9 Best GHD Machine Alternatives – Exercises That Work

A GHD machine, without a doubt, is effective exercise equipment to strengthen the glutes, hamstring, and posterior chain. But, these machines aren’t available in cheap gyms, and if you want to buy one for home, you need to dig deep in your pocket.

What can I do if I don’t have a glute ham developer machine?

Here, I’d like to show you a few GHD machine alternatives – equipment and exercises – that can substitute them.

1. Roman Chair (hyperextension bench)

GHD machine alternative the roman chair

In addition to targeting the lower back, gluteals, hamstrings, and abdominal muscles can also be targeted with this equipment. The chair has two pad surfaces: a large pad that supports your hip region and a smaller pad that hooks under your legs to provide leverage.

A typical position is to lie face down on the chair, hook the heels under the rollers, and hinge upward and downward from the hips to target the lower back. The glutes, hamstrings, and abdominals can also be targeted by varying your position.

Buying guide: Best Roman chairs for home

Additionally, you can get stronger glutes and more defined glutes by using the hyperextension bench. The goal here is to minimize the lower back’s movement and maximize that of the hips. It should be called hip extension or glute hyperextension, therefore.

I think the Roman chair is the best GHD machine alternative equipment.

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2. Barbell Glute Ham Raise (Nordic hamstring curl)

It is noteworthy that the barbell GHR (nordic curls) is most similar to glute ham raises, except that their focus is primarily on the hamstrings as opposed to the posterior chain. In my opinion, this is the best way to do glute ham raise without a machine.

  • Use a thick foam pad that protects your knees to make this exercise more comfortable and keep the correct technique. Make sure the mat supports your knee joint to avoid injury.
  • Hold both heels securely with a partner or a heavy barbell as an anchor point.
  • Stand upright with your legs bent at 90 degrees and your torso perpendicular to the ground.
  • Lower yourself to the ground by extending your knees while maintaining proper posture.
  • You can return to your starting position by gently pushing away from the ground and pulling through your heels.

3. Barbell Hip Thrust

Weight-training moves like the barbell hip thrust help activate the posterior chain. Your glutes, lower back, and hamstrings get stronger, as well as your hip adductors. It is also a perfect more to improve your core strength.

  • Put your back against the long side of the bench and sit on the floor.
  • Put the barbell over your hips. Ideally, the bar should be placed across the upper hip flexors and lower abdomen. If the pelvis and hip flexor muscles do not provide adequate padding, thick bar padding or a balance foam pad may be required.
  • Lie on the bench with your upper back in the corner.
  • Lay your feet shoulder-width apart on the floor with your knees bent.
  • As you extend your hips, lift the bar upward. Keep your torso rigid while you extend your hips. The chest and pelvis should not be angled upward or tilted forward, both of which result in a hyperextended spine.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat.

4. Reverse hyperextension

Because it uses the same posterior chain muscle as the glute ham raise, reverse hyperextension on the bench is a good alternative. As well as building posterior chain strength, it drives glute and hamstring hypertrophy.

  • On your stomach, lie on a flat bench.
  • Your hips should be at the end of the bench.
  • Grasp the board or the frame.
  • Straighten your legs or bend them slightly in the starting position.
  • Elevate your legs as far as you can. Slowly move your legs while concentrating on your lower back and spine. Your lower body can be held for a moment in the top position.
  • You should then lower your legs slowly.

5. Barbell good mornings

Good mornings target the same muscles as the glute-ham machine and are almost identical but reversed. Many people do not like this posterior chain exercise because it is so easy to do incorrectly. Therefore, instead of using heavy weights, concentrate on the correct form.

  • Hold the barbell to the sides while positioning the barbell on the back of the shoulders.
  • Keep your back straight and lower your torso forward as parallel to the floor as possible. Your back and knees should remain straight throughout the lift. Lower the weight only to the point where your hamstrings feel stretched comfortably. It depends on your flexibility and how far you can lower the weight.
  • Extend the hips by raising the torso.
  • Keep repeating.

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6. Stability Ball Glute Ham Raise Exercise

Stability ball back extensions are great exercises for strengthening your lower back. But if you fix your feet to the wall, you can lift your torso higher. A longer range of motion plus more use of your glutes and hamstrings will result.

In order to maintain a balanced position, our feet must be stable. Furthermore, as you extend your torso, hold the position for a few seconds, and then slowly lower it back to the ball. Be sure to hold your neck and keep your stomach muscles tight during this movement.

Learn similar stability ball lower back exercises here

7. Romanian Deadlift

Traditionally, the Romanian deadlift (RDL) builds strength in the posterior chain muscles, such as the gluteus maximus, hamstrings, adductors, and erector spinae. Correctly done, this deadlift variation is an effective compound movement that helps you tone the legs and the core muscles simultaneously.

  • Use a wide overhand grip on a barbell from the rack or floor. Put your feet about hip apart or a little narrower when you are in the standing position.
  • Bend your hips to lower the bar to the top of your feet while tracing the contours of your legs downward. Bend your knees gradually as you descend, and keep your back near horizontal when you’re at the bottom.
  • After your hamstring muscles are fully stretched, just before you lower the bar to the floor, extend your hips and knees until you’re standing. 
  • Don’t use momentum during the entire movement.

Note: You can use resistance bands instead if you are a beginner. If you don’t have a bar, you can use dumbbells instead.

8. Glute Bridge & Hamstring Curl with Ab Wheel

power wheel glute ham exercise

A wheel that has foot straps is necessary for this glute exercise. This special ab roller has a lot of benefits for an ab workout, and you can do other hamstring exercises.

  • Fix your feet on the pedals while lying on the floor.
  • Lie your upper arms next to your body.
  • When your shins are right-angled to the floor, roll the wheel towards your buttocks. Meanwhile, pull your upper body up with the help of your arms.
    This is where we start.
  • Next, extend your legs fully so that the wheel is away from you. Maintain a straight back and avoid dropping your butt.
  • Put the wheel back in its original position by pulling it backward.
  • Do the required repetitions.

Note you can do a similar exercise called Swiss ball hamstrings curl

9. Kettlebell Swings

The Russian kettlebell swing is perfect for full-body training, an explosive exercise that builds muscle and burns fat. With a simple motion, you can target the abs, shoulders, pecs, glutes, quads, hips, hamstrings, and lats with this kettlebell exercise. Kettlebell swings can also boost your grip strength if you do them regularly. As an exercise, kettlebell swings provide a powerful and effective way to train the hips and build hamstring strength.

  • Put your feet slightly farther apart than your shoulders while standing behind the kettlebell. Bend your knees and keep your back straight while bending over at the hips. With both hands, grasp the kettlebell handle overhand. While keeping knees and hips bent and the back straight, lift the kettlebell off the floor and pull the forearms against the inner thighs.
  • Push the kettlebell forward and upward by pushing the hips forward, taking the torso upright position, and keeping the knees straight.
  • The kettlebell should swing back down comfortably. While bending your knees, fold your hips as the kettlebell approaches the lower position. Kettlebell swings back under the hips as the forearms touch the inner thighs.
  • Swing the kettlebell immediately and repeat. Ensure kettlebell swings are at shoulder height.


Is a GHD machine worth it?

That glute ham raise machine is one of the best tools for building a strong posterior chain, building strong glutes, and improving core-to-extremity strength. You can also isolate your hamstrings exceptionally well with this exercise outside of a commercial gym. On a GHD, the most common exercises include glute and ham raises, hip and back extensions, and GHD sit-ups. There is a good reason why this exercise equipment is so critical in CrossFit. In a nutshell, if you want to build serious functional strength is helpful to have one at home. Otherways, the GHD exercise machine alternatives above will do.

What if I can’t do glute ham raise?

If you can’t do a GHR, there are some exercises you can perform to prepare yourself for it. You can do lying hip thrusts to prepare for it. You can build strength to perform GHR by beginning with bodyweight exercise and adding weight later. Other leg curl variations, back extensions, and glute isolation exercises may help if your glute muscles are too weak.


To summarize, the GHD is a superb piece of equipment. This is an excellent investment if you’re a gym rat and looking to mix up your routine. If you have the cash, it’s well worth it. You do not have to be concerned if you do not have the money to pay for it. You can always perform the glute ham raise alternatives listed above to achieve nearly the same results.