What Is That Thing?

May 4th, 2012

What Is That Thing?

Some of you may have noticed that white contraption sitting next to the jerk blocks toward the back of the gym, and wondered what the heck that thing is.

It’s known as a reverse hyper and it’s one of the best tools around for developing the support musculature of the low back, glutes, and hamstrings (or the posterior chain, if you prefer).

Here’s what Rogue has to say about the reverse hyper:

This simple device allows for dynamic strength development in the concentric phase, while serving as a rehabilitation mechanism in the eccentric phase by gently stretching and depressurizing the spine and creating, in essence, an internal pumping mechanism, filling the spinal column with spinal fluid and the low back muscles with blood. Anyone who has injured their back knows that the pressure needs to be relieved and circulation restored to the injured area in order to rehabilitate. This can be used 3 to 4 times a week for therapeutic work but may also be used by some clients every day with light weight to get tightness out of the lower back area.

I was first exposed to training with the reverse hyper in 2010, and spent a good deal of time using it for about 6 months with great results.

A general prescription when you’re first starting out is for 3 sets of 15 or so reps (as you get more experienced and used to the way the reverse hyper works, you can bump up the reps, and then eventually the sets as well).  How much weight to use is highly variable and depends on where you are in terms of posterior chain health and function.  

This is a great post-workout cool-down.  I highly recommend trying it out–just ask one of the trainers to walk you through it.

And here are a couple of videos with some explanations on its benefits and usage.  The first is from Kelly Starrett, and the second from Louie Simmons, the guy who designed the thing and rehabbed his broken back on it.

K-Star breaking down reverse hyper mechanics


Louie Simmons talking about his experience with the reverse hyper