Hyper-Extensions as Assistance Exercises?
Hyper-Extensions used to be real popular among Soviet Olympic Lifters—at least I got that impression reading "Strength and Health" back in the '70s.
Nowadays they're not near as popular...
And from what I see, most folks insist on ruining them by piling on Resistance.
At my old gym, there was a chain by the Hyper-Extension Station.
The first time you did the exercise, you needed someone to help you find your proper chain length.
The idea was to come up Slowly, Without Momentum, until the chain was taut.
You'd be surprised, but without that chain, very few repetitions will come all the way up—though you'd swear that you were.
Even a training partner holding out a hand for you to contact is flawed.
He's rooting hard for you to complete those reps and his hand will sink that critical inch or two without him consciously intending it.
Very few dudes can complete fifteen reps this way—freehand.
Even the strongest dudes will only use 10-15 pounds.
It is really, really hard to get that last inch and a half (Without cheating and "Swinging" through.)
But that is the exact kind of strength needed to keep the Low Back Hyper-Flexed when Squatting, Deadlifting and Cleaning.
I'm not sure, but a good strong Hyper-Flex probably aids the Bench Press a great deal too.
I cringe when I see dudes Momentum Swinging their way through a set of "Hyper-Extensions" with a 45 Pound Plate held behind their Head.
Obviously, while it may be an "Extension" it isn't "Hyper" until the back is as concave as it can get.
What are y'all's thoughts?