The reverse hyper was developed by Westside Barbell’s Louie Simmons, who is one of the top powerlifting coaches in the world. Simmons originally used the reverse hyper for rehabilitating his back and spine, as he was dealing with some significant injuries. The reverse hyper can be used with both light and heavy loads in everyday training to reduce lower back tightness and strengthen hamstrings, glutes, hips, and more.
The reverse hyper builds posterior chain strength, which will increase squat and deadlift strength. Strength development can be achieved by using light, medium, and heavy loads 3-4 times per week. It is important start with our progressions and ease your way into using the reverse hyper. Too much, too soon can be very potent and cause a lot of tightness and discomfort.
Progression 1 - No weight. Controlled movement, specifically at the top and bottom.
Progression 2 - Light weight. Continue to control movements a the top and bottom.
Progression 3 - Add weight only after a coach has given you the go ahead. It is very important to avoid hyperextension and hyperflexion. A coach can give you feedback.
The reverse hyper is also used for spine and back therapy.
“It decompresses the spine and has no vertical compression on the spine at all. This machine serves as a rehabilitation mechanism in the eccentric phase. The spine is gently stretched and depressurized during the process, creating--in essence--an internal pumping mechanism, filling the spinal column with spinal fluid and the lower back muscles with blood.” (From www.roguefitness.com)
If you have back issues and you think the reverse hyper may benefit you, please talk to a coach and have them teach you proper technique for creating decompression and traction. This technique can be very useful if done correctly; if done poorly, it can potentially cause more problems.
Lastly, the reverse hyper teaches you to control your core as you move the weight. This emphasizes the “core to extremity” rule that we teach everyday at NoCoast. “Core to extremity” is the key to all functional movement. When moving any kind of load, it is important to support your big, core musculature first and then let your extremities help move the load. The same is true for the reverse hyper. Not only does it teach you to engage your glutes, abs, and core, but it is imperative that you control the machine with the right musculature in order to keep your spine and back safe. This is the same concept as learning and performing the deadlift and squat.
If you did not get an introduction to the reverse hyper, please ask a coach for a demo before using it. It is important to understand how to use it to keep yourself safe, as well as to maximize your time on it.
Here’s to a strong and healthy back!