A Roman Chair isn't the most essential piece of equipment when starting a home or garage gym, but that doesn't mean one can't come in handy.
Roman chairs allow you to perform a variety of different exercises that will target your abs, lower back, glutes, and hamstring muscles. Below, you can find our choices for the best Roman Chair for sale.
Our Picks for the Best Roman Chair for Sale
What is a Roman Chair/Back Extension Machine?
A Roman chair or back extension machine are types of exercise equipment usually used for targeting the core muscle groups. While called a "chair" or "machine", they are not something you sit on or that use power. Instead, you secure your lower legs in a padded area and your upper legs also rest on a pad.
Roman chairs can be available in either a flat or 45 degree angle. The angled version is usually a little more comfortable and easier for beginners. It is also easier for targeting other muscles, such as the obliques.
A Buyers' Guide - What to look for
So, you've decided you need a dedicated piece of equipment for you muscles in the midsection. A Roman chair or back extension machine is a great choice, but there are a lot of options to consider.
- Weight Capacity
- Adjustability and Versatility
Roman chairs and back extension equipment can be very reasonably priced if you know what you are looking for. While not quite as good as big and fancy as commercial glute ham developers, they can serve many of the same uses.
High quality glute ham developers can easily get into the $500 or more range, which is a bit much for a "nice, not need" piece of home gym equipment. The top Roman chair and back extension machines for home gyms can come in $75-$100 range. Is that worth it to you? It depends on how frequently you will use it and how much available space you have.
Paying attention to the weight capacity when shopping for Roman chairs or back extension machines can be crucial if you are a larger individual. Ideally, you'd have a significant amount of weight difference between your body weight and the maximum capacity.
Having a machine with a heavier capacity is smart for both safety and practical reasons. Remember, you'll want to be able to add resistance to your body weight - dumbbells, weight plates, or other options. You'll want to add this resistance to your weight when comparing to capacity.
Space is crucial when you have a home gym. You'll want to have the dimensions of the chair in mind when deciding if you have enough space. You'll also need a decent amount of extra room, as part of your upper body will be hanging over the chair.
Some machines, like the Titan Fitness Back Hyper Extension/Roman Chair, are foldable. This allows you to save space by tucking it away in a smaller area when not in use. Generally, when they are able to be folded, they are also easier to transfer.
Adjustability & Versatility
If you have multiple people working out in your home gym, you'll want to make sure whatever item you choose is adjustable and able to fit different height and weight groups. After all, any equipment is useless if it doesn't fit.
It also helps if the equipment is versatile. You'll want to be able to use it from a variety of angles and target your abdominals, obliques and your lower back.
While a Roman chair or back extension machine likely won't be your most expensive piece of equipment, you'll still want to have a quality warranty. You wouldn't want to lose any of your equipment to damages, especially recent purchases.
While you can do many different exercises and tweaks of traditional exercises on a Roman chair, the main benefit are traditional core exercises. These may not be the most exciting items in your workout program, but they are staples of the weight room.
Back extensions are probably the most common exercise for a Roman chair. This is an excellent exercise for lower back development while also targeting the glutes and hamstrings. A weight plate or dumbbell can be used for added resistance. These can be done on a flat or angled Roman chair.
The obliques are one of the best muscle groups to target on a Roman chair and can be very challenging. This exercise is generally done on a 45 degree angle chair and a dumbbell or weight plate can be held in the bottom hand for extra difficulty.
Sit-ups or Crunches
That's right, the classic sit-up is a good exercise for a Roman chair or back extension machine. This is a great way to target the abdominal muscles in a way that can be very challenging.
Again, weight plates or dumbbells can be used to add resistance. You can also perform these at an angle or with twists to target many more muscles. These put your body in a vulnerable position, so you will want to have a durable chair with a heavy-enough weight capacity.
Variety is crucial when targeting your core muscles. The abdominals, lower back, and obliques need to be hit from a variety of angles and resistance levels to strengthen the area, particularly for athletes.
Free weights and other core exercises are important to incorporate into your training program, but a Roman chair can be a great way to provide some of that variety and target your muscles in various ways.
You can target the muscles that a Roman chair hits with different exercises. The core muscles can be hit with free weights like barbells or dumbbells, as well as a variety of other machine options. Just a few of the alternative exercises include:
- Good mornings
- Bench or floor back extensions
- Standing side bends or twists
- Kettlebell swings
All of these exercises can fit into a well-rounded weight training program. A roman Chair, though, presents a specialized device that can provide extra resistance that may be difficult to get without having one. Does that make it a worthy addition to your home gym? Depending on how much room and budget you have, absolutely yes.
Our Final Recommendation
Titan Fitness Back Hyper Extension/Roman Chair
The Titan Fitness Back Hyper Extension/Roman Chair is our choice for the best Roman chair/back extension machine for sale. It is reasonably priced and solidly built. The foldability of the device is a huge boon for home gym owners trying to maximize their space.
Titan Fitness's chair is also adjustable and allows for fitness enthusiasts of various heights. It is also around a 45 degree angle which gives you some extra options in targeting your core muscle group.
The only drawback is a 250 pound weight limit. If you are heavier or want to use some extra resistance, you may consider the Cap Strength Roman Chair, which has a 300 pound limit. Either of these Roman chairs could be good additions to your home gym.