Work the Whole Back Side of the Body With One Move: Part 2

Posted on by Ben Bruno

About six weeks ago I made a post called Work the Whole Back Side of the Body With One Move where I showed an inverted row/hamstring bodycurl combination exercise that was very well received so I thought I would follow it up with another exercise that fits a similar description and is equally sweet. I’ll call it the Banded “Iron Cross” Glute-Ham Raise for lack of a better name, and it’s a winner.



If you’ve followed my blog regularly or read by recent T-Nation article about glute-ham raises, then you know it’s probably my favorite exercise for the posterior chain. It smokes the hamstrings, glutes, erectors, and even calves. But why stop there? What about doing something to get the upper back while we’re at it to make it even better. This lead me to try this exercise, and I really like it. Think of it as an isometric band pullapart combined with a glute-ham raise. Here is what it looks like in action.

The band is a great addition because it isometrically works the upper back, traps, rear delts, and rhomboids in addition to everything else that gets worked during the GHR. Moreover, it helps to ensure good body positioning throughout the exercise. Some people have a tendency to round their shoulders forward and bend at the spine, but having the shoulders pinched back has a trickle -down effect through the rest of the body to help maintain rigidity and alignment.

I had learned a similar idea from James “Smitty Diesel” Smith and Joe Defranco awhile back with a band good morning (check it out here) and I had actually done it for awhile, so that’s how I came up with the name I did.

In any case, it’s an awesome exercise that I definitely recommend trying. I have to run now, but I will post a regression to this exercise in a few days for people that might not be able to handle it quite yet.

Have a good day, and be sure to subscribe to my You Tube page if you don’t already for more cool exercise ideas.

  • Juliet

    Killer. I think I'll try something like this tonight (or the row/hamstring curl if I can figure out how to set up my gym's TRX set) Thanks for sharing!

  • allie

    Ben, I would like to become a female version of you. Your strength is seriously amazing. Your legs/glutes are huge- allll muscle, you just look like a machine. This is awesome, although I can't even manage "a" real GHR yet. Love the youtube page.

  • Billy Darrer

    F'n gangster!! Will be doing these this afternoon