Whether you're a bodybuilder, weightlifter, or athlete, you need a strong posterior chain. One of the best exercises for this body part is the glute ham raise. But what if you don't have access to a proper glute hink raise machine? Or what if you get bored doing this exercise? Do not worry; There are many alternative glute ham raise exercises you can use!
Written byPatrick Dale, PT, Ex-Marine
Last updated on24. October 2020
Many gyms haveGlute Ham BoostMachines, also called Glute Ham Developers or GHD for short. The glute ham raise, which closely resembles a 45-degree back extension machine, has grown in popularity over the past decade due to its common use in CrossFit workouts.
But despite its popularity, the GHD is just one exercise you can use to increase posterior chain strength.There are MANY glute ham raise alternatives that you can use. There will be times when the GHD isn't the best exercise for your training goal, and you might even work out at a gym that doesn't have a glute ham raise machine.
In this article, we present the 10 best GHD alternatives that work the same muscles, albeit with different equipment.
Beste Glute Ham Raise Alternative: Hide
- 1. Glute Ham Raise 101
- 2. The 10 best alternative exercises for lifting the glute ham raise
- 2.1.1. Nordic curls
- 2.2.2. Reverse Hypers
- 2.3.3. deadlift
- 2.4.4. Romanian deadlift
- 2.5.5. Kettlebell-Swings
- 2.6.6. hip thrusts
- 2.7.7. cable glands
- 2.8.8. Good Morning
- 2.9.9. High pull sumo deadlift
- 2.10.10. Mountain sprint
- 2.11. Glute Ham Raise Alternatives Summary
Glute Ham Raise 101
Before we spill the beans on the ten best alternative exercises for lifting the glute ham raise, let's take a look at the benefits of this exercise and what makes it so valuable and popular.
GHDs involve knee flexion and hip extension– Your hamstrings have two main functions, knee flexion and hip extension. The glutes also lengthen your hips. Glute ham raises involve hip extension AND knee flexion, making them a very useful and time-efficient exercise.
Good for lower back development– Glute ham raises not only work the glutes and hamstrings, but also the erector spinae or lower back muscles. A strong lower back is critical to both performance and injury prevention.
Glute ham raises are a bodyweight exercise- other than a glute ham raise machine, you don't need any additional equipment to do this exercise. You don't even need extra weight. Bodyweight resistance is challenging enough for most lifters. In fact, bodyweight GHDs are TOO challenging for some lifters, and that's one of the reasons a glute ham raise alternative can be useful.
Ideal for all sports– One of the reasons the GHD is so popular is that it works the muscles that help you run faster, jump higher and kick harder; the back chain. In fact, it's hard to imagine any sporting activity that doesn't engage these muscles. If you want to perform at your best while reducing your risk of injury, glute ham raises will help.
Build a better butt– Many trainees train for purely aesthetic reasons; they want to do their best. Whether you're a bodybuilder or a booty model, GHDs can help you build a butt to be proud of. Weak, soft, flat butt? Just say no!
GHDs can be customized to suit your needs- Simple glute ham raises are a challenging exercise, but they can be made easier or harder as needed. Ease them by using a bar or band for support, or using a limited range of motion. Make them harder by using weights or bands to increase resistance, or wear a weighted vest.
There's no denying that the GHD provides a great workout for your glutes and hamstrings, but there are certainly times when you don't have access to this machine or need to add some variety to your workout.
The 10 best glute ham raise alternative exercises
These ten exercises work the same muscles as glute ham raises, but in a slightly different way. Some use different movement patterns, while others use alternative gear. Use these exercises whenever you don't have access to a GHD or simply need an alternative.
1. Nordic curls
Nordic curls are essentially a no-equipment way to do glute ham raises. As such, they're quite challenging, so not the best choice if you're looking for an easier glute ham raise alternative. However, if you want an equally challenging exercise that you can do without using a GHD, this could be the exercise you want.
How it goes:
- Kneel on the floor and anchor your feet. Use a spotter, loaded barbell, or Smith machine bar set in a low position. Pad your knees with a folded exercise mat or towel. Your body and thighs should be erect, hips, knees and shoulders aligned.
- Engage your core, tighten your glutes and hamstrings, and raise your hands toward your chest, palms facing forward.
- Using your glutes and hamstrings as brakes, lower yourself to the floor while trying not to bend at the hips. Use your arms to control your descent if necessary.
- If necessary, push yourself off the floor with your arms, pull yourself back to the starting position, and repeat.
- Like GHDs, you can make this exercise easier or harder by using bands, holding weights, or wearing a weight vest.
2. Reverse Hypers
In glute ham raises, your feet stay still while your upper body moves. In reverse hypers, your torso stays stationary while your legs move. That doesn't make reverse hypers a better exercise; It's just a good alternative to the glute ham raise that has the benefit of being very easy on your lower back.
Read more aboutReverse Hyperextension Guide.
Conventional barbell deadlifts are a great GHD alternative. Not only do they target your posterior chain, they involve many other muscle groups, making it an almost total body exercise.
The deadlift is the final exercise in most powerlifting competitions and is also used by bodybuilders to build a bigger back. But as far as glute ham raise alternatives go, deadlifts are very hard to beat!
continue readingBarbell deadlift.
4. Romanian Deadlift
Traditional deadlifts require a lot of activation of the glutes and hamstrings, but also work the quads. Romanian deadlifts don't involve a knee extension and therefore don't work the quads. In a way, this makes them a closer alternative to glute ham raises than floor deadlifts. However, both deadlift variations are useful posterior chain exercises.
Read more aboutBarbell Romanian Deadlift.
5. Kettlebell swings
Kettlebell swings may not look like GHDs, but they still work the same muscles. Unlike most alternative glute ham raise exercises, this move is performed quickly, making it useful for developing posterior chain strength. High-rep kettlebell swings are also a very effective conditioning exercise and fat burner.
How it goes:
- Hold a kettlebell in front of your thighs and stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and tighten your core.
- Keeping your arms straight, push your buttocks back and lean forward from your hips, lowering the weight to about knee height.
- Without rounding your lower back, snap your hips forward and use that momentum to swing your kettlebell forward and to about eye level. Tighten your glutes, lats, and abs at the top of the rep.
- Lower the weight and repeat the process.
- Set a brisk but steady rhythm and stick to it throughout your set.
- You can also perform this exercise with a dumbbell held in an interlocked grip.
6. Hip Thrusts
Hip thrusts are often thought of primarily as a glute exercise, but they're actually an effective hamstring exercise as well. If you look at the ending position of glute ham raises, you'll see that the movement is actually very similar.
The primary benefit of hip thrusts as a glute ham raise alternative is that they're very easy on your lower back. If you want to work your glutes and hamstrings while avoiding putting too much stress on your lower back, hip thrusts are an excellent choice.
Read more aboutHip thrust with barbell glutes hamstrings.
7. Cable glands
The main disadvantage of many alternative glute ham raise exercises is that they take the load off the target muscles at the top of each rep. In contrast, on GHDs, the tension on the posterior chain remains more or less constant as you perform each rep. This is part of what makes glute ham raises so effective.
Cable pulls share this trait, making them a viable alternative to glute ham raises while being much easier to learn and execute.
continue readingpull the cable through.
8. Good morning
The good morning is so called because the movement looks a bit like bowing, as one used to do to greet one another. It's a somewhat controversial exercise as it can lead to injury if done incorrectly. But that can be said about most exercises, so a good morning isn't really any different. Just make sure you use light to moderate weight and NEVER round your back when doing this exercise.
How it goes:
- Rest and hold a barbell across your upper back as if you're doing a set of squats. Make sure it's on your meaty traps and not your neck. Hold it in place with an overhand grip.
- Stand with your feet about hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Tighten your abdominal muscles.
- Push your hips back and forward, leaning forward as much as you can without rounding your lower back.
- Get back up and repeat.
continue readingGood MorningA practice.
9. High pull sumo deadlift
Like glute ham raisesSumo DeadliftHigh pulls are popular in CrossFit. It's an explosive exercise that works your entire posterior chain, traps, shoulders, deltoids, and arms. Like kettlebell swings, this glute ham raise alternative is also a good conditioning exercise. In fact, in CrossFit, the high-pull sumo deadlift is often performed in place of the row. Regardless, it's a very useful posterior chain exercise.
10. Mountain sprint
Even if you train outside, it's good to know that there are still alternative glute ham raise exercises you can do. Hill sprints don't look like GHDs, but they work the same muscles and involve simultaneous knee flexion and hip extension. Running up a steep hill also improves your fitness and burns fat. They might even make you faster!
If you're new to hill sprints, resist the temptation to go too fast or you could tear your hamstring. Increase both the speed and duration gradually and as you get used to this challenging exercise.
How it goes:
- Find a steep hill that is between 20 and 50 meters long.
- Start back a few feet, jog toward the hill, then accelerate when you reach it.
- Lean into the hill, pump your arms and propel your legs back. Look ahead and slightly up to maintain good posture.
- Try to overtake your hill, i.e. H. don't slow down before the top.
- Go back down and then repeat.
Glute Ham Raise Alternatives Summary
Almost everyone needs onestronger rear chain. Well developed glutes, hamstrings andspine straightenerMuscles look impressive and contribute a lot to your athletic performance. It can also reduce your risk of injury, especially when lifting heavy objects off the ground.
The glute ham raise is one way to develop these muscles, but despite its popularity, there's more than one way to increase the size and strength of your posterior chain. That's good news, because GHDs aren't always possible or practical.
Use these alternative glute ham raise exercises anytime you don't have access to a GHD machine or when you want to challenge those same muscles in other ways.
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