The Roman Chair Exercises – 9 Effective Workout Programs For Sculpted Abs And Core Strength

A Roman Chair is probably the one thing in your gym that you need to build a strong core and sexy abs. most people don’t realize it but there are plenty of roman chair exercises that can give you a great looking body without any of the problems associated with other machines in your gym.

The USP of roman chair exercises is that most of them involve hyperextension workouts. What this means though is that your core is always going to be put under stress. This forces your body to adapt and keeps your midsection trim and muscular.

Best Roman Chairs 2021

Why You Need to Buy a Roman Chair in 2021

Most people hit the gym for getting a good physique. Workouts have moved away from just focusing on one body part to more compound movements. The Roman Chair strengthens the core, abs, and glutes to give your physique the classical fit look.

Several people, including me, have found the Roman chair workout regime pretty awesome for our gains. This equipment demands that your core is always flexed so it gives you really good results and in a short time. We will also talk about chair exercises for abs that can fully bring it out.

What Is A Roman Chair?

A roman chair has 2 pads at different heights and different sizes. The larger pad is to support your hip/back and the smaller one where you can hook your legs for various exercises.

The most popular position with this is the face-down, heel hooked and hinge upwards and downwards to work out the lower back. Alternatively, you can also use this for glutes, hamstrings, and abdominals. Hence the unofficial name, glute-ham developer.

The main areas targeted by the Roman chair are:

  • Abdominals
  • Back area
  • Glutes and hamstrings

Let’s move on and look at how you are going to get close to your fitness goals with the help of the Roman chair abs and back workouts.

Benefits Of Roman Chair Workout

Improve posture using Roman Chair

Improve posture using Roman Chair

Most of us have jobs where we are sitting at a desk about 90% of the time. There are several studies that have found out problems with sitting continuously for more than a period of time. Not to mention bad posture that we eventually pick up during very stressful hours. So how do we undo the damage that has beset our body? Back extensions carried out with the help of a roman chair can alleviate most of the problems associated with sitting continuously and bad posture.

Roman Chair for Back Pain

Roman Chair for Back Pain

Normally, this is a byproduct of the effect of bad posture and sitting down too long. Again, these are problems that a few sessions on the roman chair can fix. Hyperextensions increases lower back mobility and strengthens your abs and back muscles. This results in lesser stress on the spine when you have to sit. This is also and added advantage when you consider powerlifting.

Sometimes sciatica appears with back pain. Sciatica pain is a common problem that can make doing your office work difficult. There’s a need for the Best Office Chair for Sciatica to remove pressure on the back. These sturdy and comfortable seats will keep you from having any extra stress during your day.

Tone And Strengthen Your Body with Roman Chair Workouts

Tone And Strengthen Your Body with Roman Chair Workouts

We have already learned that the back extension works great for your back. Because the Roman chair workouts utilize your whole body weight it also works well for your glutes, hamstrings and core. Surprisingly, people have found that working out using roman chairs can have good effect on the upper body as well. This is a whole body workout resulting in increased physical performance and ability.

Advantages of Roman Chair Exercises

There are a few simple things that you need to remember when you are working with roman chair to get the most out of the machine and your body as well. With practice, this will become second nature to you.

  • Locked Core: It’s important to keep reminding yourself in the beginning to keep your core locked and rigid. This will help you maintain a better posture as well. 
  • Pace Yourself: Most of the exercises involving roman chairs has the head going below the body, which can result in a lot of blood rushing to your head. This can make you dizzy if you aren’t used to it. If this happens, stop immediately.
  • Learn to Hyperextend: Hyperextensions are an integral part of the roman chair movements, but you need to remember that is can also backfire because of too much effort. You shouldn’t push yourself beyond parallel position when it comes to exercises on the roman chair.
  • Use Weights Appropriately: Everyone is looking to maximize their gains off their body during exercise and so they try to push themselves with added weights. But when it comes to roman chairs, remember to never add weights to the back of the head.

Most Effective Roman Chair Workouts

Roman Chairs Crunch

Roman Chairs Crunch



Isometric Glute Hold

Isometric Glute Hold

There are a lot of exercises for cores that have been replaced by much easier and softer alternatives. I just want to let you know that a Roman Chair is hard mode. You are not going to find places to hide when you hit this unforgiving piece of equipment. So if you have lower back problems, do not attempt the harder exercises. It will aggravate the problem.

Ab Workouts Using Roman Chair

Roman Chair Twist

Roman Chair Twist One of the Most Effective Roman Chair Workouts for Abdominal Burn by Garage Gym

This is the more difficult movement when it comes to full-blown abdominal development. This is an incredibly hard exercise and you shouldn’t attempt this until you are properly familiar with the machine and its techniques. This can train all your abdominal muscles, obliques and lower back all in one. Though it is a tough nut to crack, you will see benefits all over your midsection in a relatively short span of time.

Roman Chair Leg Raises

Roman Chair Leg Raise an Effective Roman Chair Workout to Reduce Abdominal Muscles

There is no movement like during leg raises when the lower abs are fully allowed to flex and compress. Executing leg raises this way also minimized strain on the back and puts the burn right on the lower abdominal area. You can either do this in the default position with legs folded, or the difficult version with legs completely extended. I would suggest trying to bring your thighs as close to the chest as possible.

Roman Chairs Crunch

Roman Chairs Crunch helps to reduce your Abdominal Muscles by Garage Gym

Pull your Roman Chair to the upright position and put your pads down as low as possible. Get on the machine and hook your legs under the ankle pad taking care to securely grip it. Fold your hands forwards and lower yourself, taking care not to exceed your limits. Now, get back to the previous position making sure that you squeeze your abs on the way up.

How to Flex Your Lower Back with Roman Chair

Plate/Kettlebell Lift

Roman Chair Plate Lift Flexes your Back

The ankle pads should be at their lowest position, put a kettlebell or a bumper plate in front of the Roman Chair, get on the machine. Take care to rest your hip on the larger pad. Now lower yourself and grab the kettlebell close to your body. Take care to keep your arms locked out during movement.


Roman Chair Hyperextension Workout is a Unique Movement which Strengthens your Back

This is a unique movement which can give your lower back a lot of strength and perhaps best executed on a roman chair machine. This movement targets the back and some parts of the thighs to give you a workout that is complete and exclusive to this machine. Needless to say, if you are prone to back problems then you shouldn’t try this without advice from your doctor or physio first.

Twisting Hyperextensions

Twisting Hyperextensions is an Effective Roman Chair Workout for Flexible Backs by Garage Gym

The exercise is same as the above, but with an extra twist when you get to the top of the motion. This makes your obliques work extra hence giving you that burn.

Glute Workouts with Roman Chair

Isometric Glute Hold

Isometric Glute Hold is a Roman Chair Workout which Reduces Strain on your Back

Start off by setting the ankle pads in line with groin pad. Now assume a face-down position, fully extend your legs and lock it under the ankle pads. Now proceed to extend your upper body and hold this position for a count of 10. You can warm up before this with back extensions. Remember not to overextend and put more strain on your back.

Trunk Extensions with Roman Chair

Trunk Extensions with Roman Chair is an Effective Workout by Garage Gym

This exercise too has lowered ankle pads on the machine. Keep your leg at a 45-degree angle before you position yourself on the chair.

Before you lower into position you should cross your arms as shown in the picture in front of your chest.

Now lower your body as far as you can and lift while squeezing your glutes and pushing the ankles against the ankle pads.

Glute / Ham Developer

Glute Ham Developer is a Killer Roman Chair Workout

Keep both sets of pads aligned with each other and shorten the distance between them. Get into position, face down and bend your knees slightly.

Remember to rest your hips on the larger pad with it resting on your quads.

Start the movement by pulling knees down and push toes against the pad. Return to the starting position.

Final Thoughts About The Best Roman Chair

There are a few machines as mystifying as a Roman Chair to a lot of people which is sad because it has multiple benefits and several unique advantages. However, since Crossfit has become a huge hit, the Roman Chair under the guise of a GHD machine has made a huge splash in the fitness scene.

Now it’s become really popular and it goes by several names, Glute Ham Developer, Crossfit GHD, they’re all meaning the same old Roman Chair. The machine that has been pounding out ripped abs and magnificent cores.

It might have a lot of names, but there is no better device that can give you great results that can work with your lower back, hamstrings and glutes. If you have a home gym and this glorious piece of body sculpting goodness isn’t included in it, then you need to get it done.

There are several manufacturers who can give you top roman chair exercise equipment that can fit into your home gym without taking too much space.

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