If you are looking for a new movement to strengthen your posterior
chain, look no further than the Reverse Hyper. This exercise can be
used as rehab for those who have injured their back, as a warm-up for
lower body training or as a major accessory movement to improve hip
Although there are several individuals throughout history that claim
to have invented the reverse hyper movement, it was popularized in the
1970s by Louie Simmons, founder of the Westside Barbell Club. The Reverse Hyper Machine is a specialized piece of equipment not commonly found in commercial gyms, but
is becoming more common in specialty barbell clubs or sometimes CrossFit boxes. These modern machines originate from Louie Simmons’ design.
What makes the Reverse Hyper unique is that it allows for spinal
decompression whereas movements like Romanian Deadlifts and back extensions load and compress the spine. This exercise trains the glutes and hamstrings in a similar movement
pattern to the deadlift and other pulls from the floor. It is an open
kinetic chain motion, meaning that the torso is stabilized and the
legs are moving, as opposed to a back extension where the legs are stationary and the torso is
moving. This trains the lifter to move the hip independently from the
torso, recruiting the muscles of the posterior chain in the correct
As a rehab tool, this variation of hip extension strengthens the muscles that support the spine and improves disc health. It is also a beneficial way to train the hamstrings for those that have knee injuries because there is no flexion of the knee. For those recovering from or preventing further Sacroiliac Joint dysfunctions, an extremely common issue with Powerlifters, the Reverse Hyper mobilizes this load bearing joint and engages the glutes before lifting in order to prevent overuse of the lower back.
Current culture dictates that we spend the majority of our time sitting, whether in the car, at an office desk, in a classroom or on the couch. This constant sitting leads to weak posterior chains (glutes, hamstrings and spinal erectors). So, for new lifters,
building muscle in these areas is not only useful for improving the squat and deadlift, but it is essential for preventing injury in the
lower back. For more seasoned lifters, the Reverse Hyper will directly carry over to pulls from the ground and ability to generate
force on the barbell from the posterior chain.
When performing this awesome exercise, do your best to keep your knees straight and extend at the hips using the glutes. Allow the legs to swing forward again (the moment of spinal decompression) and then explosively extend hard with the glutes, taking care to not
excessively arch the lower back.
How to do a Reverse Hyper without the Machine?
There are a number of variations of this movement that can be done at your gym or at home with little or no equipment.
-Lying on a standard bench or table
-Hanging off a GHD
-Superman or Reverse Hollow Rock
-Nordic Hamstring Curls
Add the Reverse Hyper into your warm up, your rehab program, or at the end of your leg day workout and watch after a few weeks how your kinesthetic understanding of the hip hinge improves.
Team Fitbliss Coach