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Glute-Ham Raise Developers

Male or female, young or old, everyone needs more attention paid to the posterior chain, and the glute-ham raise developer (GHD) is one of the best tools for the task. Specifically designed to strengthen the glutes, hamstrings, lower back, and general core muscles, the GHD can also double as an advanced sit-up station. With the 21st Century well underway and people more sedentary than ever, flabby abs and lower back pain are becoming more common. Given that the posterior-side muscles of the body get the least amount of action during a day spent hunched over a computer terminal, it’s no wonder fitness fans are especially interested in targeting their glutes and abs. And while all GHDs offer the same basic concept, the particular style and price do matter depending on your goals. Competitive deadlifters use these machines to help activate their glutes for maximal lifts, while middle-aged office workers simply want to stretch and flex. There is a bit of a trick to situating oneself into the GHD, as it’s typically performed bodyweight style against gravity, and so getting a unit that’s going to fit your body style matters as well.

Best Overall

Force USA Glute-Ham Raise Developer

Rating: 95%

Glute-Ham Raise Developers

Model

Rating

Color

Length

Width

Pricing

Reviews

Editor's Choice
Force USA Glute-Ham Raise Developer
Heavy Duty
Rogue Abram GHD 2.0
Multi-Use
Rogue 3x3 Echo GHD w/ Games Box
Steelflex APE Glute-Ham Bench
York Barbell STS Glute-Ham Developer Machine

95%

Black

70.5"

42.5

92%

Black

73"

44.5"

89%

Black And Tan

30"

24"

86%

Black

37"

40"

84%

Silver Or White

68"

30"

What to look for

Glute-ham raise developers are a great tool for lower body and core work in general. If the user is skilled enough and the machine sufficiently solid, one can flip over and perform sit-ups and even hyper-extensions. What to look for in purchasing a model is how well it meets your needs. There’s no question senior citizens and even children could benefit from the strengthening of their hamstrings, glutes, and core. Just how big and expensive a unit do they need though? Clearly not as much as a commercial gym where powerlifters are activating their glutes with wall ball throws. Get a look at the overall size and materials involved and it wouldn’t hurt to try one out next you’re at the gym. One of the challenges in learning to use a GHD is developing body confidence in hanging over the edge. It also requires a good deal strength to perform the movement. Make sure the piece you purchase will suit your needs.

What else to do?

The great thing about a GHD is the numerous options for accentuation. Holding a weight plate across your chest while either raising or performing sit-ups is a quick way to add resistance. If your gym has weighted chains, these too can be a nice add-on to increase the drag and therefore power. Medicine balls held at chest level also allow for rotational twists while performing sit-ups. The primary muscles worked with a GHD are, as the name implies, the glutes and hamstrings, but it doesn’t take much imagination to see where the entire body can be strengthened, stretched, and better conditioned with its use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I use a GHD?
A: Lie face down atop the unit with your feet hooked into the rollers, knees down on the pads, with your thighs up hanging over the edge so as to raise and lower your bodyweight through the air.
Q: Can I use weighs with this?
A: Holding a plate or dumbbell at your chest increases resistance.
Q: How do I perform sit-ups on a GHD?
A: By reversing the body face-up, hooking the feet into the ankle pads.

1. Force USA Glute-Ham Raise Developer

Built for heavy-duty usage in the home or gym, the Force USA Glute Ham Raise brings the materials needed for performance. With a foot print of 42.5 inches wide by 70.5 inches long and 41 inches high, the unit fits easily enough in any location, but boasts an incredible 1,300-pound weight rating, meaning there’s no danger in strapping on the weighted vest to perform loaded glute-ham raises. GHD sit-up with heavy medicine balls to throw to a partner are also definitely doable with the Force USA model, which sports an adjustable pivoting arm for changing height options. VorTex heavy-duty rip-stop vinyl upholstery with mesh backing and Duracore High-Density padding also make for long-term use. The unit’s rolling ankle pads adjust from 7 to 22.5 inches with the pull and twist of ergonomic knobs. The unit also comes complete with handy transport wheels to make moving the unit easy.

Pros

Great price for size
Tremendous weight rating
High stability

Cons

Narrow ankle pads
Most lifters won't need that much that size
Requires instruction

2. Rogue Abram GHD 2.0

A heavy-duty GHD built for hard work, the Rogue Abram GHD 2.0 is a common site at CrossFit events and commercial gyms. Manufactured from 2×3-inch, 11-gauge steel with a bolt-together, triangular-base design and rubber feet, the unit has a 10-slot roller assembly for easy height adjustment. With a length and width of 73 and 44.5 inches respectively, the machine has a relatively small foot print and only weighs 222 pounds. The big benefit to the triangular-base and heavier steel parts is that users can comfortably, and safely, add weight plates or kettlebells to their regimen. There won’t be any wobbling or balancing act involved when a heavy powerlifter is performing raises holding a 45-pound plate, or sit-ups with a medicine ball to throw against a wall.

Pros

Quality manufacturing
Triangular base
Height adjustable

Cons

Costs a little more
Harder to move around
Requires assembly

3. Rogue 3x3 Echo GHD w/ Games Box

Good for a commercial gym or your own garage, the Rogue 3×3 Echo GHD with Games Box is clearly the result of lifter ingenuity. A two-for-one kind of deal, the GHD unit itself comes as a standard 30-inch x 24-inch vinyl pad and foot roller assembly which can be mounted to a rig, rack, or the Rogue Games Box. The box is a 3-in-1 wood plyo box with options at 20-, 24-, and 30 inches in height, built with reinforced components safe for jumping and plyometric training at any level. Attachment and detachment from the box is simple and fast, and the GHD pad and webbing offer seatbelt-style straps for a non-slip effect on the floor. A great way to get more bump for your buck, a lower body workout could be complete with glute-ham raises and plyometric box jumps all in the same package.

Pros

Multi-use box and GHD
Moveable
Price

Cons

Assembly required
Less stability than fixed unit
If taken outdoors weather might be issue

4. Steelflex APE Glute-Ham Bench

A smaller unit designed to fit in well with a garage gym or commercial location, the Steelflex APE Glute-Ham Bench has a maximum weight capacity of 300 pounds, which is plenty for most athletes. At 40 inches high and 62 inches deep, the unit is only 37 inches wide and weighs just 90 when assembled. Constructed of solid steel, the unit is tough enough for athletes of all ages and stages to use, but is probably best for home gyms and bodyweight motions only. Foot pads adjust horizontally to account for users of any height, and the unit comes equipped with a thick knee pad for mounting and dismount.

Pros

Smaller unit
Easy to move
Solid build

Cons

Lower weight rating
Less options
Price

5. York Barbell STS Glute-Ham Developer Machine

Available in either white or silver paint, the York group’s GHD is a solid model at 200 pounds in weight. The extra weight of the unit affords users more security when hanging themselves over the air for the raises. The unit is a solid 68 inches long, 30 inches wide, and 46 inches high. A twin-pad design adjusts to 29 different horizontal positions and both the knee pads and ankle stabilizers are adjustable vertically. With a box-style bottom, the unit relatively easy to move without scuffing up the floors. Handle bars on the front allow for stability for either raises or sit-ups.

Pros

Smaller unit
Solid build
Good handle bars

Cons

Square bottom
No frills
Price
 
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