Leg Training – Glute Ham Raises

The glute ham raise is one of the most powerful hamstring exercises you can add to your training program. If your goal is to build mighty hamstrings, update your workout routine to replace much less effective leg curls with glute ham raises.

Muscles Exercised

As the name implies, the glute ham raise exercises the glutes and the hamstrings. This exercise is a much more effective than simple isolation work, such as leg curls, because it trains the hamstring at both the knee and the hip joint.


Exercise Technique

  • Place your ankles between the two roller pads with your feet pressed against the platform, your knees on the lower pad 2 inches behind the thigh pad, and your thighs pressed against the thigh pad.
  • Keeping your body in a rigid line from your shoulders to your knees, lower your body until you are parallel with the floor; use your hamstrings to control your descent.
  • Pull yourself upright, again keeping your body in a rigid line
  • Don’t bend at the hips to lower your body, or push your hips back to come back up. Keep your hips forward and rotate around the knees.
  • If necessary, a broomstick makes a good tool for assistance.

  • Note: Moving your starting position so your knees are further down on the pad, and it rests higher on your thighs makes the lift easier

If you don’t have a glute-ham bench available, there are a number of stations you can use:

  • Lat Pull-Down Machine: Anchor your ankles under the knee pads, with your knees on the padded seat.
  • Seated Calf Raise: Again, anchor your angles under the knee pads and place your knees on the seat

  • Smith Press: Anchor your ankles under the bar and place your knees on a flat bench

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