Back hyperextension exercise trains the 29 muscles of the body's core. One popular tool for such exercise is the Roman Chair, a padded piece of equipment that holds the lower body in place, allowing the upper body's weight to serve as resistance. The Roman Chair is available in a variety of models. Buy a chair with a 45-degree exercise angle or a 90-degree exercise angle.
Why Use a Roman Chair?
Increasing the strength and flexibility of the midsection and hips can benefit the body in multiple ways. The Cleveland Clinic states that "Active, exercise-oriented physical therapy is the cornerstone of treatment for people with chronic back pain." Spine-health.com agrees, "Taken together, strong 'core' muscles (abdominals, lumbar muscles, hips and gluteus) can provide back pain relief because they provide strong support for the spine, keeping it in alignment and facilitating movements." Athletes use the Roman Chair to realize physical potential. Many people use it to build a lean, attractive body.
Degree of Difficulty
Whatever your reason for use, working at the proper difficulty level is important. A Roman Chair's 45-degree exercise angle suits beginner to intermediate users; the 90-degree exercise angle provides an intermediate to advanced level workout. The key to effective core strengthening exercise is correct form. Attempting to work at a level beyond what you are capable of will result in poor form. Overloading a weakened spine can lead to serious injury risks.
Adjustable Roman Chairs have recently become available on the market. An adjustable Roman Chair allows an individual user to adapt his workout as his body progresses. It could also be enjoyed by multiple users at different fitness levels.
An adjustable chair may have additional benefits when it comes to comfort and ease of use. The PowerTec 45 Dual-Hyperextension model and the BodyCraft 45-90 model both boast not only adjustable levels of difficulty, but each can be customized to the size of the user.
Other considerations when shopping for a Roman Chair include durability, comfort, ease of use, target muscle groups and, of course, budget. Prices for new Roman Chairs range from $175 to $425. The PowerTec and BodyCraft models, for example, at $299 and $249, respectively, are middle-of-the-road in cost. Shoppers may want to research other manufacturers, including Kettler, Yukon, Body Solid and Cap Barbell.