Main Benefit – Posterior Chain Development
The glute-ham raise (GHR) has been a staple exercise for powerlifters and athletes for a long time. This exercise trains the whole posterior chain from calves and hamstrings to the glutes, lower back, and even upper back (when loaded). It's an obvious supplemental exercise to the powerlifts.
It doesn't just have to be a supplement, though. You can use it as your main posterior chain exercise, even as an alternative to the deadlift. Rest assured that you'll train the muscles on the backside to a great degree, and probably do so with more focus than ever.
If your goal is hypertrophy of the posterior chain, the GHR is more effective and much safer than the deadlift. You'll also experience serious glute gains by focusing on the mind-muscle connection while upping the volume. If your main objective for training the deadlift is to build muscle, but you're constantly dealing with pain or injuries, you'll be better off by switching to the glute-ham raise.
Technical Focal Points
- Straighten the legs/knees to really stretch the hamstrings in the bottom position.
- Keep the core engaged.
- Finish with a glute contraction. Place the knees lower on the pad to do this. Placing them higher is tougher on the hamstrings.