PK has two favorite Glute Ham Developer exercises to share with the Garage Gym community.
This device was made like Roman Chair or back extension machine, but instead of doing back extensions and working your lower back, it can be used to work your glutes and hamstrings, among other things. One of PK’s favorite movements for the GHD is a glute hamstring extension, which is a lot like a back extension, but focused on the glutes and hamstrings instead.
When using a GHD for a glute/ham extension, you’ll have to get yourself into the machine, hook your feet in the rollers at the back, and make sure your hip bones are aligned with the end of the pads. With a tight back, glutes, and hamstrings, bring yourself down toward the floor as best you can, maintaining a tight back, core, and glutes, and use your glutes and hamstrings to bring yourself back up to horizontal, where you’ll then break at the knee to get yourself to a vertical position. It’s best to start small with these, as they’re sneaky and tend to do some damage even with a small amount of reps.
If you’ve got a GHD with band hooks, like ours does, you can hook resistance bands around them and yourself to provide more resistance once you’ve become a pro at GHD extensions. Never fear: if you don’t have band hooks, grab a plate and hold it at your chest for the same kind of resistance.
PK’s second favorite movement on a GHD happens to be the opposite of the glute/ham extension. The glute/ham sit-up builds amazing abs… but it’s worth noting that the GHD makes these exercises much more difficult than a standard back extension or sit-up.
The GHD sit-up is much like a rite of passage in one’s CrossFit or fitness journey, and it’s not because they’re easy… it’s because they’re a phenomenal, difficult ab exercise that not only recruits the entirety of the abdominal muscles, but the hip flexors too.
To do these sit-ups, you’ll again hook your feet into the rollers at the back, this time sitting on top of the pads as opposed to laying on them. With a soft bend in your knees, reach backward toward the floor until your fingertips meet the mat. Then, with some power, explode your legs straight as you contract your core and hip flexors to bring yourself back up. Be prepared for an ab burn… these suckers are good!
Once you’ve gotten to be a professional GHD sit-upper, like the extension, you can add some resistance by adding weight to your sit-ups. A medicine ball, like our 10lb Immortal wall ball, will absolutely do the trick for a little more difficulty, but so will a standard bumper plate.
Now, you might be thinking we’re done here since we covered the two best exercises to do on a GHD… but wait! There’s more. Our GHD, like most, has arms that extend out past the padding, and those are great for accessory work like dips to add some more fight against gravity to your workouts.
Why might you want a GHD in your gym? If you’re looking for the BEST way to work your hamstrings in accessory work, or get killer abs (or both), the GHD is the way to go.
Do you have a GHD? What’s your favorite movement to do with it? Let us know below!
Lift heavy, lift happy, and go get yourself a GHD!