Reverse Hyper Off Bench Hurting Lower Back

Hi CT,

I’ve recently started trying the reverse hyper off a bench (no access to machine) and it always seems to hurt my lower back with just body weight I might add.

I’ve tried flat bench, incline, legs close together, further apart, externally rotated, the list goes on. I also stop short of hyper extending so I don’t think this is the problem.

I’m primarily using it to strengthen glutes and hams. Wth is going on?

Are you hinging through your hips or your low back? Squeezing your glutes?

If you can only use a bench there are much better ways to strengthen the glutes and hams.

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Hey, thanks for the reply! Yes, I’m hip hinging and really squeezing the glutes and trying to keep my abs tight.

I’m using them as an accessory lift just to try and get a glute pump as part of a superset. Maybe I’m just overdoing the glute/ham work overall and my lower back is taking over to compensate.

I’ll check out your link too

That could be. It could also be an anterior pelvic tilt issue.

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Yeah I do have some anterior pelvic tilt. I find this difficult to fix. Unfortunately, I do sit a lot but I have been actively trying to fix it for a couple months now.

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Well, if it hurts don’t do it. There’s no reason you have to do it. Try doing GHRs and romanian deadlifts. They do the same thing.

So do I. It’s not the devil like a lot think. If it’s not causing you pain then it’s nothing to fix. Just because it could be causing you pain on one exercise doesn’t mean it’s a problem. It means that the exercise probably isn’t for you.

Me: My arm hurts when I move it this way.
Dad: Then don’t move it that way.

You sound like my father using this joke every time I got hurt :sweat_smile:

Anyways, I get what you are saying about just not doing it. I was looking more for a reason why I am having trouble since this exercise is supposed to be easy on the back.

I understand there are many other exercises to target these areas. I get bored easily (change up most exercise variations every 4-6 weeks, which is already bordering on too long!). I wanted to add this in the mix since many other people have had great results. I also don’t have access to a GHR machine.

The anterior pelvic tilt has caused problems a few times so I’ve had to modify other exercises which is annoying as hell. I couldn’t squat with good form even with a coach. I’ve since left my coach and started landmine squats which are helping immensely with correcting my form.

I do still value your input even if it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!

My gym also doesn’t have one. I use the seat at the lat pulldowns it works great for me

That’s probably for the better. Most commercial gym coaches are turds anyway. You are probably build to do more of a hip dominant Squat then. Like me, because of my leverages and slight ATP, I can’t highbar Squat worth a shit (I’d bet a lot of money that’s the Squat your coach was trying to force on you because “it’s the proper form”… Bullshit). But I can lowbar Squat (powerlifting style) with no back pain at all. I guess the point is that just because something is “supposed” to be the right way or to be pain free doesn’t make it so for everyone. The movement is giving you pain because either one, your lowerback is relatively weak and can’t handle the stress the rest of your body can’t take because it’s lagging behind, which means you cannot engage properly. Or 2, it just ain’t for you.

Hope you find what you’re after

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Yes, this was more what I was interested in knowing. I guess it seems obvious now that I think about it. I just assumed my lower back was strong since it has been taking over for my glute weakness forever. I just started actively feeling my glutes around 7 mths ago so I’ve been trying to build them up since.

Maybe you’re right that the exercise isn’t for me or not right for me just yet. Also, I quit my gym membership since I have everything I need at my home except a squat or power rack. I’ll be getting one in the future though.

To do the GHR at home I’d need someone to hold my feet down? I don’t know how else to anchor my feet to something.

Oh and everything you said about the squat stuff is what I believe too…I’m no longer frustrated as hell and actually really enjoying progressing with the landmine.

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Yeah, that might me a problem, lol. Unless maybe you put some weight on your bar and prop it so it doesn’t roll, using that could work. Definitely find some padding though. If that doesn’t work you could just stick with Romanian deads and hipthrusts. Bret Contreras “strong curves” program worked very well for my wife. He swears by the hipthrust for glute development.

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Are you Deadlifting either conventional or Sumo?

Ok I’ll try anchoring the bar with weights.

I pull sumo now (past 3 mths) since it’s much easier and more natural for me and I get a better glute squeeze and faster progression with weight. I have started adding rdls back last week at a lighter weight.

I’m also doing hip thrusts and glute bridges. Heavy, light, various rep ranges.
Still getting the form down in hip thrusts since I feel a lot in my hams.

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If you’re feeling thrusts in your hams I’d guess that you’ve got an activation issues, alignment issue, or have your feet too far out.

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A video or postural picture would be helpful.

The only benches I’ve had access to were/are 16" which is a bit too high for me. So I elevated my feet on two 45lb plates and was able to fully activate the glutes with 145 lbs for reps. Previous to this I couldn’t properly activate them with only 95 lbs on the bar with my coach.
I’m 5’7" with long legs so you’d think this wouldn’t have been an issue but I guess it all comes down to body mechanics.

Now the problem with quitting the gym last week is not yet having enough plates to go around :sweat_smile:

My glutes have stayed dormant pretty much the entire time I’ve been lifting so imbalances have occurred. Strong quads and weaker hams and even weaker glutes. Fixing imbalances sucks but it has to be done. PLUS downhill skiing for 18 years practically guaranteed quad dominance (for me anyways).

I’ve tried posting videos but haven’t been able to