Banded Glute-Ham Raises

Posted on by Ben Bruno

I do glute-ham raises (GHR) on average twice a week and have been doing so going on two years now, so when you do them that often, you start to plateau and get bored so it becomes important to modify the exercise slightly to keep it fresh and keep progressing.

I do all sorts of different GHR variations, but today I’d like to share a few that I use with the bands, which is a great way to add resistance.

The first variation uses bands to overload the eccentric portion of the rep specifically. Watch this video to see how it’s done.

Extending the arms overhead drastically increases the tension of band and also engages the upper back and posterior delts, making it harder and also giving you more bang for your buck. It’s extremely difficult to do the concentric portion of the rep in this fashion, however, which is why I’m doing it on the eccentric only. I’ll do sets of 3-5 reps. Sometimes I’ll do them without a weight vest and just the bands, and other times I’ll combine bands with a lighter vest. When I pair GHRs with chin-ups, I’ll usually keep a light vest on and just leave it on for both exercises.

Next up: the glute-ham finisher (aka. Hamstring Hell)

Here is a brutal mechanical dropset that I’ll use to fry my hamstrings at the end of a lower body. Start with band resisted glute hams, then go straight to regular glute hams and then finish up with razor curls. This way you’re going from the most difficult variation to the easiest variation is succession with no rest in between.

If you’re a fellow GHR fiend like me, give these a try. I think you’ll really dig em’.

Make sure to subscribe to my You Tube page for more video demonstrations and ideas.


  • Adam

    Hey Ben, what variation of the GHR would you suggest for an athlete just beginning a strength program? Would you start with hip bridge/leg curl combinations until the hamstring strength improves or would you jump right into assisted GHR’s? I’ve found most of my athletes, specifically the younger ones, really struggle with GHR’s even when using bands for assistance.

    • Ben Bruno

      I’d stick to things like stability ball leg curls or slideboard leg curls and then progress towards assisted GHRs. I still do lots of slideboard leg curls too and use them a lot with my athletes (more than GHRs, actually).

  • Jesse Irizarry

    I like the idea of extending your arms for increased tension and back involvement instead of just using a heavier band. Thanks Ben!

    • Ben Bruno

      Thanks Jesse!

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  • Steve

    Good article. Im currently limited to easier exercises while awaiting surgery on my knee to clean some stuff up. I was wondering what you had done on your knee? And how are you doing now?

    • Ben Bruno

      Yea, GHRs can be tricky on the knees. Have you tried slideboard leg curls?

  • Park Firebaugh

    I get some pain (I think piriformis) when doing these. What am I doing wrong?

    • Ben Bruno

      Can you explain the pain a little more?

      • Park Firebaugh

        Where the glute joins hamstring, just on one side. Also, valslide leg curls aggravates. I had pad close to knee and legs very straight to make it harder, but it feels better if I place pad more on middle of thigh and keep a slight bend in leg. Thanks for any tips.

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