The last exercise I wrote about in the Best Butt Exercises series were Scorpion Pumps, which I told you are a variation of reverse hyperextensions. If you tried them, I’m sure you now love them as much as I do!
It got me thinking though… and I realized that I’d never actually written about Reverse Hyperextensions themselves as a butt exercise… Sacrilege!
So that’s what we’re going to look at today. Get your booty ready for this one, cause it’s a killer move that can really target the glutes.
Exercise: Reverse Hyperextensions
Muscles worked: Glutes, back, hamstrings, core
Jolie Recommends: 3 sets of 10-20 reps
Difficulty rating: 6
Effectiveness rating: 7
Exercise #46: Reverse Hyperextensions
Reverse hyperextensions require a little more of a setup so they aren’t the most convenient exercise to do, but you can still do them at home with a little improvisation!
If you have access to a gym, the best is to do these on an incline bench (or your gym may even have a Reverse Hyperextension Machine specifically for this exercise); or you can use a hyperextension machine backwards (hey, they don’t call it ‘reverse’ for nothing!).
How to Do the Move
Because pictures speak a thousand words, let’s see what this exercise actually looks like! This video shows how to do a 45degree reverse hyper using an incline bench, but if you don’t have access to one of these, you can do a variation (see further on!). Still, it’s good to get familiar with the movement by watching the 45 degree version first.
- Place your hips face down onto a padded surface so that your upper body and torso angle down at a roughly 45 degree angle. Your butt should be in the air.
- Keep your legs straight behind you at roughly 45 degrees to the floor, with your feet touching the ground so that your body is in an “L” shape, supported by your hips.
- Using your arms to support your upper body position, and tensing your core tight, use your glute muscles to lift your legs as one unit up vertically, to bring your body close to straight.
- Squeeze your glutes tightly as your body approaches the straight position, to really engage the glutes.
- Lower your legs down slowly with control, engaging the glutes the whole way down.
- That’s one rep. Repeat for 10 or more!
- Optional- on your last rep, hold at the top and pulse for 10 seconds. This can be a great finisher move!
Here are a couple of easier variations of the reverse hyper, that can be done on a flat bench (or even a bed or couch if you can find a suitable setup at home).
You can also try doing reverse hypers on a swiss ball/exercise ball as demonstrated in this video:
Perfecting Your Form
- The movement is through your hips – don’t overly bend through your lower back.
- Tense your legs as well to keep them straight.
- Make sure to keep your core and abs tight throughout this move, so that you don’t injure your back. If you feel any pain in your back, then stop!
- Holding on to the sides of the bench to keep your upper body from lifting is recommended.
- Keep your movement slow and controlled and really focus your mind muscle connection on the glutes the whole time to really feel the burn.
As always, play around with just bodyweight until you can master glute activation and feeling this exercise primarily in your glutes!
Just like with scorpion pumps, adding a mini resistance band around your knees can really help you focus on the glutes and get activation going! To do this, focus on keeping pressure against the band by pressing out with your thighs as you raise your legs in the reverse hyperextension.
To increase the challenge, add weight in the form of ankle weights.
Don’t forget to listen to your body and do what feels right for you. As a starter, I’d recommend starting with reps of 10-20 and completing 3 sets. Enjoy!