If you’re like me… getting a glute ham developer is a must for your gym. This machine is one of the most effective ways to build functionally stronger glutes, hamstrings, back muscles, and abdominals; outside of the barbell lifts. Getting stronger posterior chain muscles and abs is something I’m sure we all want. So, whether you’re looking to build general strength or display strength competitively this is a machine you should definitely consider getting sooner than later.
Now, I want to be clear about one thing… and that is, you can build these muscle groups with many other exercises, but the GHD targets the glutes and hamstrings differently than other traditional exercises. The GHD provides a more sport specific stimulus that will better carryover to athletes.
To better help you understand the versatility of the GHD, I will be discussing the TOP 5 exercises that can benefit you by getting you stronger so you can lift more weight and also help to increase your jumping and running as well.
#1. Glute Hamstring Raises
This is the standard exercise most people are familiar with that can greatly help to improve your posterior chain muscles. When you perform this movement it effectively builds the muscle throughout the hamstrings, glutes, and calves unlike other exercises that may only be capable of isolating a specific area at a time.
The GHD really helps to work were the glute and hamstring tie-in together while also providing the stimulus needed in other areas to get stronger and more powerful.
#2. Back Extensions
Everybody has done some kind of back extension before, so this is not a machine specific exercise, but this machine allows for this exercise among several others.
Back extensions are known for strengthening the spinal erectors, low back, and glutes. When I do these I also feel them in my hamstrings too. This is an excellent exercise that can benefit just about anybody wanting to get a stronger back.
To be honest I had a back extension machine before; it was called a roman chair and was a piece of junk. The GHD is built like a tank that will hold up to the limitless hours of training you do over the years. In fact, it’s so strong you can actually add extra resistance with bands, dumbbells, or a barbell to continually challenge yourself to make those gains.
#3. Straight Leg Sit-ups
One of the best abdominal and hip exercises you can do is with this machine. By simply turning around on the machine you can work your abs and hips simultaneously.
Strong abs and hips allows for the optimal transfer of force while having rigidity in the torso to protect the spine through full ranges of motion with load. To be really strong you must build the abs and hips.
You can be sure when doing straight leg sit-ups on the GHD that you’re secure to perform this exercise with little to no risk of injury based on machine malfunction or breakdown. The GHD is built for performance, unlike some flimsy machines that could give out at any moment. Be smart, get a GHD!
#4. Ab Twists
Don’t forget to work your obliques. When doing oblique twist you will systematically get superior abdominal contractions and develop stronger abs because of it. To do this exercise you will face upwards with the feet secure, with the torso at a 45 degree angle, now slowly rotate from side-to-side; kinda like a washing machine motion.
The oblique muscles help to protect the torso from anti-rotational unwanted movements while stabilizing to perform sport specific movements along with general every day lifting.
Obviously you would want to have stronger obliques if you want a safe and healthy spine.
#5. Prone Plank With Row
Everybody knows what a plank is, but combine that with a rowing motion. Think about extending horizontally like a seal row with no chest support. Not only will this hit the lats big time, but also your whole entire body big time.
For this exercise you will need to aggressively brace to execute properly. The good thing about this is that you don’t need to use heavy weights to benefit extreme results.
Another way to try this is to do a back extension, hold, and row. Give these variations a try and see what you think. You never know if you don’t try.
“Strength is Never a Weakness!”
By building the posterior chain and abdominal muscles you not only are going to get stronger, bigger muscles, but also help to prevent injury by conditioning these muscle groups to hold up to the stress demanded upon them.
Whether you are a competitive athlete or general strength enthusiast, this machine can help to improve the core muscle groups required to gain functional and maximal strength. So, this means if you want to run faster, improve your jumping abilities, and increase your overall performance in the weight room while dominating day-to-day tasks; you should consider adding the glute ham developer to your gym.
The last thing I’ll add about the GHD is that you’re not just getting any machine that will just take up space and collect dust. When you get one; you will use it on a regular basis to enhance your strength training program. I would not recommend doing only the GHD in substitution for barbell compound movements like the squat or deadlift, but rather as an accessory exercise to further build and strengthen the muscles required.
I hope this information has proven useful with helping you understand some of the best exercises you can do with the GHD and why you might want to consider getting one if you haven’t already. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below.
Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.-Lou Holtz
All the Best,