If you’ve never heard about Roman chairs or hyperextension benches before, the first thing you need to know is that those are no medieval tools for torture. They are fitness tools that can benefti anyone who’s willing to train their bodies in a gym or even at home.
Roman chairs and hyperextension benches can allow you to perform Roman chair exercises, meaning a set of workouts to target the lower back, hamstrings, glutes, and core muscles.
The Roman chair usually consists of a padded bench with two leg supports, as well as a pivot point for the hips.
If you’re new to such exercises involving the Roman chair, let’s find out how you can perform them:
Roman Chair Leg Raise:
For Roman Chair Leg Raise exercises, you need to start by positioning yourself facing down on the Roman chair, secure your upper thighs on the padded bench, and hold the handles or sides for support. You have to keep your legs straight and lift them upward until they are parallel to the ground. The next step is to lower your legs back down without touching the floor with them. In this way, you will be engaging your abdominal muscles during the movement.
For Oblique Crunches, you have to sit sideways on the Roman chair while keeping one of the hips against the padded bench and your legs hanging off the side. Then, you will have to place your hands across your chest and behind your head. You will then have to lift your upper body sideways as you bring your shoulder towards your hip as you contract your oblique muscles.
Feel free to repeat the same movement on the opposite side.
Feel free to use Reverse Crunches as you position yourself on the Roman chair facing upwards with the upper part of the body resting on the bench and the legs hanging off the edge. You also have to hold the handles or sides to gain stability. Feel free to bring your knees towards your chest by contracting your abdominal muscles. For the last step, you will have to lower your legs back down without allowing them to touch the floor.
Hyperextensions (Lower Back Extensions):
In the case of hyperextension, you have to start the exercise by securing your feet under the leg supports and positioning the upper thighs on the padded bench. For the next step, you will have to place your hands behind your head or cross your arms over your chest. Next up, you will have to lower your upper body towards the floor as you keep your back in a straight position. The last step is to lift the upper part of your body back up to a straight position, a move that will engage your lower back muscles.
Back Extensions with Twist:
For the back extensions with twist exercise, you need to perform a standard hyperextension as it is described earlier. When you lift the upper part of your body, it’s time to incorporate a twist by bringing one of the shoulders towards the opposite hip. To engage the obliques, you will have to alternate sides with each of the repetitions.
For single-leg hyperextension, you have to secure one foot under the leg supports and extend the other one straight back. Place your hands behind the head or cross them over your chest. Perform hyperextensions by focusing on engaging the muscles of the glutes and lower back.
By performing Roman chair exercises, you can strenghten the posterior chain, improve core stability, as well as target specific muscle groups that exist in the abdomen and lower back.