Reverse hyperextensions have long been a very effective exercise that strengthens the posterior chain including the glutes and hamstrings. Although conventionally, this accessory movement is performed on a reverse hyperextension machine, there are many ways this can be performed without a specific one. The importance of this exercise lies in the fact that it trains and strengthens muscle groups that otherwise left ignored. Specifically, this movement targets the glutes, the hamstrings, and also the spinal erectors.


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While performing reverse hypers, the body must remain in the correct position during the contraction. Since this exercise targets the spinal erectors, an incorrect position will end up doing more harm than good for the back.

Reverse Hyperextension Benefits

  • Helps develop stronger glutes and hamstrings
  • Helps strengthen the lower back and prevent injury
  • Improves hip extension
  • Physical therapy for those suffering from back pain

Considering all the benefits of this workout, it might be useful to know certain exercises that serve as reverse hyper alternatives when the reverse hyperextension machine is not available.

6 Reverse Hyperextension Alternatives

Box Reverse Hyperextensions


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This exercise is perfect for when workouts at the gym don’t seem possible. All that is needed is a big box-like surface (or a box if possible). Lean the body over the box such that the body and the box lose contact at the upper thighs. If this is done correctly, he/she should be able to dangle their feet in such a way that the toes and the surface of the box are just a few inches away. Extend legs to the neutral position where the entire body lies parallel to the ground and return to the dangling position. This exercise can be performed with both legs simultaneously or with one leg at a time. This is an amazing alternative to strengthen the spine. Using a box increases the range of motion which makes it more effective.

GHD Reverse Hyperextensions


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Here the reverse hyperextension is performed on a GHD machine rather than the actual reverse hyperextension machine. Since this alternative requires a machine, it wouldn’t be fair to call it a home-workout. Rather, this makes for an effective alternative if the actual reverse hyper machine isn’t available at the gym. You can perform this innovative method by holding onto the area that would otherwise hold your legs. Place the hip crease across the pads and start from a neutral position where the body is parallel to the ground. Move the legs down as much as possible and raise them back to neutral. To make this more effective, employ resistance bands that will add to the force of gravity pushing down onto the hamstrings and glutes. This is a guaranteed burn-inducing alternative to traditional reverse hypers.

Bench Reverse Hyperextensions


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If all that’s available is a bench, this makes for an effective back, glutes, and hamstring workout. The only disadvantage of this type of workout is that the range of motion is limited since the bench is already close to the ground. Moreover, there is also a limitation on the amount of external weight that can be loaded without risking back injury.

Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls


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This is a more common movement that is an effective alternative. Here the subject ensures that their knees are kept straight, in parallel with the ground to get maximum stretch on the hamstrings. They then bend from the hips and come to a neutral position, during which the entire body is parallel to the ground. This movement increases overall muscle hypotrophy and targets the entire back, with the main focus being the lower back. It is best performed on a back raise machine.

Glute Ham Raises


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With slight modification to the existing GHD machine, it is possible to get an insane increase of muscle hypotrophy on the hamstrings. By elevating the backside of the machine, the difficulty to reach the top position is significantly greater. This is mainly because raising the rear part of the GHD alters the knee flexion torque angle. This is an alternative to the GHD reverse hyperextensions and is technically a hamstring version of the concentration curl.