T Nation

natural glute-ham raise

So I am looking at the natural glute ham raise, thinking of adding into my routine. There is nowhere to do these at my gym, or I am too limited in my imagination. I’d like to build something that I could anchor my ankles under, and have the pad I am kneeling on end at just above my knee so that the kneecap can move. Should I build this and get an infomercial ready or is there something already out there for me??

under any Bench will do with some moderate padding under your knees will do just fine. In faith, Coach Davies

Here is what I do. I wheel a bench over to the lat pulldown machine (the one where you sit and put your knees under the holder thing). I put the bench about 2-3 feet away and put my feet under the spot where your knees go. Now just act as if the bench is the ground. Hopefully this makes sense and you can do it this way.

Most pec deck machines have foot rests, hook your feet under those.

Or you could just ask someone to hold your ankles…

I load a bar with 315, place it in my squat rack on a pin slightly higher than my bench. Then I kneel on my bench and anchor my legs under the bar. I train at home so no one else is waiting to get into the rack, but I used to do it at the gym too! I never got complaints about using the rack fo Glute-hams, it’s not like I was doing curls or something! In faith, Matt

You can probably use the adjustable platform where you lay on a leg press machine.

Thank you
Coach Hale

I have been trying to incorporate Glute-ham raises and I have been working in a temporary gym that has few items. I have tried to fix my feet under various machines but I am an OLineman and my feet don’t fit well under most benches. My solution: Take your the safety restraints off of the Smith Machine(Appears every gym has one) and lower the barbell to the floor or until it rests on the restraints. My smith machine stops the barbell approximately 12-14 inches of ground. I then add two plates to each side of the barbell. Placing a foam pad where my knees fall, I place the bar near my heel/ankle area and proceed to do the exercise. I like it because I can change the angle by going legs wider or closer. As I am still trying to improve I can only do the eccentric phase and have to assist with the concentric but I am improving and I have seen some awesome gains in hamstring strength.

The kneecap moving is a huge issue for me. When I try to do this exercise my kneecaps shift down over my shin to the point where I can’t continue the exercise without doing damage to the tissue around the kneecap. Has this happened to anyone else?

"my kneecaps shift down over my shin " if you mean this literally, then no, never happened to me. Is your kneecap loose normally? Sounds odd to me.

Thanks for the reply. My kneecaps didn’t slip completely that far down, but they couldn’t move, pinned to the mat, and as I descended, they started to run into my shin and I could feel pulling on the ligiments and tendons, so I terminated the movement. Yes, I have had knee injuries before (12 years of lacrosse and 9 years of lifting) but I wouldn’t say I have loose kneecaps.

I read on another forum where people use the slant boards at their gym for this exercise.

I cram my feet under a bench and put a pad under my knees. These things rock, and they will DEFINATLY bring anyone’s squat up if they stick with them. I have been doing them for about a year now. When i started, i could do one full one. Now i can do 3 sets of 15, but i mostly stick to 5-8 in 4 or five sets.

So I used a bar loaded to 365. Had it there because I was done with deads. Another thread, my own EDT that I have been using for weeks and weeks. ANYWAY, there was no positive, and the negative was controlled at best. I have to think of a way of alternating this in, because I don’t want to have my deadlift suffer, but this is humbling. Stiff deads with all the weight in the world aren’t sufficient to prep for this. Sport specificity?? Would like to hear about others failure to success stories. Am I wanting too much too fast? Would like to hug a 45 lb plate and hit a good smooth 10. Goals…

The following article contains a video clip of Adam Archuletta’s training, including an explosive (!!!) natural glute-ham raise!

The article is HIT crap, but the clip is good.


Son of a diddly!