Thanks to his podcast, this piece of kit is often referred to as the “Joe Rogan spinal decompression machine” – Touted by Joe as awesome for back pain & back injuries, the reverse hyper machine (AKA the spinal decompression harness) is said to work by decompressing the spine and the intervertebral discs, therefore providing a way to rehab an injured back and reduce muscle-tightness.
What Muscles Does the Reverse Hyper Machine Work?
The reverse hyper develops strength in the ‘posterior chain’; predominantly the hamstrings, the gluteus maximus, erector spinae muscles.
It is used to develop (and protect) the glutes, hamstrings and lower back. In the UK the machine can be purchased from strengthshop.
The machine is said to both relieve pressure in the lower back and increase blood circulation to the area. The inventor is the famous Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell.
It’s a great way to train your lower back without loading it with weight and risking injury caused by compression.
Many people see the reverse hyper and have no idea how to use it! Louie invented the machine to heal his back after a series of injuries. It not only worked for rehab – he went out to set a number of powerlifting records.
Who invented the reverse hyper machine?
Westside barbell legend, Louie Simmons invented the reverse hyper machine, following a back injury in his lumbar vertebrae after doing a good-morning exercise incorrectly in 1973. He was forced out of training and couldn’t work for approximately a year. After experimenting with some exercises, found some relief in his back pain by reversing the motion of the hyper-extensions that were previously part of his training.
How to Use the Reverse Hyper Machine
- Step into the straps/pads
- Place you belly & chest on the platform
- Hold onto the handles & keep your back flat
- Keeping your head & upper body still & legs straight bring your feet upwards
- Try and get your feet to swing under the platform/your body as much as possible
- Control the weight & try and pause at the top of the movement to avoid injury
According to Squat University‘s Instagram page, you should also frame on your elbows and lift your shoulders off the machine slightly, in order to prevent a shearing force around the spine:
Interesting to see a doctor/physio’s explanation of the mechanics in this video below:
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More Joe Rogan Back Pain related articles on this blog are listed below:
For neck relief See the Joe Rogan Neck Hammock blog post on blackbeltwhitehat.com
For Sciatica & back pain problems see also my article on the inversion table
If you have general aches & pains from training, see our MMA Recovery article
For information about Joe Rogan’s Psoas Device, please read our article here.