Many Iron Sport members have noticed the new machine that showed up at Iron Sport a couple of months ago. It is called the Reverse Hyper machine. The reverse hyper (short for hyperextension) was invented and patented by a strength coach in Ohio named Louie Simmons for the strengthening and rehabbing of the lower back.
Louie is an innovator when it comes to strength building and this may be one of his most successful idea yet. The machine is very simple in design and an athlete can be taught to perform the movement correctly in just minutes. The principal behind the machine is that is stretches the lower lumbar area (lower back muscles) during the front-swing allowing blood to get into areas between the vertebrae and actually regenerate old and worn discs. On the back-swing you will then contract the lower lumbars and therefore strengthening them.
Now that being said, here are a couple of key points I have learned by doing these now for a while:
Use enough to weight to make it worth your effort. Some people I see will get on it and put two ten pound plates on there. You will not get enough front swing that way. You need enough weight to have it pull you forward to stretch and open the spine up for the desired effect.
I have also seen people go too crazy on the back swing and bring their legs way up above their body. You only need to bring the legs up so that they are sticking straight out along the same line as your body.
How much weight should you use? Well, it will depend on what you are trying to do. I have guys who are just trying to get over a back injury using 100lbs-150lbs; the women maybe 70-125lbs. If you are a serious lifter trying to gain strength you will use much more. A person that can squat and deadlift around 500lbs could use over 350lbs for sets of 10 or more.
Sean is shown here fully extending his lumbar area and getting much-needed blood flow into that area.
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Finishing the movement.
Reverse hypers can be done three times a week or more. Have one heavy day, one light day and one medium day, always do them at the end of a workout to get your back all stretched out after squatting and deadlifting. You will walk out of the gym with your back feeling good.