Roman chairs, otherwise known as back hyperextension benches, are one of the most underrated pieces of gym equipment, in our opinion. Many home gyms don’t have them, but they absolutely should! When it comes to strengthening your lower back and developing key muscle groups through the core, the best Roman chairs can be nothing short of invaluable!
In this guide, we’ll explain all the key points of shopping for a high-quality Roman chair. We’ll talk about the importance of finding one that’s sized appropriately to your body, and go over all the things to look for when you’re comparing models. We’ve also included a range of recommendations for all body types and budgets!
Read on to see which Roman chairs we recommend, and to learn why!
|Picture||Product Name||Warranty Length||Cost|
|Powerline PCH24X Roman Chair/Back Hyperextension||10 Year frame warranty, one-year warranty covers all other parts||$|
|Bodycraft F670 Hyperextension/Roman Chair||Lifetime warranty||$$|
|Body-Solid GRCH322 Roman Chair||Lifetime warranty||$$$|
Best Roman Chair/Hyperextension Bench Reviews (2019)
This Powerline model is our least expensive recommendation for a Roman chair. It’s the least we think you can spend to get something safe, comfortable, and durable. While it may not be as padded or as rock-solid as our pricier picks, it’s by far the best thing under $300. Best of all, you can usually find it for half that price!
At a price point where most offerings are crappy, generic imports from unknown brands, this is a refreshing change. Powerline products are a budget offshoot of Body-Solid, one of the best fitness manufacturers in the game right now. This might not have the prestige or lifetime coverage you get with a true Body-Solid product, but it follows the same basic design and is made by a company that actually knows what they’re doing.
Despite the fact that it’s very inexpensive, it doesn’t feel cheap. It has a sturdy steel frame with a wide base that prevents wobble. All the fittings are decidedly more rugged than the budget competition, and the positive stops on the adjustments feel secure. The frame has a powder-coated finish that stands up very nicely over time and maintains a classy look.
It has an ergonomic design with all the essentials you expect from a decent Roman chair. There’s padding for your legs and ankles, as well as handlebars for getting yourself into position. This one’s designed to be used in a 90-degree configuration, but includes basic height adjustments on the ankle rests to keep you comfortable.
It’s rated for up to 250 pounds, which is enough to cover most users. Heavier folks and those who want to work out with weights may want more, but this is more than enough for the average person.
While most inexpensive Roman chairs (and fitness gear in general) are disposable, this one’s built and insured for the long haul. It’s a heck of a lot sturdier than anything else for the money, and even for a fair amount more.
It’s also covered by a 10-year warranty on the frame, while others in the budget range aren’t covered for more than 90 days or a single year. Sure, the grips and padding aren’t guaranteed for a decade, but this is still the best investment in its category.
The instructions can be a bit bewildering if you’re not technical. Instead of steps, you just get a blown-up schematic. However, video tutorials are easy to find online.
The padding isn’t as comfortable as our more expensive recommendations.
While the 10-year warranty is great for the price range, our nicer recommendations are covered for life. They’re more expensive to buy in the first place, but you’re also guaranteed to never need a replacement!
If you’re a heavier user or planning on training with weights, you’d do well to spend a bit more for either the Bodycraft or the Body-Solid. Both of those models have higher weight ratings and sturdier frames.
You can adjust the height of the ankle supports, but not the spacing or the height of the leg padding. This one’s decidedly less adjustable than our more expensive recommendations. That makes a it more challenging to fit to your body, and also means it’s not the best choice for someone taller than 6 ft.
The ankle rests are a bit on the narrow side.
This Bodycraft Roman chair is our recommendation to the average buyer. It’s a nice alternative to the top-notch Body-Solid for those who want more versatility over roominess and indestructibility. It’s well-made, guaranteed for life, and extremely ergonomic. We love how many adjustments you can make on this one! It’s ideal for those who want to be able to switch between 45-degree and 90-degree positions.
It’s extremely versatile. All the support paddings allow for adjustments both horizontally and vertically, so you can easily suit it to your body and find a comfortable arrangement.
You can use it at either 90-degree or 40-degree angles. While the vast majority of Roman chairs only work at one position, this one is easy to modify according to your preferences.
That’s one reason we think it’s perfect for beginners–many folks find that it’s easier to start out at an incline before working up to a parallel position. This kind of flexibility also facilitates a wider range of exercises, and it’s easier for beginners to learn form in a position that requires less strength at first.
Having this kind of flexibility means the Bodycraft is also an excellent choice for family gyms where different users have different preferences. You can easily and quickly switch between configurations depending on who’s working out.
As you’d expect from something that costs twice as much, the Bodycraft has more comfortable padding than our budget pick. It’s both thicker and more springy.
It has a sturdier frame and a higher weight rating than the Powerline. This one’s rated for 300 pounds, so heavier users can use it with now worries–even using a weight.
Quality control and construction quality are excellent with this one . You don’t have to worry about missing parts or sharp edges.
It’s covered by a lifetime warranty! That’s on par with the Body-Solid model we’ve included as our ultimate pick in this category, and an excellent reason to spend a bit more for this rather than making do with a budget model. Not only will you end up with a better Roman chair, but you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you never need to buy another.
It’s not as indestructible as the Body-Solid. You’re still covered by a lifetime warranty, and there are no real durability issues with this one.
While it does offer lots of adjustments, it’s not as good as the Body-Solid for accommodating larger frames. If you’re especially tall or large, we definitely recommend spending more for the Body-Solid. The Bodycraft is a much better choice for average-sized users and those with smaller frames than average.
The leg pads don’t have all that much room between them, which can be an issue for some male users. That’s not something we’ve run into personally, but it’s a complaint we’ve seen in online buyer reviews.
This Body-Solid model is our ultimate recommendation for a Roman chair. It’s the ruggedest, roomiest, and most comfortable model we’ve ever reviewed in this category. We suggest it to anyone who can afford it–unless you’re particularly attached to having a 45-degree option (in which case the Bodycraft makes more sense).
It’s built like a tank. This one follows the same basic design as the Powerline (after all, they’re made by the same company) but its frame is ⅓ thicker. It’s seriously heavy-duty. That’s why it’s no surprise that this is rated for more weight than any other Roman chair we’ve reviewed.
It’s incredibly comfortable. Both the leg pads and the ankle rests are deeply cushioned and springy. The materials are all top-notch, and should stay clean and comfortable for years of use–even if you work out hard every day or are sharing your Roman chair with the family.
While you can’t adjust the angle like you can on the Bodycraft, you can still adjust both the height and horizontal placement of the supports.
The Body-Solid is also way roomier than the Bodycraft. While folks over 6 feet can have trouble fitting comfortably on that model, they’ll have plenty of room on the Body-Solid. It’s a Roman chair everyone can use–assuming they’re fine with working out at 90 degrees.
Like the Bodycraft, the Body-Solid is covered by a lifetime warranty and has a superb track record for durability.
It’s the most expensive of the bunch. This one’s not usually available for less than $400. Of course, that’s a lifetime investment. Still, it’s worth noting that this costs even more than the Bodycraft does.
It’s not as flexible as the Bodycraft. If you’d prefer to be able to switch angles and aren’t concerned about roominess, stick with that model!
Which Roman chair should you buy for your home gym?
If you’re on a tight budget, it’s hard to argue with the Powerline. It’s the cheapest model we recommend by far. This is the least we think you can pay for a decent Roman chair that won’t mess up your body or break quickly. It’s nowhere near as good as our other recommendations, though. Get this if you’re squeezed for cash, but spend more if you can!
We suggest the Bodycraft to folks who want the option of training parallel to the ground or at a 45-degree angle. Our other recommendations (and most Roman chairs) are fixed, so you can’t switch the angle. This is the best way to go if you know you prefer to train at 45 degrees. It’s also a great option for a family gym where users have different preferences.
Finally, we think the Body-Solid is the best Roman chair on the market right now. It’s rock-solid, guaranteed to last as long as you do, and extremely comfortable. It’s padded more generously than the Bodycraft and is much more comfortable for larger frames. You’ll pay a lot to get it, but it’s the last Roman chair you’ll ever have to buy!
Decide On Your Budget
Roman chairs can cost anywhere from $50-$500. We’ve included a range of options here, from affordable models to the best of the best. Figure out how much you can afford to spend. How often will you use your Roman chair? Will anyone else be using it? What kind of investment can you justify making?
Don’t plan on skimping! We’ve found that models under $100 are rickety at best, and absolutely dangerous at worst. It’s not worth saving a few dollars just to end up injured. Spend more for something that can actually bear weight and offer a decent amount of adjustments to keep you comfortable.
Know Your Body
As with any piece of workout equipment you buy, it’s very important to know your body when you start shopping for a Roman chair.
Be sure to know your height, and be aware of whether you have a longer torso or longer legs than most standard equipment can accommodate, if so, you want to be sure that your new Roman chair is both roomy and adjustable enough to keep you comfortable and aligned.
Likewise, if you’re on the heavier side, double-check the weight limit on any model you’re considering so that you know it’ll be safe. Remember to account for any weights you might use when you work out.
Finally, it’s a great idea to go and check out some Roman chairs at your local gym or training center to see which ones you prefer. You can usually find them in either 45-degree or 90-degree variants. Some models allow you to adjust between those angles, but most are set at one or the other. If you have a preference, be sure to know it up front! Most of us stick with the standard 90-degree arrangement, but 45-degree models can be easier for beginners to work with, and some people find them more comfortable at any experience level.
Check The Warranty
With a piece of equipment like a Roman chair, it’s hard to overstate the importance of warranty support. Not only does a warranty mean
We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to the best Roman chairs/back hyperextension benches. Now that you’ve read through all our reviews and gotten to know our recommendations, you’re ready to choose one for your home gym! Click on the links in our reviews to find out more about any of the models we’ve included here. You can also visit our homepage to find all our latest reviews, recommendations, and suggestions for outfitting your home gym!