If you’re considering buying a new piece of fitness equipment, there are plenty of reasons to invest in a roman chair.
Also known as a hyperextension bench, this is perfect for building a strong core while working other muscles at the same time.
Incorporating roman chair exercises into your workout routine will help to improve your posture and relieve pressure on your lower back.
But not all roman chairs are created equal, so we decided to take a look at the top 5 roman chairs to help you determine which of these will work best for you.
Here’s a quick list of what will be covered:
What Is A Roman Chair?
A roman chair is a stationary padded bench with roll pads underneath (Not to be confused with a GHD machine). The main pad supports your hips or back and the lower roll pads allow you to hook your legs to allow hyperextension exercises.
Some roman chairs have a degree of adjustability where the angles can be tweaked to alter the intensity and difficulty of the exercises.
What Are The Muscles Worked On A Roman Chair?
The roman chair allows you to build a strong core by targeting your abdominals and lower back muscles, your glutes, and your hamstrings. Strong core muscles allow your body to execute daily tasks while keeping your posture and balance in check.
Benefits of using a Roman Chair:
Help Improve Your Posture
Work that requires you to sit for long periods of time or sitting in front of the T.V. for a few hours a day tends to encourage bad posture. Since the roman chair is built for back extension exercises, it helps strengthen your lower back muscles, which encourages good posture. This allows you to stand more upright and relieves stress in your lower back.
Alleviate Lower Back Pain
One of the primary causes of back pain is associated with a weak core. Hyper-extension exercises using a roman chair will increase your lower back mobility and build stronger ab muscles which will help to alleviate stress placed on the spine when you lift or sit for long periods of time.
List of Roman Chair Workouts
There are many roman chair exercises that target different muscle groups. Try these workouts in order to build stronger glutes, abdominals, and lower back.
Exercises that work the glutes:
Isometric Glute Hold
Set up the roman chair by lining up the ankle pads directly with the front pad. Place your body in a face-down position and extend your legs fully while placing your hips on the pads.
Begin by fully extending your body in a straight line, maintaining the posture for 30 seconds. As you progress, you can hold the position for as long as you can to engage your glutes longer.
Position the ankle pads in a way that your legs will rest on a 45-degree angle once you are on the machine. While in a face-down position, place your hands, across your chest and start by lowering your body as far as you can to perform a trunk extension.
Lift your body back up by pushing your ankles against the pads to engage your glutes.
Exercises that work the abs:
Roman Chair Crunches
To perform roman chair crunches, start by positioning yourself onto the machine with your body upright while hooking your feet on the ankle pads with a slight degree. Hold your arms across your chest and start performing crunches to work your abs.
Roman Chair Twists
Line up the ankle pads just below the level of your hips. In an upright body, position starts twisting from side to side.
You can use a weight plate to increase intensity. Keep in mind that your core should be engaged when performing the exercise.
Exercises that work the lower back:
Start by setting up the roman chair by lining up both pads directly in line. Position yourself face down on the machine.
Rest your hips on the pad and extend your legs fully while extending your upper body in order to form a straight line. Cross your arms over your chest and slowly lower your body as far as you can go.
Now bring your upper body to the start position and repeat.
A variation of the hyperextension, the machine set-up, and the body position is the same. Rest your hips on the pad and extend your legs fully while extending your upper body in order to form a straight line.
This time, place your hands behind your ears and slowly lower your body as far as you can go. As you pull up your upper body, twist to the right so your right elbow rises up before the left.
Lower down and repeat on the other side.
What To Look For When Purchasing A Roman Chair
If you do decide to buy a roman chair, there are a number of things you should look for to make sure the equipment fits your needs.
First, check the materials of which the product is made. Is the machine sturdily built?
Are the pads of good quality? High-quality and well-made equipment will get the most for your money and will last for years.
Second, the features. Some roman chairs have wheels on the bottom for easy storage.
Adjustability is also a factor when considering a purchase, as it allows you to perform more exercises with limited adjustments.
Finally, the price. Buy the best roman chair you can afford. Price tends to determine quality and features.
Review Of The Top Roman Chairs Available Today
There are many options out there on the market and it can be pretty tough to make a solid choice, so we decided to single out the best ones and give you our opinions on each of them.
XMark 45 Degree
The XMark 45 Degree Roman Chair is a solid choice for those looking for their first roman chair machine. It’s constructed of steel with vinyl covered pads for comfort and soft cushioning.
It has also been given a powder-coat finish to make it scratch resistant. The handles are worth mentioning because they allow you to raise your upper body at the end of a set for more efficient workouts while also doubling as dip handles for quick triceps exercises.
- Has triceps dip handles for added versatility
- Great build quality for the price
- Adjustable mid-section to suit a wide-range of user heights
- Height adjustment pin can be a bit finicky to pull out and adjust at times
- Padding could be thicker for more upper body support during side bends
- Compact design fits nicely in any home or apartment
- Sufficient padding for comfort and support
- Dip handles for triceps workouts
- Narrow base makes it prone to tip easily than other machines with a wider base
- Compact size might be too small for some people
- Affordable price tag
- Compact and functional design
- Good build quality
- Compact size might be an issue for larger users
- Lack of adjustability limits versatility
- Narrow frame might affect stability compared to wider roman chairs
- Sweat-resistant padding for added comfort during workouts
- Sturdy built quality
- Adjustable mid-section to accommodate different user heights
- Lack of roller wheels make it hard to transport
- Wide base for stability
- Folding design makes it storage-friendly
- Nicely padded for cushion and comfort
- Height adjustment may be limited for some people
The Bodycraft F670 is a simple, compact roman chair that will fit into any home without much problem. Not everyone can accommodate large workout machines so if you’re on the lookout for a roman chair but don’t have large spaces available, then this is a great option.
The F670 doesn’t skimp out on features despite its size with sufficient padding, sturdy build quality, and adjustable height while having dip handles as well.
Marcy Adjustable Hyperextension Roman Chair
If you’re looking for a roman chair that won’t break the bank, then this sweet offering from Marcy is the perfect option for you.
It comes with all the features we expect from a hyperextension bench.
Comfortable padding, solid build quality, and rubber grips at the base for traction and sturdiness. This will make a great addition to your home gym and will most definitely cater to your needs.
XMark 11 Roman Chair
Another solid offering from XMark, this roman chair uses sweat-resistant vinyl pads and durable powder-coated steel for comfort and durability.
You can also adjust its mid-section to accommodate different user heights which add to its versatility.
The overall design and choice of materials are perfect for those looking for a roman chair that will last for a long time.
This roman chair from Titan Fitness combines portability and functionality. It’s foldable for efficient storage so can easily set-up and store it whenever you want.
It also comes with dip handles for triceps workouts and an adjustable mid-section. Despite being portable, it comes with a wide base so it’s more stable than other compact options out there on the market.
The pads are nicely padded too for your extra comfort while doing exercises.
All of these options are a great choice if you are looking for your first roman chair. It all comes down to what features you determine best fits you.
Investing in a roman chair will benefit you in many ways – achieving a good physique while strengthening your core muscles at the same time.