When setting up a home or garage gym, you want to be confident that you have all the equipment necessary to get the best workout possible. Some of the equipment that you should consider are things like dumbbells, jump ropes or elastic training bands, a treadmill or elliptical, perhaps a power rack, and maybe even a bench press.
So the question is, is a glute ham developer (GHD) machine a necessary addition to your home gym space?
Although it’s a bit of an investment, as long as you are someone that works out regularly and you plan on taking full advantage of the gym you have created for yourself, the GHD machine will pay for itself in no time.
In this guide, I'll be reviewing the best glute ham developer machines on the market and covering all the need-to-know details on how to find the right one for your home gym.
Table of Contents
- GHD Machines Compared
- What Is A Glute Ham Developer Machine?
- Buyer's Guide for Glute Ham Developer Machines
- 9 Best Glute Machines Reviewed
- Other Exercises To Do With A GHD Machine
- People Also Ask (FAQs)
GHD Machines Compared
Total Length (inches)
What Is A Glute Ham Developer Machine?
A glute ham developer machine gives you a chance to develop your hamstrings and glutes while simultaneously doing sit-ups and back extensions. While increasing the strength of these parts of the body is possible without a glute ham raise machine, it is challenging to get results that are close to what you would by using a GHD machine.
One of the major benefits of using a GHD machine is that strengthening these muscles has been shown to reduce ACL and MCL injuries. Most people are stronger in the quads than they are in the glutes and hams, so regularly doing reps on a GHD machine can balance the upper leg muscles to prevent these injuries.
Buyer's Guide for Glute Ham Developer Machines
Picking a glute ham raise machine can be difficult because there are so many available on the market today. When you start looking for one, you will notice that there are multiple kinds with lots of different features and customizable add-ons that can be purchased separately.
Instead of getting lost in all the tiny details, take a look at the GHD machine and make sure it has high standards for each of the following buying criteria:
Construction & Stability
With any piece of home gym equipment, durable construction and extreme stability is the first thing to look for. A flimsy, wobbly machine can not only make your GHD exercises more difficult, but it can result in an injury.
The machine's frame should be constructed from heavy-duty steel and a sturdy bearing system that can handle a user's full weight. The base of the machine should be large to minimize wobbling and the feet should have rubber material to reduce skidding and movement.
A GHD machine is an incredibly versatile piece of equipment. It's possible to perform row movements, variations of sit-ups, reverse hyper extension workouts, and more. However, some machines are strictly designed for glute-ham workouts, especially the smaller models that are designed to save space.
Most GHD machines are quite large and require a good amount of floor space. Before making your purchase, always compare the machine's dimensions with your available space to minimize any unpleasant surprises during assembly.
Not only are GHD machines large, but they can also be rather heavy. Most weigh at least 150 pounds, so look for a model with portability features, like wheels at the machine's base.
Comfort & Adjustability
A poorly-designed GHD hip pad for a GHD can ruin an otherwise perfect product. The pad is designed to stabilize the hips and handle your full weight while doing exercises, so clearly, it needs to be comfortable. The pad should be properly sized so that your hips can nestle into it without experiencing limitations to range of motion.
Another important factor is adjustability. The GHD frame needs to support your legs while taking on your weight through the movements, so to get that leg support, the machine needs to be adjustable to fit your height.
While you can expect your GHD machine to set you back a bit in terms of cash, it's possible to find an effective model for as little as ~$400. However, you could easily spend $1500+ for a piece of equipment with all the bells and whistles.
9 Best Glute Machines Reviewed
1. REP GHD Commercial
- REP Glute-Ham Developer (GHD) is made for...
- BEARING SYSTEM for the footplate to make fast...
- FOOTPLATE to make getting on and off this GHD...
- WHEELS on the back of the GHD to make moving...
The REP GHD Commercial machine has one of the lowest price points you are going to find for a unit like this. It weighs 150 pounds, which isn’t as much as some of the other machines, but it’s still solid. It offers band pegs for the athlete looking to get in his or her resistance training.
A bearing system is present for your foot plate so that adjustments for height can be made easily and quickly. Modifications can be done both horizontally and vertically. A foot plate comes partially assembled, it’s wide, and it’s mounted and secure, so it’s easier to get on and off the glute ham developer.
When one person wants to move the GHD machine, the wheels on the back allow that to be done rather easily. There is a durable vinyl cover, steel end caps, and thick, high-quality padding that complete the construction of this machine.
It can be assembled in around 15 to 20 minutes and is considered an easy set-up. With the lower price point, it is suspected that the steel that is described as “variable in thickness” that is used to make the GHD machine might be a little lesser quality than its more expensive counterparts. There has been no evidence on that as of yet.
It comes with a 90 warranty on the pads, and a 5-year warranty for the frame should anything happen to it. The weight capacity for this one is 500 pounds, so it is perfect for larger athletes.
2. Rogue Echo GHD
The Rogue Echo GHD machine is made in the USA, and it focuses all attention on the space-saving capabilities that make it ideal for a smaller home or garage gym. It attaches to an existing rig or power rack, so there is not any planning needed for where to put it if purchased.
You also have the option of buying a flat pack games box if you do not have something available to connect it to. The box comes unassembled. This ghd machine is a little less expensive than the other standalone units on the market.
Athletes and those wishing to work on a glute ham developer can complete several different applications with this machine including glute and ham raises, hip extensions, GHD situps, back extensions, Russian twists and more.
There are two different versions of the Echo GHD including the Infinity 2×3 and Monster Life 3×3. The unit comes standard with a 30” x24” GHD pad made from vinyl and a foot roller assembly.
Those interested can add various attachments to their unit for an extra charge. There are non-slip features on the underside of the glute ham raise machine and seatbelt-like straps to prevent any unwanted movements and an added level of security.
3. Rogue Abram GHD 2.0
With a new and improved triangular base and one common piece for a chassis, this is one of the more stable units. The Rouge Abrams GHD 2.0 actually becomes more stable under rigid use by athletes performing their hamstring and glute workouts. There are handles and wheels that make it convenient to move the device around.
Vertical plate adjustments make for a quick and easy change up to suit the specific work out being performed. There are also ten front-to-back changes that can be done for the roller and foot-plate settings.
Those that are looking for additional resistance training with their ghd machine can take advantage of the band pegs and double pads. It is one of the largest machines in the glute ham developer training category.
The newer 2.0 Rouge Abram GHD is outfitted with a swing arm that allows for fast adjustments. You just pull out the pin, move the arm where you want it, replace the pin, and you’re ready to go. There is no lifting, sliding, or unscrewing and refastening necessary. The price point is reasonable compared to other models in the same GHD category.
4. TACVPI Champion Glute Ham Machine
- Gym Equipment Dimensions: 34" W x 42" H x 60"...
- Body Building Equipment Constructed With A...
- Featuring A Rear Handle For Hyper Extensions...
- Body Building Machine With High Density 2.5...
When trying to find an equal blend of performance and price, the TACVPI GHD is as close as you are going to get. It comes with almost all the features of the premium glute ham developer machines at a reasonable price tag. There is a wide base for stability that can be put down when the machine needs to be moved. It does however need to be bolted into the floor as there are no wheels included.
A large split pad is attached for comfort during your workout, and multiple adjustments can be made to increase that level of support for each preference. The 2.5" pads are comfortable for regular sized people although heavy users may want to consider other models.
The TACVPI consists of a makeup of 2”x 3” steel, and it comes with a 1 year warranty. It It is solid in makeup but a little less expensive than the commercial-like ghd machines that are out there. It can support taller athletes that would otherwise feel as though their machine wasn’t going to support them.
5. Rogue Monster Swing Arm GHD
The Rouge Monster Swing Arm GHD is one of the most expensive versions of a glute ham raise machine that can be found on the market. There is a reason for the cost though, and that is because of all the features that are offered that most of the other, more affordable machines don’t have.
For a basic garage gym, this might be a little bit too much. It’s a commercial-quality glute ham developer machine so unless you are really serious about working out your glutes and hamstrings regularly, it is a little over the top.
It is still worth mentioning, just in case someone out there is putting together a gym without any concern of budget. There are plenty of features that make the Rouge Monster Swing Arm GHD really stand out from the rest.
First of all, there are two step-up decks for easily getting into the proper position. The fully adjustable rear foot rest has also been redesigned with a plate that is larger than other standard models.
The swing arm, as indicated by the name of the unit, is at the base of the machine. It can be moved to adjust your foot plate forward or back quickly to match the desired workout. The plate can be moved vertically too.
The unit is massive at 250 pounds, and with the triangular shape of the frame base, it is completely safe and stable for larger and heavier users. There are double pads that are larger than other machines for additional comfort.
6. CFF Pro Series Elite Glute Ham Developer
The CFF Pro Series GHD is an upgrade from their previous no frills type of machine. This model offers better stability for those wanting to improve glute ham development. It was one of the first brands of GHD machines that were ever invented and has some positive and negative aspects.
Let's look at the good aspects first. This particular machine offers GHD for tall people and caters to the giants among us. The brand recommends those 6'5" can easily use this machine and after our testing we found that 6'8" athletes could use this equipment with ease. Just be sure it as locked into floor securely.
The top pad sits 46" inch off the ground which is about mid-range from the GHD's on our list. The linear bearings and extended extra wide handles are also solid features. On top of these, the adjustability from the previous model has been increased and the secure pins and frame more solid.
The negatives of this brand are the assembly instructions (despite saying 30-60 mins assembly) and the high price tag. It is a vast improvement on the previous model but users will need to dig deeper into their pockets for this new model.
7. York ST GHD
- The twin pad design maximizes user comfort...
- Both the knee pads and the ankle stabilizer...
- Thigh roller pads are designed to maximize...
- Dimensions: Length 68 x Width 30 x Height 46
The York ST is more of a commercial glute ham developer machine, so that means it is going to be large and more expensive than some of the other models. The features that come with this version of workout equipment far surpass some of those lesser expensive ones.
Most noticeably is the fact that numerous adjustments are capable of being made. You can change the machine around to match factors like height, shape, and any kind of exercise that you are going to be doing.
The front foot plate can move front-to-back in almost 30 various positions, whereas the more common ghd machines only move back and forth in one direction. The roller on the front and your foot plate can also move vertically and independent from one another.
There are no anchor holes on the York. It comes outfitted with very thick pads and rollers, and varying sizes of foot plates are also available. It has a long and sturdy base with rubber feet on the bottom for added stability.
There are positions of varying types that have been etched into the frame using a laser. That means that it is easy to counter to a different position without having to count or check any of the holes. It may seem like a tiny feature, but it disputably the most innovative addition for any glute ham developer.
Some complaints have been made about the roller pads not being able to perform as well as what other machines offer, but that has not been an issue reported by all of the people using the York.
8. OneFitWonder Commercial GHD
- One key component we included is the 20 "...
- We also included a simple single bolt action...
- Heavy enough and built with a support system...
- Though our machine is smaller in stature than...
All of the OneFitWonder Commercial GHDs are backed by the reputable Fringesport firm. That is why it is a good choice for any home gym. It is incredibly light compared to other options out there weighing only 100 pounds when fully assembled. Chances are the lighter weight comes from lower quality steel than the 11-gauge that is most often used.
The base is small and narrow, so that also has a contribution to the lighter weight of the ghd machine. Generally speaking, you are not going to want a glute ham developer machine with a narrow base. It affects the stability of the unit negatively.
It will only work well for lighter, smaller athletes with the lack of support. There are mounting holes for added stability, and they should most certainly be utilized in just about every garage gym to keep the machine secure.
There is a lower price point on this than some of the other models, but quality may be the reason for that. They also issue one year warranty that is included for the frame and a 90-day warranty on the pads.
Adjustment of your foot plate in an up and down motion can be accomplished by using the pins that are provided. There are also screws that can be put the established position into a locked state to reduce or eliminate unwanted movements while working out. There are knee pads for a more comfortable mounting and dismounting of the machine.
For those that like the added option of resistance training, you’ll have to look somewhere else as this developer machine does not have the pegs required to do that kind of a workout.
9. Yukon Glute Ham Developer
The Yukon GHD is the top machine for someone trying to put together a home gym on a budget. You get a very basic machine, but the exercise routine can still be completed effectively with proper use.
There are not a lot of bells and whistles that go along with the Yukon ghd machine, but it is solid in structure. It may not be quite as sturdy as some of the other models, but you get what you pay for with this one. The pads are okay at 8-inches thick as far as quality goes, but many have reported that they have to be replaced more frequently than more expensive units.
The non-slip foot plate is built-in on this ghd machine, and the entire unit is adjustable to accommodate various heights. The welds are solid on the device, and the whole thing assembles together rather quickly. It is a trusted brand in fitness, so there is not much to worry about when it comes to overall functionality and reliability.
Some of the exercises that can be done on this more straightforward version of the glute ham developer machine are hip and back extensions, combination hip and back extensions, hyper-extension sit-ups, weighted hypers, and medicine ball toss and catch.
Other Exercises To Do With A GHD Machine
The main focus of a GHD machine is to strengthen the back side of the legs and lower back. It's called a glute ham developer for a reason, so you can expect to see your glutes and hamstrings develop with regular use of a GHD.
There are many ways you achieve this development, though. This machine is extremely versatile and allows for a wide range of different exercises. Here are some of my favorites:
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Is a glute ham raise worth it?
If you're looking for an intense lower body, posterior chain workout, then yes, investing in a glute ham raise (another name for a GHD machine) is worth it.
This piece of equipment focuses on the glutes, hamstrings, calves, and hard-to-reach muscles of the lower back. If you're struggling to strengthen or challenge these muscles, a GHD machine can help.
How do you use a glute ham developer?
The way you use your GHD machine depends on the specific workout you're doing. The machine can be used for hamstring curls, back extensions, and core workouts, and each movement will look different.
Many glute ham machines come with an instructional manual on how to use it, so you'll definitely want to refer to this if you're unfamiliar with GHDs.
What can I use instead of glute ham raises to develop the glutes and hams?
If you're not quite ready to invest in a GHD machine, there are a few other ways you can target similar muscle groups. You probably won't see the same extreme results, but focusing on these exercises is a great place to start:
When deciding whether or not to invest in a glute ham developer machine, there are several factors to take into consideration. You want to choose one that is sturdy and that can support your body weight and level of intensity when it comes to your individual fitness goals.
Considering these factors, I recommend the REP Fitness V2 model. This model is sturdy, allows for fast and easy adjustments, and is made with commercial quality but offered at a home gym price.