Since the time of the gladiators there is no more effective simulator for strengthening the muscles of the back and abdominal muscles than the Roman chair. This is a classic simulator, presented by manufacturers in several variations. It is found in any gym and more than half of beginners choose it to start classes, it is especially popular among women.


What does it look like?

Despite the large number of modifications of the simulator, each has the basic elements:

  • a frame that provides structural stability at rest and when performing exercises;
  • small seat;
  • emphasis in the form of rollers. They should be upholstered with soft material, there may be several stops.

Modern models allows you to change the height of the seat and stop, change the angle of the bench  under different height. There can be compact folding models for the house and larger and stronger for the gym.

Hyperextension on the Roman chair

What exercises is intended?

Hyperextension on the Roman chair

The main purpose of the Roman chair – hyperextension, that is, stretching and extension of the back muscles, abdominals, buttocks. You can twist on it  for a specific muscle group. It is not suitable for pumping.  muscles, and is used before power load and squats to warm the body. You can do it in the Roman chair after the main training to stretch the loaded muscles.

Exercise Technique

The scheme of muscle involvement during hyperextension

An effective lesson is possible only with the correct execution of each exercise, errors lead to injuries and wasted effort. The rules for using the simulator are as follows:

  1. Adjustment. Before class, you need to move the front rollers to the level of the fold of the lower back and hips. Lower rollers lower to the Achilles tendon, leaving them slightly higher.
  2. Starting position. If the exercise is performed while sitting, then the buttocks should be located clearly on the seat, without speaking for her. Shins rest against rollers. Another embodiment of the exercises: the feet are brought under the lower roller, the upper thighs rests on the seat. Legs and back must be in line..
  3. Take a breath, tighten your gluteal muscles and as you exhale lower your torso below your hips. The angle should be approximately 60°. Round your back a little. Exhale and cross your arms over your chest..
  4. On a breath begins a smooth rise of the hull to the initial level. Lock in position. Repeat all over again.

Abdominal Exercise

The main subtleties of performing exercises: fixing at the lower point and in the starting position, as well as lowering is accompanied by exhalation, and raising – inhale. All movements must be performed at a slow or moderately slow pace..

Beginners can simplify the task a bit by reducing the amplitude of the slope. In this case, the main load will be on the muscles of the buttocks and hips.

If the activity seems very simple, then it can be complicated by pulling one leg out of the latch.  It is worth repeating the exercise with one and the other leg for an even load on all muscles.

There are several variations of the exercise. The housing can be positioned at an angle to the floor or in parallel. You can lie on your side to train the oblique muscles. For training the buttocks and biceps of the thighs, emphasis is placed on the middle of the thigh. Reverse hyperextension involves fixing the torso, not the legs. This exercise is recommended for people with back problems..

Weights can be used only after mastering the correct technique, as well as with the easy implementation of 3 approaches 15 times. How weights fit dumbbells, pancakes, etc..

If everything is done correctly, then the main load will go in the region of the lower back. This is easy to verify. After rising after class, in this zone it will be very warm, there will be a rush of blood. It will also feel like you swallowed a count..

Scheme of muscle involvement during exercise on the press

Mistakes to Avoid

Despite the apparent simplicity of all possible exercises, very often people make mistakes:

  • Amplitude too large, up to 90°. This depth of inclination can be afforded by people with a strong back, without scoliosis and other curvatures..
  • Strong deflection. A common mistake is when a person bends back too much when lifting the case. This violates the straight line and incorrectly redistributes the load. Lift with a completely flat back is also wrong.
  • Full amplitude. The trainee combines both previous mistakes in one exercise and begins to swing his body too much.
  • Leg curl. Sometimes the body tries to ease its task, and the legs bend at the knee joint. With proper training in the Roman chair, the whole body should be stretched like a string.
  • Wrong hand position. During the lesson, you can place your hands on your chest, bending at the elbow joints or wrap them behind your head. In the second case, the angle between them is 180°, and they lightly touch the back of the head, do not need to hook into a tight lock, hold it tight to the head.
  • Too much weight. To increase the load, weights can be additionally used. Many are in a hurry to increase the load from the first lesson and «rip off your back». Beginners must always idle for the first time..

All of these errors can lead to lower back and back injuries that interrupt any workouts for a long time..

The main muscle groups trained in the Roman chair

Roman side chair lifts

For training, it is important to know which muscle groups are included in the work..

Roman chair allows you to give a load on:

  • biceps or hip biceps;
  • semi-membranous thigh muscle;
  • semitendinosus muscle of the thigh;
  • calf muscle;
  • gluteus maximus muscle;
  • abdominal muscles;
  • back muscles in the lumbar region.
Many people believe that the Roman chair is primarily designed to train the buttocks, eliminate «ears» on the sides. But in fact, the main burden is on the back of the thigh and lower back. Exercise is unique in that it includes the smallest muscles that are rarely used on other simulators.

Scheme of muscle involvement during lateral lifts

Contraindications for classes

Since the main load is on the lumbosacral spine, it is not advisable for people with injuries in this department, as well as with tailbone injuries, to choose workouts in the Roman chair. If there is a congenital spinal defect, you should consult your doctor before starting a workout..

Buying a simulator

Due to its small size, ease of use with the simulator, it can be bought for home use. The reliable, high-quality exercise machine will make training safe, effective and comfortable..

How to choose the right simulator?

Among a wide range of products, you need to be able to find a really high-quality model.

When choosing a Roman bench, pay attention to several details:

  1. Frame. For its manufacture high-strength steel should be used, which has served for more than one year. Chinese models are often made from silumin alloys with a significantly shorter life.
  2. Seat and backrest upholstery. An excellent material will be synthetic non-slip leather of high quality. It should not fade or tear over time. The seams should be neat. It is desirable that the material is hypoallergenic, since the area of ​​its contact with the body during classes is quite large.
  3. Foot rest. Rollers should also have a strong coating. Inner packing – soft enough to prevent bruising after exercise. Emphasis should be comfortable.
  4. Frame adjustment. The ability to change the angle of inclination of the frame and the height of the fixing roller is desirable. All regulatory mechanisms should be simple and convenient. The ability to change the height will allow people with different height to work on the simulator.
  5. Maximum load weight. The weight stated in the simulator passport must be comparable with the weight of the person involved..


The simplest models can be found for prices starting at $ 160, and the most advanced – for 2000 dollars. The average price of a Roman chair ranges from 11 000 to 35 000 rubles in various stores. Exercise machines of this category are different manufacturers and additional features (additional emphasis).

Popular manufacturers

Sporting goods produced by many companies.

In our market you can find the Roman chair from:

  • Body solid – an American brand supplying home and professional products;
  • Oxygen – a Taiwanese company specializing in inexpensive, but high-quality equipment;
  • Kettler – German quality fitness equipment;
  • Bronze gym – German manufacturer with factories in China and Thailand, specialize in budget and mid-level products;
  • Matrix – from Johnson Health Tech Co., which offers the best training equipment. Production USA-Taiwan.

You can find other less famous brands. The main quality of the product, not the brand.

Advantages and disadvantages

Regular classes will help:

  1. Strengthen the spine. This is an important part of the body, on which the well-being of the whole body depends. Strengthening the muscles in the spine will improve lymph flow, blood circulation, and conduction of nerve endings.
  2. The formation of a beautiful posture. This will help improve your perception of yourself and others, add confidence, attractiveness. Beautiful posture – This is a workout for many muscles, including the gluteal and pectoral muscles. Roman trainer simultaneously loads everything at once.
  3. Preparation of the musculoskeletal system heavy loads and injury prevention.

The simulator has practically no drawbacks. They can be called:

  1. Increased load on the lumbar, which can lead to injury if the training approach is incorrect.
  2. More suitable for warming up. and body training than for high-quality training of certain muscle groups.

Roman bench – the simplest design of the simulator, allowing you to make simple exercises on the press more effective and correct. Before you start, you need to study the main mistakes and the technique of doing the exercises. This will make the lesson more useful and protect against injury. You need to take care of your body, the Roman chair is well suited for this.

About Author

Maik Wiedenbach

Maik Wiedenbach's training methods are scientific, proven to get results, and customizable to suit your individual needs. Let's get started. This site is associated with, and offers advice with regard to working out, exercise, nutrition, diet, health and bodybuilding.