Is it a boon or bust? No exercise is perfect and the gain versus risk ratio has to be measured. Here are commentaries from two experts.
“A Reverse Hyper will build your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back like nothing else. There are many men who merely increase the weight on this exercise near a meet. Billy Masters, who squats 900 pounds, does just that. The Reverse Hyper is very therapeutic for the low back because it rotates the sacrum on each rep.”
“Our spines aren’t designed to buttress shear that comes from the lower body moving backward on the upper body (one more reason to avoid the “hyper” part of reverse hyperextensions).”
–Dr. Stuart McGill
I’m pretty sure McGill was talking about extending the legs above the plane of the spine in the reverse hyper movement.
I have heard from several people that RHs do aggravate their injured back.
The ballistic nature of the WSB style of reverse hyper might have something to do with it, as Louies RH is different than those he sells, because the plates hand from a chain beneath the machine, rather than some kind of fixed arm.
As a guy w/ back problems I’m not sure who to believe here – I have ordered McGill’s book but I also have read the Milo article about how Louie Simmons discovered reverse hypers after fracturing a vertebra during some heavy good mornings- whos right whos wrong
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I used to do these years ago to “strengthen” my lower back. That led to spraining it while doing squats with 185 pounds- a warm-up weight. My chiropractor says all your weight is supported by your lower back and it’s not supposed to move like that either. I agree based on my bad experience with it. Also I never, ever try to “stretch” my lower back. Bad idea. Tom, your blogs kick ass!!!