How to Perform the Glute-Ham Raise

Glute-ham raises have been a staple in my programs since 2001.

After a trip to Westside Barbell, I knew that this exercise could be an absolute game changer for my strength in the powerlifts.

But little did I realize how impactful it could be for virtually every athlete I worked with from that day forward!

Whether you’re looking to bulletproof the hammies, lower back, or keep those ACL’s intact, the glute-ham raise can help you out.

I hope you enjoy this short tutorial on how we coach it here at IFAST!

Now that you’ve watched the video, here are a few quick tips to really fast-track your technique:

  • Find (and keep) your heels. I hate to break the news to you, but if you’re on your toes, you’re not maximally engaging the hamstrings. And trust me, I’ve made this mistake in the past – but no more! If you want to get the most out of this exercise, make sure to find – and keep – your heels in contact throughout.
  • Keep the abs on. Just like you want the hammies engaged, you want the abs on as well. Think about using the abs to “pull” the pelvis up into a more optimal position.
  • Work on CONTROL. Too often when I see athletes perform this exercise, they’re cranking out reps like a crazy person…but their back is crazy arched, their heels are off the plate, and they’re using a ton of momentum. You can definitely find ways to make the exercise harder later on, but make sure you’re owning and controlling the basic movement first.

The glute-ham raise is an awesome exercise, and one that I love to progress my clients and athletes to when they’re ready.

I hope these tips make an impact on how you coach and cue the exercise going forward!

All the best,

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