how to use a Roman Chair | Advantage & Disadvantages

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Gym training equipment can sometimes make you feel dizzy. As a rule, you know how to practice it, although there may always be questions.

A good example is the Roman chair. How to properly and fully use it in your training? What muscles can we train on it and how to do it?

What does a Roman chair look like?

Almost every fitness club and gym has at least one Roman chair or 45 degree roman chair. Many gym attenders also consider a bench with backrests for back crunches to be a Roman chair.

The original high quality Roman chair has no back support. Consists of:

  • handles (for struggling with the legs),
  • adjustable support for the quadriceps thigh muscles also called hip pads,
  • steel frame.

It should also be made of high quality materials.

How to practice in a Roman chair?

This in many cases will depend on the muscles you want to train. For exercises on a Roman chair, we mainly use the weight of our own body, however, we can add additional weights. The basic exercise for which this equipment is a one focused on strengthening the upper body: lumbar region of the back and spine extensors.

  • The exercise consists of making a slope forward while maintaining the natural curvature of the spine (as deep as our body allows us, and more specifically stretching of the lumbar and double-headed thigh muscles).
  • Then we return to the starting position, extending the torso. To do it correctly, we must remember not to do a hyperextension of the torso in the final stage of movement and that during the movement. The cervical spine should also be in a natural position (do not shoot the head back).
  • Keep your arms crossed over your chest during movement.
  • The movement should be smooth, without jerking.
  • If the exercise is to be directed mainly to the area mentioned above, the support should be set at the height at which the hip spikes are located.

Roman chair - advantages

What advantages can such simple equipment as a Roman chair machine have?

  • The first advantage will be its versatility. The torso extension on the bench alone can replace exercises such as deadlift, bending legs on the machine lying, hip extensions.
  •  It is also a great way to strengthen the oblique muscles of the abdomen, and in some exercises, to involve even trapezius muscles of the back.
  • Due to its versatility, it is great as a home gym equipment, where space and funds for equipment are usually limited. Also the price for such a bench is not too high.
 Enhanced trunk stabilization and strengthened core muscles. Properly performed exercises on the bench will prepare us for heavier multi-joint exercises like exercise for ABS, that recommend Mike from Enter The Pit


Roman chair - disadvantages

In the case with the Roman chair, what are its disadvantages?

  • You unfortunately have a good chance of keeping the wrong technique of exercises on the bench. Involving specific parties in exercise requires tremendous focus and a sense of muscle.
  • Too much load, such as kettle bell, dumbbells, can cause, among others spine alignment disorder, jerky movements, etc.

Who is the Roman chair recommended for?

It will be a good tool for beginners who want to strengthen their back muscles before they lift heavy. It is also a very good way for people who are already advanced, who have problems with performing deadlifts.

Dr. Aaron Horschig from Squat University also recommends it to athletes who recover after a back injury.


Roman chair on the back?

The extensions belong to the back muscles. But you can also meet the movement of the straightening of the torso with the movement of dumbbell rowing in the final phase of movement, which also involves us the parallelogram, quadrilateral and widest back muscles. We must remember not to overdo it here with the burden. This exercise should be considered as a supplement to one hard back training. This way of exercises recommended Monika Paez in her weekly workouts[1].


Roman chair in the gym workout

It turns out that the roman chair exercises can perfectly complement the training of everyone exercising in the gym. This equipment will work best as a way to strengthen the back of the tape (rectifiers, buttocks, double-headed thighs).

However, it should be remembered that it can also be treated as a supplement to training abdominal muscles or the back - of course with the right approach to exercise. As with any machine and tools in the gym, remember the technique in every move.

Who is recommended the Hyperextension chair for?

A Roman chair is great for any home gym and professional gym. It will be a good tool for beginners who want to strengthen their back muscles. It is also a very good way for people who are already advanced, who have problems with performing deadlifts. Dr. Aaron Horschig from Squat University also recommends it to athletes who recover after a back injury

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