The Roman Chair Back Extension: How To and Why [2022]

A roman chair back extension, or lumbar extension, is a great exercise for strengthening your abdominals, lower back, upper back, glutes and hamstrings. It’s important to understand how to do this exercise properly so you can avoid injury or pain.

This article will cover the steps of performing the roman chair back extension as well as some of its benefits.

Most gyms will have a roman chair or lumbar extension machine you can use for back extension. If you prefer to work out at home, a roman chair is a great piece of gear to have, and not just for back extension exercises!

A roman chair, or hyperextension bench is an lesser known, yet extremely valuable piece of gear for so many reasons.
If you’re serious about getting into great shape, check out our rankings of the
10 Best Roman Chairs and Hyperextension Benches For Your Home Gym!

What is a Roman Chair Back Extension?

A roman chair back extension is a body weight exercise that strengthens your abdominals, lumbar muscles, upper back, glutes and hamstrings.

It’s performed by lying face down on a roman chair or back extension machine with your feet hooked under the foot pads and then extending your spine until your torso is parallel to the floor.

When doing this extension exercise, be sure to keep your abdominal muscles pulled in so that you don’t over-stretch them. Also, don’t allow your hips to sag or rise too high off the pad – stay in line with your torso. You should feel the tension in your lower back and glutes as you extend.

Step By Step – How To Do Back Extensions With a Roman Chair:

Step 1:

Get Into the Starting Position!

Roman Chair Back Extension Start Position
Start Position

Stand or lay on your roman chair or back extension machine with your thighs resting against the hip pad. Your body should be positioned in a straight line with your head and shoulders aligned with your feet.

You should be resting against the pad in such a way that you can bend forward at the waist, extending your upper body over the hip pad.

Secure your feet under the ankle rollers and engage your core. Your back should remain straight throughout the entire back extension movement. Avoid arching your back during any part of the extension.

Cross your arms across your chest.

Step 2:

Inhale as you bend your upper body forward over the hip pad, bringing your chest and upper body down towards the floor.

End Position
End Position

Step 3:

Exhale as you return to the starting position, lifting your upper body and straightening your spine and shoulders to form a straight line with your feet again.

You should feel the tension primarily in your back and abdominal muscles during the back extension.

Important Notes:

Make sure to avoid arching your spine. It should remain flat and straight throughout the extension exercise.

Perform the exercise slowly and avoid hyperextending your spine at the end of each rep.

Keep your core engaged and use your abs to facilitate the motion, especially during the lifting portion of the back extension.

As with any back exercise, if you feel any pain, especially lower back pain, return to a neutral position and do not continue the exercise.

What Kind of Roman Chair Should I Use?

Using a flat, 90 degree roman chair is the standard way to perform the exercise.

To make the exercise easier if you’re just starting out, you can try using an incline, or 45 degree roman chair instead of a flat one.

Roman Chair Back Extension With Incline Bench
Roman Chair Back Extension With Incline Bench

Check out our list of the 10 Best Roman Chairs and Hyperextension Benches to see some great options!

What If I Don’t Have a Roman Chair?

If you don’t have access to a roman chair, you can do this exercise with a standard flat weight bench but you’ll need a partner to hold your legs.

Actually, you don’t even really need a weight bench at all!

Back Extension Without Roman Chair

What About Weights?

You can hold a heavy dumbbell or weight plate to your body when you do back extensions to provide more resistance and increase the difficulty of the extension.

Weighted roman chair back extension
Weighted roman chair back extension

To increase the involvement of your lower erector spinae muscles, hold a weight behind your neck or a bar on your shoulders.

Another way to increase the difficulty of the exercise, without weights is to change the position of your hands!

Placing your hands behind your head will make the movement slightly more difficult.

Holding your arms straight out in front of you (think Superman) will add even more of a challenge!

What Muscles Does the Roman Chair Back Extension Work?

Roman chair back extension exercises work the abdominals, lower and upper back muscles, glutes and hamstrings. It’s a great movement for strengthening all of these muscles simultaneously.

It can also increase flexibility in the spine as well as improve posture. This is a great exercise for people of all fitness levels.

Why Is The Roman Chair Back Extension a Good Exercise?

The Roman chair back extension is a good exercise because it targets multiple muscle groups at once. It’s a simple exercise that can be done without much equipment or specialized training.

All you need is a roman chair or back extension machine and away you go!

Conclusion

The Roman chair back extension is an excellent exercise for strengthening your abdominal muscles, lower back, upper back and glutes. It’s simple to do and can be performed without any specialized equipment as all you need is a roman chair or back extension machine. Be sure to keep your core engaged throughout the movement to maximize results. Give this exercise a try today!

– The Roman chair back extension exercise strengthens your core muscles, lower and upper back muscles, glutes and hamstrings.

– It’s performed by lying face down on a roman chair or extension machine with your feet hooked under the foot pads and then hinging forward at the waist.

– You should feel the tension in your lower back, core muscles and glutes as you extend.

– When doing back extensions, be sure to keep your abdominal muscles pulled in so that you don’t over-stretch them. Also, don’t allow your hips or thighs to sag or rise too high off the machine – keep them in line with your torso.

– The Roman chair back extension exercise works the abdominals, lower back, upper back, glutes and hamstrings.

– Back extensions can also increase flexibility in the spine as well as improve posture. This is a great exercise for people of all fitness levels.

– The Roman chair back extension is a good exercise because it targets multiple muscle groups at once. It’s simple to do and can be performed without any specialized equipment.

Key Takeaways

A roman chair back extension is an effective way to strengthen your abdominals, lower back, upper back and glutes. It can also increase flexibility in the spine as well as improve posture. This is a great exercise for people of all fitness levels.

More Roman Chair Info

A roman chair, or hyperextension bench is an lesser known, yet extremely valuable piece of gear for so many reasons.
If you’re serious about getting into great shape, check out our rankings of the
10 Best Roman Chairs and Hyperextension Benches For Your Home Gym!

Interested in learning more about roman chairs? Check out our other articles!

Roman Chair Hanging Leg Raises/Captain’s Chair Leg Raises

Roman Chair for Abs: 6 Exercises to Tone Your Core

Roman Chair Sit Ups – Step by Step

8 Great Roman Chair Exercises

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