Everthing you need to know about glute-ham raises

glute ham raises

Looking to expand on your range of glute and hamstring exercises? The glute ham raise uses more muscle fibres than a hamstring curl on a machine and targets all three parts of the hamstrings – not to mention your glutes (hence the name). But how do you do a glute-ham raise? Read on to find out more.

What is a Glute Ham Raise?

The Glute-ham raise is a posterior-chain exercise. Simply put, it trains the muscles on the back of the legs that work together in unison.  It works the hamstrings’ two functions simultaneously, bending the knees and extending the hips in one fluid movement.

This exercise involves the movement of each muscle from the top of your back to the back of your heels. What you need is access to a glute-ham bench at home or the gym and knowing the correct form to do it.

According to experts, mastering the glute-ham raise will increase your ability to squat better and increase your stamina to run and jump. This is one exercise you need to start doing now! Do not let the soreness demotivate you- After all…No pain = No Gain.

How to do a Glute Ham Raise?

Here is a simple step by step approach to perform a glute-ham raise:

  1. Firstly, ensure that the machine is set up right for you. The knees should be on the pad, or just behind it. The feet are to be placed firmly on the platform and your lower calves leaning on the ankle holders.
  2. To start, the upper body should be upright (like a kneeling position). Next, tighten your hamstrings, glutes, and abs.
  3. Keeping your hamstrings, glutes, and abs contracted, lower your torso until it is parallel to the ground.
  4. Stay controlled and slowly lower yourself back down and repeat

As with any exercise, the difficulty level should be increased gradually. Start with doing 8-10 reps.

Glute-Ham Raise Variations

  1. Weighted Glute-Ham Raise

Once you are comfortable performing 8-10 reps of at least three sets, it is time to add some weight. 

Grab a 10-25 lbs plate/dumbbell and hold it across your chest. Use the same technique. Using weights adds stress to the lever and you can feel more pressure on your hamstrings, glutes, and calves.

  1. Resistance Band Glute-Ham Raise

For this, attach one end of the resistance band to the glute-ham machine and the other end around your neck. This is the most challenging variation as the band increases tension on your hamstrings all through the exercise.

  1. Body Weight Glute-Ham Raise

Not everyone has access to the glute-ham machine but that should not stop you from adding the glute-ham raise to your workout. This is where the body weight glute-ham raise comes in handy.

First, you need to secure your ankles. For this, you can use the bottom of a rack or ask a partner to hold your feet. Begin with an upright position, lower your body until the legs are almost straight. Rest and repeat!

Common Mistakes

  1. Avoid bending at the hips.
  2. Watch for hyperextension through your lower back.
  3. A machine that is not properly set up for you.

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I’m Chloe – a body confidence writer here at House of Peach! I help women to feel fabulous in the body they’re in and feel amazing in gym wear – regardless of their body shape and type. Unleash Your Peach.

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