They say you are only as strong as your weakest link. Which is why many of us opt to look to strengthen our lower back, glutes, and spine.
This is why the hyperextension bench was invented, or as it is more popularly known, the roman chair.
If you are looking to purchase a hyperextension bench for your gym then you’re in luck… In this guide we’ll be reviewing the top models on the market in 2020, as well as giving you all the information you’ll need with our buyers guide.
Our Top Picks – Best Roman Chairs
In this list, we’re going to save you some time by listing and reviewing some of the top picks for different needs, as well as the overall best option for those who don’t have any special requirements.
Value Pick: Marcy Adjustable Hyperextension Roman Chair
- VERSATILE EQUIPMENT – This training bench can be used for a wide variety of abdominal workouts. It helps strengthen the lower back while targeting the glutes and hamstring muscles for superb definition. Carve out the rock-hard abs you’ve always wanted with this equipment that allows you to perform challenging workouts to develop your core.
- HYPEREXTENSION BENCH – The Marcy Roman Chair features a back hyperextension station that lets you position yourself correctly while performing a variety of movements. Sit and lean backward to develop your core or flip over to perform back workouts with targeted motions.
- INTEGRATED PADDING – This gym equipment comes with high-density foam, padded handles, adjustable two-foam leg holders, and polymer upholstery to accommodate a variety of workout regimens for your convenience and maximum comfort.
- PREMIUM QUALITY CONSTRUCTION – Made with a sturdy, heavy-duty tubing frame with a powder-coated finish, this equipment is guaranteed to stand the test of time! It won’t sway under your weight, as the structure’s solid frame and ergonomic style guarantee reliable stability for every workout regimen.
- GYM-AT-HOME EXPERIENCE – Whether you’d like to strengthen your core, ease back pain, improve your posture, or build your six-pack abs, the Marcy Roman Chair will bring you a safe and solid way to work on your fitness goals right in the comfort of home! Its sleek and compact design allows you to store it conveniently in a corner in conjunction with the rest of your exercise equipment. Simply tuck it into a small space when it’s not in use.
With a maximum weight support of 300lbs this roman chair by Marcy is one of the sturdiest on the market.
It’s also adjustable in the ankle area which is something you want to see in a good hyperextension bench. It also has a side assist handle on the side for grip.
The main downside is that it’s not got a hip-pad gap which is one feature a lot of people will miss. It’s also not adjustable across the length of the chair which means it might not be great for people on the much taller side.
That being said it’s still a fantastic quality hyperextension chair that is great for those on a budget which is why it gets our best for the money seal of approval.
Despite not having the coveted hip-pad gap I’d still say this is possibly the top traditional style roman chair that you’ll get on the market today.
A lot of the other options that have the ‘gap’ aren’t all that secure and are often flimsy which is why we haven’t included them on this list.
Folding Pick: Sunny Health & Fitness Hyperextension Roman Chair
- Targets the lower back, hip and glutes
- Features a sleek and sturdy compact steel frame design ideal for home Use
- Foldable for easy storage
- Comfortable high Density foam hip support pads
- Adjustable for different height Requirements, maximum weight capacity is 250 lbs
This chair is a little bit different, as it’s a 45-degree hyperextension chair.
In recent years the 45 degree hyperextension benches have become more popular as they allow you to work to a level that you are most comfortable with.
The sloping heads on the body rest mean it allows you to extend as much as you are personally comfortable with which can be safer, especially for those with prior back problems.
This is both adjustable for your height, and it also completely folds up for easier storage which is great for those with home gyms.
What is impressive is that it still has a max-weight capacity of 250lbs. As in general folding equipment loses a bit of structural strength. So this is a very good option for those who are heavier and still need storability.
For us, this is both the best folding roman chair and the best 45-degree roman chair.
Top Pick: CAP Barbell Hyperextension/Ab Bench
- Tech Specs - Assembled dimensions are 51x27x32 inches.
- Construction - Built with steel tubing allows this bench to handle heavy weight loads. Tested based on ASTM standard to hold up to 750 lbs. Recommended maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs.
- Comfort - Double stitched boxed pad is comfortable yet firm utilizing new foam material, Dual texture covering and carb compliant plywood.
- Reliability - Durable powder coat finish and zinc hardware provide exceptional maintenance-free durability.
- Flexibility - 4 training stations provide challenging workouts. Use as a hyper-extension bench, a flat Weight bench, an upper body bench and a core/Slant board.
With this bench doubling up as an ab bench and hyperextension bench you’re getting a lot of value for money.
However the features are what really make it stand out. With a maximum weight of 300lbs, double-stitched box padding for comfort, and steel tubing, it’s total quality.
It’s adjustable both for height and for leg size which is what you need, especially in a commercial gym scenario.
Unlike other options on this list it has the highly coveted hip-pad gap, and the handle area for gripping.
This gets our vote for the best overall option.
What Are Roman Chairs?
A roman chair is an exercise machine that is used as a colloquial term for the back hyperextension machine or hyperextension bench.
Roman chairs allow you to perform an exercise known as the ‘hyperextension’, which targets muscles in the lower back and glutes.
This can help increase muscle size via hypertrophy, flexibility by stretching and general movement, and strength via progressive overload. So there are more than a couple of benefits to hyperextensions.
- Erector Spinae
- Gluteus Maximus
- Adductor Magnus
It hits a wide variety of muscles in the posterior chain and hyperextensions are actually a compound exercise, which of course are the king of exercises when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck.
Buyers Guide: Important Feature Considerations
Repeat readers will know what we’re about to say… If you buy cheap, you buy twice. The reality is that if you’re in the market for gym equipment you need to make sure you’re getting quality.
What features are available for the model you’re looking at? One thing most people constantly look for with roman chairs is a hip-pad gap. This is most important for Men who want to protect the pelvic area from undue crushing.
Another important feature you will want to look out for is whether it has adjustable options. The length of the roman chair should be adjustable as we’re not all the same height, and you also want the leg rest which you counter-balance your weight against to be adjustable.
Quite simply if the bench doesn’t adjust then it’s no good.
Roman chairs with more width at the base often hold more weight comfortably, because, well physics. It’s important to make sure that you’re not buying a piece of equipment that can’t hold your weight, so always look out for weight limits when checking the product specifications.
A lot of people forget that the devil is in the details. The materials that are being used are going to decide how long the bench will last, and how much weight it’s going to be able to hold without becoming unstable or potentially dangerous. In general you want to be looking for steel tubes and the higher the steel gauge the better.
The Final Rep:
Hyperextensions are a fantastic exercise for developing the lower back and glutes and in order to do that effectively you need a good hyperextension bench (roman chair).
With our guide we’ve given you all the information you need to go out and purchase one of the best roman chairs on the market.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start hyperextending!