The Best Roman Chair: A Buyer’s Guide

best roman chair

Summer is approaching fast and this is the time of year everyone starts scrambling to get into shape. However, not everyone can afford a gym membership or even find time to make it to the gym three times a week and they will need to find an alternative. The best alternative to a gym if you can’t afford the membership is to start building one at home. Sure, the initial cost is something you will have to foot the bill for but after that it is smooth sailing. So, then the next step is determining what kind of equipment you want. This will almost always be determined by how much space you have. If you don’t have a whole lot of space to work with then you might have to be pretty selective about the kind of stuff you buy. Ideally, you will want something that is cost effective, doesn’t take up that much space, and will get you seeing results quickly.

If you’ve been thinking about getting in shape but don’t know what piece of equipment to buy that will give you the best results then you might want to consider a roman chair. They are small enough to fit in an apartment or small space so you don’t need to worry about it taking up too much room, but more importantly the roman chair will give you results. A roman chair, or as it is often called a hyperextension bench, is an effective way to work and tone various parts of the body efficiently.

First of all, we should probably start with the basics just to make sure everyone is on the same level and go over what this device does and how you use it before we get too far ahead of ourselves. You’ve probably seen them and maybe even have used them at the gym without ever knowing what they were called, but a hyperextension bench is a piece of exercise equipment that simply features two pads at different heights (one lower than the other). The way it is often used is by laying your upper body over the higher and larger pad, which will support your hips, and then hooking your legs around the lower one. Then you lean forward until your body weight is being supported by your hips and lower back muscles and bend forward and rise up. That’s it. This device can work your abdominal muscles, but is primarily used to strengthen your back and core and the fitness results are amazing. This is not something you have to keep at for months before you can start seeing and feeling a difference; there will be immediate benefits within weeks.

Don’t have time to read the whole articles? Here are the top 5 best roman chairs:

  1. Titan Fitness Glute Hamstring Developer Exercise Machine
  2. Marcy Roman Chair

  3. XMark 11-Gauge Roman Chair XM-7456

  4. BodyCraft F670 Hyper-Extension / Roman Chair

  5. CAP Strength Roman Chair


Benefits of Buying a Roman Chair

Now that we are all on the same page and understand what is being discussed here we can start getting into some of the more interesting aspects of what can be done with these chairs. More specifically, how they will benefit you if you do anything with them at all. There are many benefits of buying a hyperextension bench and in the following section we will help you walk through the sometimes-daunting task of determining whether or not this is the right piece of equipment for you.

Getting in Shape: Honestly, we could probably write an entire article about this one alone, but getting in shape has tons of benefits on its own. But if you have chronic back pain or are recovering from an injury it can be really difficult and painful to start exercising. We feel your pain, but we are also here to give you want you need to start making changes in your life and that starts with talking about how important it is to do. So, below we are going to discuss all the benefits of getting in shape and working out those muscles. Ok, maybe not all the benefits because there are literally hundreds and we don’t have that kind of time. Let’s just say we will cover the big ten.

  1. Better sleep. There are a few reasons improved sleeping habits are reported when people start exercising but the primary ones are due to a combination of hormones that get released into the body and the need for your body to develop muscle. When you exercise endorphins get released into your body which helps you relax more throughout the day and be less stressed when it comes time to hit the hay. Your body will also be telling you to sleep so it can work on building the muscles you need without having to be bothered by your consciousness.
  1. Improved mental function. It’s it weird how much better you can think when you finally start sleeping well? This is a huge contributing factor to mental clarity, but when you become more active your body starts telling your brain to be more alert, since clearly there is something going on that requires you to be doing all this running and lifting nonsense. We really are just basic creatures when you think about it.
  1. Improved mood. Again, your body is going to start releasing more feel good hormones into your body, which will cause you to be more relaxed, and in a better mood. We also think sleep is a big contributor to this one as well but maybe that’s just because we love sleep so much.
  2. Lower risk of disease. Not only does getting in shape lower your risk or things like heart disease and developing type two diabetes (not to mention lower risk of developing cancer and a million other degenerative diseases) but it also improves your immune system, which means you are less susceptible to things like the common cold and the flu.
  3. Strengthen your bones. Yeah, that’s right. A lot of people forget that your bones are actually made of living tissues that is how they heal when fractured or broken. And like any other living tissue in your body you can strengthen it through exercise to improve bone density and help prevent the natural decline that usually happens while aging.
  4. Look Better. This one almost seems like a given, considering the reason most people start working out is to look better. But, we aren’t just talking about getting rid of a little extra flab around your waist, we are also talking about a younger and healthier you. Getting in shape can improve the quality of your skin, healthier hair, diminish the appearance of wrinkles, and get rid of those bags under your eyes for an all-around more attractive appearance.
  5. Wounds will heal faster. This is due to the release of hormones that encourage system repairs, which are needed for growing muscles. This is also because getting in shape will improve your immune system, which controls how you recover from injury or infection.
  6. Speeds up your metabolism. Enough said.
  7. Better reaction time and reflexes. Working out will improve your reflexes because you’ve been improving your muscle fibers, which will allow them to respond to stimuli more readily.
  8. Improved flexibility. Similar to the reasons your reflexes improve your flexibility will improve because your muscles have become more accustomed to being under strain and are prepared to respond. Most exercises require you to repeat the same movement several times, which loosens the joints and get the muscles to stretch and expand. One they have been stretched they are more prepared to continue to do so.

Ok, so those are some of the big reasons why working out and trying to get in shape is extremely important. We know it can be especially hard if you are recovering from an injury but if you have been injured then it really only makes exercising that much more important.

Reduces Back Pain: A roman chair isn’t just for those fitness freaks who want to show off their muscles, hyperextensions and lower back strengthening is also important for pain management. As we have discussed earlier the primary muscle groups this chair focuses on is the core, gluts, and lower back. These are all the muscle groups that will support your upper body when sitting, standing, or bending. That is why they are so important to keep toned and if they are it will reduce your back pain for two reasons. One being that your back will be strong enough to support your upper body, which will reduce strain, and the second reason, is that when your muscles are toned you are less likely to injure yourself.

Posture: Look, it is 2017. If you don’t have a job that you can do from home sitting at a desk and looking at a computer, then you are likely going into an office to sit at a desk and look at a computer. Not only can this be a major factor in developing back pain to begin with, but it can also cause an individual to develop terrible posture, which will only make your back pain worse.

This one may seem a little out of place, but trust us, it belongs here. As we said before, the muscle groups a roman chair will help you focus on are the very muscle groups you need in order to support your upper body. If you work in front of a computer screen or sit at a desk all day we are willing to bet your posture isn’t the best and you get a lot of shoulder/neck and lower back pain. This is not only because of the position of your body but also because the appropriate muscles to hold your back and shoulders upright aren’t being engaged and are probably too weak to do their job. If you improve your back muscles they won’t have any issued in supporting your upper body and keeping your shoulders, spine, and hips all aligned as they should be.

Great Workout for Your Core: Though a roman chair does primarily target your back muscles you can also use it to get great abs and gluts. It’s all simply a matter of properly positioning yourself on the chair and working your body appropriately. Although, you don’t even need to do special exercises that target your midsection in order for your abs to benefit from a roman chair. The way the chair works your lower muscles is by keeping your core under stress and tightening your muscles. This means that without even trying to focus on your stomach your midsection will be keeping those muscles tight in order to do the movements.

Space: Unlike larger pieces of equipment you won’t need a ton of space to store this device. Just a corner or spare room will do.

The Best Roman Chair

Ok, now that we have hopefully given you the motivation to get in shape by letting you know how important it is as well as covered the benefits of using this particular device we can get into which ones are the best. For us, we determine the best by a combination of features from the price of the materials the product is made out of. We will weigh the pros and cons and then come to a solid conclusion based on, well… mostly our personal opinions but, hey, we don’t have to be neutral about things if we don’t want to. So, here is our list of what we think are the top five best roman chairs on the market so you can get a good idea of the kind of options you have. At the end we have selected what we consider to be the best roman chair, in case you were at all curious. Enjoy!

1) Titan Fitness Glute Hamstring Developer Exercise Machine

Titan Fitness Glute Hamstring Developer

First up on our list we have the Titan Fitness Glute Ham Developer which isn’t a true roman chair but tops the list due to its low cost and multi-purpose use case. With the Titan Fitness GHD machine you can do everything you can do with a roman chair plus a whole lot more, all at a sub-$350 price point.

Breakdown of Features

This versatile exercise machine made by Titan is adjustable in nearly every way in order to accommodate a variety of different heights and body types and can be used to strengthen several different muscle groups and help avoid back pain. One of the leading causes of lower back pain and eventual injury is the underdevelopment of the muscles in the back and core. When these muscles are engaged it can greatly diminish the probabilities of future injury. That is what Titan is all about and they have developed their own roman style chair with this exercise machine that is made with a powder-coated steel frame and is balance on legs that spread out at the bottom making a Y shape to improve balance and stability. The thick pads are added for your comfort and allow your body pressure to be absorbed by the pads in order to lay comfortably on the device and target muscle groups. Finally, the bottom of the frame is affixed with wheels in order to make it easy to move and store if necessary.

The Good

The greatest advantage this product has to offer is the wheels on the bottom of the frame with make it easier to move or store. The reason this is such an advantage is because many roman chairs don’t feature them and since these chairs are often made from steel in order to ensure durability and support heavy weights, they tend to be quiet heave and the bulky frames can be difficult to move. The wheels on the bottom make this process significantly easier. This way it helps alleviate some of the concerns buyers might have in being stuck with a large, bulky piece of metal in their homes. Starting a gym at your home can be stressful, especially when it comes to buying steel frames that can weigh up to nearly two-hundred pounds all by itself. The irony here is that one of the primary reasons people get this particular device is to avoid back injuries and then may very well get one if the roman chair needs to be moved. Though, this is hardly a joking matter and starting the initial investment can be very stressful. Fortunately, with the Titan Fitness Exercise Machine you won’t have to worry.

The Bad

The only disadvantage this product has to offer is the price tag, which may be a little on the steep side for those who are trying to avoid the hefty cost of a gym membership. Though keep in mind that initial cost to start building your own gym from home may be rather high to begin with and it is simply a matter of making sure you get the equipment you need.

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2) Marcy Roman Chair

Marcy Roman Chair

Up second on our list is the Marcy Roman Chair, a familiar face in fitness Marcy has a history of reliable gym equipment. Don’t take our word for it though, go ahead and follow the link to see what the customers had to say about it.

  • Comfortable pads.
  • Triceps dip handles.
  • Rubber grips on base.
  • Adjustable heights.


Breakdown of Features

The Marcy Roman Chair has most of the things we would come to expect in a hyperextension bench with its comfortable pads made with vinyl for easy cleaning to the rubber grips on the base to prevent it from moving. The height is adjustable to target different muscles and to cater to people of varying statures. All around this is a great little addition to your home gym setup that will not cost you much one space, or from your wallet for that matter.

The Good

The greatest advantages of this roman chair by Marcy are twofold. One is that like many other entries on this list the design of this chair is about as compact as it can be without losing functionality, and the other major benefit of the Marcy Roman Chair is the price. This is the most cost effective entry on our list meaning those who are tight on money and space will want to go with this selection.

The Bad

The only disadvantage with this roman chair is like that of the others that have come before on this list that focused on keeping this the small. The sacrifice you have to make for having a smaller roman chair is that the supports on the bottom of the frame won’t spread out as wide as those that are designed to take up more space. The handoff that happened here is that since the supports are narrower the user runs a higher risk of tipping because the bottom isn’t quite as stable.

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3) XMark 11-Gauge Roman Chair XM-7456

Up next we have the XMark 11 Gauge Roman Chair, follow the link to check out what other people had to say about it otherwise just keep reading to see what we have to say about it.

  • Built with 11 gauge rectangular powder-coated steel.
  • Triceps dip handles.
  • 3 thick tear and sweat resistant vinyl pads.
  • Wide base for stability.
  • Adjustable height.
  • Holds up to 350 lbs.


Breakdown of Features

The XMark 11 Gauge Roman Chair uses your very own body weight to work your lower back muscles and strengthen your core. The high-density foam used to pad the rods is sweat resistant vinyl and is designed with your comfort in mind. It is very thick so you will be able to apply lot of pressure to them without any discomfort. The frame itself is made with powder-coated steel, which is not only highly durable for a long lasting product but also the powder coating helps protect the roman chair form the rust or corrosion that occurs in damp places. The adjustable heights allow the user to achieve a full range of motion for a variety of body types and heights. Finally, the base is fashioned in a wide horseshoe for increased stability and balance, protecting you from injury or accidents.

The Good

The greatest advantage the XMark 11 Gauge Roman Chair has to offer is the overall design and the materials used. We will start by discussing the design from the bottom to top. The bottom of the frame stretches far out to the sides in a wide horseshoe in order to disperse the weight from the top evenly through the base of the chair. This improves the stability of the overall device and helps to balance the chair in the center directly under your own weight. The ends of each of the legs to the frame has a small rubber cap to keep the frame in place and prevent any slipping. Moving up you will find the adjustable ankle pad which is three times thicker than your average pad found on gym equipment. The pads themselves help to absorb the pressure of your body and ease your joints while in use. They are made with tear-resistant vinyl which is very easy to clean and will not absorb sweat. The last thing we will mention as an advantage to this roman chair is the powder-coating on the steel, which is necessary if you plan on keeping it in a damp place like a basement. These three things combined make for a highly durable quality product that will last for years

The Bad

There really aren’t many disadvantages to this roman chair, though if we were forced to pick one then we would likely go with the fact that is it not very easy to move once you have it set up. Some roman chairs come with wheels so the equipment can be easily moved or stored elsewhere, however this device is likely to stay where you first put it.

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4) BodyCraft F670 Hyper-Extension / Roman Chair

Earning the number three spot on our list we have the F670 Roman Chair by Bodycraft. Feel free to follow the link and take a look at what this at home gym device has to offer.

  • Padded for comfort.
  • Adjustable height.
  • Triceps dip handles.
  • Rubber grips on base.


Breakdown of Features

Bodycraft is keeping things simple with their take on the roman chair and is idea for those who want to build their own gym at home but may be a little tight on space. We can’t all have large homes with basements or extra space, but we should all be able to enjoy the benefits of good health. They F670 features a compact design in order to fit into smaller areas and keeps the balancing legs tight underneath the body weight of the person using it as an attempt to minimize the amount of space the roman chair is going to need. The F670 has two sets of pads to help absorb the pressure of your body and places them on the leaning rest for your comfort and around the ankle rests to ease the pressure on your joints. It is adjustable to fit people of different heights and body shapes and also to help you target different muscle groups when in use. The narrow base features two pairs of legs to support the weight and keep the device balanced while in use and has rubber grips on the tip of each leg to protect you against slipping and injury.

The Good

The primary advantage of this product is the compact size that allows the user to fit a roman chair into a smaller space. Though it is still a large piece of equipment the slightly smaller size will make it a better match for those living in apartments or even renting rooms. Who says you need a ton of space to start a gym at home? Not us, that’s for sure.

The Bad

The disadvantage of going with this product is that in order to make the device more compact the legs are narrower and might tip more easily than the roman chairs with a wider base.

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5) CAP Strength Roman Chair

Coming up at number four is the CAP Strength Roman Chair. Let’s take a closer look and see what is has to compete with our entries so far.

  • Built with steel.
  • Comfortable pads.
  • Triceps dip handles.
  • Rubber grips on base.


Breakdown of Features

Once again we see a steel frame built for durability and strength. Steel is a very strong material and with this as the frame it can support more weight than those that are made of less sturdy materials so you can rest assured that the device will not falter under heavy loads. The pads are positioned for your comfort and are made with sweat resistant and easy to clean vinyl. The narrow base is designed to make the roman chair more compact and features holes on the tips of the legs which can be built into the floor to increase stability.

The Good

The major advantage to this product is the compact design, which allows it to fit in smaller areas. This chair is ideal for those want to get started on their home gyms who doesn’t have a lot of space to work with, like in a small town home or apartment.

The Bad

The big issue with going with this product is the stability. Many people who buy the more compact roman chairs often live in apartments and can’t just go around building things to the floor all willy-nilly. However, without securing the chair to the floor it might prove to be somewhat unstable as it doesn’t even have rubber grips to prevent sliding.

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Considerations Before Purchasing a Roman Chair

Honestly, the hyperextension bench is a fairly simple piece of equipment and there aren’t too many features you will have to choose between when getting one. The things you will have to consider are typically more in line with your living space and fitness goals than they are with choosing one feature over another. However, here are a few things to consider before you purchase your roman chair.

How Much Room Do You Have?

This is the first thing you should consider before getting a roman chair, since they can’t be easily packed away into a closet when you aren’t using them. They will likely need to have a place of their own where it won’t get in your way. Certainly and extra room is ideal, but not everyone has a ton of extra space in their home to fill with gym equipments. Basically, this will have to be a judgment call on your part before you purchase.

Do You Need a Roman Chair?

Well, need is a pretty strong word when it comes to gym equipment. It’s not like air or food and you won’t die if you don’t have it, however it is an enormously useful tool to have in your workout routine and here is why; it packs a lot of other workouts and equipment into one. This is ideal for using in a home gym because it does the job of several different machines and allows you to focus on different muscle groups without sacrificing half of your space for large, bulky weight lifting machines that will take you longer to get the same results. So, really the answer to this question just comes down to if you want to get in shape without having to buy three different pieces of equipment. Do you want one simple device that you can use to strengthen your core without giving up your living room to build a home gym? Yes? Then it is probably a good idea to get a roman chair.

Quick Tips Before Buying

Just like they should have drilled into your head in high school you need to stretch before every workout and using a roman chair is certainly no exception. This is especially true if you are recovering from a back injury as you do not want to cause more pain or do more damage to your back.

The Final Verdict

The best roman chair by far, is the XMark 11 Gauge Roman Chair. Yes, yes, we probably could have saved you a ton of time by just telling you this to begin with considering it was the first entry on our list, but we wanted you to take a look at everything there was to offer so you could decide for yourself if you agreed with us. The reason we like this one is because it is a really good deal for the price. It is about in the middle of the financial spectrum and it has the wide stance at the bottom we like for stability. But, if you don’t agree with us we have included the links to all the other options we talked about here today so you can go check those buying options out for yourself. Hope this was helpful and good luck in reaching your fitness goals.