Best GHD Machines Reviewed & Rated for Quality
When we exercise, we always stress the importance of protecting the knees and spine. Did you know that one of the best ways to achieve this is by focusing on developing your glutes and hamstrings?
It’s true! But sometimes those posterior muscle groups get left behind (hehe) even though they’re some of the biggest muscle groups in the body. That’s where the GHD machine (glute and hamstring developer) comes in.
There are tons of exercises to be done on this equipment that will help to strengthen your glutes and hamstrings.
Strong hammies and glutes work to provide proper spinal alignment and offer up support to the hips and knees. Not to mention their key role in allowing for explosive power movements, as well as in speed and agility.
So if you’re guilty of having left your behind...behind, read up and order one of these puppies today.
This is the best product on our list that is currently in stock:
Can adjust foot bar vertically & horizontally
Can hold 300 pounds in weight
Made from durable steel
10 Best GHD Machines
1. Titan Fitness
10 adjustable footplate positions
Solid steel construction for durability
Wider base to prevent tipping
Extra padding for more comfort
A capacity of up to 350 pounds
Assembly is sort of a hassle
The Titan Fitness Glute Hamstring Developer ranks Number 1 on our list and you’re about to see why. Not only is it one of the most affordable products on the market, but it is made from quality materials that will hold up to heavy at-home use.
Plus, this unit is adjustable so it can accommodate users of different sizes in your household. So grab your water bottle and get ready to sweat.
Super Padded Rollers for Protection and Comfort
This option from Titan Fitness is designed with your comfort in mind. All GHD machines have padded rollers for your feet/ankles and hips/thighs to rest on. In fact, that’s what sets them apart from Roman Chairs. But this particular model is loaded with padding to provide more comfort and support as you work out.
The padded ankle rollers and hip/thigh cushions work to prevent injuries and help to provide a more comfortable base as you experience a wider range of motion with this product.
10 Height Settings
This product from Titan Fitness features solid steel construction. Both the base and footplate are made from steel to ensure years and years of productive use. This product has a weight capacity of up to 350 pounds.
This is a great option for athletes with all different body types. The footplate has 10 different height settings to accommodate athletes of different sizes. You can easily adjust this machine with pop pins to get the right alignment for you during each exercise, keeping in mind that this may change depending on the exercise you’re doing.
The base of this unit is wide to help to guard against tipping and it has a coated black powder finish so it glides smoothly into the aesthetic of any home gym.
Cost and Value
The Titan Fitness Glute Hamstring Developer rings up at the bottom of our price range and we love its value because it is a straightforward yet comfortable option that is super easy to use and also very adjustable for athletes of different heights. Plus, its solid steel construction means you can enjoy it for years to come.
2. Rep Fitness V2
Oversized footplate measuring 21 by 15 inches
Footplate can be adjusted horizontally & vertically
Additional footplate on the bottom
High-density padded foam
Capacity of 350 pounds
Not so wide and easier to tip
The Rep Fitness V2 is a wonderful piece of equipment to add to your home gym.
With an oversized footplate that can be moved both horizontally and vertically, plus an additional footplate at the bottom for even more exercise possibilities, this is a great purchase for those looking for variety in their workouts.
So grab your favorite sweat toweland get that blood flowing.
Vertical and Linear Adjusting Footplate
The Rep Fitness V2 is loaded with cool features that make getting the perfect fit for your body on each exercise easily achievable. The oversized footplate which measures 21 inches long by 15 inches tall can be moved horizontally and vertically for different exercises.
To move the footplate horizontally, use the linear adjustment system that only requires one hand for operation. To move the footplate vertically, use the screw to adjust the height.
Additional Bottom Footplate
The Rep Fitness V2 is made using premium quality materials that won’t cost you a premium quality buck. Made out of steel that has been powder-coated, this product is a professional grade. It is a bit more narrow than the previous product on our list by about 10 inches, so it may be more likely to tip over (especially during lateral movements).
The padding on this device is derived from foam (high-density) which provides added comfort and support. These are covered with thick vinyl to prevent quick cracks and tears.
This piece of equipment features an additional footplate on the bottom that you can use for support when doing erect exercises.
The capacity for this device is 350 pounds.
Cost and Value
The Rep Fitness V2 rings up towards the bottom of our price range and we love its value because it offers more precise body and exercise accommodations and a few other premium bonuses at a not-so-premium price.
Pads covered in polyurethane leather
Footplate is reversible
Peg attachments for weighing device down
Stabilizing handlebars for good form
Move footplate horizontally and vertically
Smaller hip pads than others
The CFF Glute Ham Developer is another with some unique features that set it apart from the rest. This is a great option for your home gym whether you’re into boxing or you are training for a Triathalon. With a footplate that is reversible and available pegs and brackets for added stability and exercises, you’ll be busy bustin’ that rump for days.
Footplate is Reversible
The CFF Glute Ham Developer has a super cool footplate feature that makes this device more versatile. Use the footplate in the standard position for glute and hamstring exercises, or switch it around for use during ab workouts.
You can adjust the height of the footplate using the screw super easily. You can also adjust the length of the footplate from the hip pads using the double pop-pins on the horizontal bar.
The footplate features a stabilizing bar above it so that you can be sure to get your balance and achieve the proper form before beginning each exercise. There are similar stabilizing handles in the rear to assist with balancing and form control as well.
Peg Attachments to Weigh Equipment Down
The CFF Glute Ham Developer is made from steel that has been powder coated. It has a weight capacity of 300 pounds, so a little less than the previous two options on our list. That being said, it is still sturdy.
But if you’d like to make this device even sturdier, there are weight peg attachments so that you can weigh the machine down for more intense exercises and movements.
The pads on this device are covered with polyurethane leather for added durability and the foam is super dense. However, these pads are a bit smaller than others on our list.
This device comes on wheels.
Cost and Value
The CFF Glute Ham Developer rings up in the middle of our price range and we love its value because it is a more versatile piece of equipment that can be used for a variety of training purposes.
4. Cap Strength Roman Chair
Can adjust foot bar vertically & horizontally
Can hold 300 pounds in weight
Made from durable steel
May need to weigh down for security
The Cap Strength Roman Chair is not your typical GHD Machine, but we wanted to show you some variety so that you can see the difference between the two--and also because this product costs about ¼ the amount of the most inexpensive GHD Machine on our list.
300 Pound Weight Capacity
The Cap Strength Roman Chair is also made from steel like the other items on our list and can hold 300 pounds of weight. While the base isn’t super wide, it is comparable with other units on this list.
A major difference you’ll notice is that the hip pads are much thinner and aren’t in a rounded arch. This gives less padding, less comfort, and less opportunity for a full range of motion.
The foot and ankle pads are also less padded and are basically just thin foam wrapped around the steel bar. Again, this results in less comfort to the user.
Has a Foot Bar
The Cap Strength Roman Chair does feature a foot bar. This is important as many Roman Chairs differ mainly from the GHD Machines in that they don’t have a footplate. The foot bar on this device is adjustable both vertically and horizontally for different exercises and body heights.
There are stabilizing bars on the back of the device to make sure you achieve better form before beginning your sets.
Cost and Value
The Cap Strength Roman Chair rings up at the very bottom of our price range and we love its value because it’s ¼ the cost of our most inexpensive GHD Machine while still offering up advanced features and generous weight capacity. Plus, users love the variety of workouts they can accomplish with this device.
Weight capacity of 500 pounds
Large footplate adjusts horizontally and vertically
Super easy to adjust the footplate
Hook on front for resistance band training
Bigger footprint than other devices
The Body-Solid Glute Ham is one of the most premium devices on our list and it shows. With more durable construction and attention to detail, this device can fit almost any body and won’t topple over no matter how wild your exercises get.
Front Hooks for Resistance Band Training
The Body-Solid Glute Ham features tons of attention to detail. The device has two handlebars extending from under the hip pads to help you to maintain balance and control as you get prepared to begin your sets. Proper form is the key to unlocking progress and avoiding injuries.
Plus, there are two hooks on the front of this device that you can use for resistance band training. Attach one end of the band to the hook and the other to the part of the body you’re trying to burn to access an even deeper workout than before.
Super Easy to Adjust
The Body-Solid Glute Ham is bigger and stronger in every way. The footplate is oversized to accommodate different exercises and ranges of motion. The foot pads are also 8 inches thick which is larger than most other products on our list. Plus, they are double stitched to ensure that they don’t bust or break on you.
The footplate can be adjusted super easily by simply pulling up on the red lever and popping it back into the place at the desired distance from the hip pads. The footplate can be adjusted horizontally and vertically.
This device is made from incredibly strong steel and can hold up to 500 pounds--more than any other product on our list.
Cost and Value
The Body-Solid Glute Ham rings up at the very top of our price range but we love its value because it is one heavy-duty device that can hang with the pros. Plus, it is topple-proof and can hold more weight than any other device on our list so you can go wild on this puppy.
6. CFF Pro Series Floor
Can hold 500 pounds
Super compact option & easy to store
A great choice for beginners
Takes tons of pressure off patella
May need to be weighed down
The CFF Pro Series Floor is a sweet little device that is easy to store and great for beginners. It takes pressure off of the sensitive patella area helps the user to focus on form rather than force.
Relieves Patella Pressure
The CFF Pro Series Floor is a great option for those wishing to strengthen their glutes and hammies but who have knee issues that prevent them from doing so with standard GHD machines.
This device has an ingenious double pad design that takes tons of pressure off of the patella as it gets redistributed to your ankles and calves more evenly.
Great for Beginners
The CFF Pro Series Floor is an excellent option for beginners because it takes a lot of the fear factor out of using one of these machines. Especially if the user’s core, back, hammies, and glutes are undeveloped, working up to proficient strength will take some time.
By having this product close to the grown, new users can feel more confident approaching different exercises without the fear of falling. This does, of course, limit the range of motion for a few exercises, however.
And this product can still hold its weight even though it’s so small at a whopping 500 pounds in weight capacity. Depending on the exercises you’re attempting, you may need to add weights to the weight plate bar for added safety.
Cost and Value
The CFF Pro Series Floor rings up at the bottom of our price range and we love its value because it is a nice sturdy option for beginners that is compact and easy to store while still offering up tons of weight capacity.
Large base to prevent toppling
Hand grips at the front and rear
Assembly instructions are inadequate
This option from TDS is a great budget option for those who can’t shell out a fortune for a premium machine. While the footplate and pads are not of premium quality, the base is still sturdy and can support you safely during your workouts.
Extra Wide Footplate
This device from TDS is made from steel like the other products on our list and has a wide base to help prevent it from toppling over during insane workouts.
It features an extra wide footplate for more support, though this can feel a bit wobbly at times due to construction.
Hand Grips at Front and Rear
With hand grips at the front and rear of this device, you’ll be able to ensure that you are maintaining proper form before beginning your sets to keep your body safe and those results flowing in.
The foot pads on this unit are less padded and durable than other premium options. The hip pads have a bit of an odd angle to the arch which makes them not the most comfortable option on our list.
Cost and Value
This device from TDS rings up towards the bottom of our price range and we like its value because it’s a budget-friendly option that won’t topple over on you during your workouts.
8. OneFitWonder Commercial
Additional knee pad for support
Super comfortable hip and foot pads
1 bolt-action adjustment feature
Adjust the plate horizontally and vertically
Can hold 440 pounds
This product from OneFitWonder is one of the most expensive options on our list. With that price tag you get a little bit more padding and comfort, and a little bit more ease in adjusting the footplate.
Massive Rounded Pads for Comfort
This OneFitWonder is made from premium steel and can hold 440 pounds of weight. This unit has a smaller footprint than others but is still designed to resist toppling over.
The footplate can be adjusted with one bolt-action feature in a second flat. There are 8 different positions that you can move the plate horizontally and 5 different positions that you can move the plate vertically.
With super stuffed hip and foot pads, this product puts comfort at the forefront. The fully rounded hip pads are more comfortable than other options on this list, but they may provide a little less support as a result.
Additional Knee Pad for Support
Support is key with this product. It features handlebars at the rear of the device as well as a stability handle in the middle so you can focus on your form.
Plus, there is a bonus knee pad on the base of the unit to provide extra support, especially during Glue and Ham Raises.
Cost and Value
This device from OneFitWonder rings up at the top of our price range and we like its value because it provides added comfort and support that you can’t find in other devices.
9. York Barbell
29 positions for horizontal movement
Roller pads for greater comfort
Solid, wide steel base for anti-topple
Handles in front for support
1 bolt-action adjustment feature
Very expensive option
This product from York Barbell is the most premium option on our list. By shelling out the extra dough, you get a wider array of footplate positions.
29 Footplate Positions
This device from York Barbell is made from solid steel with a wide base so it won’t topple over.
The footplate is easily adjustable with a 1 bolt-action function. It can move vertically and has 29 different horizontal positions that it can fit into.
Roller Pads Move for Comfort
The hip pads on this device are designed to roll with the user. This helps the user get a greater range of motion and to prevent chafing and sticking.
Two handles at the front of the device assist the user in maintaining proper posture and form to protect against injury and ensure gains.
Cost and Value
This choice from York Barbell rings up at the tippy top of our price range and we like its value because it was designed with the user’s comfort in mind and it offers more adjustability in horizontal length.
10. Element Fitness
Commercial grade steel frame
Handlebars for support
Only adjust footplate horizontally
The Element Fitness Glute Hamstring Developer closes out our list at Number 10. It’s pricey, but simple and won’t take up tons of space in your home.
Commercial Grade Steel
This Element Fitness product is made from commercial grade steel. It is sturdy but it has a smaller base so you may be more likely to topple over during extreme exercises.
That being said, this product does have a smaller footprint than others on the list and may be ideal for a home gym for that reason.
Supporting Handle Bars
This product from Element Fitness features handlebars at the front of the device for added support when getting into positions and getting form set.
The pads are thick and durable to provide support. The footplate is relatively small and can only be adjusted horizontally.
Cost and Value
The Element Fitness Glute Hamstring Developer rings up at the top of our price range and we like its value because it has a small footprint but still offers sturdy stability for those crazier exercise routines.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When making this list, we considered the efficacy of each product. The products that we feature do what they say they are going to do. If you use them correctly and follow tutorial videos, you will see results.
Materials were a major consideration for us. We feature products made from steel because they are strong and durable. We also draw your attention to the type and style of padding so you can be aware of how durable the pads will be.
Here, we draw your attention to how you can adjust each product. Some products only adjust in one dimension while others adjust horizontally and vertically. Some products are also easier to adjust than others. We prefer products with single locking mechanisms for in-the-second adjustments.
The products on our list have differing weight capacities. It’s important to take these into consideration as you may eventually want to add weights to your practice. These capacities are total weight capacities and cannot exceed the determined amount.
The highest weight capacity is 500 pounds and the lowest is 300 pounds.
As always, we work to bring you the most bang for your workout buck. That’s why most of the premium products reside at the bottom of our list. While some of them are worth shelling out the extra dough for, you can get a perfectly safe, durable, and effective machine for far less.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
This piece of workout equipment has grown in popularity--especially in the CrossFit practice. And as many CrossFit devices and exercises challenge your body and push it outside of the normal range of motion, it is super important that you have a solid understanding of how to properly use this product to prevent potential injuries.
There are between 5 and 10 regularly used exercises on this style of equipment. And there are about 5 to 10 thousand videos on how to do them online. So which ones are trustworthy?
CrossFit itself offers tons of training videos and exemplars on how to complete each of the exercises that they suggest for this product. Some of the videos are actually meant to train trainers, so you get a real behind the scenes look at how to enact each exercise.
We suggest sifting through these first before performing any exercises. Then we say pick your favorite and have it in front of you for the first couple of times you try to complete the exercises.
It helps if you can recruit a friend or family member to watch your form (if you don’t have a mirror) or if you video yourself to ensure that you are hitting the right posture points exhibited in the practice videos. Only by practicing proper form can you maintain a safe workout.
As we mentioned before, these products are designed to test your range of motion and to push the muscles to extend past their typical daily range of motion. While this is a great way to strengthen your muscles and push past plateaus, it can also be dangerous so you need to take it slow.
These products are obviously targeted to work your glutes and hamstrings, but they will work your abdominal muscles and the muscles in your back as well. Especially if these are areas of weakness for you, you need to take these exercises slowly.
As your body works to adjust to a more extended range of motion, your muscles will adjust with it. Straining your muscles in these new, more vulnerable positions can be risky.
Start without weights and with sets in the low numbers. Perhaps you only do 3 or 4 different exercises on the first day. Then wait about 2-3 days to see how your body responds. You are likely to be really sore.
Make sure you stretch adequately and roll out those sore muscles before getting back on the horse. Then gradually work your way up to more exercises, more reps, and more weights.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your backside be. You will make negative progress if you injure yourself, so seriously, take it slow.
Other Factors to Consider
With all at-home gear, it’s important to be aware of sizing so you know how it will fit into your home. We draw your attention to those products with small footprints and those that have larger footprints.
Here we consider mostly padding and weight distribution for the user’s comfort. The more padding, and the more ergonomic the design, the higher it scores in this category.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Why GHD machines?
Often times when we are working on strengthening our hamstrings and glutes, we revert to squats, lunges, and leg curls. And though we can build up the weight that we hold when performing these exercises, it is easy to hit plateaus. For this reason, GHD machines are super helpful in extending your natural range of motion and in urging your muscles to do more.
But that’s not all. GHD machines specifically target those rear muscle groups that can often be neglected. Having healthy and strong hamstrings and glutes provides support to your entire body during everyday activities and during more serious workouts. So using one of these devices is a great way to make sure you’re giving the proper attention to these important muscle groups.
q: What exercises can I do with my GHD machine?
There are about 5 core exercises that can be done with this piece of equipment.
1. Back Extensions: This exercise is done by flexing and arching the neck and back slowly. You begin the exercise flat, facing down, with your hips resting securely on the hip pads. Next, tuck your neck and then pull up at flex your upper back first and finally your lower back.
You should do this vertebra by vertebra in a slow and controlled motion. With the reverse action, return to your 180-degree starting position.
This will serve your spinal erector muscles. You can do this exercise with or without a weight clutched to your chest.
2. Hip Extensions: This exercise is done by pivoting at the hips. You begin the exercise flat, facing down, with your thighs resting on the hip pads. Your hips need to be free of the pads. Pivot down at the hips to form a 90-degree angle. Then pivot back up to a flat body at 180 degrees.
This exercise targets the glutes and hammies. You can perform this exercise with or without clutching weights to your chest.
3. Hip and Back Extensions: This exercise is a combo of the previous two exercises. Begin flat at a 180-degree angle with your hips free of the hip pads (so thighs resting on top of the hip pads). Start with the back extension described above and then progress through center to the hip extension described above.
4. Sorenson Hold: This exercise is done by maintaining and holding that initial 180-degree position discussed in the previous exercises. Make sure your hips are positioned securely on the hip pads.
This is a whole body buster and can be done with or without a weight held to your chest.
5. Glute and Hamstring Raise: This is one of the most challenging exercises on the list, but she will tone and strengthen those hamstrings like no other.
You begin this exercise with your feet secured in the foot pads and your knees resting on the hip pads. Your torso extends straight up from your knees so that your torso and calves form a 90-degree angle.
Then you pivot your torso down until you form a 180-degree flat angle. Finally, return to the starting position.
6. GDH Sit-Ups: This is by far the most physically vulnerable exercise on our list. It really works to challenge and extend your range of motion and must be done carefully.
This exercise is completed by starting face up. Your thighs will rest on the thigh pads and your hips will be free of the pads. Keep a slight bend to your knees.
Slowly, with your arms extended overhead, lean backward until your fingers touch the ground. If you are new to this piece of equipment, it may take some time for both of your hands to actually reach the ground. Remember, take it slow!
Then, without using tons of pop-up momentum, come back up to a seated position and repeat.
This exercise targets your hip flexors, core, and back.
q: What’s the difference between a GHD Machine and a Roman Chair?
These pieces of equipment are pretty similar but the GHD allows for a greater range in motion which works to challenge and strengthen your muscles more effectively. How does it do this?
The GHD Machine features a footplate, for one. The footplate allows for proper leverage and alignment and can typically be adjusted based on a person’s height and specific dimensions.
These pieces of equipment also offer up a lot more padding than your traditional Roman Chair. The provided padding allows for a great range of motion. In fact, one can get about 30% more range of motion in either direction with a GHD Machine than they can with a Roman Chair. Not to mention, it’s a lot more comfortable as well.
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