Strengthening Your Backside with Glute-Ham Raise


Every athlete stepping into the CrossFit gym has their goal in check. For some, their goals could be athletic while others physique. Whichever you go for, your back strength, glute, and hamstring play a crucial role. One of the most loved workouts in CrossFit is the classic barbell lifts. The reason being they are effective and do not need as much special equipment which means anyone can do them at any place.

Crossfit Athlete

The barbell lifts are the bread and butter exercises and should form the center of your program. However, this doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice the time for other specialized work.

Anyone seeing the glute-ham raise for the first time may be led to believe that it is difficult. This is expected and understandable because the glute-ham raise scotches your lower body like no other exercise. Lifters who have tried this workout have ended up experiencing an unexpected boost in their squat and deadlift. Other beneficiaries of the glute-ham raise have been sprinters and other athletes.

It Focuses on Posterior Muscles

Lots of weightlifting programs concentrate on the anterior muscles at the expense of the posterior or back muscles. The posterior chain consists of all the muscles you can’t possibly see in a mirror. They include the spinal erectors, rotator cuff muscles, or glutes, hamstrings, as well as rhomboids and lats.

Crossfit Athlete

If you neglect these muscles and instead prioritize arms, chest, and quads, you will be a lot less stronger than you look which certainly is not a good thing. Imagine having a 6 pack and suffering from epic arms and back pain. The solution is to emphasize more on the muscles of the posterior chain, and nothing does this better than the glute-ham raise CrossFit workout.

It’s Different from Deadlifts and Squats

It is common to hear athletes commenting that the deadlifts and squats they are doing are sufficient for the posterior chain. However, the glute-ham raise if performed correctly is a different movement pattern from any of the above. It allows you to maintain a straight body down from the knees all the way up to the neck. It is one of the few known workouts that train your hip extension and knee flexion at the same time. To do this movement, you will be required to generate significant muscular tension as well as control which makes it a great athletic movement.

It Doesn’t Require a Bench

One of the common reasons athletes give for not including the glute-ham raise in their CrossFit training schedule is their lack of access to the right equipment. While this may be a legitimate problem, it has a simple solution. There is a version of the workout known as natural glute-ham raise which can be done virtually anywhere.

For instance, you can have your training partner hold your ankles while seated on the floor. You can also use an ab bench for the workout. However, one thing you must acknowledge is that simply because it is a natural workout doesn’t mean that it is easy to do. The level of difficulty remains the same.

If you have been looking for a workout to add to your program, the glute-ham raise is one of those you cannot afford to leave behind.


Leave a comment