30 Sep

5 Unconventional Uses of the Reverse Hyper


The Reverse Hyper is a piece of exercise equipment that was designed and invented by powerlifter, strength coach, inventor, and author, Louie Simmons. After breaking his back in 1973, surgeons wanted him to undergo a procedure that would fuse part of his spine and leave two vertebrae missing. In 1974, Louie invented the Reverse Hyperextension Machine after searching out alternative interventions and found that doing reverse hypers was the only exercise that did not cause any pain. Louie went on to have a very successful career in powerlifting and as a coach, leading himself and others to multiple world records in the squat, bench, and deadlift. It wasn’t until 1994 that there was an official patent on the Reverse Hyper machine, and as of 2016, there are now 5 different patented variations of the original machine.

Reverse Hypers have since become a necessity for many strength and conditioning facilities. The machine allows the user to target the hamstrings, glutes, and low back by decompressing the spine without enacting any vertical compression. The Reverse Hyper is able to increase dynamic strength development in the concentric phase of the movement. Throughout the swing, the spine is stretched and depressurized, ultimately filling the spinal column with fluid and the lower back muscles with blood. 

But, are there other uses for this machine? Absolutely! The unique pendulum provides an opportunity to use a variety of different movements with a new strength curve. While the machine is originally intended for the muscles of the posterior chain, it can be modified for exercises of the trunk, lats, and even arms. 

Reverse Hyper Quadruped Hip Extension

The Reverse Hyper Quadruped Hip Extension utilizes the pendulum of the reverse hyper to take the hip joint, and more specifically, the muscles of the glutes through a very big range of motion. This motion with the pendulum will actually take the hip into hyperextension, making it a great exercise to target the upper and lower parts of the glutes. A big benefit to this exercise is that the load doesn’t need to be high to get a great contraction - making it a terrific finishing exercise to a hard lower body day. 

Reverse Hyper Rows

The Reverse Hyper Row has the client stand behind the machine with the straps in hand. The client will then row the straps back to the body like a normal row. The pendulum of the weight and change of angle provides an alternative stimulus to the traditional barbell or dumbbell row that can’t be replicated. 

Reverse Hyper Skullcrushers

Performing skullcrushers for the triceps on the reverse hyper allows for full range tricep activation without placing too much load on the elbow joint. The client will lay on the ground and will reach over their head to grab the strap to the pendulum. The client will then point the elbows up to the ceiling and extend the triceps forward and up. This will place most of the emphasis in the last few inches of the extension of the tricep, providing a great stimulus that’s similar to locking out a heavy bench press. 

Reverse Hyper Hammer Curls

Can’t forget about the other side of the arm! Utilizing the reverse hyper for hammer curls is a great way to train the biceps and brachioradialis without the load and stress on the elbow joint. This movement has the client set up behind the machine while holding the straps with a neutral grip. The client will then initiate the movement by engaging the biceps and flexing the elbow to create the contraction. This creates a new angle to the hammer curl exercise for an alternative stimulus. 

Reverse Hyper Earthquake Pallof Anti Rotation Isometric Hold

This exercise is by far one of the most creative uses for the Reverse Hyper. Utilizing a band choked to the strap on the pendulum, the client will stand sideways and initiate the movement by pulling the band laterally to move the pendulum on the reverse hyper. The pendulum will continue swinging as the client now assumes a Pallof position with arms straight in front of the body. This forces the client to remain stable as the pendulum continues to swing and pull the band laterally. This movement trains the anti-rotational stability of the trunk and can be used for rotational work as well. 

The Reverse Hyper is an excellent piece of equipment that deserves a place in strength and conditioning facilities. From injury prevention to hypertrophy to strength, the Reverse Hyper can do wonders for any type of client or athlete. With just a little bit of creativity, the reverse hyper can be modified to train a multitude of different movements for just about every muscle group. 

Whether you’re a beginner or advanced athlete, you need the right tools to set you up for success in your fitness endeavor. At Central Athlete, we offer a wide range of different exercise equipment and tools to help you attack your fitness goals. If you’ve ever been curious about using a reverse hyper, or any other piece of equipment that Central Athlete has to offer, schedule a FREE strategy session with a professional coach and get working towards your goals today.

In Strength, 

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