Using A Reverse Hyper-Extension Machine

using a reverse hyper extension machine

Q: My gym has a reverse hyper-extension machine – that has a half circle you lay over and lift from your legs for low back work, instead of at your waist. Have you seen one of these and are they okay to use? I’ve had lower back problems forever, and know the only way to a stronger low back is to work on it, but I’m afraid I’ll just keep injuring it. Give me the lowdown on this equipment – I don’t ever see anyone using it?

A: Where do I start? This is probably one of the most valuable pieces of equipment for back. It’s so far superior to the regular hyper-extension apparatus, you’re lucky to have it – most gyms don’t, unfortunately. You will definitely benefit because of your past back problems – it is a lot safer and better to build up strength. Because you never bow your lower back and, instead, keep the low back concave it is hard to re injure your back using this. Because you are lifting weight from a secured point down at the ankles, and moving up to the lower back, you are not only working the lower back, but are also working the gluteals. So it works a good deal of the posterior chain and that’s important for stability in those areas, as well as in the collective chain, for heavy exercises such as squats, hack squats, and deadlifts. Reverse hyper-extensions are very therapeutic and often used in actual physical therapy. Have someone in the gym show you how to use the machine, and how to take pressure off of the glutes and lower back, alternately when you lift with the legs.