The Inventor of the Leg Raise Hyper Extension Exercise / Reverse Hyperextension Exercise tony@silaathletic.com

The Truth & History Of The Reverse Hyper Extension


"My name is George, and I have been suffering from back pain for quite some time. Fortunately I met Tony through a friend, bought his DVD and then started back exercise programs on the DVD. Since then I have noticed a lot of improvement, and I would recommend Tony's expertise to anyone because his method really work."

-George Kofi-Debra,
Security/Concierge, Eureka Security Co.

"I am currently attending college on a football scholarship. With the new levels of intensity that come with playing ball at this level I find the Reverse Hypers to be an integral part of my training."

-Tyson Woollard,
College Football Player.

Lower Back Rehabilitation Program

Rehabilitating, Conditioning And Strengthening The Lower Back

In spite of all the attention given to core training these days, a large percentage of athletes and non-athletes alike have a penchant for neglecting the abdominal muscles and in particular, the lower back muscles. There are many reasons for this neglect. Some people only focus on the mirror muscles making aesthetics their priority. While others may appreciate the necessity of having a strong lower back, they simply do not know how to go about training it. And of course there are many other reasons and combinations thereof that cause these muscles to be neglected. No matter what the reason for the neglect, the common denominator behind all of them is a lack of knowledge. People either lack the knowledge to appreciate the importance of lower back training or they lack the knowledge of how to go about doing it. Thus it is my intention in writing this article to provide the knowledge that will eliminate any reason for neglecting these important muscle groups.

First, to underline the importance of lower back training, I make two important points. The rest of the article deals with lower back training methodologies and is prefaced with the exercises, equipment and training modes used in these methodologies. After this I address the first topic, "Rehabilitation". Next I discuss "Conditioning' after which I touch briefly on strength training, saving a more detailed explanation for a later article. I guarantee you that if you read this article carefully, and after getting your doctor's approval you put my training methods into practice, you will be amazed at what you will accomplish.

The Importance Of Lower Back Training

Why is lower back training so important you may ask? Well, let me respond with a question of my own. How many people do you know that have no problem with their backs? For most of us, this group of people will be a very small group indeed. Just this fact alone should indicate the need for lower back training. To put a sharper point on it, neglecting the lower back muscles significantly increases the risk of sustaining a lower back injury such as a muscle spasm, or a herniated or ruptured disk, and repeated injuries can eventually weaken the bones of the vertebrae increasing the risk of fracture. What I am offering you here is negative reinforcement. I guarantee that you will sidestep the back problems of all the people you see around you by training the lower back. But I offer positive reinforcement as well. By conditioning and strengthening your lower back, I also guarantee you that whatever athletic goals you have set for yourself, training your lower back rather than neglecting it will move you much, much closer to those goals. This is nothing new or original, I'm just trying to make you understand that training your lower back is in your best interests and I can think of no reason why we all should not engage in such training other than being medically prohibited from doing so.

Exercises, Equipment And Training Modes

Recommended for use in:

  1. Rehabilitation
  2. Conditioning
  3. Strengthening
Reverse Hyper
Back Master I
Reverse Hyper Backmaster


Recommended for use in:

  1. Conditioning
  2. Strengthening
Manual Torso Hyper
Back Master II
Torso Hyper Backmaster

Rehabilitating A Lower-Back Injury

There are four components to efficiently recovering from a lower back injury. These components are: proper sleeping position, decompression of the lower back, stretching, and utilization of the reverse-hyperextension exercise using only the legs. I will now discuss each of these components in turn and follow up with three cautionary remarks.

1. Proper Sleeping Position: A long time ago I was fortunate enough to have a discussion with Dr. Fahrni of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada who impressed upon me the importance of sleeping in the proper position. He told me then, and I have since verified it myself, that the lower back is rested four times better when a person sleeps in the proper position. For a demonstration of "proper sleeping position", please see my video, "Complete Low Back Care", which can be found under the heading of "Products" on the home page of this website.

Proper Sleeping Position

2.DECOMPRESSION OF THE LOWER BACK: Decompression is extremely important not only in the rehabilitation process but also for maintaining a healthy back. To facilitate decompression the inversion table is unparalleled in its ability to provide a gradual method for decompressing the vertebrae. Ideally, the goal is to hang upside down in a vertical position for approximately 5 minutes per session or for as long as can be tolerated. Initially this will not be possible for everyone and for these individuals a little experimentation will allow them to find a comfortable angle of inversion somewhere between horizontal and vertical. Remember, when your lower back is in pain your lumbar muscles will be in spasm and typically there will be some pain or discomfort associated with decompression. However, as the lumbar muscles start to fatigue, the lower back will gradually begin to decompress. It is important to decompress in this fashion three times per day following a lower back injury. Of course this is the ideal situation and if you can only decompress once per day you will still get results, it's just that the results will come a little slower.In my video, "Complete Low Back Care", I talk about the "Upside-Down-Abdominal- Crunch". This little exercise will fatigue the abs and lower back muscles faster than just hanging upside down which will result in faster decompression and pain relief.

 Decompression 1 Decompression 2

3.STRETCHING TECHNIQUES: The thighs and hips are associated with many lower back injuries and ideally you should try to relax and loosen these muscles 2-3 times per day for 15-20 minutes per session. If this is not feasible, try to stretch at least once per day. These stretching techniques are covered in my video, "Complete Low Back Care."


4.The Reverse Hyper-Extension Exercise - Using Only The Legs

Reverse Hyper LegsThe Reverse Hyper-Extension using only the legs is the only exercise that can be safely utilized in the rehabilitation process. A good time to start this exercise is when most of the inflammation in the lower back has subsided. Below you will find examples of how to use this exercise to rehab your back. As all individuals present varying degrees of injury, I have laid out a general approach for an individual who is poorly conditioned, having very weak lower back and abdominal muscles. Example Programs: There are two approaches and for both you exercise on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Remember, these are only example programs. The exercise days are not written in stone and neither is the amount of rest between sets. If these days don't work for you find a schedule that does, and if you need to take more rest between sets by all means do so, just don't let the pump in the lower back subside too much.

First Approach – every week shorten the rest between sets but keep the number of sets and reps constant. For example:

Week Monday Wednesday Saturday Rest Between Sets
1 3 sets of 10 reps 3 sets of 10 reps 3 sets of 10 reps 1.5 minutes
2 3 sets of 10 reps 3 sets of 10 reps 3 sets of 10 reps 1.0 minute
3 3 sets of 10 reps 3 sets of 10 reps 3 sets of 10 reps 0.5 minutes

Second Approach
– maintain the 1.5 minute rest between sets and the number of sets, but increase the reps every week. For example:

Week Monday Wednesday Saturday Rest Between Sets
1 3 sets of 10 reps 3 sets of 10 reps 3 sets of 10 reps 1.5 minutes
2 3 sets of 20 reps 3 sets of 20 reps 3 sets of 20 reps 1.5 minute
3 3 sets of 30 reps 3 sets of 30 reps 3 sets of 30 reps 1.5 minutes

Individuals in better condition can start with higher repetitions. For example:

Week Monday Wednesday Saturday Rest Between Sets
1 3 sets of 20 reps 3 sets of 20 reps 3 sets of 20 reps 1.5 minutes
2 3 sets of 30 reps 3 sets of 30 reps 3 sets of 30 reps 1.5 minute
3 3 sets of 40 reps 3 sets of 40 reps 3 sets of 40 reps 1.5 minutes

Since individuals will present varying degrees of conditioning, the example given above can be modified to reflect this. However, no matter what approach you choose, this exercise methodology will pump your lower back with blood facilitating the healing process and making the muscles stronger.

Three Important Caveats

1.During the rehabilitation process it is important to rest your back as much as possible and refrain from activities that aggravate it. Your mantra should be, "Rehab And Rest." Use common sense, and remember, the sooner you recover, the sooner you can return to your regular daily activities.

2.Before commencing any rehab program it is imperative that you consult with your physician and get his approval! Once you begin the program, keep him informed of your progress.

3.After your back has been rehabilitated, keep it healthy with a maintenance program. Maintenance uses the same exercises but requires considerably less time than the rehab program. See my "Complete Low Back Care" video for more information.

Conditioning The Lower Back Using Reverse Hyper-Extensions - Legs Only

Conditioning is the preparatory phase that must precede any strengthening program. Just because your back is pain free does not obviate the need to condition it before beginning to strengthen it. Consider an average person with a healthy back. What degree of strength do you think such a person has in the muscles of their lumbar region? Clearly their muscular development in this area should be proportional to the muscular demands made by their activities. Such muscles should be strong enough to facilitate bending and the infrequent lifting of light to moderately heavy objects up from the floor. However, any progressive weight-assisted and repetitive exercising of these muscles will quickly overwhelm the body's ability to recover from one workout to another and progress will soon stall – the muscles are simply not ready for such a regimen. If a person persists past this point some form of back injury will undoubtedly occur. This is where conditioning comes in. Through conditioning the lumbar muscles are tasked with the lifting of a weight that is well within their capability to lift and this weight is kept constant as it is the weight of the exerciser's legs. Over time the repetitions per set are gradually increased but the number of sets pretty much remain the same. This allows for a gradual build-up of muscle without increasing the force on the lower back. Strengthening is therefore safely achieved over time by a progressive increase in volume using a constant force. If, after several weeks of conditioning, a strengthening program is then started, the build-up in volume from the conditioning program will allow for a progressive increase in force on the lower back by reducing the volume. Thus progressive weight-assisted exercising can now be safely accomplished by trading off volume for intensity. This methodology is the only safe way to build a foundation of strength that will allow a person to transition to strength training should they so desire.

Example Program – General Conditioning using the Reverse Hyper-Extension exercise – using legs only. Exercises are done three times per week; for example, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.

Week Monday Wednesday Saturday
1 3 sets of 40 reps 3 sets of 40 reps 3 sets of 60 reps
2 3 sets of 40 reps 3 sets of 40 reps 2 sets of 70 reps
3 3 sets of 40 reps 3 sets of 40 reps 2 sets of 80 reps
4 3 sets of 50 reps 3 sets of 50 reps 2 sets of 90 reps
5 3 sets of 50 reps 3 sets of 50 reps 1 sets of 110 reps
6 3 sets of 50 reps 3 sets of 50 reps 1 sets of 130 reps

In general, make sure the repetitions performed on Mondays and Wednesdays are lower than on Saturdays. You can increase the repetitions once per week and gradually shorten the rest between the sets. This will allow for faster progress and you will experience a great pump in your lower back, buttocks and hamstrings. This example is only one of several different approaches to conditioning. Each individual can adjust their repetition scheme to reflect their fitness level.

My Guarantee To You

Tony DolezelFolks, in my 1-hour video, "COMPLETE LOW BACK CARE", I demonstrate a step-by-step program that covers all the essential information necessary for recovery, strengthening, and maintaining the lower back. The knowledge contained in this video I came by the hard way. I went through hell with my lower back but I never gave up on it and in the process I discovered methods whereby almost all back problems can be overcome. I say almost all problems because no methodology in the world can fix a back that needs to be surgically repaired. However, my program requires effort and the ability to deal with moderate discomfort for short periods of time. I know that there are some people who despite being suitable candidates for my program, will simply not be able to muster the effort to see my program through. This is unfortunate, but for all those others I cannot urge you strongly enough to begin my program. I stand behind my methods and I guarantee that you will get the results you desire if you follow them. I assure you, my sole motivation is a desire to help people. I have all this knowledge bottled up inside me and it makes me feel good when I can get it out and help people lead pain-free lives and achieve their athletic goals.

"FOLKS, IT WORKS!" -Tony Dolezel