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Is the Roman Bench Good for Abs?

    If the Roman chair is good for abs depends on how you use it. Basically, the chair is designed for doing back extension (hyperextension), which targets the lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and muscles by the spine. This way, it’s a useful exercise to strengthen rare core muscles leading to healthy posture, better performance in sports, and lower risk of back injuries.

    If you check out the picture below, we can agree that the hyperextension doesn’t strengthen the abs at all. It’s logical since we lie on the stomach.

    muscles worked

    However, we can use the Roman bench for abs. They are hard moves suitable for advanced level people.

    Why are they more difficult?

    Because the range of motion is longer as if we do them on the floor. But, because of that, these ab exercises build stronger and bigger core muscles. Hence, they are great to get a six-pack.

    Here is how to use it.

    Roman chair sit-ups (crunch)

    sit ups

    Sit-ups target the rectus abdominus muscles that are situated on the front of the abdominal wall. They work both the upper and lower abs.

    • Sit on the seat, and adjust the leg rollers to your hight. Your buttocks should be on the seat comfortably.
    • Place your hand behind your head or on your chest.
    • Slowly lower your upper body until your back is parallel to the floor.
    • Then, raise yourself back to the starting position.

    If you want to target your upper abs, you can do crunches with a shorter range of motion.



    Twisting your torso on the bench targets the obliques but also your rectus abdominis.

    • The beginning is the same as the sit-ups.
    • With straight back, lower your upper body towards the floor. The more you go backward, the harder it will be.
    • Now twist your body in a controlled way. Don’t rush!

    Side bends

    Bends are very beneficial to target the obliques to get a v-shaped midsection.

    • Adjust the equipment, and lie on your side with your hip on the seat. Fix your feet carefully between the rollers.
    • Lower yourself slowly. If you feel the stretching in your oblique, that is a good sign. Don’t go too deep, go until you feel comfortable.
    • By focusing on your oblique, raise your torse up. For even better results, stop for a moment, at the top, and squeeze your muscles.
    • Perform the necessary reps, then do the same on the other side.

    I love it! Here is my detailed side bend guide.


    So, the hyperextension on the Roman chair doesn’t strengthen the abs. Still, we can use the bench to perform various exercises for abs. On top of that, these are very powerful drills to gain muscle strength and size.


    James Wright

    James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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