Roman Chair Side Bends | Hyperextension Bench Side Bends

Obliques Roman Chair Weighted Side Bend on Bench

In this exercise guide, you will know how to do Roman Chair Side Bends on a 45-degree hyperextension bench. We hope the demonstration videos, photos, documented tips will help you learn the correct techniques and reap the benefits of roman chair side bends.

Romain Chair Side Bends Overview

Primary Muscle Groups:  Lateral Obliques Muscles ( left Obliques and Right Obliques)

Secondary Muscle Groups: Abdominals (Upper abs and Lower Abs)

Equipment Required: Bench

Exercise Category: Strength

Side Bends On A Hyperextension Bench -Guide

Obliques Roman Chair Side Bend Overview

If you youtube Roman Chair Side Bends you will find a lot of its exercise tutorials and there may be other names pointing to the same exercise which are namely:

Roman Chair Side Bends / Roman Chair Abs Exercise / 45-Degree Side Bends / Roman Chair Side-Up

Side bends on bench or more precisely hyperextension bench target your obliques primarily.

This exercise is most effective when its performed on a specially designed bench called hyperextension bench, which is a modified version of roman chair.

A hyperextension bench is simply a piece of workout equipment that has a ledge behind which you can use to lock your feet and keep yourself stable during the motion.

Originally designed for lumbar extension purpose, lately it has been famous for 45 degree side bend or side extension exercise.

The apparatus or machine offers you a pads and braces to support your hips and legs. You upper body or trunk is let to move freely.

The side extension exercise done on this side bend machine can also be done on a regular (normal) bench but in that case, you will need a partner to hold your feet to keep it from moving.

Lock feet under supports facing either the right or left side. Place hands behind your head. Lower from the hip and return to starting position. Repeat on other side.

How to Perform Side Bends On A Hyperextension Bench

This oblique exercise can be performed on two versions of bench. First is 90 degree Romain Chairs. The other one is 45 degree hyperextension bench. From our experience, roman chair side bench are a lot easier and effective on 45 degree hyperextension bench from comfortabilty aspect too.

Initial Position

  • Begin by lying sideways on a Roman Chair or 45 degree hyperextension bench with your hips and feet firmly supported and trink left to be swung freely.
  • You can adjust the seat such that your upper body can pivot easily at your waist towards and away from the floor.
  • Stabilize or support your feet on the platform provided – better cross one leg over another as it adds stability.
  • Keep your hands tight crossed over your chest or put them behind your head.


  • Once you’re ready lean slowly sideways towards the floor upto the comfortable level. Try to lower until your upper body is almost parallel to the floor.
  • On your way up, flex your obliques hard and tight and return slowly to the starting position.
  • Repeat for desired reps to complete a set for one side and switch to the other side.

Exercise Key Points To Remember

  • Rest your hips comfortably against the pad
  • Perform lateral leaning movement and focus on flexing your oblique muscles.
  • Avoid any rotating motion of your upper body and only focus on sideways motion.
  • Stretching is the key. Thus, lower the body as far as you can to make sure the target muscles(obliques) get required stretch to the maximum potential.
  • Do not use momentum as it can lead to injury. Focus on slow and controlled reps.
  • Raising the trunk farther than neutral position increase the muscles activity. Try to go 30-45 degree past the neutral position.
  • Keep your knees straight throughout the movement and let your upper body and spinal muscles do all the work.
  • Keep your knees straight to ensure that the hip joint muscles stabilize the pelvic girdle and that the trunk and spinal muscles do the work.

Roman Chair Side Bends Variation

Roman Chair Side bends on a Hyperextension bench are really a great side extension exercise that you can add weight to by using many methods:

  • Holding dumbbell in the hand close to the floor
  • Holding a weight plate against your chest, or,
  • Holding a weight plate behind your head

Anatomical Analysis/Visualization of Romain Chair Side Bends

Muscles Targted: Abs and Obliques with greater emphasis on the lateral part of the obliques.

The Takeaway on Side Bend Exercise

Roman Chair Side Bends are typical oblique exercise. It can be done with body weight only or extra weights like plates or dumbbells can also be added.

Infact, this side bend on bench is an advanced movement to taget your lateral part of abdominals or exterior oblique muscles.

If you don’t have roman chairs, you can see if this one pleases you. Actually, this one is the best roman chair that one can find on the market for now.

What if you are a beginner and you feel the Roman chair side bends hard to perform? Do exercises on the floor instead, such as oblique crunch or standing side crunches with a light dumbbell. Or, if the hyperextension bench is adjustable, you can lower it so that the angle won’t be so steep.

Thanks a lot for visiting our website.


Aaron Reiner

Aaron is a fitness blogger, founder & editor of Prosfitness. He has been lifting weights & writing about fitness for over 3 years. He has been a contributor for several health and fitness publications.

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