The Glute Ham Raise (GHR) has long been regarded as one of the most effective movements for building the posterior chain, and particularly – the hamstrings and glutes.

The GHR is one of the few exercises that trains the hamstrings at both joint angles (hip and knee). This is important to note – as almost every athletic movement (squat, deadlift, jump, lunge, running..etc) involves movement at both joints.

To perform the exercise properly – the starting position (image 1) is with your your quads jammed into the pad (not kneeling on the pad), with your toes pushed hard into the foot plate and heels off.

image 1

From there you will extend your body forward, driving your feet flat into the foot plate and finishing with your quads resting on top of the pad, and body fully flat (horizontal)(Image 2).

image 2

To initiate the concentric – you will drive your hips back (image 3), while keeping your upper body horizontal, and pushing your toes back into the foot plate. As your hips begin to come back, your knees will drop, and your upper body will follow as you come back to the starting position (image 4).

image 3

image 4

Click here for a video –

Without getting too technical – I’m going to outline some of my favourite ways to train this exercise.

Straight Sets – This is your standard sets x reps (3×8, 4×12..etc)

100 Reps – Get to 100 reps in as few sets as possible.

Slow Eccentric, Explosive Concentric – Lower your body slowly in a controlled manner until you are fully extended, and explosively drive your hips back towards your heels, coming back as fast as possible.

Band Resisted – Anchor a band under the front of the machine and up around the back of your neck. Excellent for emphasizing the top part of the movement.

Chains Drop Set – With chains around your neck, perform 5 reps, and pull a link off, another 5 then pull a link off, another, etc.. Until bodyweight and continue to failure.

These are a few of my favourite ways to do GHRs and if you take the time to learn them properly – you’ll be very satisfied with the results.


– Dan

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