The reverse hyperextension is an exercise that targets the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. The movement was popularized by Louie Simmons. A while back I shared a Louie Simmons interview conducted by Joe Rogan, it’s a must listen – Joe’s a great interviewer and to call Louie an interesting dude would be a huge understatement.
Anyway, the movement takes your hips from a flexed position to an extended position. It’s been lauded by strength coaches around the world for its ability to build muscle, and improve strength and athleticism.
“Some strength authorities believe the reverse hyper has greater specificity to sport with respect to hip extension than other popular exercises such as the Romanian deadlift. For instance, strength coach Kim Goss feels the reverse hyper is an excellent assistance exercise that doesn’t compromise technique on the Olympic lifts. It’s an effective exercise that can be used by many athletes to improve their performance,” writes John Paul Catanzaro for T-Muscle.
If you’re wondering if you should be doing the reverse hyper then answer is yes. Simply put, almost everyone should be doing it. If you want to get stronger the reverse hyper will boost your squat and deadlift (and probably all of your other lifts too), if you’re looking to slap on some muscle it’ll pack some serious fiber onto your posterior chain, and if you’re a desk jockey with chronic back pain it might mean relief and big savings on medical bills.
If you’re lucky enough to go to a gym that has a reverse hyper machine then checkout the video below. It will show you the proper way to execute the movement. If not then don’t worry. Keep scrolling and you’ll see that this movement can be performed with a bench, high table, or regular back hyper machine.
In an article for Men’s Health earlier this year Men’s Health Fitness Director B.J. Gaddour demonstrated the proper technique for performing a reverse hyper on a bench – a great idea if your gym (like most commercial gyms) doesn’t have a machine.
He also included a routine that’s perfect for anyone getting started with reverse hypers.
- Isometric: hold for 30 to 60 seconds
- Pump: sets of 10 to 20 reps
- Alternating legs: sets of 10 to 20 reps