The GHD machine, also known as glute ham developer, is a type of exercise equipment that is made exclusively to work out your glutes and hams. However, recently, more and more people are using the GHD off-book to do sit-ups and other exercises that are designed to specifically train the abdomen and back. Even when abdominal-specific moves aren’t done on the GHD machine, it’s still a great tool to learn how to properly stabilize your back and core while doing other controlled movements.
The benefits of using a GHD machine
The main benefit of buying a GHD machine is you can have access to all of the benefits of the GHD machine, which is mainly found in gyms, at home. The GHD machine is really popular right now, so chances are, someone is always using it at your gym. If you’re highly dedicated to training your glutes and hams, as well as doing other exercises on the GHD, then it makes sense to invest in your own GHD, because you’ll actually get to use it and reap its benefits, instead of waiting around at the gym for your turn.
GHDs take a lot of practice, control and training to achieve the perfect form. Most people have to do a variety of progressions to ensure they have the strength to even use a GHD to its full advantage. Once you’ve gone through all the training it takes just to be able to safely use a GHD machine, chances are you’re well aware of safe practices, such as minimizing spine movement and learning proper hip flexion. After all that time and effort, having your own GHD machine is not only a reward in itself, but not that you’re mastered the required foundational training, the only step left is to actually use and become proficient in using the GHD machine itself, which will only come with dedicated, regular practice, hence the reason why more and more folks are buying their own GHD for home usage.
An often-overlooked benefit to buying one’s own GHD machine is that it’s an important home gym staple. People tend to go all out and purchase fancy machines for the home gym that aren’t very versatile or even necessary, when other, more versatile tools, can provide the same training, plus countless other benefits. A GHD is a home gym staple arguably on par with classic free weights, and you can get the same glute, ham and abdominal results from a GHD as you can from other more expensive machines with less cost and less bulk.
GHD machines take up less room than other home exercise machines, so when you need a mixture of major performance with a compact size, a GHD is a good bet.
Tips on how to choose the best GHD machine for your needs
There are a few things to keep in mind in order to get the best GHD machine for your needs. Consider the following:
- Opt for a sturdy broad-based steel-framed model for stability.
- Pay attention to weight capacity; choose a GHD with a weight capacity that totals more than what you currently weigh or think you may weigh after a planned increase in training.
- If space is an issue, choose a model that has space-saving or easy storing features. Rolling wheels are another storage-friendly feature because it makes it easier to move the GHD around a home or an apartment.
- GHD machines can be purchased fully assembled or with home assembly included, typically for an additional cost, or conversely, as mix and match DIY-type kit. If you’re not very handy, or if you’re concerned about safety, go with the former.
- Some GHD machines are very heavy-duty and can be used for commercial use; others are made for home use. It should go without saying that if you plan on starting up a commercial gym, you should choose the commercial variety. However, it’s important to remember that the commercial-style GHD machines are also made for more heavy duty workouts, so they’re likely to be more durable.
- For a challenge, opt for a GHD machine that has the ability to add resistance.
GHD Machine Reviews
I started doing glute and ham raises on the Echo, because that’s what it’s explicitly designed to do. It felt pretty good. But what I really wanted the Echo GHD for was to do Russian twists, sit-ups and back extension. Here is where I was a little worried because these moves require a lot of—well, movement—and a lot more force would be exerted on the GHD and the Games Box. I was worried it might not hold up. I have a fear of heights and falling, so I’ve always been a little intimidated by GHD to say the least. Not that it’s high up, but more like the whole...you could fall if you did something wrong aspect.
However, my ridiculous fears were so unfounded I feel a little embarrassed at even mentioning them. My first experience rocked. I really got a good work out, get back extension; it’s really going to help my core game. I’ve been training regularly with the Echo GHD now and it’s still holding up—plus I’m starting to notice some results, which makes me feel extra good about deciding to get it.
- Easy to assemble
- Works with your existing plyo box
- Heavy-duty straps
- Grabber fabric
- Vinyl construction
- Seatbelt webbing
- Optional stabilizer kit adds extra stability
- Made in the USA
The BadThe foot roller assembly can only be mounted on The Strip or the Monster Lite Series uprights; mounting on other uprights is highly discouraged by the manufacturer. Also, for safety, the rig should be mounted to the floor—but that’s just common sense. It’d be nice of the stabilizer kit was included with the base model
What’s IncludedThe Rogue GHD comes with one GHD pad and one roller assembly.
Final VerdictThe Rogue 3x3 Echo GHD provides an excellent space-saving solution for Glute Ham Developer training. It’s easy to set up and get to work using it on the same day. With features like the grabber fabric, you feel just as secure as you would on a standard freestanding model. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone out there looking for a practical upgrade for their home gym.
The GHD is made with a powder-coated steel frame and is well balanced on legs that spread out at the bottom making a Y shape to improve stability. The thick pads are added for your comfort and allow your body pressure to be absorbed by the pads in order to lay comfortably on the device and target muscle groups. Finally, the bottom of the frame is affixed with wheels in order to make it easy to move and store if necessary.
The GoodOne of the great features this product has to offer is the wheels on the bottom of the frame that make it easy to move or store. The reason this is such an advantage is because many GHDs we've tested are bulky and heavy and the only way to move them is by lifting them off the ground. Given that they are typically made of thick steel, this can be a serious chore, especially if you are using this in a home gym. The wheels on the bottom make this process significantly easier. It helps alleviate some of the concerns buyers might have in being stuck with a large, bulky piece of metal in their homes.
The irony here is that one of the primary reasons people get this particular device is to avoid back injuries and then they may very well get one if the GHD needs to be moved. Fortunately, with the Titan Fitness Exercise Machine you won't have to worry.
The BadThe only downside of this GHD is the assembly wasn't easy. It's a very heavy duty piece of equipment and requires a lot of time and strength to get it put together. We also had some issues with some of the screw holes not being fully drilled out, meaning we had to use an electric drill to get it fully assembled.
As for function, I’m honestly impressed. The easy customization is where the beauty of the CB-29 lies; when you’re ready for more of a challenge, add some resistance and amp up your training.
I’ve been getting a lot of use out of the plates, so the storage feature is really nice. All in all, I’m really happy with the ValorPRO CB-29 Glute and Ham Developer, and I see it being a staple in my workout routine for a long time.
- Easily adjustable footrest provides customizable fit and support
- HD foam padding upholstery is both durable and comfortable
- Steel frame is sturdy
- Included wheels make the ValorPRO CB-29 easy to move and store
- Plate storage in back
- Band pegs for resistance
- Easy assembly
- Straightforward use
The BadShorter people may have trouble customizing the settings to achieve their best fit; the ValorPRO GHD seems more designed to fit a man's build and height.
What’s includedThe ValorPRO CB-29 comes with wheels, band pegs and plate storage included.
Final verdictThe ValorPRO GHD is a great glute and ham developer option. Whether in a gym or at home, it gets the job done without the stress or frustration of a complicated assembly. The resistance aspect is a key, not-to-be missed feature, because it allows you to take your GHD training up a notch. I highly recommend the ValorPRO CB-29 to GHD newbies as well as seasoned veterans looking to try out a new glute and ham developer.
What to look for in a good GHD machine
The main thing to look for when buying a GHD is the frame. The frame is what holds you up and stabilizes you as you use the glute and ham developer. Anyone familiar with GHDs knows that there is a lot of movement involved. A supportive, stable and durable frame is crucial to safely working out on a GHD. On that note, opt for a steel frame with a broad base. Ideally, you should have the ability to secure the GHD to the wall or the floor for additional stability.
Your chosen GHD shouldn’t weigh a ton, but it should be sturdy. After all, it’s going to be large and made of steel. Flimsy GHDs may work in the short run, but over time, they’re a safety hazard so go for something sturdy.
Check out weight capacity. Some GHD machines have a higher weight capacity than others. Very tall guys will especially need to consider this factor, because their height and muscle can hide the pounds, and they may need to size up in weight capacity.
The best GHD machines are adjustable, allowing users to adjust the foot rests, especially, to fit their height. This is not only important for GHD safety, but it also helps ensure you don’t overextend your spine during GHD sit-ups.
Some GHD machines have the ability to add resistance. This is great if you’re trying to increase strength as opposed to just maintaining strength and stability. Adding resistance should be straightforward, as well.
The hip rest and footrest should be padded. Additionally, some padded rests may have a slip-resistant covering to prevent you from sliding or moving during intensive GHD workouts.