If you are a serious athlete, a bodybuilder, CrossFit trainer or are aspiring to be one, as you do your research or are wanting to meet certain personal requirements when it comes to performance enhancement, agility, and stamina, you will come across how important it is to not only build, strengthen and develop your glute and hamstrings, but how important it also is to develop and work your core, and back, as well. We all know that leg day is important and that you should never, ever skip leg day, and during your leg day, efforts to find the best ways to build those muscle groups, you have probably discovered the roman chair. The glute and ham developer, as it turns out, is a form of the roman chair. When the Roman Chair was first developed and introduced, it was such a success that everyone wanted to capitalize on its success, therefore, several companies and developers jumped on the wagon and developed several styles and versions of the roman chair, and although that doesn’t sound too thrilling, the one good that came of all of the new developments was the glute and ham developer. However, its only function is to specifically work the glute and hamstrings, as opposed to working other parts of the body that the adjustability and versatility of the roman chair offers. However, the glute and ham developer has aided very serious athletes and bodybuilders in achieving maximum results for performance enhancement and muscle development. This machine boasts three simple features, a knee pad, footplate (that is easily adjustable for your comfort, convenience, and advanced variations) and ankle hooks, making it comfortable and easy to use. But what are the benefits?

GHD vs Roman Chair – What’s the Difference?

As the name suggests… in addition to sit-ups and back extensions, the glute and ham developer allows athletes to work their gluteals and hamstrings, but also the spinal erectors and various stabilizer muscles. Many of the exercises performed with a GHD are not possible with a roman chair or any other piece of gym equipment other than an expensive leg curl machine. These exercises allow you to target the calves, hamstrings, glutes and other core and posterior muscle groups. The benefit? Boxlifemagazine.com tells us that “approximately 40% of the power for sprinting and jumping comes from the glutes, 25% from the hamstrings and 5% from the calves.” It can further help enhance other efforts made in the gym when it comes to Olympic lifts, squats and deadlifts. Furthermore, another added benefit from performing the GHD raise is that it can further prevent you from future potential injuries such as ACL tears, hamstring strains, and back injuries. As the GHD raise works to develop the primary muscle groups that we have mentioned, this can help athletes, gym-goers and bodybuilders alike, “withstand compressive loads and disruptive forces that can occur in numerous sports and physical activities.”

Although the GHD is primarily used for glute and hamstring exercises, there are numerous adjustments you can make to the machine that can allow for advanced variations that allow you to work just about every muscle in the body from head to toe. Best of all, no weights are required to use it. Much like the roman chair, you can perform back raises, sit-ups, twisting sit-ups/oblique sit-ups (not recommended), side bends, horizontal trunk twists, reverse knee curls and inversions. These exercises can give you a good core workout in addition to the lower body workout with minimal impact to your lower back as far as injury is concerned. Additionally, glute and ham developers, much like the roman chair, come in many variations and styles. The 3 best GHD machines we’ve reviewed are the Rogue Echo GHD, the Titan Fitness GHD, and the ValorPRO Glute Ham Developer.

The glute and ham developer was probably one of the best things that could have developed from the traditional roman chair. Because it is a functional machine that works essentially the entire body including stabilizer muscles, it enhances our ability to perform in everyday physical activities while helping to prevent injury. While the GHD is most commonly used by the Crossfit crowd,  those who want to improve flexibility, balance, and tone their overall physique should consider jumping on board. Unlike most workout machines, the GHD machine offers a huge variety of exercises and wide range of motion that can have a serious positive impact on any body type. The one place where the roman chair can be considered superior is when performing serratus and oblique exercises because the roman chair does not offer any foot support to lock your ankles and forces you to hold yourself in place with your leg muscles. All in all, whatever results you are trying to achieve in developing your glutes and hamstrings, there is no doubt that you will find the Glute and Hamstring developer machine highly beneficial to add to your routine. It will definitely give you the strength and development you want while enhancing your performance elsewhere as you move on to other sports, exercises or machines.