Reverse Hypers: a great exercise you’re not doing!

Reverse hyper-extensions are probably one of the best posterior chain exercises you’re not doing, but should be…

Targeting the glutes, hamstrings and lower back (specifically: erector spinae), Reverse Hypers are often used by powerlifters as a support exercise for Squats and Deadlifts but are also recommended as a rehabilitation exercise for people with lower back problems. That said, they’re important for anyone looking to maintain a healthy back or to build stronger, more shapely glutes!

Reverse Hyper-Extensions Without A Machine

Not many gyms have a Reverse-Hyperextension machine but you can quite easily improvise the exercise with an elevated platform to lie on and something stable to grip. In the video below we’ve simply used a plyometric box positioned in front of a rack.

To Perform the Reverse-Hyper:

As with any exercise involving the lower back, Reverse Hyper form is extremely important and proper technique will make a big difference to results…

– Begin lying on the platform with your hips just over the edge;

– Pulling your upper body tight, initiate the movement by squeezing your glutes to bring your legs up to parallel with the ground, keeping them as straight as possible;

– Hold and squeeze the glutes at the top point and then slowly lower your legs back down to repeat.

– Try to make sure you’re not using momentum to swing up and down and refrain from overextending your lower back at the top.

We’d recommend working between 6-12 reps, at a tempo around 3-1-1-1 (3 down – 1 at the bottom – 1 up – 1 at the top), depending on your current training goal.

As you get stronger you can add weight to the exercise by squeezing a dumbbell between your ankles, wearing weighted ankle cuffs, or using a resistance band anchored at the bottom.

Reverse Hyper-extension exercise alternative

If you don’t have access to a plyo box, or you need to build up some initial strength, and you’re looking for Reverse Hyper alternatives; try the Floor Reverse Hyper-extension. This exercise works the same muscles as the reverse hyperextension, albeit through a smaller range of motion, and doesn’t require any special equipment.

To do the floor reverse hyper:

– Lie on your stomach on the floor with your legs straight and your arms to the side for support;

– Keeping your chin tucked in, brace your abs and squeeze your glutes to raise your legs off the floor;

– Hold the squeeze in your glutes and lower back for a count of two, then lower back down and repeat.

As the Floor Reverse Hyperextension has a very short range of motion, we recommend training for 12-20 reps per set.

Time to give Reverse Hypers a try!

Try including Reverse Hyperextensions in your next programme on your leg day or posterior chain workout, after you’ve already done your Squats or Deadlifts; and see what a difference they can make for your glute training!