Innovation – The Modified Glute/Ham Raise

My job as a Strength and Conditioning Coach is not to reinvent the wheel, but to simply make it faster and more efficient.

The Glute/Ham raise is a high level progression in your posterior chain exercises (meaning only the more experienced lifters should be performing it).  The exercise is along the same progression line of the hip bridge/hip thrust, as it is a great exercise for exactly what it is called, the Glutes and the Hamstrings!

Unfortunately the only facilities that I have seen carry the Glute/Ham Raise equipment has been Strength and Conditioning facilities.  I have yet to see a commercial type gym carry it (yet most of them do have Multiple hamstring curl machines, i don’t get it).  Here is a picture of the elusive Glute/Ham Raise equipment.


Look familiar? Probably not…

Upon first inspection it does have some similarities to a back extension machine or something you would use for your abs?  But no, this device has a much greater function.  Here it is in action:

Now how does an individual perform this extremely beneficial exercise without the right equipment?

I will be the first to admit that I did not invent this modification it has been around for a while now. However after some collaboration with a fellow friend and Strength Coach we have determined that this is the best/safest way to perform the exercise and still get all of the great benefits it offers.

All you will need is a Lat Pulldown Cable Machine (if your gym does not have one of these you need to find a new gym) and a Superband (Most gyms will have one of these, and if not they are relatively cheap online, about 20 bucks)

Here is the superband: (picture is right out of the perform better catalog)


First step is to kneel on the seat pad of the lat pulldown facing away from the machine, and then tuck your ankles down under the leg rest.  The next important safety step is to have the superband wrapped around around the machine, then wrapped around your body (for both assistance and support).

Now that you are set up in proper position, extend your hips and maintain that as you lean your body forward.  You will feel the tension in your hamstrings as you lower your body forward.  Use that tension to pull your body back upright. 

Here is the exercise:

(Ignore the guy doing the crazy stupid lat pulldowns in the background, he also does this really stupid thing where he does a barbell bench while bridging on the bench…)

Give it a try and curse me out in the comments when your hamstrings are too sore for you to walk.


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