The reverse hyper machine is one of the best pieces of exercise equipment a gym can have.
The most popular exercise performed on this machine? Reverse Hyperextensions, which are a tremendous way to build strength through the posterior chain, which includes your hamstrings, glutes and lower back. Along with building strength, they also alleviate lower-back tightness. It does this through creating traction through the spine on the eccentric portion of the reverse hyperextension.
But did you know there are a number of other awesome exercises you can perform with the help of a reverse hyper machine? All too often, I see reverse hyper machines gathering cobwebs in the corner of the gym, only getting use when someone wants to perform hyperextensions. But the reverse hyper machine is much more versatile than it credits for.
With that in mind, here are five great movements (other than standard reverse hyperextensions) you can perform on a reverse hyper machine.
The Pull-Through is a great movement to help build up an individuals hips, low back and glutes. It is also a great hinge pattern to help teach proper mechanics when performing an RDL or any other hinge based movement. Just stand about an arm's length away, facing away from the reverse hyper and reach through your legs to grab the strap. Perform the Pull-Through by pulling your hips forward and squeezing your glutes locking out your hips to complete the rep. (3-4x8-12) or however you see appropriate. The exercise is demonstrated at the beginning of the above video.
2. Single-Arm Rows
The Single-Arm Row works fantastic on the reverse hyper machine. Grab the strap with one hand and stand back from the machine. You may keep your hand on the machine for support, if needed. Drive your elbow back while keeping your trunk tight and hold for a count before slowly returning the weight to the starting position. The great eccentric stretch that this row variation will create is quite unmatched. I recommend 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps. This exercise is demonstrated at the :11 mark in the video.
3. TKEs (Terminal Knee Extension)
TKEs are a great movement to include in your warm-up to activate your quadriceps and promote blood flow at and around the knee joint. Instead of using the traditional band, you can loop the strap of the reverse hyper around your knee and perform the TKE with a load. I recommend 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps on each leg. This exercise is demonstrated at the :22 mark of the video.
4. Lying Hyper Triceps Extension
Performing Lying Triceps Extensions with the reverse hyper places less direct stress on the elbow joint and can serve as a great arm finisher. Lie flat on your back an arm's length away from the strap. Make sure to grab the strap evenly and perform the extension in a clear, steady path. I recommend 3-4 sets of 10-20 reps. This exercise is demonstrated at the :33 mark of the video.
5. Single-Leg Reverse Hyper
This one is more of a variation on the standard reverse hyperextension, but it's different enough to feel like its own movement. You almost never see a unilateral approach used for reverse hypers, and that's a shame. By isolating one leg at a time, you help cut down on muscular imbalances and prevent one side's strength compensating for the other's weakness. Single-Leg Reverse Hypers are an easy way to spice up your accessory work or warm-up. I recommend 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps on each leg. This exercise is demonstrated at the :42 mark in the above video.
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