What the Heck Is A Reverse Hyper?
EverProven CrossFit is a fully outfitted functional Strength and Conditioning Training Center. If you have been to other boxes, you may notice that some may not be as well outfitted as we are. We feel very fortunate to be able to bring you not only the usual equipment such as barbells, bumpers and squat racks, but also a number of specialty items that many other places simply do not offer. These pieces of equipment include, but are not limited to Yokes, Axle Bars, Trap/Hex Bars, Safety Squat Bars, Cambered Bars, Ski Erg, Landmines, Weight Vests, Training Chains, D Balls and the subject of this blog post, a reverse hyper.
Now, you may be wondering what some of these items would be used for. We will be using this blog to give you more insight into the how and why of each of these items. This time we will dive into the reverse hyper!
The Reverse hyper is a piece of equipment like no other. This open-chain exercise provides the unique benefits of traction and strengthening of the mid and lower half of your posterior chain and hamstrings and can be used to facilitate recovery from injuries in these areas. If you have a weak posterior chain and hamstrings, you can almost be certain that you will experience bouts of lower back pain, weakness in other bodily areas and movement flaws throughout your life – steadily getting worse as you get older.
Side note – most people either have never even heard of the posterior chain, or confuse this area with the lower back alone. The posterior chain is a group of muscles on the rear of your body. These muscles include the biceps femoris (back of your thigh), gluteus maximus (AKA Glutes – your butt), erector spinae group (AKA – Erectors – center of your back up from your hips up through your ribs), trapezius,(AKA Traps – Span of your upper back, over your scapulas and up into your neck) and posterior deltoids (AKA Rear Delts – back of your shoulder). Your Hamstrings are not considered part of the posterior chain! Think of your posterior chain as the chassis of your car; it keeps the body, suspension & wheels all attached and working together as a unit.
A Reverse Hyper trains these areas extraordinarily well! That being said, we want to make sure you use this piece of equipment correctly! Many times athletes may not understand how to even hop on the machine, let alone use it! Many athletes use the Reverse Hyper incorrectly with excessive “swinging”. With that said, range of motion should be controlled, in which you have the ability to prevent excessive swinging of the pendulum.
So how the heck to you use it?
Approach the reverse hyper on the side opposite of the handles and insert your feet into the foothold/ankle strap from a standing position.
Lie down flat on the pad with the handles in front of you. Your hip crease should be even with end of the pad when lying on it.
Grasp the handles and bring your legs off of the ground with your legs straight.
Drive your hips into the pad as you bring your straight legs up past your body
Contract your glutes at the top of the movement and avoid “over-extension” at the top.
Reflex/Control half way down. Your head should travel with the natural course of the body. (Keep your head neutral at all times during the movement.)
At the bottom of the movement your body and legs should be at a 90 degree angle to each other.
Try to control the “pendulum”. Meaning that you should be able to stop at any moment without having to wait for your legs to drop.
Why You Should Use Our Reverse Hyper
It provides decompression of the spine that cannot be duplicated by any other piece of equipment
It works as an excellent strengthening tool for the lower half of the posterior chain and hamstrings.
It is an excellent rehabilitative tool for those with lower back disorders or poor glute and hamstring health.
It can aid in flexibility and dynamic range of motion
Helps keep athletes progressing and healthy without additional external loading of the spine
Helps keep your back safe. Individuals are less likely to sustain lower back injuries if performed on a regular basis.
Helps to facilitate lower back recovery after heavy pulling sessions
You will have great success with using multiple variations during the week and using the Reverse Hyper for both strengthening and recovery. Here are some examples:
Reverse Hypers: 3-4 x 15-25 @30-50% of Back Squat 1RM
*Overtime athletes will be able to increase loading and volume. Somewhere between 50-100 total reps works well for most.
Day 2 Active Recovery (optional)
Reverse Hyper: 2 x 25 @25% of Back Squat 1RM.
Reverse Hyper Variation: 3-4 x 10-20. No set loading for the first 4-8 weeks.
– Single Leg
– Top Range Reps
*You can also repeat Monday if you are not ready for a new variation yet.
*These sessions are typically done with 48 hours of recovery in between.
As with any new exercise, take the time to get acclimated and proficient before delving into new variations or increasing the loading. For most athletes, starting off with 1 exposure a week will provide a noticeable change. Overtime, we can introduce the Reverse Hyper to additional training sessions depending on the athlete. Overall, these are guidelines as there is no “one-size fits all” model. Feel free to experiment with our Reverse Hyper! If you have any pre-existing lower back issues, then simply trying out the Reverse Hyper and attempting to go through flexion/extension with the use of no weight is a good place to start. For some these may be challenging to begin with. If this is the case, start with bodyweight reps in which you focus on perfecting technique and contracting your glutes hard at the top. In this same sense, make sure you do NOT over-extend, keeping your head neutral the entire.
With any tool, execution takes precedence. Be forewarned that this piece of equipment will challenge you and you will likely be surprised how much “back-pump” you incur after just a few sets. Start light/low volume and progress over weeks/months.
Sometimes it’s hard to get on the path to self success without a bit of help. That’s where we come in. Use the form below to book a Personal Training Session, Free Intro Session or to contact us with any other question that you may have!!
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Dover, NH 03820