One of the most critical steps along your journey to shredded six-pack abs is to never neglect your lower back muscles. Investing in a quality Roman Chair for your home gym is an excellent decision. It not only gives you the ability to do back extensions, but it also allows for hardcore Roman Chair sit-ups & crunches. Welcome to our guide on the best Roman Chairs.
In this guide, we share:
- Top 10 Roman Chairs for Home Ab Workouts
- Roman Chair Reviews
- The Best Roman Chair Exercises for Abs
- Bonus Tips
|#1) Valor Fitness CB-13 Adjustable Roman Chair/Back Extension Bench
|#2) Titan Fitness Hyper Back Extension Bench
|#3) Inspire Fitness Hyperextension/Roman Chair
|#4) Sportsroyals Adjustable Roman Chair
|#5) Marcy JD-3.1 Adjustable Hyperextension/Roman Chair
|#6) CAP Strength Roman Chair
|#7) Stamina | X Hyper Bench
|#8) Ironmaster Super Bench PRO w/ Hypercore
|#9) Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial Multi-Workout Abdominal/Hyper Back Extension Bench
|#10) Body-Solid GHYP345 45º Roman Chair
Best Roman Chair Reviews
Now, let’s see what current owners are saying about the chairs in our Top 10 and what we think in our individual reviews below. Be sure to stick around after the reviews for the best Roman Chair exercises and bonus tips!
Valor Fitness CB-13 Adjustable Roman Chair/Back Extension Bench
We’re big fans of Valor Fitness products and the Valor Fitness sit-up bench. It only made sense to choose the Valor CB-13 Roman Chair as our #1 pick. What we like the most about Valor products is the heavy-duty construction for an affordable price. Valor offers gym-quality gear for your home minus the outrageous price.
If you’re serious about doing Roman Chair exercises for six-pack abs, it’s vital to go all-in. The last thing you want is a wobbly chair or one you don’t feel 100% confident using. There are no worries with the CB-13 because the base is diesel, the padding is extra thick, and the non-slip footplate keeps you sure-footed.
Lastly, the CB-13 offers adjustable heights at the calf pads. This feature is a nice touch that’s not always easy to find. Overall, this is an excellent piece of gym equipment for light commercial and home use.
Titan Fitness Hyper Back Extension Bench
If you prefer a Roman Chair with a non-split bench pad, the Titan Fitness chair is one of the best available for home use. Like the Valor Fitness chair, the Titan model is more heavy-duty than standard home gym equipment for a bargain price. At the time of this writing, it costs significantly less than the Valor model.
The one major drawback is no footplate. Instead, the Titan model implements a non-slip footrest. One major advantage is how easy it is to fold up and store this Roman Chair. For the price, it’s hard to beat the Titan Abs chair. We certainly recommend it over the more popular Marcy chair if you prefer a steeper angle.
Inspire Fitness Hyperextension/Roman Chair
The Inspire Fitness Roman Chair is the most premium chair in our Top 10 and the most versatile. This fully-adjustable chair allows the user to switch between 5 different angles from 45º to 90º. Additionally, the hip and leg pads are both fully adjustable.
One of the most common complaints with Roman Chairs is adjustability. It’s a rather intense workout and the hip pads can get uncomfortable for men if ya get my drift. This chair from Inspire Fitness is sure to satisfy everyone’s needs and provide maximum comfort during all Roman Chair exercises, particularly hyperextensions.
While this chair is awesome, it’s also the priciest option in our Top 10. This may be a dealbreaker from some or a deal-maker for people who are serious about buying a piece of home gym equipment that’ll last for generations.
Finally, we want to point out that this chair is ready for both home and commercial use. Inspire Fitness backs it with a lifetime warranty for residential use and a 10-year warranty for commercial use.
Marcy JD-3.1 Adjustable Hyperextension/Roman Chair
The Marcy Roman Chair is one of the most popular on the market and an excellent budget choice for people who prefer flat Roman Chair exercises hovering around or at 90º. The obvious drawback is there’s no 45º option. We also aren’t fond of the missing footplate.
Outside of those drawbacks, the Marcy chair is a worthy option for home use that’ll undoubtedly get the job done for most people. The Marcy chair sports a heavy-duty steel frame that supports up to 300 lbs. The ankle pads allow for 6 height adjustments, and the large pad keeps workouts comfortable for most people.
All in all, the Marcy chair is a solid budget option, yet it’s certainly not our top pick. The Titan Fitness chair doesn’t cost much more and is a better piece of equipment.
CAP Strength Roman Chair
The CAP Strength Roman Chair is very similar to the Marcy chair, and it’s currently the most affordable option in our Top 10. There are several features we like on the CAP Strength chair more than the Marcy, including the footrest and double set of ankle rollers for increased stability. The split pad is also more comfortable for men who are concerned about experiencing discomfort during hyperextensions.
Like the Marcy chair, the CAP Strength chair offers sturdy construction (300-lb load capacity) for a budget price. However, overall, the Marcy chair frame is more stable. Depending on your needs, you may find that the CAP Strength chair is the best cheap Roman Chair in our top 10 for your home.
Stamina | X Hyper Bench
The Stamina X Roman Chair is essentially the same exact design as the Titan Fitness chair. For this reason, we’ll skip over offering our two cents since we already reviewed the Titan chair above.
Body-Solid GHYP345 45º Roman Chair
Body Solid manufactures two commercial-grade Roman Chairs that are of top-notch quality. The two options are the 45º GHYP345 model and the adjustable GRCH322 model. Both models are made with 2″ x 3″ heavy-gauge steel and ready for commercial gyms and home gyms alike.
One feature you may not like about the GHYP345 model is the lack of ankle pads. Instead, the machine relies on a strip of metal to catch your heels or the inside of your foot for oblique workouts. This is great for back extensions and oblique workouts, not so great for Roman Chair sit-ups and crunches when you’re facing up. For a more versatile ab workout, the GRCH322 is the better choice.
A clear selling point for both models is the impressively thick padding for extra comfort. Lastly, these chairs are built to prevent rocking and provide a higher level of stability than cheap Roman Chairs.
The Best Roman Chair Exercises for Abs
Since we’re all about six-pack abs here, let’s focus on the best Roman Chair exercises for shredding your core. Below is a list of our favorite Roman Chair exercises:
- Back Extensions aka Hyperextensions (lower back and core)
- Roman Chair Sit-Ups & Crunches (abs)
- Side Bends and Weighted Side Bends (obliques)
- Alternating Side Back Extensions
Below is a video demonstration of how to do Roman Chair Sit-Ups:
Did you notice how he didn’t go down too far? That’s a key tip to remember to avoid any injuries while doing Roman Chair sit-ups and crunches. Plus, it’s unnecessary to go down too far since there’s no added benefit.
We also want to point out how he kept his feet in contact with the ankle pads during the full workout. Oftentimes, people rock too much or disconnect their feet from the pads during the workout.
There’s no reason to rush the workout. Be sure to keep your feet stable and against the pads or firmly on the footplate/footrest during the workout to achieve the best results.
Lastly, do your best to keep your back stable. Notice how the gentleman in the video above keeps his upper body stable and focuses the entire workout on contracting his abs. Hey, he might not be the most ripped guy in the room, but his form looks better than what we’ve seen a lot of juiced-up guys demonstrating online.
The second video below shows how to safely do a back extension on a Roman Chair. Remember, it’s possible to do a wide variety of exercises to target different parts of the body. Our favorite workout is back extensions to strengthen the lower back and alleviate back pain, which the couple below demonstrates:
Lastly, we want to share a video that shows how to do hyperextensions on a 45º Roman Chair to strengthen your lower back. Overall, we prefer a 45º chair because it puts less strain on the back, and it’s so much easier to hop on and off.
Watch how she does hyperextensions and weighted hyperextensions below. She also demonstrates how to do Side Bends, which really target and shred the obliques:
When you combine Back Extensions, Side Bends, and Roman Chair Sit-Ups, you give your abs the hardest possible workout on a Roman Chair. These exercises are all far superior to doing crunches or sit-ups on the floor and will accelerate your journey to six-pack glory.
When legendary bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger was in peak condition, Roman Chair Sit-Ups were an integral part of his ab routine (*). That should give you a better idea of how effective this exercise truly is for strengthening and toning abs.
How to Choose the Best Roman Chair
If you haven’t noticed by now, Roman Chair exercises are not the easiest, and they come with some risk of injury. That’s why it’s of the utmost importance to choose a Roman Chair that won’t break on you. You might be able to get away with buying budget equipment for other workouts, but a Roman Chair isn’t something you should skimp on.
It only takes a quick look at the position of your body while doing back extensions to see why it’s critical to have a fully-supportive chair that won’t fail on you in the middle of your workout. Your body is in a very vulnerable position when doing back extensions and Roman Chair Sit-ups.
Below are the key features to consider when shopping for a chair.
A quality Roman Chair is built with heavy-duty steel. The padding should be high or medium-density foam and thick enough to shield your body from metal digging into it during your workout. Comfort is even more important with Roman Chair exercises to ensure you can focus on your workout to fully engage your target muscles.
Secondly, you want a high-grade vinyl coating that’ll stand the test of time. There’s a lot of rubbing during exercises on a chair, and inferior vinyl or other coatings will wear out too quickly. You may be able to save a few bucks up front only to have to buy a whole new chair a couple of years later, which defeats the purpose of buying a budget chair.
We made sure to examine each chair in our Top 10 and rank them accordingly to get you the most bang for your buck.
45º or 90º Chair?
A 90º chair is better suited for advanced Roman Chair users and people who are more flexible. A 45º chair is a lot easier on your back and easier to use. One of the disadvantages of the 90º chair is it takes more time & work to mount yourself before you can begin your workout.
With the 45º chair, it’s easier to hop on and off without having to worry about carefully dismounting from the chair between sets and different exercises. A 45º chair is also a lot more comfortable for Roman Chair Sit-Ups. This type of exercise on a 90º bench is not intended for beginners and may put too much strain on most people’s backs.
I know I for one love using a Roman Chair and prefer the 45º chair. I always use a 45º chair to warm up my back before all of my workouts, especially when I do squats and deadlifts. It helps me to avoid pain, discomfort, and injury.
The bottom line is to consider the level of difficulty and convenience you prefer before you choose a 45º or 90º chair. One of the coolest features of the Inspire Fitness chair is the adjustable angles that allow you to switch between 45º and 90º.
Always, always, always check the max load capacity of a Roman Chair before you buy. This is not the type of machine where’s it’s okay to go a little beyond the max capacity. Safety first is the name of the game when choosing a Roman Chair.
Similar to weight, always check the height range to ensure you’re not too tall or too short for the machine. The last thing you want to do is order a machine and find out later that it’s not made for your height. It’s also a good idea to see how many height positions the machine offers if you’re planning to share the chair with friends and family.
Roman Chairs should never be overlooked, especially by people on a weight loss or six-pack journey. It’s critical to do lower back and oblique work to get a completely chiseled core.
Aside from achieving aesthetic value, Roman Chair exercises are great for people who want to strengthen their lower back muscles to alleviate chronic back pain or prevent back injuries during harder workouts.
By following our guide and choosing one of the best Roman Chairs in our Top 10 for your home or commercial gym, you give yourself the best chance of choosing the right chair the first time!