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Are glute ham raises even possible?

A recent thread prompted me to try this exercise, I wasn’t even really familiar with it before. If I understand it correctly, you lie face down, (I assume hands locked behind head?), someone holds your feet, and you raise yourself up into a kneeling position. I tried it and am not sure it is even possible, can anyone here do these? If so are you some kind of genetic hamstring freak, or do you think most folks could train their way into them, using the suggestions in the previous thread. This is the hardest shit I’ve ever heard of.

I think the Renegade forum has something on how people work their way into it. I would start from the top and take it as more of a eccentric excercise, lower slowly and pushup assist yourself on the concentric part. Your hands arent locked behind your head unless you can do the excercise without spotting yourself. I’m sure skinnier types would find it easier to do the excercise without spotting eventually, kind of like one-armed pullups.

Silly when my goal is to do 1. I do a lot of negatives and am sore for at least 3 days after.

You’ll get the hang of them after awhile, for starting off you can push a little bit to get some momentum going, wait till later when you try the same ex with holding a plate across your chest!

Yes, people can do them. There was even a clip of Adam Archuleta of the Rams doing an explosive glute-ham raise. Said it took him 2 years to master it, so that shows you how hard they are.

Hey guys, don’t despair. It is certainly possible. I can do these quite efficiently now and my other lifts aren’t really anything to write home about. (120kg frontsquat, 90kg power clean).

I am currently doing them for 6 reps, starting from the floor (5 sec pause between reps). I started doing them no hands (hands behind my back) this year.


This exercise is extremely hard to progress on, I’ve been trying to add weight for a while but could only get 3 reps with a 5kg dumbell. (Adam Archuleta does these with a 20kg dumbell).

My advise is to ditch the negatives. Jay you answered your own problem when you said you are sore for 3 days afterwards from doing glute-ham negatives. Just work on the concentric portion (cheat with your hands if you have to), there will be far less soreness and you will be able to work on it with more frequency (3 or 4 times a week).

it helps if you don’t have excess upper body weight, whether it is fat or muscle and that your lower back, glutes and hamstrings are strong. laters pk

Yes, possible. Yes, hard to attain. It took me about three months before I could do one without the assistance of my hands. I got up to three about 2 months after that. Just “spot” yourself with your hands in the beginning and be patient. It’s a bad ass exercise. Also, I keep my hands in a position ready to catch me if I lose it. Don’t want to break my nose!

How about some ideas on where to tuck your feet?

Of course it is possible; it took me like 4 weeks to master it however. I’m hardly a genetic hamstringfreak, although I am a former soccerplayer, which may be beneficial. I’d assume willpower rather than genetics is the key.

I tuck my feet under the base of a leg extension machine in the corner of my gym for glute-ham raises. It’s the best use I’ve ever gotten out of a leg extension machine.

Does a cat have an ass? Does a bear shit in the woods? Yes, they are possible! But they are hard and it will take time. I’m still not able to do a full rep, I use the assistance of my hands.

Yes they definatly are posseble. I have done sets of three and my brother 5. It took us about 6or7 months of training. I DISAGREE with Davidl, not to say he is wrong, but for us working the eccentric was key and our progress was stalled when we tried to work the concentric too much. It took us 2-3 months to get to abour 3 inches off the floor from there it took month to reverse it(not sure of exacts , i recently looked it up and posted on a similar thread do a search to find it)Also I could be incorrect but Adam Archuleta does the exercise with a 25 POUND not 20 kg dumbell. He lso makes his much harder by starting at the bottom of the motion. I havent yet gotten one of these, more fear of reinjuring my hamstring(from season) than lack of power i think. My brother has done one. We have also each done a single with a ten lbs plate held on chest, not too bad. RR

Doesn’t this tear up your knees with all the pressure on your kneecaps?

I use the lumbar pads that are floating around, with heels hooked under an oly bar loaded up. I ahve pregressed to lowering with some stops. I am cramping hard, but not where I would quit. I wish we had a glute ham raise station so that I could do them with a 90 degree hip extension to 0, then do the rep. One legged negatives? maybe a little later.

hey guys sorry i got in this conversation kind of late. right now i am doing phase 2 of GVT, and i have 10x6 of g/h raise alternating with squats. this is the first time i have ever done them, so i too am working on the eccentric, however i am getting somewhat closer to doing one without my hands. (its pretty tough on a 10x6 workout anyway.) like adam archuleta said, it took him 2 years to master, so im pretty patient. as for pads, i use boxing hand pads on my knees, and put my feet under the seated row machine (its low enough at my gym.) or just get some shitbox personal trainer to hold your ankles and wonder what the fuck your doing.

I second most of the statements made about the g/h raise. Tough but not impossible. As for the question of holding my ankles, it took a bit of innovation since I work out at home, with limited equipment and space. My wife is not heavy enough to hold them down completely.
I just took an old wt. belt and screwed it to the floor, than I kneel on a couch cushion and put both ankles under the belt. Works great even if it looks hilarious. -LW