Best Roman Chair Reviews Buying Guide: Smile, Sweat, Repeat
With garage gyms and home exercise gaining in popularity every year, fitness fans find the need to feed the addiction with new purchases and upgrades regularly. Enter the Roman Chair. Also known as a hyperextension bench, or “hyper” for short, Roman Chairs bring real value to the home gym for the diversity of body parts worked. Not just core and legs, but the entire posterior chain can get a solid workout here.
When shopping around for the best Roman Chairs, it’s not a bad idea to cross-check the Glute-Ham Raise Developer (GHD). Very similar in goal and basic design, the biggest difference between the two is the emphasis the GHD places on the glutes and hamstrings, as opposed to a little more core and back with the Roman Chair. This difference is made possible by rounded pad on the GHD upon which users lay, versus the flatter pad of the Roman Chair. The extra elevation of the GHD allows for a raising of the glutes, whereas Roman Chairs’ flat style emphasizes the erectors more. Roman Chairs are augmented hyperextension benches, and either can be used to train for CrossFit, golf, or any other athletic endeavor.
The back and core are key to healthy living, as they serve as a primary source of the body’s power. That’s why these chairs are great for everyone: Dieters, weightlifters, rehabilitation patients and more. The fact that they’re often quite inexpensive and easy to move about a home or gym also makes them a perfect buy for people of all kinds. Whether young or old, hard-core or hobbyist, the Roman Chair is a staple of home fitness.
If this sounds good, read below for the Best 5 Roman Chair Buying Guide to help choose the right one. Filled with helpful buying and exercise tips, it also contains an in-depth review of the best models.
How a Roman Chair Can Benefit You
A Roman Chair is a small, compact apparatus that is waist high and is used to target your back and core muscles. Also called a hyperextension bench or “hyper,” it has a padded seat to sit or lay across, along with leg pegs or rolls to secure the user’s leg muscles.
Ideal for performing hyperextension exercises, reverse sit-ups, leg curls and other lower body exercises, a Roman Chair provides a myriad of benefits, such as:
- Strengthen Back Muscles: Using a Roman Chair 3-4 times a week can definitely build up the back muscles. This allows one to manage and improve back problems such as arthritis, aches from sitting too long, or pain associated with strenuous activities. Proper usage eliminates aches and stiffness and increases range of motion, so you can perform everyday tasks pain free and easily.
- Tone and Tighten Abdominals: For those looking to lose weight, tighten their abs or whittle their waists, a Roman Chair is a great way to get in shape from home. These chairs isolate the ab muscles so one can trim their waist and whittle down excess belly fat. Belly fat can be bad for one’s health, and it tends to be a top concern among exercisers.
- Fortify Leg, Hips and Glutes: In addition to working the back and stomach, a Roman Chair can firm up and solidify the legs, hips and glutes. This is good for those in rehab or traction, or those who are older and dealing with hip issues. It also helps bodybuilders beef up their leg muscles, which is crucial for strength gains.
- Convenience: These chairs are small and lightweight. They can fit in an apartment, office or home, making it convenient and easy to get in a daily workout.
Top 5 Roman Chair Reviews
Our top 5 Roman Chair review is a round-up of the highest-performing, and best quality chairs on the market. These chairs/benches were thoroughly tested and here are the best different price points, to give everyone a viable and proven option.
The adjustability makes it ideal for any size person, and also lets one control the intensity of your workout. You can higher or lower the chair or footrests to make a move more challenging, for routines that never get boring.
It also helps those who are trying to rehabilitate their back or legs continually increase difficulty, getting them back on track faster.
In addition, this Stamina equipment is sturdy and compact, made of lightweight steel that won’t bend or move with the exercise. Plus, it has double-stitched nylon padded rest for easy cleaning that remains germ free and won’t tear over time, along with foam footrests that hold users in place securely.
The one down side is that assembly required. A good investment at $99, it comes in a stylish red powder coat color and can fit in any space.
Marcy Roman Chair/Hyperextension Bench (Best Value for Money)
Made from 14-gauge steel tubing and finished with a black powder coating, this unit can be used safely on any surface: rug, wood, tile and more. It can be used on people up to 300 pounds without rocking or tipping, and has foam foot rollers, for comfortable grips that won’t slip.
Speaking of comfort, the high density padded back rest can be wiped down after each use and will support and cradle the back as one moves. There are also handles on each side, for increased steadiness and the ability to perform a wider range of exercises.
The one downside with this chair is that only the ankle/foot rollers can be adjusted, putting a constraint on customization.
The dip station offers 100% versatility, so one can work out arms and chest, for a complete workout at home. Fitted with a large chest/pack pad and double foam leg rollers, it lets users firmly tuck their legs and allows for a greater variety of exercises.
The steel ensures the unit won’t rust, break or wobble as you exercise, giving it a sturdiness other units don’t come close to. It makes it great for oblique and hyperextensions, as one can twist and stretch without losing your balance.
With a max weight of 300 pounds and the ability to adjust the height, it is great in any home.
The one negative is that it needs some assembly, but it isn’t too hard to figure out, making this a good buy at $95.
Designed for a full lower-body workout, this 14-gauge steel roman chair comes with a 10-year frame warranty and a 1-year warranty on all the other components, so customers are guaranteed their money’s worth.
It has a max weight of 250 pounds and has an extra-large base, eliminating any shaking, swaying or pitching, so users can work out without fear of falling over.
The chest pad and rollers are a thick foam padding with a vinyl cover, to keep it clean and provide a relaxing feel as one works the glutes, back, legs and core. Plus, the leg rests are adjustable, so one can make routines easy or hard, depending on their fitness level.
One of the not-so-good things with this unit is that it is a bit more expensive, but it will last for years, so one will get a return on your investment.
A member of a great budget-friendly brand, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-BH6629 brings a weight limit of 250 pounds at a unit weight of only 23. Colored grey, the alloy steel piece is easy to assemble and measures 39″ x 24″ x 33″ for easy placement around the home or gym.
When folded, it only measures 12.3″ x 24″ x 43″ for easy storage. Engineered with high-density foam hip support pads and leg rollers, the Roman Chair can double as a hyper-extension unit and is the perfect fit for those who need to work their core abdominal muscles.
With a 45-degree angle, the unit is great for crunches, bends at the side, or sit-ups with a weight. Other great features include the nonslip handlebars and customizable options regarding height by way of simple lock-pin technology. Old school for sure and priced in the $70-75 range, the Sunny Health & Fitness SF-BH6629 can be purchased along with dip stations and other brand items for a package deal.
There are also some features in terms of the essential components you need to consider so you can get a chair that fits your needs and will perform like you need it to. Here’s what to look for:
Look for a chair that is light, but stable. If it is too flimsy it will move during exercise, preventing one from exercising correctly and throwing off their concentration. It can also flip and cause injury, so make sure the unit is stable and built to last.
Users really need a Roman Chair that is comfortable, so find one with thick padding on the chair rest and leg supports. Thin, flimsy padding can cause pain and pressure on the back, core or legs, making you less likely to exercise
The ability to adjust the height is paramount. If a unit is too tall or short, users can’t perform the exercises correctly. So look for one that can adjust.
Add-ons, like a small dip bar to work the chest and triceps, can be great for those looking for a full-body workout and can save money from buying additional equipment.
Easy to Clean
Ideally, one wants a unit they can wipe down and clean quickly and easily. Users will sweat on the chair and leg rolls, so ones with removable covers or absorbent materials that can be washed are good to look for.
How To Use a Roman Chair
For beginners, we have a breakdown of how to use a roman chair properly so you do not injure yourself. Our how-to guide will also make sure you maximize your routine for optimal results.
This chair is best used for the hyperextension exercise. To perform it, lie face down on the roman chair, with the ankles nestled under the footrests. Bring the pad/bench down, so the top of the pad hits the waist, allowing you to lay your thighs on it and leaving the top half of your body free to bend forward and back without restriction.
Slowly lower and raise your upper body, doing as many repetitions as you feel comfortable with. This exercise target not just your back, but your abdominals and oblique as well, for overall toning and conditioning.
You can also lie face forward on the bench/chair to do leg curls/raises forward and side sit-ups. You can extend side-to-side for hip and side work, slimming down your waistline.
Why a Roman Chair is Good For You
Overall, a roman chair is a smart investment that will improve your quality of life. Easy to use, assemble and made to fit in even the smallest spaces, they allow you to fully work your lower body in the convenience and comfort of your own home.
They are excellent for shoring up and improving lower back muscles, giving you more balance, stability and flexibility. They are also great for managing back pain and eliminating stiffness for those who sit all day or lift heavy objects, making them therapeutic and ideal for fitness.
The bottom line is these chairs are relatively inexpensive and can help with pain and diet and exercise, so there is no reason not to buy one. You will feel and look better, which is why you should buy one now for yourself or a loved one. It’s one purchase you won’t regret.
Additional Roman Chair Resources
- Best Gear for Garage Gyms
- Best Leg Machines for Beginners
- Best Leg Workouts for Women
- Best Moves for a Strong Back