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Reverse Hyper: What is it and how does it work?

Do you ever look around the gym and wonder what certain pieces of equipment are? 

I know personally that this machine (the Reverse Hyper) is one of them for me. It wasn't until recently that I knew what it was called or what it was for. When I started doing some more research, I quickly realized that this is a tool that all of us should know about and use...especially for anyone who ever has any back pain. 

If you want to increase your strength, speed, power, reaction time and add some muscle mass, this is the exercise. The Reverse Hyper was invented by powerlifter Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell. Louie broke his back two times, and was able to use the Reverse Hyper to not only solve his back pain and restore function, but to go on to set some impressive powerlifting records.

The difference between most back exercises and the Reverse Hyper is the fact that it is an “open chain” movement. This simply means that the feet are free to move. A closed chain back exercise would be one where the feet are planted on the ground, or wedged between the pads and not moving like in a back extension on the GHD.

The benefit of this open chained movement is that it doesn’t put any compressing force on the spine. When most people think of spinal traction they think of inversion tables with the goal being to gently pull the vertebrae apart. Traction creates more space between the vertebrae making room for compressed, bulging, or herniated discs. The traction happens on the downward swing of the Reverse Hyper (watch the video below). When the legs extend, the muscles that support the spine contract, thus strengthening the lower back. This is how the Reverse Hyper gives offeres both lower back rehabilitation, and strengthening.

This machine doesn't only have to be a rehab tool. It's also a great lower back strengthening exercise for people with no pain at all. It’s highly recommended to do a few sets for a lower back warm-up, as well as 2-4 sets after a heavy lifting session.

So start using the Reverse Hyper! Watch the videos below for a demonstration of how to use it, and if you have more questions ask your Coach for Life!

-Coach Amanda