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How Do I Choose the Best Hyperextension Machine?

Kelly Ferguson
Kelly Ferguson

A hyperextension machine, although typically seen mostly at gyms and health clubs, can be a great addition to a home gym. The safety and stability of the machine's base and platforms, as well as the overall quality of the construction of all the various parts, should be an important consideration when purchasing the machine. Narrow bases may be good for storage purposes in homes with limited space, but may make the machine wobble or tip over during use, which can be dangerous. Apart from the safety considerations, choosing the best hyperextension machine for your needs will largely come down to your preference between machines with varying incline, adjustability, and versatility.

Some forms of hyperextension machine consist of a flat, horizontal platform on which to balance the hips or upper legs, and foam-covered or otherwise padded bars to hold the legs and lower body in place during the back hyperextension exercise. Other models have a tilted platform so the torso is held closer at a 45 degree angle, with a separate platform or additional padded bars to support and secure the knees, feet, or ankles during the exercise. Many hyperextension machines are adjustable, so that the platform's incline can be modified, while others have a fixed incline. Many fitness enthusiasts recommend sticking with a regular, horizontal machine if you are unsure which incline level you would prefer, because it not only provides slightly more resistance than the upward tilted platforms, which makes the leg and back muscles work harder with fewer reps of the exercise, but also provides the back with more of a stretch during the hanging portion of each repetition.

Man lifting weights
Man lifting weights

It is a good idea to find a hyperextension machine that can be adjusted properly to fit your individual size. Do not settle for a machine that does not fit your body well, as this can lead to bad form during the exercise and even possible injury. Some machines will allow for finer adjustments to correct small issues while others have only a few basic settings to accommodate people with dramatically different heights.

Many people with a home gym do not have the space to keep several different pieces of exercise equipment that only serve one purpose each. Finding a fairly versatile hyperextension machine can help solve this problem. This machine may include anything from extra padded bars or platforms for abdominal exercises to weight attachments for various other exercises, such as the reverse hyperextension instead of the regular hyperextension.

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