With all the growing information that we have about repetitive spinal compression and its long term effects on degenerative disc disease, any home or commercial gym setup would be incomplete without the best reverse hyperextension machines.
Designed by Louie Simmons, the world famous Powerlifting coach as a remedy to the consistent stress that powerlifters experience on their posterior chain, reverse hyperextension machines have caught on quickly.
And rightly so. There are clinical studies that have proven what was always claimed anecdotally.
The best reverse hyperextension machines are a terrific, low impact exercise for your lower back.
If you regularly lift at maximal or near maximal loads on your compound lifts, like squats and deadlifts, then one of these machines can potentially ‘save your spine’, as Westside Barbell, the makers of the machine often claim.
For the uninitiated, here’s some background information on the reverse hyperextension machine.
But first, here's our top pick. This was picked as our first pick because it combines cost, function, and quality in a great affordable package.
Our Top Pick
Body-Solid Reverse Hyper – Best Bang For Buck
- Most Cost Effective Option
- Built to Last
- Highly Rated By Customers
- Is the One that I Own
What are the Benefits of a Hyperextension Machine?
While its primary use is for strengthening lower back musculature, there’s more to reverse hyperextension machines than mobility and rehab.
Here are the three additional benefits of reverse hypers that no one seems to be talking about.
You might have an entire array of exercises to choose from for your glutes and hams and even other pieces of equipment to work them, like the sissy squat machine, but most, if not all of those exercises require you to add an additional load to your spinal column or your hips and most definitely, your central nervous system.
Think of it like the supplementary lifts that you need to do after hitting 5 sets of deadlifts. Reverse hyperextensions on the other hand, will give you a terrific glute and ham workout without placing any additional load on these joints. In fact, it will help decompress your spine.
Stronger posterior chain
A strong posterior chain will improve hip extension which can make a remarkable difference to your strength, stability and balance during power moves like the squat, the deadlift and clean & jerks.
Many athletes are surprised at how the exercise feels, because rather than controlling the weight, you sort of let the weight control how you move. But this disengagement of the spine is what makes this such an effective exercise. Within a few days, you will notice a lot of improvement in your range of motion during compound lifts.
During a squat, most coaches would ask you to hold your breath at the bottom of the move and exhale it slowly as you stand up. That’s called the ‘Valsalva Maneuver’, a move that helps stabilize the spine during the exercise. You perform the same maneuver at the start of a hyperextension, which braces your spine and eventually strengthens your core muscles.
Our Best Reverse Hyperextension Machines
Best bang for your buck
Fitness Reality X-Class
Best budget-priced pick
TITAN FITNESS H-PND Machine
Best overall option
Vanswe Adjustable Reverse Hyper Multi
Titan Abs Back Reverse Hyper Extension Exercise Bench
Cheapest & best reverse hyperextension machine
Best Reverse Hyperextension Machines
All said and done, here are the best reverse hyperextension machines for your gym in 2021. We have sorted them based on 3 main categories.
Quality, function, and cost, in that order.
Best Bang for your Buck Reverse Hyper
- Thick, heavy duty 12-gauge steel construction
- Stable, wobble-free
- Thickly padded handlebars
- Foot plate instead of foam rollers for side bends
- Adjustable sizing
- 3” durafirm cushion on the hip-rest
Body-Solid GHYP345 Review
The GHYP345 from Body-Solid is a prosumer-grade reverse hyperextension machine that’s made from 2″x 3″, 12-gauge steel tubing.
It is a very stable, heavy-duty machine that works perfectly for home use as well as for commercial setups.
It has a small footprint at 50” x 26” and weighs just 70 lbs. which allows you to move it around the house if need be.
Further, it features adjustable sizing that suits users of all heights. There are customers who are 5’1 and use this comfortably at the lowest setting. There are users who are 6’1 too and use with equal ease.
The 3-inch thick durafirm cushion on the hip-rest provides optimum support and comfort in the pelvic area, making it easy for even neophytes to perform the movement without jerking their lower back. You can hinge the body at the hip perfectly and you can hold your lumbar curve or a flat back without curving your back.
Also, the GHYP345 features a plate at the footrest, in place of foam rollers that are found in a lot of consumer-grade machines.
While foam rollers might seem to be more comfortable for forward bends, they make it impossible to do side bends. Even if you do manage to perform side bends, your body positioning will be pretty awkward.
The plate makes it easy to vary your body position according to the variation you are looking to perform.
Large, padded handles give you the perfect grip as you perform the move. The heavy duty steel construction ensures that there is no wobble even when a tall, heavy person is performing reverse hyperextensions.
Best Budget-priced Pick
- Versatile, multipurpose machine
- Can be used as a flat bench or a decline bench
- 3-positions for decline use
- 2”x2” steel frame construction
- 2.5” thick foam cushion on the hip-rest and the bench
- Height adjustable for users from 5’ to 6’4”
- Weight capacity of 650 lbs.
Fitness Reality X-class Light Commercial Review
The X-Class is a multipurpose bench that packs a punch with its impressive feature list and very affordable price tag.
It is completely adjustable and you can use it as a flat bench or use it in one of the 3-different decline positions according to the exercise you are performing.
This makes it a versatile pick for home gyms. Commercial establishments though, would prefer a specialized best reverse hyperextension machine instead of this one.
Some of the exercises that you can perform on it are the bench press, bent over rows, dumbbell presses, sit ups, reverse hyperextensions as well as preacher curls.
It features 2” x 2” steel frame construction with ample padding with a 2.5” thick foam cushion on the bench, the hip-rest and the foam rollers on the footplate.
Adjusting the positions is extremely easy and the caster wheels on the bottom allow you to easily move it to another room after use.
The hyperextension feature is completely height adjustable and perfect for users from 5’ to 6’4”. The hip-rest can be adjusted in 14-different positions, so there’s no scope for injury or doing the exercise incorrectly.
Also, it has a max weight capacity of 650 lbs.
At this price point, you’d be hard pressed to find a better pick for home use.
Best Overall Reverse Hyper Machine
- Constructed from 11-gauge steel tubing
- Powder coated finish with rivets give it a menacing look
- Weighs 250 lbs.
- Rubberized feet
- 6” long handles for a sturdy grip
- 10” loadable sleeve with 2” diameter for Olympic plates
- Thick cushion for resting the torso
- Height adjustable
TITAN FITNESS H-PND Machine Review
This is a brute of a machine from Titan Fitness that’s crafted from 11-gauge steel tubing and weighs a whopping 250 lbs. when assembled.
It is powder coated from head to toe and looks as good as it functions.
With a footprint of 52.25″ x 41”, it is well suited for home use. But a specialized piece of equipment like this deserves a spot in a commercial setup.
It is perfectly designed for reverse hyperextensions. But you can also use it for a variety of other strength training as well as crossfit exercises.
On the top, you have a thick cushioned surface for chest and torso support and 6” long, thick handles for a sturdy grip (adjustable to 8-positions depending on the height of the user).
Near the feet, you have 10” long, loadable sleeves with a 2” diameter and these can be adjusted to different positions in 3” increments.
If you wish to load the sleeves with weights, then you can use the straps which come with the package, to pull your legs during the extensions. Else, your ankles go against the round tubing, which suits both forward extensions as well as side bend extensions.
With multiple height adjustable positions and a tank-like construction, you cannot go wrong with the Titan Fitness H-PND machine.
Best Multi-workout Bench
- Easy to assemble
- Multipurpose workout bench
- Can be used for upper body workouts as well as reverse hyperextensions
- 2” x 2” steel frame with powder coated, rust-resistant finish
- Flat position and three decline-positions
- 36” long and 12” wide cushion on the bench
- Weight capacity of 650 lbs.
- Suitable for users who are 5’ to 6’4”
- Multiple stops to adjust the cushion on the hip rest
The Vanswe adjustable bench is a versatile multi-workout machine that can be used for a variety of upper body workouts.
You can do ab exercises like reverse crunches, reverse hyperextensions, as well as a multitude of chest and back exercises on this.
It is completely adjustable and there’s one flat bench position and three decline positions to choose from.
The frame is made of 2″ x 2″ steel with a powder coated, rust-resistant finish. It’s a good combination of form and function.
The cushion on the bench is 36” long and 12” wide, which is perfect for users of all sizes for bench pressing. There are no safety J-hooks to rack your bar though. So we’d limit the usage to dumbbells rather than Olympic barbells on this, unless you have an experienced spotter who can bear the weight of the bar when you are done.
Talking about the weight of the bar, the Vanswe bench has an impressive, max load capacity of 650 lbs. and it suits users from 5’ to 6’4” for the reverse hyperextensions.
There are multiple stops to adjust the position of the hip-rest as well as the foam rollers on the feet, which means that it’s highly unlikely that you will struggle to perform the move.
Despite the high max weight capacity, the bench weighs just 49 lbs. when fully assembled and as an icing on the cake, it comes with transport wheels which are integrated into the feet of the unit.
Perfect for home use.
Cheapest Hyperextension Machine
- Cheapest reverse hyperextension machine in this list
- Height adjustable hip-rest cushion from 38” to 47 ½”
- 250 lbs. weight capacity
- Weighs just 44 lbs.
- Steel tubing construction
- Red powder coated finish
- Sturdy and durable unit
- Easy to assemble
Titan Abs Back Hyperextension Review
Our final pick is a compact, foldable multipurpose bench from Titan Fitness that is hands down, one of the cheapest options in the market from a reputed brand.
It is a great pick for shoppers who do not want to spend hundreds of dollars for a reverse hyperextension machine for home use.
This is a sturdy, little unit made of steel tubing with an attractive red, powder coated finish.
For a budget-priced unit, it feels solid when you work out on it. But there are no rubberized feet on the machine which makes it prone to shift around, especially if you exert yourself during some of the exercises.
So, you either do some aftermarket fixes to prevent this, or you place it on a carpet or some surface that keeps it stable.
This is an adjustable machine and the hip-rest can be changed from 38” to 47 ½” in 5 increments, depending on the height of the person using it. At the lowest setting, it is best suited for shorter users who are 5’1 and at the highest setting, users taller than 6’ will find it a comfortable fit.
With a max weight capacity of 250 lbs., it’s not really suited for a commercial setting. But with the folding design and the 44 lbs. weight, it is ideal for a home gym or a small basement or apartment gym.
You can fold it and it will slip into a corner of the room innocuously.
Sturdy enough to get the job done as well.
Your Reverse Hyperextension Machine Buying Guide
With such a wide variety to choose from, it’s no surprise that buyers get confused at which reverse hyperextension machine to select.
Here’s a brief buying guide to help you with the process.
Where will you be installing it?
There are consumer-grade machines and commercial ones. Are you going to be installing it in a gym that you own that multiple people will be using or will you be installing it in your own? If you are going to be installing this into a gym then you need a commercial grade reverse hyper. The best commercial reverse hyper extension machine is the Titan Fitness H-PND.
Do you need a Compact Reverse Hyper Extension Machine?
But you don’t really need one of those if you are going to be installing it in a tiny basement gym.
There are ample choices in the prosumer grade, like our #1 pick, the Body Solid GHYP345.
Consumer-grade machines have a smaller footprint, are cheaper and usually pack in more features than just a reverse extension function.
Multipurpose machines vs. a specialized unit
Specialized reverse extension machines are designed for one sole purpose. You cannot perform other exercises on it. If you are short on space, a multipurpose unit will be better suited for your needs. Not only will it allow you to maximize the utility of the space, it will also provide much better value for your dollar.
Related Reading: Best Home Gym Equipment For Small Space
Just like the price tags on these machines, their quality can vary greatly from one brand to the other. They can be made of different gauge steel for example. Cheaper units are more likely to be made of 14-gauge steel which is thin and less durable as compared to 12 or 11-gauge steel.
Also look at the assembly process. Is it easy to assemble? Does it ship with a detailed, instruction manual? How much does the unit weigh after assembly? Lightweight units that weigh around 50-60 lbs. are better suited for home use.
Height adjustable cushion
When you perform the reverse hyperextension, the support pads should be positioned exactly near your pelvic bone, as this will allow you to flex your hips freely without affecting your lower back. The problem with non-adjustable units is that it may work well for some users and may put others in an awkward position. If a user who’s 6’1” finds the cushion near their pelvic bone and the feet comfortably positioned near the footrest, chances are that a shorter user may find that the pad rests much upper on their bodies.
A height adjustable cushion on this reverse hyper machine negates this problem. It is one of the most important factors that determine how comfortable you will be while performing the exercise and how prone you may be for injury. If you find that your lower back is flexing too much, you are doing it wrong.
Which Hyper Machine Should You Buy? – My Recommendation
Now that you have seen my list of the best reverse hyper machines you might be wondering just which one is for you.. Well let me give you my recommendation.
Are you in need of a reverse hyper extension machine but are on a tighter budget and do not care so much about having the best reverse hyper? Then the Titan Abs Machine is the one for you. You can check it out on amazon by clicking here.
That sums up our list of the best reverse hyperextension machines. We hope that you can use this as a reference point for your research and that you can find one that fits your needs in this list.