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    Exercises For Strengthening
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 Roman Chair Exercise Equipment Review
by Howard A. Knudsen, PT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
owner of a Provo Physical Therapy Clinic

Yukon roman chair Body Solid roman chair  Powerline roman chair roman chair body craft  forty five degree hyperextension 
BackTrainer.com

 Roman Chair Exercise Equipment Review
roman chair hyperextension machines
Which roman chair is best for you?

Welcome to Roman Chair Exercise Equipment Review (RCEER)—your source for overviews on back exercise equipment that include the most sought after roman chairs and newer hybrid models.

The list is based on an ongoing analysis of the popularity and effectiveness of equipment used for back hyperextension and abdominal exercises. The rankings are based on the following criteria: Ease of use; Professional reviews; Customer reviews; Brand reputation; Customer service; End-user evaluation; and Value.  I will also briefly describe the six factors involved in selecting a roman chair: Budget, Target Muscle Groups, Difficulty Level, Adjustability, Durability, and Comfort & Ease of Use.

RCEER does not endorse any of the products but simply reports on and ranks the Internet activity related to the products.

Body Solid roman chair  Powerline roman chair

90 degree roman chair hyper extension benches by BodySolid and Powerline.

Yukon roman chair

Glut-hams hyperextension roman chair by Yukon.

forty five degree hyperextension

45 degree roman chairs by BodySolid.

roman chair body craft

Combination 45/90 degree roman chair by BodyCraft.

There are a variety of roman chairs available on the market, for example:

To Help You Select a Roman Chair We Review Six Important Factors
After 9 years of selling roman chairs to customers online and also using back extension benches in physical therapy practice, I have identified six factors to consider when selecting a roman chair for your home gym or clinic.  I will briefly describe the six factors involved in selecting a roman chair: Budget, Target Muscle Groups, Difficulty Level, Adjustability, Durability, and Comfort & Ease of Use.

BUDGET
We have included two roman chairs for those on a tight budget.  I have listed the price of all roman chairs in the "budget" column.  These prices include shipping and handling.  The only other cost is sales tax for those who live in Utah.  Powerline and Cap Barbell roman chairs are our lowest priced models.

Target Muscle Groups
Variations in roman chair design help you to target different muscle groups.  Most roman chair models can be used to perform more than one exercise to work different body parts.  Variations in roman chair back extension benches help to target the desired muscle groups.

Difficulty Level
Variations in roman chair design will result in differences in difficulty level.  Obviously a 45 degree exercise angle makes it easier to perform back extension exercises resulting in less intense workouts.  What is your fitness level?  Sedentary people will want to start at the "beginner" difficulty level while more fit individuals will want a roman chair that is rated at "intermediate" or "advance." 

Adjustability
Most roman chair designs allow for size adjustments and others allow for difficulty level adjustments.  A roman chair has improved usability for different body sizes when it has more adjustability.  A couple of our machines also adjust to allow for a progression of difficulty level from beginner to advanced.

Durability
Durability is an important factor when selecting a roman chair.  Dimensions of the frame help to determine maximum body weight allowable on the roman chair.  Most of the back/ab exercise benches we carry have a multi-year or life-time warranty.

Comfort & Ease of Use
This is one of the most important factors involved in choosing a roman chair.  If a hyperextension bench is not comfortable and easy to use, then most people stop using it and let it collect dust in storage.  Comfort and ease of use are enhanced by improvements in a roman chair's design.  Innovative designs can provide improved adjustability, variation in difficulty level, and targeting of specific muscle groups.  In addition, materials used in the padding are also included in this factor.

Now let's use the six factors to compare and contrast the differences of roman chairs that we have selected in the chart below.  The roman chairs are list in order of "overall ranking" out of 5 stars.  For more information on a particular roman chair, "click" on the picture of the machine.

Top 5 Roman Chair Machines

45/90 Degree Roman Chair by BodyCraft

 

budget

target muscles

difficulty level

adjustability

durability

overall
ranking

Model#:
F670

roman chair body craft
45/90 Degree Roman Chair by BodyCraft buy

$349

roman chair hyper extension back exercise machine
Back extension or crunch sit-ups target abs, buttocks, hamstrings
 & back.  

beginner
to
advanced

Excellent!
A
djust the exercise angle from 45o to 90o position to make your workouts harder.

Frame strength and dimensions: 12 gauge steel and
2
" X 2" square.
Lifetime warranty for home use.
roman chair

Body weight capacity: 400-lb

back exercise machineback exercise machinehyperextensionhyper extensionroman chair

Is design optimized for comfort, ease of use, and targeted exercises?

Our #1 favorite! This roman chair hyperextension by Body-Craft is an adjustable 2-in-1 model that allows you to select either a 45 degree or a 90 degree (flat) exercise angle.  This means you can start with easier workouts at the 45 degree exercise angle, then progress to heavier workouts at the 90 degree exercise angle which increases the load on your abs or back extensors, buttocks, and hamstrings.  The BodyCraft has a comfortable pad that is one solid piece with a groove down the middle.  The frame is much lighter than its competition.  So, if you don't want to move around a heavy unit, this may be a plus.  If you weigh more then 225 lbs, you will feel safer on the Powertec.  So, if you are under 225-lbs. and can't decide between a roman chair at the 45 or 90-degree exercise angle, and want a lighter machine, then get this one and there is no need to buy two!
 

Glute/Ham Developer Roman Chair by Yukon

 

budget

target muscles

difficulty level

adjustability

durability

overall
ranking

Model#:
HYP-156

Yukon roman chair
Roman Chair
by Yukon buy

$279.99

back exercise machine
Back extension or crunch sit-ups target abs, buttocks, hamstrings
 & back.  Glute/ham developer.

intermediate
to
advanced

Good!
F
oam rollers are fully adjustable up & down and out & back to accommodate any size user.

Frame strength and dimensions: 12 gauge steel and
2
" X 2".
Warranty: Lifetime warranty for home use.
roman chair life time waranty

Body weight capacity: 330-lb 

roman chairroman chairroman chair hyper extension back exercise machineback exercise machineback machine

Is design optimized for comfort, ease of use, and targeted exercises?

One of our best sellers...  It was fairly simple to put together and it felt sturdy enough for my 235 lbs body weight.  The foam rollers are adjustable--up & down and out & back--to accommodate any size user.  Good for multiple users, because it is quicker to change & has more variable positioning of foam rollers, if workout partner is shorter or taller.  Thick 8" rounded pad for extra comfort.  Yukon includes a non-slip footplate built-in for safety and ease of use.
 

Heavy Duty Roman Chair by Body Solid

 

budget

target muscles

difficulty level

adjustability

durability

overall
ranking

Model#:
GRCH322
"gray"
(formally WRCH322)

Body Solid roman chair
Heavy Duty
Roman Chair
by Body-Solid buy

$299

back exercise machine
Back extension or crunch sit-ups target abs, buttocks, hamstrings
 & back.  

intermediate
to
advanced

Good!
Improved comfort & convenience with variable positioning of foam rollers: adjustable up & down and out & back.

Frame strength and dimensions: "Heavy" gauge steel and
3
" X 2".
Warranty: Lifetime warranty for home use.
roman chair life time waranty

Body weight capacity: 500-lb

roman chairroman chair hyperhyper extensionback machine

Is design optimized for comfort, ease of use, and targeted exercises?

Quick release pop pin to accommodate any size user.  Good for multiple users if workout partner is shorter or taller, because it is quicker to set-up & has more variable positioning of foam rollers.  Improved safety with extra sturdy frame: 2" X 3" frame (instead of the typical 2" X 2" frame).  Two super-thick thigh pads made of DuraFirm with double-stitched upholstery. 
 

Heavy Duty 45-Degree Hyperextension by Body Solid

 

budget

target muscles

difficulty level

adjustability

durability

overall
ranking

Model#:
GHYP345

hyperextension
Heavy-Duty 45-Degree Hyperextension
by Body-Solid buy

$299

roman chair
Back extension side crunch, or sit-ups target obliques, buttocks, hamstrings
 & back.

beginner
to intermediate

Good!
Telescoping thigh pads adjust for any size user.

Frame strength and dimensions: "Heavy" gauge steel and
3
" X 2".
Warranty: Lifetime warranty for home use.
roman chair life time waranty

Body weight capacity: 500-lb 

roman chairback machine

Is design optimized for comfort, ease of use, and targeted exercises?

Warning: This model is poorly designed or manufactured: Body Solid named this one "heavy-duty" but maybe it should be called "rocking chair."  I put it together correctly (I even took it apart and tried it again with the same result) and the base does not sit flat on the floor.  When I climbed on the machine and leaned over onto the thigh pads, it rocked forward.  I called the factory outlet and the rep said that you must put a exercise mat underneath it to make it so it doesn't rock.  I called and talked to another Body Solid rep and he checked their showroom model and he stated that it did not sit flat either.  They would not replace the part of the frame that I believed was bent, so we returned the item (they made us pay for the shipping). 
 

Roman Chair by Powerline

 

budget

target muscles

difficulty level

adjustability

durability

overall
ranking

Model#:
PCH24X

Powerline roman chair
Roman Chair
by Powerline buy

$249

roman chair hyper extension back exercise machine
Back extension or crunch sit-ups target abs, buttocks, hamstrings
 & back.  

intermediate
to
advanced

Fair.  Telescoping foam roller to accommodate all users.

Frame strength and dimensions: gauge of steel not disclosed and
2
" X 2".
Warranty: One year warranty for home use.
Body weight capacity: ???-lb

roman chairextension back exercise

Is design optimized for comfort, ease of use, and targeted exercises?

This roman chair is comparable to other less expensive roman chairs.  This back extension bench will work fine for light weight individuals.  I do not recommend this unit for people over 160lbs.  For heavier users it will be uncomfortable secondary to less cushion in thigh pads.

Click here to visit to BackTrainer.com


Roman Chair Hyperextension Exercise for Spine Rehabilitation Vs. Fitness
The purpose of your decision to get a roman chair will help determine which hyperextension bench is right for you.  In general, some people choose to exercise with a roman chair as part of an overall fitness program, while others may use a roman chair to help with spinal rehabilitation (strengthening the back tends to help reduce back pain in many individuals). 

If you are choosing a roman chair for spine rehabilitation, then you may be interested in this back exercise program: Ofeldt Back Exercise Program.  (When you purchase a machine for spine rehabilitation at BackTrainer.com, you will also receive the back exercise program on video CD.)

back exercises for strengthening

 

 

back exercise progression

Click here to see larger view of image!

 
 

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Last update:
 Tuesday April 06, 2010

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