Glute-Ham Raise: The Guide to Strong Glutes and Hamstrings

True to its name the glute-ham raise strengthens your hamstrings as well as your glutes. Although you’ll often see an exercise machine for glutes at the gym in public, however, this exercise can be done without equipment, too.

The glute-ham raise is a multi-purpose exercise that can assist you in optimizing the leg workout program!

Glute-Ham Raise: Working Muscles

Primary Muscle Group

Unsurprisingly, the glutes, as well as the hamstrings, are among the targets of glute-ham raise. The gluteal muscles form three muscles that make up your buttocks. The gluteus maximus muscle, the gluteus medius as well as the gluteus minimus.

It is vital to strengthen the three muscles. The glute-ham raise is among the most effective gluteus muscles and gluteus maximus strength exercises that you can find.

Similar to the hamstring, three muscles are grouped together to create the hamstring. They are the biceps femoris biceps, semi then as well as semimembranosus. The glute-ham raise helps develop all three muscles that are located in the back part of the leg.

Many bodybuilders and athletes tend to work their quads too hard and hamstrings, which can be detrimental to their hamstrings. If you’re in this situation this is the ideal exercise to strengthen your hamstrings, and also to strengthen the rear of your legs.

Secondary Muscle Group

The glute-ham raise also engages your back lower (spinal erectors) and you are the upper back (rhomboids) and calves (gastrocnemius and soleus). Through the glute-ham raise, your upper and lower back muscles will be activated to stabilize your upper body.

This workout is an isometric calf exercise in addition. The calves will contract while you remain stationary during the glute-ham raise.

Glute-Ham Raise: Benefits

Glute-Ham Raise Benefits

#1 Gains For Strength

As opposed to deadlifts or squats and deadlifts, the glute-ham raise increases the glute and leg muscles without the need for heavy weights. This means that the glute-ham raise can be used as an additional exercise to improve your deadlift and squat performance.

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If you’re a bodybuilder, athlete, or just one who enjoys fitness, this workout will definitely strengthen your glutes and hamstrings.

#2 Minimal Back Stress For Lower Back

A lot of people who exercise their legs by squatting, squatting, or deadlifting frequently complain of lower back discomfort. These types of exercises put a significant strain upon the back of your lower area, which can result in discomfort and hinder gains from working out.

However, the glute-ham raise puts a minimal strain on the back of your lower. If you suffer from lower back pain but need to strengthen your glutes and legs, this exercise is ideal for you.

#3 Advanced Vertical Jump And Speed

Your hamstrings and glutes are two of the muscles that are involved in both jumping and running. The development of these muscles is vital for you to increase your vertical jump as well as your speed in sprinting.

The calves, however, play a role in leaping and running motions because they are the muscle closest to the ground and helps in the development of explosiveness.

As we’ve mentioned before that the glute-ham raise is an isometric calf workout, in addition, to providing the added benefit of training to improve the performance of athletes.

Glute-Ham Raise: Instructions


Before we can exercise, it is necessary to be familiar with the equipment we need. In this instance, it’s glute-ham raise.

Each machine is made up of three components including the ankle plate ankle hooks, as well as the knee pads.


  • Place your feet securely on the plate. Allow your calves to push into the ankle hooks. Your knees should be slightly in front or directly to the knee pad.
  • Start by keeping your upper body parallel to your ground. You should feel as if you can draw a vertical line between your head and your knees.


  1. Tighten your glutes, hamstrings, and abs.
  2. Begin to slowly lower your weight until it is level with the floor.
  3. Then, push your toes against the footplate, then raise your body with the hamstrings (and some assistance with the glutes).
  4. Squeeze hamstrings and glutes with a lot of force on top to maximize contracture.
  5. Stay controlled and gradually lower yourself down, repeating.


This is a difficult exercise for those who are experienced in weightlifting or even novices. Once you’ve learned the glute-ham raise technique try to do three sets of between six and ten repetitions.

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If you’re looking for an even greater test, read on for more ideas!

Glute-Ham Raise: Mistakes

Glute-Ham Raise Mistakes

#1 Ending At The Hips

Many lifters tend to lean forward in their waists as they raise their bodies from an upright position. It is most likely because of a lack of muscles in the hamstrings because bending pulls tension away from the muscles of the hamstrings.

A hip bend when you glute-ham raise is not a risk in itself. But, it can make it difficult to see the most gains from your muscles the hamstrings. Instead, you should practice the correct technique with variations to make it easier!

#2 Hyper-Extended Back

When you are bending down until you reach the point where the body is in line with the flooring, many tend to hyperextend their backs as they lift up.

A back that is stretched too much during the glute-ham raise is because of a lack of muscle strength within the hamstrings.

If you experience significant lower back tension while doing the exercise, you’re likely hyperextending your back. Don’t let it discourage you!

The glute-ham raise is a challenging exercise. If you practice it regularly it will become a master technique within a matter of minutes.

Glute-Ham Raise: Variations

#1 Weighted Gute-Ham Raise

When you do the glute-ham raise your body functions as the lever. Your glutes and hamstrings will be in charge of pulling the lever away from the horizontal to the vertical position. If you’re comfortable performing six to ten reps over three sets of glute-ham raise, you can add weight.

Grab a plate of 10-25 pounds or dumbbell on your chest, and then perform the glute-ham raise using the same method. This weight puts more stress on the lever and transfers more pressure to your hamstrings and glutes and calves.

#2 Resistance Band Glute-Ham Raise

The glute-ham raise with a resistance band could be the most difficult variant of the glute-ham raise. Connect one side of the band to the machine, and the other to your neck. This is a difficult task since the band puts more strain on your hamstrings across the motion range.

This idea is known as accommodating resistance and is a great supplement to the glute-ham raise.

#3 Bodyweight Gute-Ham Raise

Are you unable to access the glute-ham raise machine? Don’t worry! The bodyweight glute-ham raise also called “the Nordic Hamstring Curl” is the perfect exercise for you.

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To keep your ankles secure you can try using the rack’s bottom or knee pads to the pulldown machine for lats Ask a person to support your feet or any other innovative technologies to strengthen your ankles.

Beginning from a vertical upright position, move your lower body down until the legs are fully straight. If you are unable to complete the exercise, lift onto the flooring or use a box to help propel yourself upwards.

Glute-Ham Raise: Alternatives

If you liked the glute-ham raise, check out these additional glute and hamstring exercises to strengthen your lower-body training:

#1 Reverse Lunge

Take a stand position and place your hands on your hips. Make a huge step backward until your knees are parallel to the ground. The front of your knee must sit directly over your ankle.

Then, push upwards until you reach the starting point. Change legs, and do it again!

#2 Donkey Kicks

Start on your feet with your hands placed directly beneath your shoulders. Keep your abs in a straight line and move one leg forward as far as you can. Engage your glutes, then slowly return to your starting position.

Change legs and repeat!

#3 Back Elevated Hip Thrust

Set your back up on a table and set your feet on the bench in front. Engage your glutes and abs to lift your body till your upper body becomes equal to the ground.

Return slowly to the starting point and repeat!


  • Timothy P. Carnes

    Timothy P. Carnes is a certified personal trainer with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from the University of Florida. With over 8 years of experience in the fitness industry, Timothy is an expert in strength and conditioning, body composition, and overall health and wellness. He also holds certifications in strength and conditioning through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and corrective exercise through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). As an author at FitGAG, he shares his knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics, including strength training, body composition, and overall health and wellness tips. Timothy believes that consistency and discipline are the keys to achieving fitness goals, and he strives to inspire his readers to prioritize their fitness and wellness journey. Through his articles, Timothy aims to empower his readers to take control of their health, enhance their performance, and live their best lives.

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