Roman Chair vs. Sit Up Bench vs. Weight Bench

If you are new to workout but want to start training at home, you may find a bit hard to understand what is the difference between the various fitness benches.

But here I’m going to compare the 3 most common types of equipment: the sit-up bench, the weight bench and Roman chair (hyperextension bench). You will learn what they are good for and what are their pros and cons, it may be easier to buy the most suitable for you then.

Sit Up Bench

sit up bench

As it is in its name this type of bench is suitable for doing sit-ups. However, with this equipment, you can maximize the outcome of the exercise. Modern products are adjustable that means it enables to increase or decrease the angle of the board making the movement harder or easier. Obviously, the higher the level of the board, the bigger the resistance, the harder your abdominal muscles have to work.


  • Typically, lets you choose from many levels to perform sit-ups.
  • Suitable for doing other abdominal exercises, for example, incline leg raises, crunches, or reverse hyperextension.
  • The professional models (over $150) can be used as a weight bench as well since they have a high weight capacity and flat position. For example, you can do dumbbell exercises or even bench press with them.
  • The board and the rollers are covered with rather thick foam, so they are comfortable for you back and ankles.
  • The better benches are ergonomically designed. So, they put your body into a position that supports your lower back to avoid pain and strain.
  • The basic models are cheap (but they have a lower capacity and few adjustments).


  • Only the professional models, that are rather expensive (over $150), can be used as a workout bench because they have high capacity.
  • The cheaper models around $60 are not adjustable or just provide 2-3 levels. Also, their capacity is weak, so you cannot use them for other exercises.
  • If you are a total beginner, you may find hard to use this equipment, since it requires existing core strength. So, start with typical abs exercises on the floor such as crunches until your core gets strong enough.
  • Badly-designed equipment puts stress on your lower back.

To conclude, if you need equipment that will support your abs training at home, a sit-up bench is a good choice, even a basic one. But you have to pay a lot if you want a multifunctional one.

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Roman Chair (Hyperextension Bench)

roman chair hyperextension

Sedentary lifestyle, but also weight lifting and other workouts, put a high stress on the lower back and spine. As a result, a lot of people suffer from lower back pain and bad posture. To avoid those problems the best prevention is to make your lower back and spine muscles strong. And for that, the most efficient exercise is the hyperextension on the Roman chair.


  • Doing the hyperextension exercise makes your back and spine healthy that way you can prevent workout injuries or others from your job. Also, it helps to lessen the adverse effects of sitting too much.
  • While you can do hyperextension on the floor, doing it on the Roman chair is far more efficient because of the full range of motion.
  • Most of the Roman chairs come with dip bars. So, it lets you do the dip exercise which is perfect for strengthening your upper body, especially your triceps and chest.
  • You can do other abdominal exercises such as leg raises or sit-ups with it, but not so comfortably and safely.
  • It may help to lose fat around your waist and hips.
  • Simple equipment is not expensive.


  • If you already have back or spine problems such as a hernia, it is not recommended to use it. But consult with your doctor before.
  • It can be only used for one purpose doing hyperextension. Hardly any other exercises can be done with it.

To sum up, if you need an exercise equipment to make your lower back and spine strong to avoid future problems, a Roman chair is certainly a good buy for you. But it is not a multipurpose equipment.

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Weight Bench

weight bench

A workout bench is a high capacity equipment that is essential for a home gym. With the help of it, you can do the most efficient dumbbell exercises such chest flyes or chest press. Also, it is mandatory for barbell exercises such as bench press in case you have a power tower.


  • Very versatile. It can be used for dumbbell, barbell and bodyweight exercises such as decline pushups providing a full body workout at home.
  • The better models are adjustable to perform incline and decline exercises as well.
  • The high capacity lets you use heavy weights. That is important in case you would like to build huge muscles and exceptional power.
  • For an average usage, you can buy a good bench around $100. Although, extremely high capacity models cost a lot more.


  • I cannot tell any.

It is a highly versatile piece of equipment that should be in every home gym.

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If I had to build my home gym now having a small budget, I would get a good weight bench first with a pair of adjustable dumbbells. Then, I would get an Olympic weight set and a power rack once I had enough money.

Have you got any questions, feel free to ask below.