The Marcy Roman chair is the most popular adjustable hyperextension bench these days. And for a good reason. It is an excellent price/value home gym equipment that does its job well. It has a good weight capacity, adjustable and stable even if it is under heavy usage. And you also do not have to be an expert to assemble it.
Since we are talking about cheap workout equipment, there are a few complaints about minor problems. For example, the guys find the pad too big while doing lower back extension, and shorter than average trainees find the distance too long between the pad and rollers. But users agree that for this cost, this Roman bench is unbeatable.
If you are on a budget and you are average tall or more, it is a good purchase without a doubt.
- Great price/value
- Good stability
- Heavy-duty frame with powder coat finish
- Adjustable foam leg holders
- Comfortable high density deluxe boxed vinyl upholstery
- Assist handles for easy mouting and dismounting
- Acceptable weight capacity
- Compact design
- Total core training
- The handles are short
- The pad is a bit big
1. No annoying wobbling
Thanks to the extended stabilizers and the rubber caps at the end, the users experience no wobbling. Even people who are heavier than usual, people over 230 lbs, say the exercise equipment is stable.
Certainly, it must be placed on a flat floor. If you have no such ground, put a rubber mat under it.
Great maximum capacity making suitable for big guys and pros
The max load this Roman chair can stand is 300 lbs which is enough for most of the trainees for at-home training. This is available because of the heavy-duty tube frame.
And if you are at an advanced fitness level, who wants to do weighted back extensions or sit-ups, that max load is enough. Let’s say you are 190 lbs. You can use a 50 lbs plate safely.
2. Adjustable ankle pads
With the help of the adjustable leg holders, you can tweak the machine to your height. This way, you can find the optimal placement for your ankles, too perform the Roman chair exercises more comfortably.
The leg holders are thickly covered with foam, so they do not hurt your feet/ankles.
3. You can assemble it easily
Putting this chair together is not rocket science since there are not hundreds of bolts, screws, and parts. You need just a wrench. Although, the instruction could be better. And, surprisingly, very few customers complain about missing parts, bolts, screws and washers. That is not so typical in case of cheap home gym equipment like this.
1. The pad is big for guys
As you see the pad where you place your hips is larger than usual. It is thickly padded and provides a comfortable surface for girls, but guys need some groin “preparation.” I mean, they have to place their balls to a safe place.
If that pad were shorter and smaller, that would not be a problem. That is why high-quality, commercial hyperextension Roman chairs have two separate pads with a gap between them.
But, from my personal experience, that adjustment is not a big deal.
2. The handles are short
The handles that help the trainee to get on and find the comfortable position would be a bit longer. Some customer thinks they are a bit short so they do not help as much with mounting. Also, because of the shortness performing the dip exercise is not so comfortable.
Is it suitable for doing sit-ups and side-bends?
Yes. Although, I prefer doing sit-ups on an ab bench because it is more comfortable. You can do side extensions for the oblique by placing one of your ankles between the rollers, and the other under the bottom one.
Is it harder to use than a 45-degree workout bench?
Yes, because you are in a vertical position. This way the range of motion is longer which is better for back muscles and core strength gain.
Marcy Roman Bench Alternatives
If you are someone who has been working out for some years, you may need a more robust back extension bench with a higher weight limit. This way, you can use additional load safely. You can get a commercial graded back extension machines such as BodyCraft F670 or a glute-ham developer.
Another alternative is getting a 45 degrees exercise bench instead of this 90 degree. Personally, I prefer the 90-degree version because I can have a lengthier range of motion. Learn more about roman chair vs 45-degree hyperextension here.
Verdict / Is it for you?
Well, if you need reliable, simple and cheap exercise equipment to strengthen your back muscles, and to perform various core exercises, then Marcy Roman chair is a good buy. It is not a gym quality product, but for that cost, it is a great deal. I think it is the best hyperextension bench for home strength training at this level.