10 Roman Chair Exercises To Strengthen Your Core

We use the lower back bench for doing the hyperextension that targets the lower back, hamstrings, and glutes. However, this workout equipment is more versatile than that. From the following video, you can learn a few practical Roman chair exercises.

What is a Roman chair good for?

1. Side Bends

The side bend targets the oblique, the muscles on the sides of your abdominal wall. Toning the obliques help to build v-cut abs.

  • Lie on your side and fix your feet between the leg rollers.
  • Place your hands behind your head, on your ribs, or as you see in the tutorial.
  • Slowly with a straight back, lower your torso as far as you can comfortably.
  • With a focus on your oblique, raise your body up.
  • After 10-15 reps switch to the other side.

Learn more:Side bend exercise guide

2. Weighted side bend

The execution is the same as the previous, but we add extra resistance by holding a dumbbell. Be careful! This is an advanced exercise that requires an exciting strong core. Don’t use a heavy hand weights and focus on the correct form.

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Marcy Adjustable Hyperextension Roman Chair

3. Incline push-ups

Most of the Roman chair exercise equipment comes with dip bars that we can use for doing incline push-ups. That exercise targets the chest (pectoralis major), particularly the lower parts of it. It suits beginners as a bit easier than regular push-ups. However, advanced athletes can benefit from it by doing high reps.

  • Catch the handlebars and get behind so that if you lower your upper body, your chest touches the pad.
  • Lower, then push yourself up.

4. Dip

The dip is a fantastic bodyweight exercise to strengthen your triceps and shoulders. The more you lean forward, the more your chest muscles are engaged. Here is how to do triceps dips.

  • Grab the handles and push yourself up with your legs crossed.
  • Slowly lower your body until your upper arms are parallel to the ground. If you go too deep, that may put stress on your shoulders.
  • Then, with control, push yourself up to the starting position.

5. Preacher biceps curl

A 45-degree hyperextension bench is excellent for the preach curl since you can get rid of the momentum.

  • Kneel down behind the pad and place your upper arms on it. Your armpit is on the top of the pads.
  • You can use a single or two dumbbells. Lower your forearms till your arms are stretched.
  • With the power of your biceps, lift the dumbbells up. At the top, squeeze your biceps.

6. Back extensions

The back extension is a beneficial exercise to strengthen your lower back, glutes, and muscles by your spine. It helps to avoid lower back pain, improves your posture and performance in any sports.

  • Get on the bench with face-down position with your hips on the pad. Fix your ankles between the ankle support. Place your hands behind your neck or on your ribs.
  • Lower your torso with a straight back until you feel comfortable.
  • Without any momentum, lift your body up.

Learn more:Hyperextension exercises in details.

7. Weighted Hyper Exercises

The execution is the same as the previous, but we use a weight plate for additional resistance. Weighted back extension is only recommended for advanced athletes, and it should be done with alertness. Don’t use a weight that you can’t handle safely and ruins the form of the exercise.

8. Alternating Side Hyperextension

Instead of using a weight, you can twist your torso during the raising phase. This way, there is more load on the muscles. Plus, this compound movement even engages your obliques (side abs).

Within this video, a 45 degree back extension machine was used, but with a 90-degree bench, you can perform two other movements.

9. Roman Chair Sit Ups

man doing crunches on Roman chair

The sit up is an excellent Roman chair exercise to strengthen your abs. However, proper form is crucial to avoid pain in your lower back.

  • Sit on the seat and fix your feet between the rollers.
  • Cross your arms on your chest or your hands behind your head.
  • With straight back lower yourself, but don’t go too deep.
  • With the power of your abs, pull yourself up without the momentum.

Tip: You can also use the chair for crunches and leg lifts as well.

10. Roman Chair Twist

sit ups with oblique twists exercise

The Russian Twist is an effective movement to target your obliques, and this is an enhanced version.

  • Start position: Sit on the seat and fix your feet between the ankle pads.
  • Lean backward until your torso is approx. 60 degrees to the ground. Keep your back straight.
  • Twist your torso to the sides.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Roman chair hyperextension good for your back?

If you don’t have problems with your back and spine, then it’s an excellent piece of fitness equipment to strengthen your core muscles. Just make sure to perform the exercises correctly. It helps:

  • to perform better in any sports,
  • improve back mobility, balance, and posture,
  • avoid work out injuries and lower back pain.

Otherwise, people with a hernia and existing pain must always consult with their doctor.

What muscle groups does a Roman Chair work?

Back extensions strengthen your back muscles, erector spinae, glutes, and hamstrings. But, as the examples have shown above, it’s more versatile home gym equipment than that. It’s suitable for ab exercises and strengthening your arms and delts. You can almost have a total body workout routine with it.

Which are the best Roman Chairs?

Some factors to consider are the following:

  • Adjustability to tweak the angle and supports to your height.
  • Stability for a safe and convenient workout.
  • Thickly padded for comfort. Guys should look for a groin pad that is split.
  • Ankle pads that fix your feet securely.

It’s an excellent alternative to the glute ham developer, but costs less. Although a GHD machine gives a more extended range of motion and more robust (that is why it’s used for Crossfit for trunk extensions).

To sum up, a Roman chair workouts are great to strengthen your core and upper body. With some creativity, you can come up with even more types of exercises. Get a piece of equipment to get total core strength training.

Last update on 2021-01-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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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