Glute-Ham Raise


Form Friday: Glute-Ham Raise

by Devin Sarno, NSCA-CPT

Exercise: Glute-Ham Raise
Muscle Groups: Hamstrings, Gluteals, Calves
Importance: This body-weight movement is excellent for building strength and power in the posterior chain to help improve running, jumping, explosive movements, and increase strength in movements such as your squat and deadlift without putting too much stress on your back as loaded movements.
Proper Form: This can be done with a partner or on a GHD (Glute Ham Developer) machine
With Partner:

  1. Begin on your knees with your toes tucked underneath your feet and your torso upright
  2. Have your partner brace the back of your heel or Achilles to keep your feet from coming up during the movement
  3. Squeeze your hamstrings, glutes and abs as you slowly begin to lower your torso toward the floor
  4. Keep your hands out in front of you so that you can catch yourself before hitting the floor
  5. Using your hands to assist you, push yourself back up with your upper body while pulling yourself back up to the starting position with your lower half (if you are very advanced, you may be able to do this movement without your hands)

With GHD Machine:

  1. Adjust the machine to fit you based on your lower and upper leg lengths
  2. Start with your feet on the footplate in between the rollers with your knees just behind the pads
  3. Starting perpendicular to the floor, squeeze your hamstrings, glutes, and abs as you slowly begin to lower your torso in a controlled manner until you are about parallel to the floor
  4. Then, push your toes into the footplate and pull up with the hamstings keeping your glutes contracted as you return to the upright position

Progression/Regression: Legs Curls, Seated Leg Curls, Banded Glute Ham Raise


  • Keep a neutral body position throughout the movement
  • Do not break at the hips or hyper-extend the spine

Sample Workout, complete 4 rounds:

  • 1 Minute of Body Weight Squats
  • 1 Minute of Push-ups
  • 2 Minutes of Partner Glute Ham Raises (partner 1 for 1 minute, partner 2 for 1 minute)
  • 1 Minute Plank Hold