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J Strength Cond Res. 2019 Aug;33(8):2053-2056. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003146.

Biomechanical Comparison of the Reverse Hyperextension Machine and the Hyperextension Exercise.

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Department of Physical Therapy, University of New England Portland, Portland, Maine.
Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, University of Rochester, New York, New York.
Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut.


Lawrence, MA, Chin, A, and Swanson, BT. Biomechanical comparison of the reverse hyperextension machine and the hyperextension exercise. J Strength Cond Res 33(8): 2053-2056, 2019-The purpose of this study was to compare activation of the erector spinae, gluteus maximus, and biceps femoris muscles, lower back extension moment, and lower extremity range of motion (ROM) between the reverse hyperextension (RHE) and hyperextension (HE) exercises. Motion and muscle activation of the trunk and lower extremity were measured while 20 recreationally active individuals performed 2 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise. Equivalent loads were used for each exercise. Peak, average, and integrated muscle activity, low back moment, and ROM between the trunk and pelvis and the thigh and trunk were calculated. A Wilcoxon signed-rank test (p = 0.05) revealed significantly greater integrated activity of the biceps femoris and gluteus maximus during the HE exercise. The RHE exercise generated greater peak (+129%), integrated (+63%), and mean (+78%) low back moment as compared to the HE exercise. The RHE resulted in a significantly greater thigh to trunk ROM, 76.6 compared with 64.7. However, the RHE used less lumbar flexion, 20.4 compared with 31.1 for the HE. The RHE movement profile is preferable because it provides greater hip ROM with less angular stress and equivalent erector spinae activity.

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