Reverse Hypers versus Glute Hams

Glute-Ham Raise

Hi Mike,

Certainly enjoy your article content and very much the Podcasts.

I am a new gym owner and have considered purchasing either (but not both) a GHR or a Reverse Hyper from Elite FTS.  I am convinced that the posterior chain must be developed in all athletes for many reasons of injury prevention and performance.  I use the SL/DL deadlifts as a staple in my programs to enhance knee health and accel/decel performance.

Just would like your take on the equipment.

Thanks again….

This is a great question, and before I would answer it, let’s take a quick second to examine the differences in function between the two.

Reverse hypers train hip extension with a straight leg.  Therefore, the primary emphasis here is on the gluteals.

The glute-ham raise, on the other hand, trains the knee flexion component of the hamstrings. Outside of  ball leg curls, I’m not sure of many ways to train this without resorting to the leg curl machine!

As I mentioned in my previous blog examining the differences between Leg Curls and glute-hams, GHR’s also train the core/glutes to stabilize the pelvis if performed correctly.

But as a gym owner, I always look at one thing:  Total value.  What piece of equipment are you going to get the most use/mileage out of?

With a reverse hyper, you’re somewhat limited.  In essence, all you can do with a reverse hyper is reverse hypers!

On the other hand, a glute-ham can allow you to perform any or all of the following exercises:

–       Glute ham raises

–       Back extensions (an alternative straight-leg hip extension exercise)

–       Static back extensions/side bridges, etc.

I guess I feel that a glute-ham raise would be the better overall value – for a cheaper price, you can get more movements out of it.

That’s not to say that a reverse hyper isn’t a great tool.  In fact, I wrote about it extensively HERE.  I just feel that a glute-ham raise gets you more for your dollar, and as a new gym owner, I hope that’s something you care a lot about!

I hope this helps.  Thanks!



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  1. Mike,
    You can do all kinds of stuff off the reverse hyper. When we used to train in my garage, before we got a cable machine we found the reverse hyper makes an outstanding replacement. You can do rows, good mornings, pull-thru’s, lay down and do abs and triceps work. The only limit is your imagination!
    Take care buddy

  2. Mike,
    Speaking of GHR’s, perhaps you could put up a future post with your general comments on the following video…..
    The person in the video comes up with a somewhat surprising conclusion about whether or not to use the toe plate when performing GHR’s. Usually I have heard that the toe plate is absolutely necessary, so this video was somewhat surprising on a number of levels.

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