Best roman chair-hyperextension bench workout

When it comes to core exercises or your lower back there are few pieces of exercise equipment quite as effective as a roman chair. You may also have heard of them referred to as things like a hyperextension bench, a hyper bench or back extension machine. 

I first used a hyperextension bench in my local gym. After suffering from back pain for a number of years my physical therapist suggested an exercise program to help strengthen my back and relive my pain.

I’m happy to say I have now achieved both, but it wasn’t easy. I started out using the roman chair with a low amount of reps and only using my bodyweight as resistance. This is one of the great things about a hyper bench. There are little or no moving parts and your body is the machine in a way.

Benefits of a Roman chair

While I set out to solve my back pain issues there were some welcome side effects that are worth pointing out.

Ab and core workout

Simply by using a roman chair, you are getting the benefit of an intensive core workout. I’m not saying you are magically going to have abs overnight but you are getting an ab workout everytime you use it.

Because you are using your body as the weight or resistance you have to brace your body to move up and down. This causes you to engage your core. Just in case there is any confusion I do mean your core. A lot of people focus purely on abs but your core is your entire midsection so you’re hitting a lot of muscles at once.

Glutes & Hamstrings

In more recent times the rise of CrossFit as a fitness discipline has seen an increase in gyms stocking what they call a GHD or glute, hamstring developer. These are essentially roman chairs or hyperextension benches. They are in my opinion the best roman chair option.

Again I didn’t set out to specifically train these muscles but they are simply a built in part of using the machine.

One thing worth noting is that weak glutes, in particular, can often be the cause or at least a factor in causing back pain. As for all you ladies trying to achieve the elevated, rounded butt, this is the exercise for you.

Improved Posture

One of the main causes of my back pain was sitting at work. If you work a desk job you will probably know what I’m talking about. Hours and hours of sitting every day, probably in a slumped position. You end up with rounded posture and a sore back.

As the name might give away a major part of using a roman chair is the back extension element. This does a few important things. It stretches your back and gives the muscles a much-needed stretch after a day of sitting.

It stretches your back and gives the muscles a much-needed stretch after a day of sitting.

Additionally, your back is strengthened over time. The stronger your back is, the easier it is to maintain good posture and hopefully stop the cycle that causes your pain in the first place.

Best roman chair- what are the options

So as you can see there are many benefits to be had from roman chair exercises. Further on in this guide, you will find some examples of exercises you can try but first let’s take a look at the best roman chair options when it comes to buying one for your own home gym.

Here are 7 of the best roman chair models:

Marcy Adjustable Hyperextension Roman Chair / Exercise Hyper Bench JD-3.1

I’m starting with the March Roman chair as its one of the best selling pieces of equipment there is. Marcy is a well-known fitness company. They are known for delivering quality product and this hyperextension bench doesn’t dissapoint.

It’s a great solid build and weighs in a just 42 pounds so it’s easy to move around if you need too.  It comes with comfortable padding and great assistance handles.

Here is a quick video to give you an overall idea:

The Marcy will cover the needs of most users with a 300-pound weight limit. It also comes with a handy 2-year warranty which is always nice. Although I don’t see how you could really damage it.

In any case, this is a great buy. Simple, well built, well priced and from a great company. You can’t go wrong here.

Stamina Hyper Bench

The Stamina Hyper Bench is a more traditional hyper bench. It is smaller and as you can see sits are more or an angle then the Marcy roman chair.

Personally, I am not a fan of this style of hyper bench but if the back extension is your main goal then it gets the job done.

Here is a quick video to give you an overall idea:

Like the others, it has good padding and nonslip grips. It is quite light though at 29 pounds. I’m not confident it would work for users over 200 pounds so keep that in mind.

A good space saver but there are better options.

Stamina Pro Ab/Hyper Bench

Another offering from Stamina fitness is the Stamina Pro Ab/Hyper Bench. This is not like any of the others in that as the name would suggest it is a hybrid type design.

It combines the best roman chair design with a more traditional foldable sit up bench. While you may not be looking for these additional features it does offer some options.

Here is a quick video to give you an overall idea:

The big advantage here is the additional exercise options. The decline sit up options are helpful with a four position adjustment available on the bench. This could be useful with back pain issues as you can choose to be partially supported.

In addition, you can use the bench for other exercises by adding a set of dumbells or other equipment. It has a 250-pound weight limit which is pretty good.

One major advantage this has over other model is that it can be easily folded for storage. Great if space is an issue for you.

This bench gives you a lot of options for the price and the storage factor is super helpful.  A good buy for sure.

Powerline Roman Chair/Back Hyperextension

The Powerline roman chair is similar to the Marcy hyper bench we already looked at. It’s super sturdy and comes in at 42 pounds. It comes with an impressive 10-year frame warranty. There aren’t many products on the market of any kind that come with a warranty like that.

It’s a solid choice and has plenty of adjustment options. It does come in more expensive than the Marcy and is more or less the same. Important if budget is an issue.

So overall its a great buy with a great warranty. I like the adjustment options on the stem also.

If it comes to a straight choice between this model and the Marcy then my money is on the Marcy but they are both great options.

What exercises can I do with my roman chair?

Back extension:

Something you can also include is roman chair sit ups and an oblique work. You may even want to add kettlebells like you see below.

You can’t really go wrong with a roman chair. They are simple to use, don’t break easily and combine so many muscles into a workout. Adding one to your home gym would be a great move.

Peak Health Pro

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