Core Strength

Roman Chairs: Abdominal & Lower Back Exercise Equipment

As fitness technology continues to progress some of the older pieces of exercise equipment have received updates to their look. When most people think of a gym they automatically think of a squat rack, bench press and maybe a couple of treadmills. However there is one piece of training equipment that does not receive the attention that it should.

This machine is called the Roman Chair and is one of the oldest machines in fitness history. This machine is designed specifically to help strengthen the lower back as well as the abdominal region. Upon further investigation it becomes very clear that the potential of this machine is almost unlimited when used correctly.

A Little History on Roman Chairs

The history of Roman Chairs is shrouded in mystery and ambiguity. Most researchers are unaware of how and why these piece of equipment received it’s name. However some historians speculate that the Roman Chair received its name from a 19th century bodybuilder named Professor Louis Attila.

The professor was well known as one of the very first professional personal trainers in the world. Many people have stated that he was one the one who designed the Roman Chair as well as the globe barbell.

Different Types of Roman Chairs

The Roman Chair became an increasingly popular piece of equipment as the years have gone by. During the early 20th century many additions and upgrades were made to the original design of the Roman Chair. There are two major types of Roman Chairs that are in use today. The first type is the classic version of the Roman Chair.

This Roman Chair has a padded cushion with a pair of rollers that you place your feet under. You lie on the cushion and perform the exercise. The second type involves a platform that you stand on which causes the movement to be harder, but also offers a more complete stretch of all your muscles.

Roman Chairs: Hyperextension and Lower Back Exercises

One of the most common exercises that are performed on the Roman Chair is the Hyperextension. This exercise mainly targets your lower back allowing you to gain more flexibility and stability in your core. A Hyperextension is performed by lying stomach down, on the pad of a Roman Chair and bend at the waist.

You should dip as low as possible to fully extend the lower back and then return to the upright position. It is important that proper form is maintained during the completion of this exercise. You do not want to jerk the movement upward and downward as this may lead to a serious lower back injury.

Roman Chairs: Abdominal Exercises

Another common exercise that is performed on the Roman Chair is the Abdominal crunch. The Abdominal crunch is one of the fundamental exercises to perform, in order for you to strengthen your core. The Abdominal crunch is basically the hyperextension performed in reverse. The user will lie with their backs on the pad and bend as low as they can. They will then bring their upper body into a crunch position and contract their abs.

Roman Chairs: Knee ups

Knee Ups are also known by another name “Captain Chairs” and are a great way to fully contract your abs. This exercises requires a standing Roman Chair with two grip bars to hold onto. There is no padding to lay or sit on which leaves your legs dangling in the air. The exercise requires you to use the strength in your abs to pull your knee up in the air.

This exercise offers you a more range of motion and a better contraction of the abdominals. There are various variations of this exercise including: scissor kicks and twist that will active the obliques as well as the lower abs.

Benefits of using Roman Chairs

There are many benefits to using Roman Chairs that will increase your flexibility, structural integrity and strength. One of the major benefits to using Roman Chairs is the large range of motion offered by the machine. This is due to the fact that you can fully extend and contract, both the lower back as well as the abdominals.

A Roman Chair offers an unique advantage over a standard crunch or sit up as it forces you to recruit more muscle fibers. The increase strength and flexibility in your core will cause you to be able to lift heavier weights in order exercises.

Roman Chairs: Safety While Training

Though Roman Chairs are an incredible machine that has a lot to offer, it is important that all the exercises are done properly. It is also important that the equipment is used properly or it can result in some serious injuries. Roman chairs can compress spinal disk in your back causing painful back spurs and a possible back spasms.

One of the best ways to prevent problematic back injuries is to perform stretches before using the Roman Chair. It is advised that a person should warm up with a set of crunches or sit ups before using the Roman Chair. This warm up will help lubricate the joints and warm the muscle up, before the exercise.

Companies that Sale Roman Chairs

In truth you are more likely to find Roman Chair in a gym or fitness facility, than at someone’s home gym. However, some people understand the innate benefits of utilizing a Roman Chair and purchase them for home usage. There are a few different companies that have begun selling Roman Chairs for home usage.

One of the fastest growing fitness companies is Powerline who is well known for their abdominal equipment. They sale a few different options of Roman Chairs that will fit just about anyone’s budget.

Conclusion: Roman Chairs

Roman Chairs are a very advantageous piece of equipment that will strengthen your core. The Roman Chair is offers you a full extension and contraction for a variety of exercises. Typically hyperextensions and abdominal crunches are performed using the Roman Chair.

However it is important to remember that these exercises can cause you severe injury if not performed correctly. Remember to stretch and do light exercises before attempting to use a Roman Chair. Finally Roman Chairs can be found in two distinct styles, that offer you a full range of motion. These Roman Chairs can be found online at most fitness stores.

Apex Roman Chair/Hyper Extension Bench

The Apex Roman Chair/Hyper Extension Bench offers you an incredible abdominal machine that will strengthen and tone your physique. These machines offers you the best in both comfort as well as a space saver. This convenient Roman Chair can easily fit in a closet or in the garage for use during workout. This Extension Bench is made from a incredibly durable leather material. The leather on this bench is both weather resistant as well as comfort.

The frame of the APex Roman Chair is made from Heavy Gauge Steel. This gauge steel is incredibly sturdy and will not break down over time. The Leg holder is made from a foam material that is incredibly comfortable for your legs. This foam will keep your legs well protected while you are going through various exercises.

The handles of the Apex Roman Chair is perfectly comfortable for gripping during the exercise. What really makes this piece of equipment awesome is the lifetime warranty on it. When compared to other Hyper extension benches this one is incredibly affordable.

Pros:
  • This Roman Chair is incredibly cost effective.
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty and   has no age limit on it.
  • Awesome and comfortable leather material
  • Heavy gauge steel frame
  • It also has an adjustable two piece frame to it.
  • The Roman Chair also comes with padded handles
  • Works incredibly well on a flat, smooth surface.
  • Pads provide comfort for your legs during a workout.
  • Steel Frame will not break down and is weather resistance.
  • Padding can be adjusted according to height
  • This Hyper Extension machine is incredibly affordable when compared to other hyper extensions.
  • This machine is perfect for those that are new to fitness and exercise.
Cons:
  • Can not be used outdoors on uneven surfaces
  • Comes with no instructional guide on how to perform exercise.
  • There is no nutritional guide offered

Powerline PCH24X Roman Chair Back Hyperextension

The Powerline PCH24X Roman Chair is an awesome piece of home gym equipment. This Hyper Extension machine comes fully equipped with a heavy gauge steel frame. This frame will negate any rocking back and forth, while you are performing the exercise. There are also four safety knobs located on each side of the frame to prevent any tipping over.

The frame itself carries a 10 year warranty, while all the other parts carry a 1 year warranty. This is the perfect machine for those interested in performing more advanced abdominal exercises. With this Roman Chair machine you can perform standard crunches, sit ups, jackhammers and even sideswipes.

What's even better is you can train other parts of your body such as your: glutes, hamstrings and even your lower back. This incredibly lightweight frame is easy to construct and without the use of instructions. Once assembled this Back Hyper Extension machine can easily be stored in storage, shed or in the garage.

Pros:
  • This Roman Chair/Back Hyper extension is incredibly lightweight
  • It is easy to put together and install.
  • Offers you an incredible variation on hyper extensions, abdominal, jackhammers, glute training, and hamstring toning.
  • Two by two gauge steel frame that eliminates rocking and tilting.
  • The Roman Chair comes with a one year warranty on all parts and pieces of the machinery.
  • The Roman Chair also comes with a ten year warranty on the frame.
  • Can be stored easily in a variety of spaces
  • Powdered coated finish makes the machine shine and is anti rust.
  • Feet pad are made from an incredibly comfortable foam roll.
  • Machinery plus parts and pieces are scratch resistant.
Cons:
  • This Power Rack/ Back Hyper Extension is a bit more expensive than other racks on the market.
  • Comes with no extra weights or accessories.
  • The padding is not included in the warranty and must be replaced once worn out.
  • Not designed for novices that are just starting to workout.

XMark Fitness Power Tower with Pull-up Station

One of the best all around Abdominal and lower back exercises is the Power Tower. The Power Tower comes with a 14 gauge steel vertical column that will keep the Power Tower steady.

This Tower will remain steady during your most grueling workouts. The Xmark Fitness Power Tower comes with two even handles that are ergonomically designed to be more comfortable. This Power Tower is great for doing knee ups and dips. On the back of the Power Tower is a chin up/ pull up bar that offers you a great addition.

This pull bar allows you to perform back exercises along with knee ups and other abdominal exercises. The Pull up bar is great as it allows you to perform close grip, wide grip and even superannuated grip pull ups. The X Mark Fitness Power Tower offers you one of the most dynamic exercise systems on the market .

Pros:
  • 14 gauge steel vertical columns that keep the Power Tower upright and secure while you are training.
  • Two ergonomically designed handle bars that are incredibly comfortable while working out.
  • Perfect for abdominal, tricep and hamstring training.
  • The Pull up/ chin up bar is perfect for back training and even offers you variations for your back training.
  • Dynamically different from most other machines on the market.
Cons:
  • The Power Tower needs to be weighed down or bolted down.
  • The Power Tower is more costly than most other towers on the market.
  • The tower is a very bulky piece of equipment that may take up a lot of space.
  • The Power Tower does not offer you an Hyper Extension option.
  • Requires you to bolt down the machine in order for it to stay stable during exercise

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