If for some reason you do not have a Roman chair at home, but you have a workout bench with a flat position, then the reverse hyperextension exercise is an excellent substitute for strengthening your lower back and spine muscles.
Reverse hyper benefits
This bodyweight exercise is excellent to strengthen your hamstrings, glutes and lower back muscles.
Working these muscle groups is usually neglected since trainees during their core training more likely to focus on their abs.
However, the weak lower back is one of the main reasons for back pain and injury no matter what type of strength workout you do.
Powerful lower back and spine muscles will help to better in any sport, and if you lift weights, it is crucial to strengthen them. It is logical since these muscles take place almost every move you make.
Finally, your posture and balance will be much better. Also, it works your glutes and hamstrings to shape your backside.
You can do reverse back extension on the floor, but doing it on the bench is more efficient since the range of motion (ROM) is longer. Thanks to that your joints will be more flexible, and your muscles will be much stronger.
Reverse hyper spinal decompression illustration. (Want to buy a reverse hyper machine for home? The best is RH-2 from Rogue that is used in the video.
Reverse Hyperextension on bench tutorial
- It is not a complicated movement.
- Lie on a flat bench on your stomach.
- Move where your hips are at the end of the bench.
- Grab the frame or the board.
- At the starting position, straighten your legs, or you can bend them a little bit.
- Lift your legs as high as you can. Perform the motion slowly and focus on your spine and lower back. At the top position, you can hold your lower body for a moment.
- Then, slowly lower your legs.
That is it.
- Do not use the momentum. Make the motions slowly.
- The higher you lift your limbs, the longer the range of motion is.
- Do not drop your feet at the bottom. Try to do it without touching the floor at all.
- In case you are at an advanced level, you can use ankle weighs (or maybe a dumbbell) to add extra resistance to the exercise. But, do weighted reverse hyperextension only if you can do at least 20 proper back hypers.
- To lengthen the range of motion, you can use the incline bench as well. (But check out if the equipment is stable enough.)
Advice for beginners
- If you have back or spine problems consult your doctor before doing this exercise. It can do more harm than good.
- Always warm-up before performing the move.
- In case you have not done the reverse hyper exercise on the bench before, it is better to start with floor hyperextension. Once, you can do 15-20 reps correctly, begin doing the bench version.
- If it is hard to lift your legs high, raise them till they are parallel with the floor. You can also bend your knees a little bit more at the beginning.
How to do reverse hypers without a machine?
In case you do not have a bench at home, you can use a stability ball instead. I think, it is the best alternative.
You lie on the ball on your stomach, grab something and you lift your legs. That move is harder a bit since the ball is not stable, so you have to use your core to stabilize your body and to keep the correct form.
Here is the tutorial on how to perform glute reverse hyperextension on a stability ball.
To sum up
The reverse hyperextension on a bench is an excellent exercise to develop your spine and lower back muscles. And with that to keep your core fit and healthy. I usually do 3-4 sets with 15-20 reps twice a week.