It is not often that you find one piece of exercise equipment that you cannot live without. The roman chair is that piece of equipment! If you are looking to buy one, check out our ratings and our purchasing tips below.
Types of Roman Chairs
There are four different types of exercise equipment that are often referred to as the name “roman chair“. The table below compares each one, highlighting the muscle groups that can be exercised with each.
|Roman Chair Types||Muscle Groups||Common Names||Price Range||Buy the Best!|
Roman Chair Power Tower
|Abs, Arms, Chest, Legs, Obliques||Roman Chair, Power Tower (usually|
has arm or other element)
|$125 - $575|
Roman Chair Hyper-extension Bench
|Abs, Back, Obliques||Roman Chair|
$125 - $550
Decline Roman Chair / Sit Up Bench
|Abs, Obliques||Decline Roman Chair, Ab Bench, Decline Bench||$75 - $250|
Roman Chair Squat Sissy Squat
|Abs, Back, Legs, Obliques||Roman Chair Squat, Sissy Squat||$175 - $300|
Each one can be found in most gyms. The common feature of each of these pieces of equipment referred to as a “roman chair“, except for the first, is the ability to secure your feet in a way that allows you to use natural body weight as resistance in exercises.
Roman Chair / Power Tower
This piece of exercise equipment allows the user to do exercises targeting the abdominal muscles, obliques, and legs. Very often, you find this roman chair component integrated with a lateral pull-up bar in a “power tower”. The combination allows for a total body workout consisting entirely of isometric exercises, or exercises that use only the body’s weight as resistance. If this is the machine you were looking for, we recommend purchasing a power tower. Read our Top 5 Power Tower Review!
Top 5 Power Towers
Roman Chair / Hyperextension Bench
This piece of exercise equipment is most well-known as a roman chair but is also commonly referred to as a hyperextension bench. Because of its design, it allows a person to do exercises targeting the abdominal muscles, obliques, and back. You do not typically see any upper body exercises being performed using this equipment. One variation that you find is a 45-degree roman chair/hyperextension bench versus a 90-degree roman chair/hyperextension bench. The difference in angle between the two has an impact on how the muscles in the abdomen, back and obliques are conditioned given the position of the body’s weight while exercising. Read our Top 5 Roman Chair/Hyperextension Bench Review!
Top 5 Roman Chair/Hyperextension Bench!
Decline Roman Chair / Sit-Up Bench
This piece of exercise equipment is sometimes referred to as a “decline roman chair“, but is more commonly known as a sit-up bench, or ab bench. It is a classic and ca be found in almost any gym. Using the sit-up bench will allow you to do very focused exercises that can strengthen your abdominal and oblique muscles. From boxers and ball players to fitness models, an ab bench will do exactly what its designed to do – give you ripped abs. Read our Top 5 Decline Roman Chair/Sit-Up Bench Review!
Top 5 Sit up Bench
Roman Chair Squat / Sissy Squat
While we are not sure how this piece of exercise equipment got its name, we are sure that anyone who can complete a few sets on a roman chair squat is not a sissy. Using the sissy squat allows you to do very focused exercises that can strengthen your abdominal, oblique and leg muscles. These pieces of exercise equipment are not found in all gyms, but do offer a very rigorous workout for those interested in building leg and core muscles.
Buying a Roman Chair
Overall, if you know what you are trying to accomplish by purchasing a roman chair, let us help you pick the best one! If you are a bit unsure about what particular piece of equipment you want to purchase, we are here to help. When buying any piece of exercise equipment, you have to decide:
- what your needs are given your fitness goals;
- how the equipment meets your needs and helps you reach your goals; and
- how much you value the ability to meet that goal.
When considering the purchase of a roman chair, what should you take into consideration? We recommend three things: Durability and Ease of Use; Versatility, and Affordability.
Durability and Ease of Use
Durability is important to consider when you want to buy a roman chair or any other exercise equipment. The more sturdy and durable it is, the longer it will last you and the more it will stand up to hardcore use. Usually, the more durable a piece of equipment is, the more expensive it can be because of the heavier duty, sometimes higher quality materials used. Apart from durability, ease of use is important. Many pieces of exercise equipment require you to assemble them yourself. Fortunately, the roman chair and its variations are all very easy to assemble. Many options available are durable enough to meet the needs of the casual user and there are very heavy duty options for anyone looking to purchase the equipment for a gym or use in a shared space.
Many pieces of exercise equipment have one exercise they are made for and that is all you can use them for. Other pieces of equipment are made for a single exercise, but with using additional equipment such as weights or other items, they can be used for multiple exercises. This is what we call versatility – the ability to use a piece of exercise equipment for multiple things. Sometimes, it may be that the design of the equipment itself makes it very useful for multiple exercises. This is also an example of versatility. While the power tower, a variation on the traditional roman chair, is very versatile, the roman chair squat, or sissy squat, is not. This is important to consider when making a purchase. Buy what meets your needs and helps you reach your goals!
You could very easily break the bank buying specialized exercise equipment. You can also not spend enough and end up with cheap equipment that is not very durable and breaks before you get the appropriate amount of use from it. When you are considering the purchase of exercise equipment like the roman chair or any other item, decide what your budget is and buy the most durable, versatile piece of equipment you can that will help you reach your goals.