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Reverse Hyper - The BEST Low Back Exercise You Aren't Doing

When dealing with back pain, it can tend to be the only thing on your mind.  Like being under the weather, back pain can almost halt life until it is cured. A surefire way to help deal with low back pain is through strengthening. 

Strengthening the lower back along with the surrounding posterior muscles (hamstrings/glutes) will act as a defense layer against soreness and pain. With so many muscles in the posterior chain, choosing the correct exercises to strengthen them can be difficult... UNTIL NOW!!!

The reverse hyper is THE go-to exercise designed specifically for attacking and strengthening the posterior chain. In this article, I will be teaching you how the reverse hyper-exercise can help you improve low back health. 

 Reverse Hyper


Benefits Of The Reverse Hyper:

The reason why the reverse hyper is so powerful is that it targets muscles that are typically left dormant, weak, and underutilized. 

Muscles in the glutes such as the Gluteus Medius and Piriformis get neglected when treating the lower back. When left unattended, glute muscles often become tight and weak, resulting in a great deal of lower back pain. 

Reverse Hyper

When it comes to the reverse hyper, the glutes play a large role in the movement of the exercise (specifically towards the top of the movement).  Strengthening the glute muscles has a positive effect on the lower back. When glute muscles are left tight and weak, this can be detrimental to balance, posture, and even nerves linked within the lower back.

Being able to work the low back, hamstrings, and glutes all in one movement is the beauty of the reverse hyper. Most back exercises (such as the deadlift and good morning) will leave you nursing your back with every rep. 

Reverse hyper exercise is a safe and easy way to work these muscles without the risk of injury and total body stress. 


How To Reverse Hyper Visual Aid:

Below is a video and some tips on how to correctly complete the reverse hyper exercise.


Reverse Hyper Tips:

  • When at the top of the reverse hyper, contract hard while squeezing the glute muscles (the most important part of the movement).
  • Do not have uncontrolled extension!! Keep a sturdy upper body (hold on for stability)
  • Focus only on extending at the hips during reverse hyper (try not to arch the back, keep hips in line with back)


Reverse Hyper Progression:

To further progress the reverse hyper movement, increasing resistance by holding a dumbbell between your feet or using a resistance band has been proven effective. This will further isolate the movement and give faster acting results.

Reverse hyper movement - Tips, Progression, and Movement


Reverse Hyper Movement:

With plenty of variations out there, the reverse hyper is in a league of its own. No lower back or glute exercise targets the full posterior chain in an effective way as the reverse hyper.

The reverse hyper provides the healthy mix of giving maximum value from a movement while not exposing the user to be put in a vulnerable position that could result in injury.


More Lower Back Relief:

Keeping mobility in the lower back and posterior chain is just as important as strengthening it. Outside of doing reverse hypers for back pain, staying mobile through flexibility exercises will help relieve any built up tightness that is potentially causing you pain. Learning proper stretching techniques before you strengthen your muscles will have your low back thanking you. (Also check out our page on how to do the landmine row!)

Flexible Back 2.0 - Lower Back Flexibility Program 

Another great way to relieve lower back pain is through deep-tissue muscle massage. If you are looking to save yourself some money and trips to the chiropractor's office, you need a proper tool that is equipped to get in those hard-to-reach places. The QL Claw is designed specifically for deep-tissue muscle release.

Check out our Testimonial page and hear from satisfied athletes, therapists, and trainers on how the QL Claw has helped them.


Reverse Hyper FAQ:

Do you need a reverse hyper machine to complete the reverse hyper exercise?

No, a reverse hyper machine is not required when performing the reverse hyper workout. Although the machine offers its own setup, the exercise can also be performed using other methods. Laying face down on a bench or stability ball and raising the legs with controlled movements can mimic the key components of the reverse hyper without requiring a machine.

Whats is the difference between back extensions and reverse hypers?

The main difference is in muscle engagement and focus. Back extensions primarily target the erector spinae muscles down the spine whereas the reverse hyper particularly targets the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles.

Is hyperextension good for the lower back?

When done properly and with control, it can be a great strengthening exercise for the lower back. If you are experiencing low back pain, hyperextensions have the potential to offer relief. It's important to emphasize comfortable weight and avoid overextension.

What is a good alternative exercise to reverse hyperextension?

Glute bridges and hip thrusts trigger the glutes and hamstrings, good mornings target the hamstrings and lower back. Exercise ball curls actively challenge the hamstrings. Prone leg lifts situates the movement of the reverse hyper. Glute hyperextensions target the glutes particularly, while glute ham raises target the entire posterior chain. 


More Information:

If you want to further your back strengthening journey and want more exercises (other than the reverse hyper) and proper coaching. Check out my strengthening program below. 

Back of Steel - Lower Back Strengthening Program




[1] Donnelly, Joseph M. Travell, Simons & Simons Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: the Trigger Point Manual. 3rd ed., Wolters Kluwer Health, 2019.

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