It is estimated that approximately 75% of Americans experience issues with their lower back at some point in their lives. Identifying the source of these problems and treating them successfully can be frustrating and daunting. Pinpointing the cause is often difficult. Back problems can be attributed to all sorts of lifestyle factors, including stress, a sedentary lifestyle, spine rigidity or poor posture. Fortunately, there is a great solution that you will probably find in many commercial gyms; the “reverse hyper machine”. Let’s take a look at this ingenious piece of equipment and see how it can help you with personal fitness.
What is a reverse hyper machine?
The reverse hyper machine was designed by Louie Simmons, one of the most famous strength coaches in the country. After suffering multiple broken vertebrae during his career, he created the reverse hyper machine to help rehabilitate himself to top-level form and prevent possible injuries in the future. The primary function of the reverse hyper machine is to enhance the posterior chain by training the lower back, hamstrings, and glutes. By decompressing the spinal area without causing any vertical compression, this unit can improve the development of dynamic strength in the concentric stage of the movement. During the swing, your spine will be depressurized and stretched, which ultimately fills the muscles in your lower back with blood and spinal area with fluid. Although reverse hyper machines are most commonly seen in strength training centers, they are also found in many rehab centers, physical therapy facilities, and chiropractor’s offices.
Benefits of using a reverse hyper machine
Below are some benefits that most athletes and coaches can expect when using reverse hyperextensions in their training routine:
Develop hamstring and glute
Hamstring and glute muscles are key for power, fitness, and strength athletes as these are vitally important for movements such as running, pulls, deadlifts, and squats. Among many exercises to choose from, reverse hyperextensions can be great for strengthening these muscle groups, while limiting the additional load on the hips, lower back, and central nervous system of a lifter and even helping to decompress spinal vertebrae.
Improvement of hip extension ability
Hip extension plays an essential role in the fitness and strength of most athletes. With a reverse hyper machine, you can increase the control, strength, and contractile speeds through a wide range of movements. In addition, a strengthened hip extension also allows for improved performance in explosive lifts, deadlifts, and squats.
Prevent hamstring and lower back injury
For athletes who suffer from flare-ups or lower back issues, applying back hyperextension is one of the most effective methods to prevent back injury. This is because strong, flexible, and muscular hamstrings are necessary for injury prevention and maximized force production during explosive movements. The reverse hyper machine allows athletes and coaches to train the glutes and hamstrings in a similar movement pattern to pulls and deadlift without the additional spinal forces or loading.
3 common exercises with a reverse hyper machine
As well as standard reverse hyperextensions, here are 3 great movements that you can perform on the reverse hyper machine to get the best results:
The single-arm row exercise is highly effective but simple to perform on the reverse hyper machine. Firstly, grab the unit’s strap with your hand and then stand back. If you need to, you can keep that hand on the unit for support. Drive back the elbow and hold for a few seconds while keeping the trunk tight before gradually returning your weight to your beginning position. This row variation will create a relatively unmatched eccentric stretch. It is recommended to perform 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps.
Terminal knee extension
Terminal knee extension or TKE is a great exercise to add in your warm-up session. This activates the quadriceps and enhances blood flow around and in the knee joint. Rather than applying a traditional band, it is often better to loop the machine’s strap around the knee and perform a terminal knee extension movement with a load. We recommend 2 to 3 sets of 15 to 20 reps on both legs.
High triceps extension
Performing a high triceps extension excise with a reverse hyper machine helps place less direct pressure on your elbow joint and is an excellent arm finisher. In this movement, you should lie flat on your back. Make sure to grab the strap evenly and do the exercise in a steady, clear path. The recommended intensity is 3 to 4 sets of 10 to 20 reps.