Reverse Hyper – Leg Exercise

Main Muscle Worked: Hamstrings
Other Muscles Worked: Quadriceps, Calves, Glutes
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

My First Time

We all remember our first time like it was yesterday. For some of us, it marked the passage from boyhood to manhood, and for others, it marked the progression from average to elite. For me, my first time was in a dirty ass gym known as “Westside Barbell Club.”

Westside Barbell is owned by renowned strength expert, Louie Simmons. He was the reason I came to Westside on that day and is also the reason I stayed for over 13 years. Westside was a HUGE part of my life and provided me with lessons and experiences that will last the rest of my days. The one lesson that stands out more than any of the others is the importance of glute, hamstring, and lower back strength. This is why the reverse hyper MUST be used.

My first session on this machine was in 1991 before it had its first patent. On one of the first trips I made to train with Louie, he addressed the squat. I learned how and why to box squat and what the best ab movements were to do to get my squat and pull moving. After all this, I was WARNED not to say a word about the next movement. I was told it was going to be patented and nobody outside of Westside was to know about it.

I was asked to jump up on a table type machine, strap up my ankles, and perform bilateral leg swings. Ten reps later, my lower back was cooked. There I was bent over a bench trying to get my erectors to stop hurting.

Then, I was told that this was where I was weak and that I needed to do this movement to get my lifts to go up. The way that my back felt, I decided against this idea pretty quickly. However, the guys I was training with tossed on 200 or more pounds and did their sets as if they were nothing. They were all bigger squatters and pullers than I was, and I was beginning to see the reason why.

Louie told me how he had injured his back in 1975 and came up with the idea for the reverse hyper. His back had become so bad that he could no longer squat or pull. Before this injury, his best squat was 670 lbs in the 181 lb class (without equipment). In 1983, he was told that they needed to take two disks out, remove bones spurs, and fuse some other disks. He opted not to do this and was determined to find a better way. At this time, he began to focus on a solution that could keep him going. This is when the reverse hyper came to him. After a few years of tweaking the unit, he came up with what is now known as the reverse hyper.

How well did this work for him? In 2002 at 56 years of age, Louie squatted 920 lbs and deadlifted 715 lbs in the 220 lb class (actual weight 216 lbs).

The Real Deal

While I’m not qualified to tell you what is going on at Westside Barbell today, I can tell you what I did while I was there and what I saw everyone else do. I could tell you egotistical stories about how my squat jumped from 760 lbs to 935 lbs over five years and how I never missed a single squat workout because of lower back problems. I could also tell you that the main movements for every lower body day were pull-down abs, glute ham raises, and reverse hypers. For me, the reverse hyper kept me healthy so I could train harder. This was the greatest benefit for my training.

I could tell you all this, BUT I’ve been in the business a long time and KNOW that 99% of you could care less about what I did or what they do at Westside. What you want to know is how this can help you and what others in the same boat as you are using it for.

This is simple because the answers are the same regardless of the reason. You see, the reverse hyper is all about…

* Keeping your back healthy: As I said, this was a key for me. I’ve also heard back from hundreds of lifters who say that this machine has been a life (or lifting) saver for them. While some of them were elite lifters trying to extend their platform time by a few years, most were average Joes just trying to deal with their lower back pain and get some quality work done in the weight room. We’ve also heard back from many coaches and trainers on how this one machine has extended players’ carriers and has kept them on the field instead of on the bench.

* Lower back, glute, and hamstring strength: Most people now understand the importance that these muscles carry when lifting, running, and jumping. Nothing targets these the way that the reverse hyper does. This is why we’ve seen the results that you’ll read about below.

Now, you should see that this machine is the “real deal” and should be in every gym in the world.

Taken from