Roman torso lifting - super press

Today we will analyze two very similar and very effective exercises for press lifting and twisting on an inclined bench or a Roman chair. There are many variations of these simulators, but our task will be to analyze the features and technique of the movement itself, so that being in any gym with any equipment, you can train your abdominal muscles one hundred percent!

Twisting or lifting the body?

First of all, it’s worthwhile to understand how the twisting on the bench differs from the raises of the body. When twisting, only your shoulder blades come off the bench; movement in the hip joint does not occur. The lower back remains motionless.

Roman torso lifting - super press

When lifting the body, there is not only bending of the spine, but also movement in the hip joint.

Twisting is recommended for beginners, since the load on the lower back during their execution is minimal. However, the load on the muscles of the press during twisting is also less than in the case of lifting the body. Lifts require better control of the lower back and are recommended for people with developed abdominal muscles.

What exactly should you do, twisting or lifting the body - depends on your physical fitness. There is only one condition - you must feel the abs, not your back.

The benefits of abdominal exercises

Abdominal exercises performed on a Roman chair or on an inclined bench involve the entire complex of abdominal muscles. This is primarily the rectus muscles (they form the desired cubes), the external and internal oblique muscles (form a line of the sides, turn the body from side to side), transverse abdominal muscles (supports internal organs, making the stomach flat).

Roman torso lifting - super press

Torsions on an inclined bench use the upper part of the rectus muscles to the greatest extent, while when the body rises, the load is distributed more evenly. If you perform an exercise with body turns left and right, you add work to the oblique muscles of the abdomen, thereby working out them even more efficiently. However, with turns it is better to be careful for people who have problems with the spine.

By the way, the developed abdominal muscles, in accordance with the muscles of the lower back, stabilize the lower spine, which helps to improve posture and prevent injuries.


Before disassembling the torso and twist on a Roman chair or bench, we will consider several options for simulators that are found in gyms. This will allow you not to get lost when you see a “dissimilar” unit in your fitness club.

So, what is called a press bench or a Roman chair can be the following:

  • An inclined bench with rollers for resting the legs and knees. The athlete lays on a bench with his back, bends his hips and knees.

    This pose resembles the position when the press is swinging on the floor (the back is straight, the legs are bent at the knees), only you do not lie horizontally, but upside down.This version of the simulator is considered optimal, since with this position of the hips (they are bent), the lower back is turned on minimally.

  • Inclined bench with rollers only to support the lower legs. On such a bench, the athlete lays with his back, bends his knees and brings ankle joints behind the rollers. The hips and back are in one line.

    In this case, the load on the lower back is greater than in the previous one.

  • The usual simulator for hyperextension, only the athlete turns around in it 180 degrees, sitting on his pillows with his hips. With this exercise, the backward movement of the body is not limited by anything, and, say, a beginner is not always able to control the work of the muscles and strictly observe the technique. Not a recommended option due to its increased injury hazard.

Roman torso lifting - super press

Regardless of which simulator you perform the exercise, the movement technique should be as follows:

  1. Take the starting position on the bench.

    Your legs should be fixed and your abdominal muscles tense. Relaxation of the press does not occur throughout the exercise. The loin should be as straight as possible, that is, actually pressed against the bench in its original position. Further, if you do twisting, the lower back remains pressed as much as possible. If you perform the lifts, the lower back comes off the bench, but the deflection in the lumbar does not appear.

    Performing an exercise on the simulator with two rollers (for the shins and knees), to comply with this rule is quite easy, as the hips are bent. In the case of a bench with an emphasis only for the legs, the buttocks will interfere with keeping the lower back close to the bench. Therefore, when performing the exercise, you do not completely lower your back on the bench. That is, the spine is always slightly rounded. If you pump the press on the simulator for hyperextension, there is no support at the lower back, the position of the body is controlled exclusively by the strength of your muscles.

  2. You can cross your arms over your chest or put it behind your head (this is harder to do).
  3. As you exhale, lift the body. When twisting, only the shoulder blades come off the bench. When lifting, raise the entire body 30-60 degrees above the parallel to the floor. Simply put - about half lower than to the vertical position of the body.

  4. Slowly and under control, without relaxing the abs and without bending your back, return to the starting position.

Perform the exercise 20-30 times in 3-4 approaches. The last repetitions should be given to you as hard as possible. However, do not allow such muscle fatigue that will cause you to break the technique.

Avoid jerking when doing body tucks.

A slow pace, on the one hand, will make the workout of the press more effective, and on the other hand, it will help to better control movements, making the exercise safe for the back. For twisting, this is not so relevant.

A few months of regular abs training will help you make your belly elastic and your sides taut.It is also worth saying that in order to see the traced relief (treasured cubes and lines on the sides of the abdomen), the thickness of the fat layer on the stomach should be minimal.



Related Articles