The glute-ham raise machine is like the unicorn of the gym. Something magical that you’ve only ever heard of, but have never seen.

For those of you who are not familiar with this contraption, it looks like this:

And this is how you use it:

It’s one of the most challenging ways to train your glutes, hamstrings, and calves. I’ve never actually seen a glute-ham raise machine in person. Fortunately, that’s not a problem because there are a couple of ways you can do a glute-ham raise without the machine. Right now I’m just going to go over one of them.

But first, a warning. This is advanced exercise. Not because it’s complicated or the movement is hard to figure out, but simply because it’s just plain HARD. If you’ve never done it before, you will be sore the next day. And chances are that while executing this move you are going to feel some strain in your knee pits. This is because the muscles and tendons in that area aren’t used to working that hard. Just take it easy when you’re first starting off, and keep at it. With time you’ll stop getting sore.

That being said, if you’re feeling confident, give it a go! It’s an incredible way to work your posterior chain, and once you actually try it you’ll see why. Even if you aren’t strong enough to complete them in the full range of motion, just do the best you can.

The easiest (and by easiest, I mean least complicated) way to do this exercise is with a partner, a towel, and a mat. Obviously, lay down the mat. I’d advise rolling up the towel to make it thick, because you are going to be kneeling on it. Your knees are going to need as much cushion as possible.

Here’s a video of me executing the exercise. Don’t make fun of me too much. It’s my first video!

Most importantly, when you are coming back up, don’t rely too heavily on your arms to push you. You really want to be focusing on your glutes and hamstrings to pull you back to the starting position, not the momentum created by pushing off the floor. If you aren’t feeling it in your hamstrings/butt, then you are pushing too hard.

Here’s a photo breakdown with directions:

This is the starting position. Your partner should hold your ankles to keep you stable.
Now, slowly lower yourself down to the floor while keeping your back as straight as possible.
Try to go as low as you can, and when you reach the point where you lose control of the movement, use your hands to assist in pushing you back up.

If you can only lower yourself a few inches before you need to use your hands for support, that’s fine. As you progress, you’ll be able to go lower and lower.

If you don’t have a partner, you can always try putting something heavy over your ankles to keep you stable. I’ve seen people do it with barbells, but it’s a bit awkward.

Next time I’ll be covering how to do this exercise at the gym on an ab bench.

So that’s it! Now go do them so you can feel like slapping me for ever suggesting it 😀

4 comments on “Maximize your gluteus!”

  1. haha cute 🙂 that definitely looks like a good booty workout. have you thought of any ways that one could use furniture or something in case they don’t have a partner to do it with?

    also, random suggestion/request: can you make a post or two about working out in small spaces (as in, if you dont have much space in your room, little things people can do to still work out even if it’s minimal? i know it’s hard for me to find space at home and i feel kinda awkward working out in public, so there’s some homework for you 🙂 !)

    • you could always try just putting your feet under a couch. anything sturdy that can hold your weight will do, although you’ll need to protect your heels. and i can definitely make a post about working out in small spaces. in fact i already made up a workout that pretty much fits that bill. so…soon 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *