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Old 03-14-2013, 04:57 PM   #1
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Cool 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?


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Old 03-14-2013, 06:25 PM   #2
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I used them during my first 18 months building muscle.

They are a good tool, but the beginning lifter has to be careful not to tax the lower back too much. I would prefer they be added in after squat form has settled in, and after the lifter has also added deadlifts/SLDLs and has spent a few months seeing how things go.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:49 PM   #3
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I started these at bw, quickly needing resistance I added a 45lbs plate. Now I use a 75lbs dumbbell and get 10x5 done.

Unless you meant a reverse hyper extentions.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:46 PM   #4
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based on your description, it sounds like you might be talking about reverse hyperextensions. i don't really think "swinging" occurs in hyperextensions, and bodyweight hyperextensions are extremely easy, even if done slowly.
you do make a good case for reverse hypers, though. i think a lot of people would have to strip off a lot of weight if they stopped using any kind of momentum. leg raises for abs are also very difficult when done properly.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:49 AM   #5
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Cool

Yeah, Face Down, legs constrained.

I didn't mention that the chain is fastened to a collar that goes around the neck.

My thought—seeing all those vintage pictures of the Soviet Lifters doing them...

And you know those guts get plenty of different pulls from the floor...

Is that they accomplish—or at least are Thought to Accomplish—something that ordinary exercises won't.


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