T Nation

MacGyver Glute Ham Raise!

I don’t know if anybody has tried this or not but I have been desperately looking for a way to do Glute Ham Raises effectively without the proper machine. Today I was looking at a power rack and said “Hmmm if I put the pins at the right height, throw a barbell pad around the pin, throw a bench where my knees would go, and place the opposite pin at the same height as the bench I got my Glute Ham machine alternative. IT WORKED PERFECTLY! I’m 5’7” and it worked perfectly for me. I don’t know if this method will work for all heights but it’s sure as hell worth a try. It worked absolutely perfect.

can you elaborate a little on the set up please? how high did you set the pins above the bench etc.


Sounds good. Any ideas for knee flexor exercises without the obvoius machines?


Sounds like a natural GHR to me. Do you have anything to push your toes against? Wheres the pad to roll over as you lower your body forward?

The pin is set so that my feet/ankles have no room for movement. As for the pad for my thighs, there is none, its just knees on the bench, heels pressed against the pins and everything else is free. Since the bench padding is pretty thick there is no stress on the kneecaps. It works really well. Any other questions please feel free to ask.

dooley give sissy squats a try. It?s a tremendous movement with using your body weight as the resistance. When you get accustomed to the movement after a few weeks you can add a weight belt for additional resistance or hold a plate on your chest.

sounds like a bodyweight hamstring curl to me since you’re just pivoting at the knees

If you are unable to do GHRs without assistance, I have a cool little trick for you. Set up like the dude at the following site:


But don’t use your hands to push yourself off the ground. Instead, attach a rope handle to the overhead pulley and hold it like you were going to do a cable crunch (next to your head/ears). Select the right amount of weight and your ready to go. As you get stronger you’ll need less assistance.

If the pull-down machine at your gym doesn’t have such a wide seat, you might be able to do this exercise with a regular high pulley station (as long as it has a bar or something at the base where you can brace your feet). These would be done off the floor with a pad under your knees facing away from a high pulley station.

Another option is to set yourself up on a seated calf-raise machine. Keep your knees on the seat and your feet hooked under the padding where your knees usually go when working calves.

Any way we can get some pics of it?

Here is CT’s way of MacGyvering a Nat Glute Ham Raise http://www.t-mag.com/nation_articles/237pain2.html . No thigh bumper there lumber. Same exact motion if you use my method except you’re using a bench as the padding, a power rack pin as the foot lock and the opposite pin as the catch instead of the ground.

Just like the video that Bob A linked except the foot lock is a power rack pin and the knee support is a flat bench.

Did you mean pics of the MacGuyver rig, or pics of the video? Anyway here are pics of the video for anyone who can’t see that.

Thanks for the caps RIT. Like I said above the knee support would be the flat bench and the ankle lock would be the power rack pin.

Bob A
That is a brilliant tip! I tried the natural GHR’s for a while but got fed up with the variability of my own ‘assistance’ so I didn’t feel i got anything out of the concentric movement plus the eccentric ripped me up. In fact i am going to set them up now in my gym…

You need to press your feet into a solid surface to make it more proper, activate the hip extension part, like a wall or something

i still don’t feel this is a glute ham raise, i can bang out rep after rep of these no problem, whereas i have trouble doing 7-9 decent reps on a real ghr. theres a huge difference in the top of the movement

thats pretty wierd lumbarjack, most people that ive spoken to consider the natural glute ham raise more difficult then the machine version