Have a bit of a spare tire or some love handles you’d like to get rid of? Body fat tends to accumulate around your waist and a Roman Chair may be the device you need to help shrink your belly. Use the Roman chair to train both your obliques and your rectus abdominus.
A Roman chair is a simple steel framed device that allows you to extend and stretch the abdominal and lower back muscles. You have probably seen people in the gym face down on the pads performing “hyperextensions”.
The chair can also be an effective tool for targeting your abdominals and core muscles.
The Roman chair has two pads at different heights and two different sizes with the larger pad designed to support your hips and or back and the smaller one for you to hook your legs under.
Here are several Roman Chair exercises with variations you should try:
Roman Chair Crunches
Place your hips on the larger pad and hook your legs under the ankle pad securely.
Fold your hands across your chest and lower your upper body backwards, taking care not to over stretch and exceed your limits.
Now, sit up (crunch) back to the start position making sure that you squeeze your abs on your way up.
Perform your crunches with a twisting motion to work your obliques
As you become more advanced in your training, hold a weight plate, dumbbell or kettlebell across your chest to increase resistance and training effect.
Roman Chair sit ups are a very similar movement with your upper body straight as you “sit up”. Keep your hands across your chest to avoid pulling on your neck and spine as you exercise.
Leg Raises or Leg Lifts
Place your hips on the larger pad and hold the sides of the pad to steady your weight.
Now lift your legs straight up and hold for a second, then slowly lower them to the start position. Your legs should be straight and the movement should be performed slowly.
If you are unable to keep your legs straight, start with your knees bent and work your way up until you are able to keep them straight.
Once you become stronger and more proficient, hold a dumbbell between your feet for added resistance.
Another variation of this exercise is the windshield wiper. Start with your feet and legs to one side and then bring your feet into the air, your feet should remain at eye level or higher and then lower on the opposite side. Then reverse and go back the other direction or complete a full circle.
Obliques (Side Crunches)
Start with either your left or right side on the large pad and your feet under the smaller pad. From this position, lift your upper body and perform side crunches to target your obliques.
You will find that the chair allows for a greater range of motion. Be sure to alternate and work both side equally.
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