The GHD: What It Is And How To Use It!

The GHD- or Glute-Hamstring Developer, is an amazing piece of equipment that we can use to develop both the glute and hamstring muscles, as well as the back muscles, plus sharpen our overall body awareness. 

When getting ready to use the GHD, adjust the foot base so that when you lay face-down on the pad, the crease of your hip rests on the pad itself.

To use the GHD to develop the posterior chain (backside, glutes, and hamstrings) and do Hip Extensions, start facedown on the machine and hinge at the hips so your legs are straight and your head goes down toward the floor. To come up, squeeze your butt and hamstrings to raise your torso and engage your backside. Aim for 10-15 reps of this for each set, in order to train our strong backside muscles to fire and work properly, while protecting our back and knees! 

Additionally, to further develop the muscles in your back as well as to develop awareness in the curve of your spine, you can do a Back Extension.  Start face down with your body in a straight line. Start the movement by tucking your chin down into your chest, and then curve your shoulders down toward the floor and continue tucking your back down and in towards the pad. To come back up, re-extend by reversing the movement you just did by rounding your back upwards slowly and controlled. Try 3-5 reps at a time of this exercise. 

To really challenge yourself, you can also do the Glute-Ham Raise, for which the GHD was originally designed.  To do this, start as you would do a Hip Extension- hips bent over the pad and back parallel to the floor. Squeeze your hamstrings and glutes to raise your torso up all the way so that your knees are bent and you are essentially kneeling behind the pad. Try to avoid using momentum to get up there! You can start by using a band to help you or scale it further by sitting on your knees on the ground with a friend holding down your feet.  Straighten your knees until your chest hits the floor and try to come up without bending at the hips.  

Give the GHD a try next time you’re in the gym!


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