You might have seen a Roman chair in a gym but aren’t sure about its name.
Roman chairs have two pads (higher and lower) that make it a piece of effective equipment in strengthening your core and ab muscles.
What makes Roman chairs different from back benches is that it’s more versatile. In fact, you can perform a wide variety of exercises that target your core. Meanwhile, benches only target your lower back, hamstrings, and glutes.
There are several Roman chair exercises you can complete. Continue reading the article for more varieties that target your core muscle groups effectively.
1. Side Bends
One of the most common Roman chair exercises is the side bends.
Side bends exercise targets your obliques, which are the muscles on the sides of your abdominal wall. Toning the obliques helps you build v-cut abs.
To perform side bends on a Roman chair:
- Lie on your side and secure your feet between the leg rollers.
- Place your hands behind your head, on your ribs, or as you see in the video tutorial.
- With a straight back, slowly lower your torso as far as you can comfortably.
- With a focus on your oblique, raise your body.
- Perform 10 to 15 reps, then switch to another side.
Learn more: Roman Chair Side Bend Exercise Guide
2. Weighted Side Bends
Weighted side bends’ execution is the same as the previous workout, but we add extra resistance by holding a dumbbell.
Newbies may find this advanced exercise difficult; ask for assistance when needed.
Tip: Do not use heavy weights if not comfortable, and ensure that proper core form is practiced.
3. Inclined Push-Ups
Mose Roman chair exercise equipment comes with dip bars that you can use to dong inclined push-ups.
As such, inclined push-ups target your chest (pectoralis major), particularly the lower parts. Unlike weighted side bends, newbies may find this exercise easier.
For advanced athletes, you can increase resistance by performing a higher number of sets and reps.
To do this, you need to:
- Grip the handlebars and stand facing the bench.
- Straighten your arms and keep elbows unlocked. Align your feet and body and keep them straight.
- Bend your elbows towards your lower chest while getting closer to the edge of the Roman chair. Inhale as you do this.
- Push your body away until your elbows are extended. Repeat the process slowly.
Dips are a fantastic bodyweight exercise that strengthens your triceps and shoulders. Besides, it also engages your upper-body muscles.
The more you lean forward, the more your chest muscles are engaged.
Here’s how you can do dips with the help of a Roman chair:
- Grab the handles and push yourself up with your legs crossed.
- Slowly lower your body until your upper arms are parallel to the ground. Going too deep may put stress on your shoulders.
- With body 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 eliminate momentum.
Moreover, preacher biceps curl is among the Roman chair exercises that brings several benefits to your body. This exercise forces you into negative movement, which develops your muscle growth and improves strength.
To perform a preacher biceps curl, you need to:
- Kneel behind the pad and place your upper arms on it. Your armpit should be on the top of the pads.
- Use one or two dumbbells. Lower your forearms until your arms are stretched.
- With the power of your biceps, lift the dumbbells.
- Once 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.
Nonetheless, Roman chair back extensions help you avoid lower back pain, improve your posture, and boost your performance.
To perform back extensions in a Roman chair, you need to do the following:
- Get on the bench in a face-down position with your hips on the pad. Secure your ankles between the ankle support.
- Place your hands behind your neck or on your ribs.
- Without any momentum, lift your body.
- Lower your torso with a straight back until you feel comfortable.
Learn more: Hyperextension Exercises in Detail
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’s one of the Roman chair exercises that should be done with alertness.
Note: Don’t use a weight that you can’t handle safely and ruins 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).
9. Roman Chair Sit-Ups
Sit-ups are 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 secure your feet between the rollers.
- Cross your arms on your chest or your hands behind your head.
- With a 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
The Russian Twist is an enhanced workout that produces effective movements that target your obliques.
To complete Russian Twists in a Roman chair, you should:
- Sit on the seat and secure your feet between the ankle pads.
- Lean backward until your torso is approximately 60 degrees to the ground.
- Keep your back straight.
- Twist your torso to the sides.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are the Roman Chair exercises good for your back?
Roman chair exercises and workouts are good for your back, especially if you’re suffering lower back and spine problems.
Aside from the back, a Roman chair strengthens your core and ab muscles. Yet, practice proper form and engagement to benefit from this workout.
Other benefits of Roman chair hyperextension involves:
- boosts your performance in any sports;
- improves your back mobility, balance, and posture; and
- helps you avoid workout injuries and lower back pain
Otherwise, people with a hernia and existing pain must always consult with their doctor.
Roman chairs work what muscle groups?
Back extensions strengthen your back muscles, erector spine, glutes, and hamstrings.
As the examples shown above, the Roman chair is a versatile piece of home gym equipment. You can use it to perform ab exercises or develop your arms and deltoids.
The best part is that you can almost have a total-body workout routine with a Roman chair.
Things to consider before buying a Roman chair
If you’re planning to buy a Roman chair, consider the following features:
- 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.
Features a training bench for a wide variety of workouts.
- Versatile equipment for at-home core training
- Gym-quality workout experience
Roman chair is an excellent alternative to the glute-ham developer because it’s cheaper.
Yet, a GHD machine provides your body with a more extended range of motion and more robust (that is why it’s used for CrossFit for trunk extensions).
To sum up, Roman chair exercises are great workouts that 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.