go all the way down to doing 35kgx3 on the flat bench by persisting over an 8 month period. They are one hard exercise imho, and have never gotten any easier.

The machine I use is one of those incline sit-up things - you make it flat and hook your legs underneath.


The bench you are refering to does the same thing just with a lower percentage of bodyweight (and slightly diff mechanics) but will work, if required just hold weights to your chest or get fancy and have a barbell on your shoulders (have a spotter)
Biggest tip remember to bend at the hips and not the lowerback :frowning:

I disagree (or you forgot what you were meaning) - a GHR should be performed having NO bending at the hips, your axis of rotation is at the knee, not the hips or the lower back.


Thinking about it I dont think we are talking about the same exercise, the equipment richard was talking about in the gym was what I was refering to “low ankle support, hips high” This sounds like the equipment I use (you cant move from the knees) in much the same way as adead lift but easier.

Glutes-Hams, I think, work the hamstrings as a flexor of the knee when the primary function in sprinting is extension of the hip. I just wonder are they the best excercise for hamstring development for a sprinter?

The glute ham raise can be done in several differant ways.
Sometimes I have started to lower without a straight line from knee to neck and as I lower I straighten the leg and extend at the hip to make it more like what the sprinters are doing when running.

As for hip extension it is not easy to find a “limit strength exercise” that
works it like the sprint action. e.g;

Powercleans - great hip ext but not a limit strength for hip ext. They’re great though. :slight_smile:
Squats/deads. - Good initial hip ext, but strength curve takes the pressure off the hips as u rise near the top.
S.L.D’s & Romanian deads. - The angles where force is high in these are not near the angles where hip is doing most work in sprinting. That’s my reason for not doing them. I think Charlie and David W don’t recomend them (for sprinters) is becuase they are not true “limit strength” exercises.

I think hyper and reverse hypers are great for giving the final touches to hip ext from hams/glutes and lower back.
If hypers are combined with oly or powerlifts there’s no better way in my opinion to develope the force part of the power curve for hip ext.

Glute ham raises? For mass in the hamstrings I don’t think they can be beat and that is why I do them as I used to have chicken legs.

The ones I am talking about have the hamstrings involved at the hip and the knee - isometrically at the hip, actively at the knee. They are by far the best hamstring developer imho, and are one of the only hamstring exercises to force hip extension coupled with knee flexion.