Your body’s core is typically centered around your hamstring muscles, your glutes, and lower back. All muscles indeed have specific functions in the body, but when combined, the above-listed muscles form the most significant percentage of your core’s strength and help anchor your spine.
With this in mind, exercises that are directed to these muscles will, in the long run, lead to better spine support as the muscles become stronger. So, what sort of exercises will ensure you’re building the “spine-supporting” group of muscles? Out of the many, few come close to reverse hyperextension exercises in their effectiveness of “bullet-proofing” your spine.
Reverse hyperextension exercises are simply movements that aim at posteriorly extending your legs while facing downwards. Yes, it sounds simple, but don’t let that fool you. They are much more effective than they are simple! Follow-through below as we help you understand how hyper training works while sharing some proven tips on using reverse hyperextension to strengthen your spine.
- Getting into the Proper Position for Reverse Hyperextension
For good reverse hyperextension, you first need to get into a prone position if you’re using a reverse hyper machine. If you don’t have one or forgot yours, you could always pick a flat surface and lie down with your arms tucked in under you to keep you in place during reverse hyperextension.
Regardless of the approach you take, be it a reverse hyperextension machine or simply lying on a bench; you should ensure that your legs are dangling from the edge of the surface you’re lying on. In addition to this position, you should push your hips to the edge of the surface to help you flex them without excessively flexing or extending your lower back.
- Elevate Your Legs for Good Reverse Hyperextension
Once you’re in the proper position as described above, tighten your core as you straighten both legs. To achieve this, you’ll need to flex your gluteal muscles, hamstrings, and lower back simultaneously to elevate your legs above your hip line. Yes, we know things will start getting harder at this point, but you need to trust the process.
With your legs above the hip line during reverse hyperextension, you should maintain this position for about three to five seconds before lowering them down steadily. A point to note is that you can always use some momentum to raise your legs to the position above your hip line, but be careful not to push your lower back to help this movement.
- Tempo Reverse Hyperextension
One of the beauties of reverse hyperextension is several variations to spice up your spine “bullet-proofing” exercises. The first we’ll look at is the tempo reverse hyperextension technique.
As the name suggests, this exercise entails lowering and elevating your legs to a tempo during reversal of muscle action. This, in the long run, increases the duration your muscles are put under tension while raising your awareness of movement and making you better placed to activate your muscles. In addition to the above, this reverse hyperextension exercise doesn’t require adding weights to make it more effective.
- Banded Reverse Hyper Back Extension
This is yet another reverse hyper back extension variation that does away with the use of your body weight or reverse hyperextension machines. Instead, you replace them with resistance bands that create resistance and exert tension on your muscles during movement, increasing your muscles’ engagement.
- Use of Isometric Pauses During Reverse Hyperextension Exercises
You can increase muscle tension and get your hyperextensions muscles worked when extending your legs by using pauses at the peak of the movement. You can simulate bodybuilders’ upright chest positioning, which will help you take on squats and running, among other activities.
It took a while for reverse hyperextension exercises to get adopted by people, but once the reverse hyper benefits became evident, the exercises’ popularity took an upward trajectory and have never looked back. Currently, reverse hyperextension exercises are the go-to tools for people in rehab for injuries to the back and those who want to strengthen their spine.
Regardless of whether you’re using reverse hyperextension in strengthening programs or for accessory work, there are more benefits than downsides to including them in your workout routine. Begin with light reverse hyperextension exercises today, and you’ll be surprised at just how strong your spine muscles will become as you progress.
Are there any tips on reverse hyperextension exercises that have worked for you? Could you share with us by commenting below?