We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Different Roman Chair Exercises?

By Shelby Miller
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A Roman chair is a piece of exercise equipment used to strengthen the muscles of the back, legs, and core. An apparatus for performing bodyweight exercises, the Roman chair pins the lower body in place during movements involving hinging or bending at the waist or hips. Roman chair exercises typically focus on the muscles of the lower back. With small variations in form, however, that focus can be shifted to the muscles of the posterior thigh and hips like the hamstrings and glutes. Other popular Roman chair exercises work the internal and external obliques in the abdomen and the quadratus lumborum, a muscle found along the sides of the waist.

Roman chair exercises are intended to be performed in the prone, or face-down, and side-lying positions. This apparatus is designed so that the body is pinned in place at a 45-degree angle with the hips and upper thighs resting on an angled pad at the top of the chair and the lower legs held under a roller pad near the bottom of the chair. In the prone position, therefore, the front of the hips and upper thighs would be pressed against the upper pads and the lower calves would be pressed against the roller pads with the feet resting on an angled metal platform. The upper pads can be adjusted to the height of the user by lifting or lowering the pads so that the tops of the pads line up with the tops of the hips.

Of the possible Roman chair exercises, the lower back extension is perhaps the most popular. Performed in the prone position, it involves lowering one’s upper body toward the floor by bending forward from the waist and then contracting the muscles of the lower back to raise the torso back up until the body is in a straight line and spine extended. Hyperextension of the spine, or arching the back at the top of the movement, is generally not recommended, particularly for those with a spinal joint injury.

A variation of the lower back extension, one that is considered safer for individuals with a disc injury or other spinal injury, involves performing the same motion but lifting and lowering from the hips rather than from the waist. This version requires contracting the glutes and hamstrings in the back of the hips and thighs to extend or straighten the hips rather than overstressing the muscles of the lower back. To do so, the exerciser maintains a straight or extended spine throughout the entire range of motion with abdominals drawn in and bends from the hips to lower the upper body toward the floor. He then actively squeezes the gluteal muscles to lift the torso back up until the body is aligned with the legs.

Other Roman chair exercises train the muscles along the sides of the abdomen and lower back, the obliques and the quadratus lumborum. A basic version is the side crunch, which involves lateral trunk flexion, or bending sideways at the waist. To perform this exercise, the user positions himself in the chair facing sideways with his weight on the bottom leg and top leg resting lightly atop of the bottom leg. The side of the hip rests against the chair’s upper pads, and the hips should be stacked — neither tilted forward nor tilted backward. Without moving the hips against the pads, the user then bends sideways from the waist so that his bottom shoulder moves toward the floor and, contracting the muscles on the top side of the abdomen, straightens the torso back up until the body is again aligned with the legs.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Talentryto — On May 15, 2014

If you are looking for Roman chair exercise equipment, you do not have to pay full retail price for what you need. There are several ways that you can save money on this equipment.

Many sports equipment stores have several major sales during the year. These events are great for finding Roman chair equipment at reduced prices.

You may also find this type of equipment at a yard sale or second-hand shop. People often update their gym equipment and sell a variety of their old items at very low prices.

Finally, you should check online and compare prices for Roman chair exercise equipment. There are many online sources available that sell this type of equipment, so you will be able to shop around and compare prices to find the best deal available.

By Raynbow — On May 14, 2014

Roman chair exercises are great for easing different types of back pain. The movements help to strengthen and stretch you back muscles which is good for most pain issues. However, before starting these types of exercises, it is important to check with your doctor first.

If your doctor decides that you are a good candidate for this type of exercise, he or she will help you find a physical therapist who will put you on a regimen of Roman chair exercises. By being advised and followed by medical care professionals, you will be sure that you are doing the exercises correctly and that they are helping and no hindering your back problems.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.