The Apex Hyperextension Bench is a Roman chair with a pair of foam-padded roller-type ankle pins, a padded pelvic support and a pair of foam-padded handles on a sturdy powder-coated steel frame. It is designed to maximize the effectiveness of a large group of exercises that strengthen and stretch the core abdominal, back and oblique (side) muscle groups. The bench provides support and leverage on a stable platform. The user performs the exercises from a nearly-horizontal starting position while he holds his legs firmly under the ankle pins and levers himself at the waist on the pelvic support pad. This bench sells for $79.99 USD with free shipping.
- Variety is the Spice of Life: The Roman chair has a long history and there more than two dozen well-established exercises for it, most of which one can do without a spotter or additional equipment. These exercises mainly target the lower back, abdominals, glutes, hamstrings and obliques. However, the sturdiness and stability of the Apex bench can also provide support and balance for other types of exercises such as curls, dips and even yoga – all in a single machine.
- He Ain’t Heavy: This bench is strong, well-balanced and utilitarian in form and appearance. It is made from two inch by two inch square steel tubing, high-density boxed upholstery and high-strength hardware. It weighs 42 pounds and supports users of up to 308 pounds.
- All People Great and Small: The ankle supports adjust to six different positions to accommodate users ranging from approximately five feet to six-and-a-half feet tall. The seat is a comfortable 17 inches wide. The bench is approximately 43 inches by 28 inches by 38 inches; it has a footprint of only eight square feet so it tucks nicely out of the way.
- The Right Tool for the Job: The bench is easy to assemble with a ratchet, two sockets and the included Allen wrench. It comes with an easy-to-read manual with assembly instructions and diagrams; assembly typically takes about 30 minutes. The pieces are well-finished and fit together well. The manufacturer’s website also has the manual for download and they offer a two-year limited warranty on parts.
- A Fool and his Money: The Apex bench is low cost but not low end; it is a great value for about two-thirds the price of similar machines in its class. As one user put it: “GHD (Glute-Ham Developer) leg curls – the fact that I can do this exercise on such a low-cost machine is AWESOME.”
- Stuck in Its Ways: The horizontal bar and seat pad angle are not adjustable and the bench does not fold for stowage; however, as one owner put it: “You give up some things for a great price.”
- Get a Leg Up: Shorter users might wish to use a step stool or small platform to help them position themselves on the machine. One five-foot tall female owner found the pad is “a little high” for her.
- A Place to Keep Your Junk: Male users in a certain height range may wish to positions themselves “well up the pad,” as one owner put it. More expensive machines often have a smaller split pad which accommodates one’s anatomy but can affect stability.
- Hard to Handle: Several owners reported finding the handles a little too short, particularly for some of the additional exercises for which they wanted to use them.
The Apex Hyperextension Bench is a simple and versatile machine that is a strong value at the lower end of the price range for similar machines in its class. There are hyperextension benches such as the Stamina X Hyper Bench that provide features like more adjustability or folding stowage for those that require them, but at a price premium of more than 30 percent.
The solid construction of the Apex bench provides the user with confidence in the stability and balance of the bench through the full range of motion. This one machine provides its owner with a platform for a assortment of proven exercises that can target and engage every major muscle group in the body, for an unparalleled value in fitness equipment.
Simplicity sometimes requires creativity; the benefits and cost of this bench outweigh the omission of the bells and whistles one will find on benches costing half-again to twice as much. If you’re ready to get to work then this is the machine you want!
Apex Roman Chair Hyper Extension Bench Video Review