The Roman chair may sound like an ancient torture device, but it is actually a type of exercise equipment. This low-tech machine is used for sit-ups, back hyperextension exercises and side-bends. Performing these exercises on a Roman chair helps you increase your range of motion. The increased range is a source of controversy amongst fitness experts.
Types of Roman Chairs
There are two types of Roman chairs. The most common consists of a wide pad to sit on, and a set of padded rollers to secure your feet. The pad and the rollers are supported by four metal posts. A second type of Roman chair was created in the 1980s. Instead of hooking your feet under a set of rollers, you stand on a platform. Since the feet are not in a hooked position, there is less hip-flexor compensation during exercise.
Roman Chair Benefits
The added range of motion offered by the Roman chair may increase strength and flexibility. For example, in a traditional sit-up, the floor limits your range during the extension phase of the movement. You can only return to a neutral position. The Roman chair enables you to extend beyond neutral. Additional abdominal muscle fibers are recruited to perform the flexing movements.
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