When it comes to home exercise equipment, some machines receive much more attention than others.
Cardio and weight training equipment often command the spotlight in the gym world, with bodyweight strength training unfortunately being neglected in many cases.
One piece of workout equipment in particular that tends to be overlooked is the Roman chair.
Roman chairs, also known as hyperextension benches, are chair-like structures designed primarily for building strength and endurance in the lower back region.
However, these ‘chairs’ can also provide incredible abdominal, hamstring, and glute workouts.
If you’ve been looking for a versatile and physically challenging addition to your home gym setup, a Roman chair could be a great investment!
We’ve compiled a selection of the best Roman chairs currently available on the market. We’ve also put together a buyer’s guide, and included an FAQ section to help you through the decision-making process.
OUR TOP PICK
Sunny Health & Fitness has created an extremely effective and convenient hyperextension aid in the SF-BH6629 Roman Chair.
The steel frame design is highly durable and able to support up to 250 lbs in weight. Extra stability is contributed to this chair by the floor stabilizers, which sit evenly on the ground, minimizing wobbling.
Despite its rigid metal construction, this chair is not at all uncomfortable. The high-density foam padding on the hip pad and leg rollers provide gentle, painless 45° support at just the right angle.
The handles are also padded and non-slip for both comfort and stability.
Using the lock-and-pin adjustment system, this Roman chair can be shortened or lengthened to suit your frame.
The dimensions of the SF-BH6629 benefits from a compact and lightweight construction. Measuring just 38 x 24 x 32 inches and weighing a very reasonable 24 lbs, this chair is easy to maneuver when needed and won’t take up too much space in your home.
In addition to being compact enough when assembled, the chair’s frame is foldable for easy and convenient storage when not in use.
As far as assembly goes, the SF-BH6629 can be put together quite easily using the provided hardware. However, some customers have reported finding this hardware time-consuming to use.
- Durable steel frame
- 250 lbs weight limit
- Ideal 45° angle
- Adjustable lock-and-pin system
- Non-slip handles
- Floor stabilizers included
- High-density foam padding
- Compact, lightweight construction
- Foldable storage feature
- Assembly hardware included
- The assembly process can be time-consuming
Marcy’s Adjustable Hyperextension Roman Chair boasts thousands of positive customer reviews on retail sites due to its high-quality construction and ergonomic design.
The frame of the chair itself is made of sturdy 2 x 2-inch steel tubing, finished with a powder coating to protect against scratching or corrosion. The frame is built to support weights of up to 300 lbs.
In terms of ergonomics, Marcy has designed this Roman chair to provide optimal comfort.
The handles and leg holders are padded with high-density foam, while the upholstery is made of firm vinyl for support.
The leg holders are adjustable, so you can change their position according to your comfort and exercise routine.
Thanks to its modest dimensions of 43.5 x 27.5 x 37.5, this Roman chair will take up relatively little space compared to some other models, despite its lack of folding or storage features.
The assembly process for this chair is easy with the help of Marcy’s simple and easy-to-follow product instructions.
- Durable steel tubing construction
- 300 lbs maximum weight
- Comfortable padding and upholstery
- Adjustable leg holders
- Easy assembly
- No folding feature for storage
- Some reports of defective construction
This Roman chair from ComMax holds its own against the competition thanks to its highly versatile design.
The metal frame is strong enough to support up to 300 lbs in weight. However, strength and durability aren’t the only advantages of this chair.
This Roman chair can be adjusted to 3 angles using the adjustable knob: 30°, 40°, and 50°.
The versatility of the angle adjustment means that you can set the chair to a lower angle for ab training, or at a higher angle for back and glute exercises.
The hip support pad is split down the middle to comfortably accommodate male anatomy. The handles and leg handles are also padded for maximum comfort.
Foot pads are included at the base of the chair for added stability. However, some customers have reported stability issues, especially for people over 5”8.
This chair has a 2-step folding system for storage, meaning that it can be housed compactly in small spaces after use.
- Strong metal frame
- 300 lbs weight limit
- Adjustable 30, 40, and 50° angling
- Divided support pad for men
- Padded handles and leg holders
- 2-step folding for easy storage
- May not be stable enough for taller individuals
NJ508 has made comfort a priority with this Roman chair, so if you want to get as much enjoyment as possible out of your workout, we definitely recommend this product.
The heavy-duty steel frame is sturdy and durable enough to support up to 275 lbs. Moreover, the frame’s coated finish ensures extra resistance to impact and other damages.
The most significant selling point of this chair, however, is the thickness and comfort of its padding. The divided leather hip/belly cushion is very thick and comfortable for both men and women.
The foam ankle rollers, meanwhile, are also thickly padded with foam.
In addition to the ankle rollers, the non-slip foot pedals of this Roman chair will help you to achieve maximum stability and prevent accidents or injuries.
The height of the chair can be easily adjusted using the spring latch, with the potential for extension from 29 to 39 inches.
At 44.5 x 27.2 x 29 inches at its smallest, this chair does not take up too much space when assembled. There is, however, a folding feature which makes storage even easier.
- Heavy-duty steel frame
- 275 lbs weight limit
- Divided thick leather hip cushion
- Foam-padded ankle rollers
- Non-slip foot pedals
- 10 inches of adjustable height
- Foldable for storage
- Angle not adjustable
Hoist Fitness’s HF-4263 Dual Adjustable Roman Chair is another incredibly versatile piece of workout equipment.
With 11 adjustable height positions, you’ll be able to use this chair to perform a wide variety of exercises, and you can be confident in the fact that it will suit the vast majority of builds and frames where height is concerned.
This Roman chair is also ergonomically designed, with self-aligning roller pads and a padded seat/hip cushion. This cushion can be repositioned for both back and ab exercises.
The frame is modestly sized, measuring 40 x 17 x 23.75 inches when set up. This should be small enough to tuck into a corner without taking up too much space.
Alternatively, though, it also folds down flat for even easier storage.
An additional very convenient feature of this chair is the wheels, which allow you to tilt the chair and roll it for maneuverability.
This chair comes mostly pre-assembled. However, some assembly will be required out of the box. Luckily, this is fairly minimal and should not take up too much of your time.
- 11 adjustable height positions
- Repositionable seat/hip cushion
- Self-aligning ankle rollers
- Flat-folding for easy storage
- Includes wheels for maneuverability
- Requires minimal assembly
- The tilt angle of the seat cannot be adjusted
Best Roman Chairs Buying Guide
It’s clear from the range of products listed above that not all Roman chairs are made equal.
Different constructions and features are incorporated across manufacturers, all of which should be taken into consideration before purchase.
This buyer’s guide will go through the most important Roman chair features one by one, so you can select the model that is most compatible with your body, home, and exercise regimen.
When you perform hyperextension or any other kind of exercise on a Roman chair, you will need to be able to trust the structure to support your full body weight.
Therefore, it’s crucial to prioritize durable construction when purchasing a Roman chair.
Before we get into individual construction factors, it’s necessary to note that Roman chairs will usually come with a maximum weight limit.
It’s very important to check this before purchase to ensure that your chosen chair is suitable for your weight.
Luckily, most of the products on our list have a maximum weight limit of between 250 and 300 lbs.
The material used in the frame’s construction is what will dictate the strength of the chair, so this is an important feature to pay attention to.
As a rule, steel construction is likely to yield the most overall strength due to the strong and impact-resistant properties of this metal.
Speaking of impact-resistance, a powder coating or finish on the chair’s frame will help it to withstand wear and tear better, minimizing scratching and/or corrosion.
To ensure your safety when using a Roman chair, it’s vital to choose a stable model. A wobbly Roman chair isn’t just unsettling - it’s a safety risk.
Features such as foot pads or floor stabilizers can help to keep the chair stable on the ground, even on slightly uneven surfaces.
Height should also be a consideration here. With more and more Roman chairs being built for compact storage (more on this later), taller individuals may struggle to find a chair that has a wide enough base to remain stable during use.
If you are a taller person (approaching or over 6 ft) make sure to choose a chair with a slightly larger construction.
One of the best things about the Roman chair as a piece of exercise equipment is that it can be adjusted to your body.
This means that you can complete your bodyweight training exercises without needing to put any unnecessary strain on your back or any other area of your body.
The more height adjustment positions available on the chair, the better it is likely to fit your body.
Some Roman chairs have only one fixed angle, which isn’t necessarily a problem as long as the angle is optimal for hyperextension exercises. This should be somewhere around 45°. Alternatively, you may wish to opt for a Roman chair that allows for angle adjustment.
Angle adjustability is a great feature to have in a Roman chair because it means you will be able to perform a wider variety of exercises.
For example, a slightly lower angle such as 30° is ideal for working out your abs, while 40 and 50° angles are likely to work better for back and glute workouts.
In order to maintain the best form and get the most out of your workout, you should be as comfortable as possible on your Roman chair.
There are 3 key areas, other than foot pedals, that your body will come into prolonged contact with when using a Roman chair. These are the hip/belly pad, the ankle rollers/holders, and the handles.
Ideally, all of these areas should be sufficiently padded to minimize potential discomfort. Thick, high-density foam is likely to provide the most comfort.
Handles and foot pedals should also be non-slip where possible to minimize the chances of injury.
Anatomy is another necessary factor to take into account here. Often, the hip padding incorporated in Roman chair designs can be very uncomfortable for men, for obvious reasons.
However, if you’re a man or a person with male anatomy looking to work your abs, glutes, and back, don’t give up on the Roman chair as an option.
There are Roman chair pads specifically designed with a parting to accommodate sensitive areas.
A Roman chair isn’t exactly a small piece of equipment, so it’s likely that there will be some level of assembly required when the product arrives.
Some Roman chairs may arrive mostly pre-assembled, simply requiring the addition of a few nuts and bolts here and there. Others may need more extensive assembly.
For the easiest possible assembly experience, you should choose the level of assembly that most closely matches your level of skill and experience with hardware.
We understand that not everyone has enough space in their home to keep a Roman chair permanently set up and ready for use. For that reason, we’ve included as many compact and foldable Roman chair options on our list as possible.
A folding Roman chair will be the easiest option when it comes to storage since this feature will enable you to store your chair in smaller spaces, out of the way, when it’s not being used.
However, if you like the look of a Roman chair that does not include a folding function, the best thing to do is to check the dimensions of the product when fully assembled.
More compact builds may be small enough to store in a corner without folding.
Having talked about storage features, it’s also necessary to consider maneuverability. If you are planning to keep your Roman chair set up in the same place permanently, this probably won’t be much of a priority.
However, if you will need to put your Roman chair into storage when not in use, you will likely need to transport it, either assembled or folded, to and from the storage location.
The most obvious way to ensure ease of maneuverability is by choosing a lightweight frame. Some of the lighter models on our list weigh between 20 and 30 lbs, and shouldn’t be too difficult to move around.
The other alternative is to choose a Roman chair model with wheels included. In most cases, these wheels will work only when the chair is tilted, so you won’t need to worry about instability when using the chair.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of a Roman chair?
We’ve already mentioned that Roman chairs can be used to work out many areas of the body, including the lower back, glutes, abs, and hamstrings.
However, the benefits of Roman chairs extend beyond simply toning and strengthening your core and lower body.
Performing hyperextension exercises on a Roman chair may also yield positive results in terms of spinal alignment and back pain.
Many of us spend our days hunched over computer screens in office chairs, which can be detrimental to posture and eventually lead to chronic tension and pain, particularly in the lower back.
A Roman chair will encourage you to stretch and extend your spine whilst maintaining correct alignment, relieving tension, and improving posture.
However, if you are experiencing severe pain or suffer from a chronic condition, please speak to your doctor before using this equipment.
It’s also worth noting that Roman chairs have the added benefit of convenience. They are much more lightweight and compact than many exercise machines and are more likely than most to have a foldable storage feature.
This means that you can easily use a Roman chair to get fit from the comfort of your own home without having to compromise on space.
Is a Roman chair worth the money?
A Roman chair may not be a cheap investment, but if you want to be able to build your abs, glutes, and back muscles whilst working on your posture, we believe that it is definitely worth the money.
When professionally, durably constructed, and used correctly, working out with a Roman chair can lead to many amazing benefits, not only for your fitness and muscle tone but for your everyday quality of life.