I love reverse hyper machines.
As a certified weight lifting coach and personal trainer for 2 decades, it’s one of the “fancy” items that I swear by.
It provides movements that simply aren’t possible without one. And the posterior chain is often an area that gets overlooked (other than deadlifts).
So I’ve spent 40 hours comparing the best reverse hyper machines on the market.
- I found 19 of the best reverse hyper machines on the market
- I created 17 criteria to assess each one against (with a weighting of importance)
- I’ve personally tested several of them over the years
- I summarised it all right here
So let’s dive straight in…
Titan H-PND Combo
Bells of Steel (BOS) Reverse Hammer 2.0
- 1 – Best reverse hyper machine overall – Rogue RH-2
- 2 – Top value among combo machines (GHD and reverse hyper) – Bells of Steel Reverse Hammer 2.0
- 3 – Best foldable reverse hyper – Westside Scout Hyper
- 4 – Best among rack-mounted reverse hyper machines – Rogue RH-2M
- 5 – Best cheap reverse hyper and GHD combo – Titan H-PND
5 best reverse hyper machines
|Name||Best in category||Rating||Price||Defining feature/characteristic|
|Rogue RH-2||Overall||76.2||$$$||Top value for money|
|Bells of Steel (BOS) Reverse Hammer 2.0||Best combo machine||69.7||$$$$||Full functionality as both reverse hyper and GHD|
|Westside Scout Hyper||Foldable||69.2||$$||Foldable, small|
|Titan H-PND Combo||Cheap combo machine||68.4||$$$||Cheap|
1 – Best reverse hyper machine overall – Rogue RH-2
Rating: 76.2 out of 100
Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a top-tier reverse hyper that doesn’t break the bank.
- Great padding (both foam and vinyl).
- Fixed, angled handles.
- Top-tier Spudding hyper strap.
- Impeccable welds and finishes.
- Costs more than similar units from budget brands (like Titan).
- Lighter and not as stable as Rogue Donkey or Z Hyper.
- No stabilization bar.
The title of best reverse hyper machine among the standalones goes to the Rogue RH-2.
Three main reasons for that are:
- Perfect geometry (designed around Lou Simmons’ original reverse hyper).
- Thick and stable frame – uses the same tubing as the Rogue racks (3×3, 11 gauge).
- Superior padding – I’m not sure if this is the case, but both the foam and the vinyl feel similar to Rogue benches. Padding-wise, this is as good as it gets.
I have zero intention of getting into the who-copied-who stuff
If I did, the Rogue and Westside units would be “the originals.”
The cheaper clones are very similar in terms of build and geometry.
When it comes to the padding and craftsmanship, there’s no comparing Rogue’s stuff to “newer arrivals” from Titan and the like.
In the long run, the padding makes all the difference. This is a machine where the contact points absolutely determine the comfort, user experience and functionality. They’ve come up trumps on the important points here.
No significant price bumps from Rogue
If this were 2020, this conversation would be more complicated.
It would be a conversation of price vs. quality.
Today, that point is moot.
Back then, Titan’s H-PND cost $574.99.
Today, it’s well over $700.
On the other hand, Rogue’s RH-2 cost under $800 in 2020.
Same as 2018…same as 2013…same as today…
So, the price difference went from 30 to 10%.
With that in mind, RH-2 is absolutely worth the marginally higher price tag.
Note: To be fair, Titan’s H-PND is a clone of Rogue Z Hyper, which is bulkier and features a stabilizing bar, but also costs more.
For most home gym owners, RH-2 will do the job just fine.
With all said and done – RH-2 is absolutely worth the marginally higher price tag.
If you have the space for a standalone hyper and don’t need a GHD, get the Rogue RH-2.
It’s better than any reverse hyper in the price range and cheaper than the heftier Rogue units.
|Footprint (feet square)||14.58|
|Height of the bench (inches)||44.5|
|Weight of the machine (lbs)||206|
2 – Top value among combo machines (GHD and reverse hyper) – Bells of Steel Reverse Hammer 2.0
Rating: 69.7 out of 100
Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a combo machine on a budget.
- Full functionality as both GHD and reverse hyper.
- Heavy and stable.
- Costs less than most combo machines.
- Guide-rod adjustment.
- Handle placement.
- Padding could be better.
Combo machines (reverse hyper and GHD) are the best use of space and the top bang for your buck here.
Among them, the BOS Reverse Hammer 2.0 stands out because it exists at the sweet spot between price and build quality.
Here’s what I mean…
Go down a tier, and you have the Titan Combo that’s far more basic – from the padding to the adjustment mechanism, from the powder coat to the footplate.
Go up a tier, and you have the Rogue Donkey with the roller add-on. That setup costs three times as much as the BOS combo.
Stay in the same quality tier, and you have the Vulcan Kraaken Hyper, which costs 30% more.
Image – price of reverse hyper machines
The BOS Reverse Hammer 2.0 is the perfect compromise for those who want a well-built combo machine but also don’t want to pay a fortune for it. You won’t find a better combo machine for the money.
Put this into any home gym and you’ve improved it significantly. It’s also suitable for everyone, regardless of your experience.
|Footprint (feet square)||24.31|
|Height of the bench (inches)||42|
|Weight of the machine (lbs)||280|
3 – Best foldable reverse hyper – Westside Scout Hyper
Rating: 69.2 out of 100
Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a reverse hyper that can be easily put away when not in use.
- Hefty rubber feet.
- Light – not as stable as the heavier units.
- Less space for additional weights.
A foldable reverse hyper-extension machine is THE machine for you if:
- You’re working with a small gym, and every inch counts.
- You don’t have enough space for a rack-mounted unit.
- You’re picky about your brands and gravitate towards the originals.
The advantages and trade-offs are self-evident.
It’s smaller to begin with, and fully foldable, but it’s also lighter and not as stable. In all honesty, I don’t think these are big issues, unless you’re a legit gorilla. Get it on a stable, flat floor and you’re good to go.
What it means for you
It means it’s a good budget machine and will be plenty stable for most people.
The Scout Hyper by Westside is a saver, both of money and space. Within that niche, it has no real competition.
|Footprint when unfolded (feet square)||7.26|
|Height of the top pad (inches)||46.5|
|Weight of the machine (lbs)||94.5|
4 – Best among rack-mounted reverse hyper machines – Rogue RH-2M
Rating: 68.6 out of 100
Who it’s for: Anyone who doesn’t have the space for a standalone hyper and owns a Rogue Monster rack (or one that fits the sizing).
- As stable as it gets.
- Space-saving – mounts onto a rack.
- Cheaper than most standalone hypers.
- Won’t fit all power racks.
- Higher than a classic reverse hyper.
- Can get in the way of squats or bench presses.
If you don’t have the space for a standalone hyper and don’t like the foldable Scout (or you’re too fierce for it), a rack-mounted hyper is the best of both worlds.
It’s my personal favorite.
For three reasons:
- As compact as it gets – small to begin with and needs very little extra space (uses the space already occupied by the rack).
- As stable as it gets – it bolts into the rack, which means zero wobble.
- It is possible to make it fold up when not in use – with a bit of creativity and tons of caution.
With classic and half-racks, it might get in the way of anything you’re doing on the back upright.
If you’re working with a small space but have 3-4 feet between the rack and the wall, this is the way to go. And remember… THIS WILL ONLY FIT THE ROGUE MONSTER RACK. IF YOU DON’T HAVE ONE, DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!
|Footprint (feet square)||11.8|
|Height of the top pad (inches)||Adjustable|
|Swing arm capacity (lbs)||700|
5 – Best cheap reverse hyper and GHD combo – Titan H-PND
Rating: 68.4 out of 100
Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a combo machine on the cheap.
- Better vinyl (grippier) than previous models.
- Smooth swing arm movement.
- Basic adjustment mechanism.
- Padding could (should) be more generous.
- Lesser cross-section than most reverse hypers.
If you’re not going crazy with swing motions on the GHD and you’re OK with the basic adjustment mechanism, the Titan Fitness H-PND will do the job.
It’s the cheapest you can go, and still get a stable combo machine.
That’s not a tall order because not many companies make reverse hypers in this price range.
By “not many,” I mean no one.
In other words – it’s cheap, it’s basic, and it works. For these reasons, I’ve got a soft spot for Titan. They always seem to deliver better-than-you’d-expect equipment for a surprisingly low price point.
If you’re operating within a tight budget but still want a combo machine, get this Titan. It costs over 40% less than its main competitor – the BOS 2-in-1.
Buyer’s guide to reverse hyperextension machines
If you don’t like any of the reverse hypers we chose or simply want to understand the data and logic behind the picks, this section will be an interesting read.
I’ll keep it super concise and practical.
9 primary factors to look for in a good reverse hyper
1. Image – Reverse hyper machine buying guide – 1 – Type, 2 – Structural build, 3 – Standalone vs. rack-mounted, 4 – Size, 5 – Geometry, 6 – Adjustability, 7 – Padding, 8 – Cost, 9 – Warranty terms
1 – Types of reverse hypers
(no specific number of points in our ratings)
Choosing between types is the first step in your journey to buying a reverse hyper.
The four “types” to choose from are:
- Classic, standalone
- 2-in-1 (combined with a GHD)
2. Image – 4 types of reverse hyperextension machines – 1 – Standalone
Yes, I’m aware this classification is disjointed because I’m mixing criteria.
But it is simple.
And simple is good.
2 – Structural build of a reverse hyperextension machine
(0 to 11 points in our ratings)
The structural build refers to the machine’s sheer “beefiness” – the frame’s cross-section and the steel’s thickness (gauge).
My rule of thumb is a minimum of 14 gauge and 4 square inches.
The best reverse hypers are built using 11-gauge steel.
Here’s the problem – not all of them list it in the specs.
But, based on the weights and my experience with the machines, I’d say that 4 out of the top 5 are with 11 gauge steel.
How it translates to stability
The build is a lesser part of the stability equation with reverse hypers than with other home gym fitness equipment/machines.
Simply put – there’s more to it than thick steel.
Still, thick steel will contribute to the machine staying still. (What!?!)
Capacity – overall limit and loadable weight capacity
If the gauge and cross-section aren’t listed, the weight limits are a tell-all.
Look for three numbers:
- Max user weight – shouldn’t be less than 300 lbs.
- Overall weight capacity – shouldn’t be under 450 lbs.
- Loadable weight capacity (plates that can be packed onto the swing arm) – look for 200+ and a minimum of 150 lbs.
How to know what’s right for you
The more centripetal energy in your movements, the more important stability and build will be.
If you’re doing it all and doing it fiercely, go for a combo machine with no less than 6 square inches of cross-section and 11-gauge steel.
If you’re only doing reverse hyperextensions, you’ll be OK with a 14-gauge machine, as long as it has a stabilization bar (more on that in a minute).
3 – Standalone vs. rack-mounted reverse hypers
(0 to 7 points in our ratings)
This one is simple – the choice between a standalone and rack-mounted reverse hyper will come down to space.
With more complicated machines, the rack-mounted versions are not as good…like, 90% of the time.
The reverse hyper is the exception to the rule…the 10%.
If you closed your eyes and did reverse hypers on the RH-2 and the RH-2M, there’s a good chance you won’t notice the difference.
In fact, scratch that…you might notice it because the rack-mounted hyper will be more stable.
Bottom line – if it works for your space, go for the rack-mounted hyper unit – it will be more stable than any standalone, be it fixed or foldable.
4 – Size of a reverse hyperextension machine – footprint and height
(0 to 7 points in our ratings)
The footprints of the standalone reverse hypers start at 14 square feet and go up to 27 (graph below).
The exception is the rack-mounted Rogue reverse hyper and some commercial weight-stack hypers.
These go as low as 11 square feet because the fixed weight stack stabilizes the machine – a case in point being the Performance Series from Legend Fitness. These deserve a mention because of their compactness and convenience, but they’re too expensive for most home gyms.
Bottom line on the size
Size should not be a decision point when choosing a reverse hyper-extension machine.
If you go too small, you lose stability. This is especially true if the people using it are tall or heavy. If you’re over 6’2 and 220 lbs, stability is going to be key.
If space is an issue, go with one of the rack-mounted or foldable units.
Bottom line on the height
If you do a lot of full ROM situps, note the pad height.
Some combo machines have higher pads and rollers than your average GHD. That’s because the room needed for the hyperextension dictates the height.
It’s a discombobulated sentence, but it simply means this – if you’re coming from a GHD, some moves will feel different on the 2-in-1s.
The differences are minor and non-deal-breaking.
Maximize space use with a combo machine
Finally, you can maximize the use of space with the combo machines – they take up 23-25 square feet but give you a GHD, too.
5 – Geometry of a good reverse hyperextension machine
(no specific number of points in our ratings)
There’s been a lot of hoopla about some reverse hypers being “dangerous” because of incorrect geometry.
Here is my opinion on that…
It’s part of the battle royale between the brands that made the original machine, the brands that bought the rights to the name, and those who copied it – Westside, Rogue, and Titan, respectively.
Anyway…I don’t care about that…I’m all about safety and gainz, baby…
I have not seen proof to back the (un)safety claim up.
The budget reverse hypers are pretty much the same in the key geometry aspects:
- The length of the swing arm
- The pendulum depth*
- Position, angle, and the distance of the grips**
* Pendulum depth is a term I use to describe the shortest vertical distance between the edge of the pad and the swing arm. This is where things could get tricky – too shallow (close) would mean lessened activation of posterior chain muscles, and too deep would mean an increased injury risk. I’ve seen none of that, even with the cheaper reverse hypers on our list.
4. Image – Pendulum depth on a reverse hyperextension machine
**I prefer the angled grips because they are biomechanically more accurate. In other words, they feel more natural and allow for better core stabilization. You’d only notice the difference if you’re switching from angled to perpendicular.
6 – Adjustability of a reverse hyper
(no specific number of points in our ratings)
Any machine on this list will be adjustable enough for comfort if you’re of average height.The two essential adjustment points are the length of the swing arm and the grip – 4 out of 5 hypers on our list have that.
5. Image – Two basic adjustments of reverse hypers – length of the swing arm and pad-to-grip distance
The one exception is the Rogue Westside Scout Hyper, which I recommend you skip if you’re under 5.6.
For combo machines, you’ll also want height and depth adjustment on the foot rollers of the GHD.
6. Image – Foot-roller adjustment on the GHD side of combo machines
Bonus tip: Guide rods and pop-pins on the GHD part make a world of difference in the long run. It’s the main point of separation between the BOS 2-in-1 and the Titan Combo.
7 – Padding – shape and thickness
(no specific number of points in our ratings)
Anyone who has read these reviews in the past knows how much I insist on good padding. It’s your contact point with the machine, it’s the part that is likely to break down first, and it determines user comfort and experience.
In the case of a reverse hyper, it’s really important.
You want thick, generously sized foam on the top pad covered by vinyl that doesn’t feel slick.
“Great, but how do I know that?”
I’ll tell you…
- Of the brands in our top 5, Rogue’s vinyl and padding are by far the best.
- On the BOS pad, I’d prefer a more “leathery” vinyl that’s not as slick.
- On Titan units, I’d like to see more heft in the foam.
I’m nitpicking here, but it’s my job.
The padding should fold down over the metal parts and be thick enough so that you never feel the frame.
The “litmus test” here is side bends – the lower contact surface means higher pressure.
Of course, you want a removable middle part of the bench on the GHD to spare the family jewels.
8 – Cost of a good reverse hyper
(0 to 20 points in our ratings)
A good reverse hyper machine will set you back anywhere from $500 to 4K (comparison graph below).
You’ll find the best value for money in the $700-1200 range.
On the lower end, you have the basic units like the Titan Economy H-PND, which is built on a basic 2×2 frame.
If you can afford a splurge, get the upgraded version of the Rogue Donkey.
That combo is as good as any reverse hyper and (almost) as good as Rogue Abram, which is our pick for the best GHD machine.
9 – Warranty terms – frame, padding, and parts
(0 to 18 points in our ratings)
If you’re paying over $700 for a reverse hyper machine, look for one covered by a Lifetime warranty on the frame.
There are two exceptions to that rule:
- Titan units – 1-year warranty, which is more a part of their outdated policy than an indication of quality issues.
- Commercial warranties – to be ignored ‘cause you’re not breaking a 4K Hammer Strength machine.
Methodology – how we rate and choose the best reverse hyper machines
Below is a step-by-step rundown of what went into creating this guide.
I won’t bore you with the details; I just feel it’s important to demonstrate that nothing on this page is random.
It’s all based on a combination of first-hand experience and a big pool of data.
Here’s what we did:
- We created a database with ALL the best reverse hyper machines on the market – 16 of them from 34 sources.
- We defined 26 data points to collect – from height and footprint to padding and weld quality. That’s 416 data points overall.
- In consults with industry experts and based on first-hand experience, we chose 17 quality categories to be rated (out of the 26 initially defined).
We had two criteria here – the importance for overall quality and availability of data for all reverse hyper machines.
- We awarded gravities to each of the 167 categories. Gravity is the number of points a category carries, ranging from 1 (for angled vs. straight grip) to 20 for price.
- We created the rating formula.
- We tweaked the formula through 4 iterations – to ensure it closely reflects the quality-vs-price balance.
- We chose which picks to present with the goal of making the list concise but versatile.
The goal here is to declutter the list of top reverse hyper machines but still have something on it for every budget and need.
We update the reverse-hyper database to keep it fresh and relevant. This guide reflects any change we see in those updates.
Other reverse hyper machines – close-but-no-cigar
- Rogue Z Hyper – great, but costly. Choose it over the RH-2 if you’re a serious crossfitter.
- Titan H-PND – similar to the Z Hyper, not as well-rounded and polished.
- Titan Economy H-PND – a good budget reverse hyper machine. Basic but stable, sub-par padding.
- Titan rack-mounted – a cheaper alternative to the Rogue RH-2M.
- Rogue Donkey – beefy bugger…too expensive for most home gyms.
Best reverse hyper machine – resume and takeaways
Every minute invested in this guide paid off.
We got clarity on a few reverse hypers that stand out as top value in a confusing market.
Overall, the Rogue Fitness RH-2 reigns supreme because it’s the most well-rounded classic design.
The most versatile reverse hyper machine for the money is the Bells of Steel combo, which incorporates a fully functional GHD without adding too much to the cost. Color me impressed.
The Westside Scout Hyper never left the cream of the market (I feel it never will), and it’s our “saving” pick – both in terms of money and space.
If you’re still unsure, click here to skip back to the Top 5 table.