Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBodyweight
  • MechanicsIsolation
  • Force TypeHinge (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelBeginner
  • Secondary Muscles
    Hamstrings, Lower Back
Target Muscle Group


Glutes Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Hyperextension Overview

The hyperextension is a variation of the hip hinge movement pattern and an exercise used to target the glutes.

Some may choose to utilize this exercise to target their lower back. However, for optimal health and maximum benefits, it is best to think of this exercise as a glute exercise.

Hyperextensions can be included in your leg workouts and full body workouts.

Hyperextension Instructions

  1. Setup in a hyperextension machine with your feet anchored and torso roughly perpendicular to your legs at a 45 degree angle.
  2. Begin in a hinged position with your arms crossed and initiate the movement by flexing your glutes.
  3. Extend the hips and finish with your body in a straight line.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Hyperextension Tips

  1. Keep in mind that there are two ways to do hyperextensions. For the vast majority of folks (outside of a sport specific application - ex. Gymnastics or Olympic weight lifting), they stick with the first rather than the second option.
    • Glutecentric: Slightly flex your upper back and extend your hips until your body is in a straight line and focus entirely on gluteal activation.
    • Erector-centric: Arch globally through the spine and focus entirely on erector activation.
  2. If you can’t seem to feel your glutes activating, palpate the musculature with your hands and focus on pausing the movement at the peak of contraction.
  3. If you find one glute has less contractility than another, perform twice as much volume on that side relative to the other with unilateral variations until you have established an efficient mind/muscle connection.
Posted on: Fri, 05/03/2024 - 10:14

What are some unilateral variations you recommend to focus on the weaker side?

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Posted on: Fri, 05/17/2024 - 20:16

Hi Ali, which side is weaker, and are you talking about the hamstrings or lower back? This exercise works both. My guess would be hamstrings, but I want to be sure before I drop suggestions.

Posted on: Mon, 07/24/2023 - 11:37

I'd live to use the hyperextension machine but I'm 4'10 so it doesn't fit low enough. What could I do I stead?

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Posted on: Mon, 07/31/2023 - 08:56

Are you training at home or in a gym, Vanessa?

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Posted on: Tue, 08/15/2023 - 10:15

Go with a reverse hyper or rack deadlifts. Either will help.

Posted on: Tue, 08/01/2023 - 10:08


Posted on: Sat, 05/11/2024 - 04:21


Carnivore Larina
Posted on: Tue, 04/11/2023 - 11:17

Any replacements for this? I workout at home and don't have a hyperextension machine, I have a few bench and a yoga ball.

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Posted on: Wed, 04/26/2023 - 21:15

If you can incline your bench and brace your feet, that would work as well. You can also use your yoga ball to do an upside down crunch with your belly on the ball to work your lower back.

Sharing this one for others. If you have a squat rack, take two long 2x4s and place them across the safety arms at waist height, then place something like a towel over the boards. Lay belly down over the boards, and you have a reverse hyper.

Posted on: Sun, 02/12/2023 - 18:33

Should I hold a weight for this exercise if I don't feel fatigued by the end of my reps?

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Posted on: Fri, 02/24/2023 - 08:25

You certainly can. I use a weight plate or kettlebell, but a dumbbell or even a barbell would work if you have enough space.

Landen Yates
Posted on: Thu, 01/19/2023 - 16:57

Any good replacements for this? I workout at home and dont have a hyperextension machine

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Posted on: Tue, 01/24/2023 - 07:22

What do you have at home, Landen? Let me know and I can offer some options.

Posted on: Sun, 12/25/2022 - 20:44

What is an alternative exercise to hyperextension, because I domt have an hyperextension machine.

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Posted on: Mon, 12/26/2022 - 10:24

Hey Jay, training at home or a gym? If you train at home, let me know what you have.

Posted on: Mon, 12/26/2022 - 10:28

I train at a relatively small gym but they don't have that hyperextension machine I see in the demo clip.

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Posted on: Mon, 12/26/2022 - 10:28

If the gym has a low back machine, you can use it. If not, rack deadlifts are going to be your best bet. Just don't go super heavy on them.

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2018 - 05:42

"Begin in a hinged position with your arms crossed"....skip to video of woman with hands on her hips.

Posted on: Thu, 07/19/2018 - 18:52

what about "Thx for the free workouts available" ?!? I dunno bout you, but most of the workouts I find online are to pay for. Given horse and shit, you hater.

Posted on: Sat, 09/06/2014 - 14:47

Can you please send me a routine that I can do that I can lose a quick 10 pounds,I don't care how intense it is or how hard I have to work to get theses results.I have belly fat, seems to all gather in that a rea,please help me. thank you

Posted on: Mon, 05/26/2014 - 10:19

There is a "hammer strength" piece of equipment at my gym that I do a similar exercise with. It's more of an upright position, but I stand on the base and lean over a padded rest tat comes just above my pelvis area. I usually do body weight first, then again holding 10 lbs. Is this the same exercise as you are talking about here . . . same results?

josue amaya
Posted on: Sun, 03/23/2014 - 19:47

can I substutite this with deadlift?

Posted on: Sat, 01/03/2015 - 03:29

They work simular muscles but not the same... i personally do both :)

Posted on: Thu, 02/07/2013 - 10:56

Can you help me get the right food plans for cutting up

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Posted on: Thu, 02/07/2013 - 12:54

Here is a really helpful guide for fat-loss and diet planning:

Posted on: Sun, 02/03/2013 - 12:52

I'm pretty sure with reverse hypers you just turn around on the hyperextension stand and instead of raising your upper torso, you raise and lower your lower torso (i.e. your legs).

Posted on: Sun, 01/06/2013 - 10:04

Wouldn't that be Roman chair seat up ? Or incline seat up?

Amanda Raines
Posted on: Fri, 11/30/2012 - 23:09

I really like your videos. I wish you would also show a reverse hyper extension however. My work out routine i get from you guys have it on there but no video to describe what to actually do.

Tara Wheeler
Posted on: Thu, 09/13/2012 - 11:11

Yes can easily substiture an exercise ball for the hyperextension machine. Be care full not to over hyperextend.

Posted on: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 10:40

How do you do this if you do not have the hyperextension machine? I an incline bench and an independent chest press. Can it be done on an exercise ball?

Posted on: Thu, 05/30/2013 - 04:57

well if u have any younger siblings or cousins i usually use them .lol .. lay on ur stomach on a bed with half ur body ( upper of course ) out of the bed and ask one or two of them to sit on ur legs and do the exercise :D