The 10 Best Back Extension Machines of 2023

Inspire Fitness’s Hyperextension Bench is sturdy, comfortable, and adjustable

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Best Back Extension Machines

Verywell Fit / David Hattan

Back extension machines—sometimes called hyperextension benches, Roman chairs, or glute ham developers—target your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. When used correctly, they can help you build strength and improve your range of motion. “Back extension machine exercises will directly strengthen and develop the erector spinae muscle,” Corey Lewis, CPT, CEO of 1AND1, says. “This can bring relief to lower back pain, help improve a person’s posture, and provide greater core support.”

Reviewed & Approved

Inspire Fitness’s Hyperextension Bench is our top overall pick because it’s sturdy, comfortable, and adjustable. We like that you can angle the bench in five different ways, to target your full range of motion. We also recommend Titan Fitness’ Hyper Back Extension Bench, which has a strong, steel Y-frame and a foldable design for easy storage.

High-quality back extension machines should have durable frames, thick padding, and handles that make them easy to use. They should also be adjustable and strong—Lewis recommends a bench that can withstand your weight plus an additional 50 pounds. Some back extension machines are even foldable, portable, or versatile enough to use for other exercises.

To find the best back extension machines, we asked Lewis and Ashton Ferrazzo, owner of Freedom Fitness Equipment, for their expert opinions on which features set the top models apart. Then, we researched dozens of top-rated back extension machines, assessing them based on strength, comfort, ease of use, and overall value. Here are our top picks to help you build strength and muscle:

Best Overall

Inspire Fitness Hyperextension Bench

Inspire Fitness Hyperextension Bench

Dick's Sporting Goods

Pros
  • Five adjustable angles

  • Customizable padding

  • Rear transport wheels

Cons
  • No listed weight capacity

  • Large and heavy

Inspire Fitness’s Hyperextension Bench is our top overall pick because it’s highly adjustable—you can shift it into five different angles ranging from 45 to 90 degrees. And since its hip and leg pads are also movable, you can customize the bench until it feels comfortable to use. 

The bench is also packed with expert-approved features, like a heavy-duty steel frame and plush foam padding. It’s equipped with handles that make it easy to use, and rear transport wheels for simple storage. 

While it isn’t as small or lightweight as others on our list, it’s still a solid, sturdy choice. Just note that the manufacturer doesn’t list the bench’s weight capacity online. 

Price at time of publication: $600

Angle: 45 to 90 degrees | Dimensions: 54 x 31 x 39-40 inches | Weight: 88 pounds | Capacity: Not listed | Adjustable: Yes

Best for Beginners

Titan Fitness Back Extension Bench

Titan Fitness Back Extension Bench

Amazon

Pros
  • Height is adjustable

  • Easy to assemble

  • Foldable for easy storage

Cons
  • Low weight capacity

For beginners who are looking for a user-friendly machine, we recommend Titan Fitness’ Back Extension Bench. Our experts recommend starting with a 45-degree bench, like this one, and working your way up to a 90-degree bench over time.

Designed with a Y-shaped base, the bench’s steel frame will stay stable while you work out. In addition to being lined with thick, vinyl leather padding, the bench is adjustable: You can extend the height from 38 to 47.5 inches tall. Users have also found that the bench is simple to assemble, so you can get started right away. 

At $170, the bench is one of the less expensive options on our list, too. This balance makes the bench a great option for beginners because it doesn’t cost a fortune, and it delivers plenty of quality for the price. However, the 250-pound weight capacity is much lower than others on our list.

Price at time of publication: $170

Angle: 45 degrees | Dimensions: 46 x 24 x 38-47.5 inches | Weight: 36 pounds | Capacity: 250 pounds | Adjustable: Yes

Best 45-Degree

Valor Fitness CB-13 Adjustable Back Extension

Valor Fitness CB-13 Adjustable Back Extension

Valor Fitness

Pros
  • Adjustable bench and padding

  • Stable tripod base

  • Handles have non-slip grips

Cons
  • Low weight capacity

Valor Fitness’s CB-13 Back Extension machine is one of the most customizable benches on our list, which is why it’s our pick for the best 45-degree model. Made of 2-inch, 12-gauge steel, the bench’s frame is durable and sturdy. And its tripod base stays stable while you’re using it. 

Designed with dual-layered padding and vinyl upholstery, the bench can withstand plenty of wear and tear. But at 250 pounds, its weight capacity is one of the lowest on our list.

We like how customizable it is: The bench can be shifted into five different positions, and its calf pads are adjustable, too. Plus, the handles have non-slip grips, so you can exercise confidently. 

Price at time of publication: $300

Angle: 45 degrees | Dimensions: 52 x 23 x 31–36 inches | Weight: Not listed | Capacity: 250 pounds | Adjustable: Yes

Best 90-Degree

Body Solid Roman Chair

Body Solid Roman Chair

Walmart

Pros
  • Thick, plush padding

  • Adjustable foam rollers

  • Rear transport wheels

Cons
  • Large and heavy

For a 90-degree bench, we recommend Body Solid’s Roman Chair. Made of commercial-grade, heavy-gauge steel, the chair has a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds. 

The extra-wide base cuts down on rocking and wobbling. And user-friendly features like handles and a step-up bar make the machine easy to get onto and off of. The Roman chair is also lined with comfortable, 3.75-inch foam padding—the thickest on our list. 

It’s also equipped with foam rollers that you can adjust horizontally and vertically. At 70 pounds, the bench isn’t lightweight enough to lift. But since it’s designed with rear transport wheels, it’s still easy to store and move around.

Price at time of publication: $506

Angle: 90 degrees | Dimensions: 45 x 26 x 43 inches | Weight: 70 pounds | Capacity: 300 pounds | Adjustable: Yes

Best Budget 45-Degree

CAP Barbell Hyperextension/Ab Bench

CAP Barbell Hyperextension/Ab Bench

Amazon

Pros
  • Built-in, adjustable ab bench

  • Lightweight

  • 300-pound weight capacity

Cons
  • Hyperextension bench isn’t adjustable

CAP Barbell’s Bench is one of the most affordable 45-degree benches on our list, coming in at under $100. Made of alloy steel and lined with foam padding, it’s solid and comfortable. And at 35 pounds, it’s easy to pick up and move around. 

The bench is also packed with user-friendly features, like grippy handles and non-slip foot pads. And its weight capacity is impressive: While other budget-friendly benches max out at 250 pounds, this one can hold up to 300 pounds.

The machine also comes with a built-in ab bench, which you can adjust to use as a flat bench or a decline bench. This added feature makes the bench an even budget-friendlier (and more space-efficient) find.

Price at time of publication: $98

Angle: 45 degrees | Dimensions: 51 x 27 x 32 inches | Weight: 35 pounds | Capacity: 300 pounds | Adjustable: No

Best Budget 90-Degree

Marcy Adjustable Hyperextension Roman Chair

Marcy Adjustable Hyperextension Roman Chair

Walmart

Pros
  • 300-pound weight capacity

  • Lightweight

  • Adjustable foam rollers

Cons
  • Height isn’t adjustable

  • May be too tall for some users

Sturdy, comfortable, and easy to use, Marcy’s Roman Chair is our pick for a solid, 90-degree back extension machine that’s also budget-friendly. 

This Roman chair is designed with a heavy-duty frame. And since it can withstand up to 300 pounds, it’s one of the strongest 90-degree benches you can buy on a budget. It’s also lined with comfortable, high-density foam padding and features foam rollers that you can shift into three different positions.

At 42 pounds, the bench is easy to move around. It’s also one of the most space-efficient options on our list, at just 34.5 inches long, 28.5 inches wide, and 34.5 inches tall. However, the height isn’t adjustable, so it may be too tall for some users. 

Price at time of publication: $125

Angle: 90 degrees | Dimensions: 34.5 x 28.5 x 34.5 inches | Weight: 42 pounds | Capacity: 300 pounds | Adjustable: Yes

Best Heavy-Duty

Body Solid Glute and Hamstring Machine

Body Solid Glute and Hamstring Machine

Amazon

Pros
  • Adjustable vertically and horizontally

  • Has front pegs for resistance bands

  • Oversized foam rollers

Cons
  • Large and heavy

  • Expensive

If you’re looking for a heavy-duty back extension machine, we recommend this one from Body Solid. Made of 11-gauge steel and designed to be used in a commercial gym, it’s tough and durable. The machine is also lined with thick, sturdy foam, for a comfortable workout. 

We like that it’s adjustable in two directions: You can lengthen the hip bench horizontally and move the oversized foam rollers up and down. Also, two pegs in the front are strategically placed so you can use resistance bands while you exercise. 

At 136 pounds the bench is the largest and the heaviest on our list. And at just under $800, it’s also the most expensive. That said, if you want the strongest back extension machine you can find, this one fits the bill—just make sure your home gym is big enough to store it.

Price at time of publication: $780

Angle: 90 degrees | Dimensions: 79 x 33 x 51 inches | Weight: 136 pounds | Capacity: Not listed | Adjustable: Yes

Best for Small Spaces

Stamina Hyperextension Bench

Stamina Hyperextension Bench

Amazon

Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Folds flat for easy storage

  • Lightweight

Cons
  • Low weight capacity

Stamina’s Hyperextension Bench is one of our top picks because it’s not only space-efficient—it’s budget friendly, too. At 39 inches long, 26 inches wide, and 33 inches tall, the bench isn’t the smallest on our list. 

But it weighs just 20 pounds and folds flat to save space, so it’s easy to store and move from room to room. This sets the bench apart from other small-space-friendly options. While others were smaller than this one, they didn’t fold up. 

Size aside, the bench is made of alloy steel and lined with high-density foam. The height is also adjustable, for added comfort, and the handlebars have non-slip grips. However, it can only support up to 250 pounds.

Price at time of publication: $69

Angle: 45 degrees | Dimensions: 39 x 26 x 33 inches | Weight: 20 pounds | Capacity: 250 pounds | Adjustable: Yes

Best 2-in-1

FINER FORM Multi-Functional Adjustable Weight Bench

FINER FORM Multi-Functional Adjustable Weight Bench

Walmart

Pros
  • Lightweight

  • 660-pound weight capacity

  • Built-in weight rack

Cons
  • Large

If your home gym is feeling cramped, we recommend a weight bench that doubles as a back extension machine, like this one from Finer Form. 

On one side, you’ll find a 45-degree back extension bench that’s sturdy, padded, and adjustable, with eight hip bench heights and four foam roller positions. The other side is a classic, adjustable workout bench. You can use it as a flat bench or a decline bench, with 15-degree, 50-degree, and 85-degree angle settings.

The entire machine is made of alloy steel and lined with thick padding. Although it weighs just 18 pounds, its capacity is 660 pounds—the highest on our list. It’s also designed with a built-in weight rack, which is perfect for storing dumbbells during and between workouts.

Price at time of publication: $300

Angle: 45 degrees | Dimensions: 58 x 23 x 27–34 inches | Weight: 18 pounds | Capacity: 660 pounds | Adjustable: Yes

Best Multitasker

Stamina X 4-in-1 Adjustable Weight Bench

Stamina X 4-in-1 Adjustable Weight Bench

Amazon

Pros
  • Several adjustable features

  • Folds flat for easy storage

  • Transport wheels

Cons
  • Low weight capacity

Stamina X’s 4-in-1 Adjustable Weight Bench packs a lot into a small profile. This back extension machine doubles as an adjustable weight bench—and triples as a sissy squat station. It’s also equipped with a set of push-up bars that are great for bodyweight workouts. 

This machine is made of steel and lined with thick padding. And it’s packed with adjustable features. You can raise the back extension bench (or remove it completely), angle the workout bench, and adjust the foam roller. 

But we especially love how space-efficient it is. At 49 inches long, 20 inches wide, and 35 inches tall, this machine doesn’t demand much space, plus it folds flat for easy storage. The machine is also equipped with transport wheels, so you can move it easily. However, like a few other benches on our list, it has a lower weight capacity of 250 pounds. 

Price at time of publication: $200

Angle: 45 degrees | Dimensions: 49 x 20 x 35 inches | Weight: 42.5 pounds | Capacity: 250 pounds | Adjustable: Yes

How We Selected the Best Back Extension Machines

To find the best back extension machines, we asked Corey Lewis, CPT, CEO of 1AND1, and Ashton Ferrazzo, owner of Freedom Fitness Equipment, for their expert opinions on which features every machine should have. Lewis shared that great back extension machines are designed with strong, steel frames, thick adjustable pads, and user-friendly handles. And Ferrazzo emphasized the importance of both quality and durability.

Then, we researched dozens of top-rated back extension machines. We looked for benches that were durable, comfortable, adjustable, and user-friendly. We also considered other factors, like size, special features, price, and overall value.

What to Look for in a Back Extension Machine

Strength

Look for a machine that’s sturdy enough to hold you, plus all of the weights and other equipment you want to use. “The first feature you should look at is the frame quality,” Lewis says. He recommends back extension machines with 2-inch by 2-inch steel frames. And when it comes to steel, you want something that’s 14-gauge or lower. “The lower the steel gauge, the stronger it is,” he adds. Then, check the machine’s maximum weight capacity. “It should be at least 50 pounds more than your weight,” Lewis says.

Comfort

Back extension machines should be padded in two areas: the hip bench (where you’ll place your hips) and the foam rollers (where you’ll place your ankles). “The padding on the hip bench should be around 2 inches thick, and covered in odor- and sweat-resistant vinyl,” Lewis says. He adds that the foam rollers should be thick enough to prevent strain on your ankles. 

Make sure those pads are adjustable, so you can customize the machine based on your height. And check whether the machine is equipped with user-friendly handles. “The major safety feature on a back extension machine is a pair of handles alongside the hip pad that allows you to support yourself as you get in and out of position,” Lewis says.

Size

A back extension machine isn’t worth much if it doesn’t fit in your home gym, so check the dimensions before buying. Back extension machines come in a range of sizes, and some boast space-efficient features, like foldable frames or built-in workout benches. 

If you plan to move your back extension machine between workouts, double check its weight. Make sure the machine is lightweight enough to lift. And if it isn’t, check whether it has built-in wheels that will make transport easier.

Type

“Back extension machines work by locking your lower body at a 45-degree or 90-degree angle, allowing for hinging at the hips,” Ferrazzo says. When shopping, you’ll need to choose between 45-degree benches, 90-degree benches, and adjustable benches with angles between 45 and 90 degrees.

“The 90-degree machines, typically known as glute ham developers, offer more functionality, but are typically larger and more expensive,” he explains. If you’re new to using a back extension machine, start with a 45-degree bench and work your way up to a 90-degree bench. And if you want the option of trying both, choose an adjustable bench that offers both angles.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you use a back extension machine?

    To use a back extension machine, first adjust the hip and ankle pads for your height,” Lewis says. “Then, position yourself on the bench with your feet under the ankle pads and hips resting on the hip pad.” Once you’re in position, hinge at the hips and slowly lower your upper body. “Be sure to keep a flat, braced core and back,” Ferrazzo says. Then, squeeze your glutes to lift yourself back up.

    “When you're doing a back extension, you should move in a fluid, smooth manner,” Lewis says. “Even though this exercise is often called a hyperextension, you should never extend your back beyond a parallel position to the floor.” To make the exercise more challenging, add weight. “As bodyweight back extensions become easier, feel free to hold a plate, dumbbell, or even a medicine ball to continue to build strength and muscle,” Ferrazzo says.

  • How do you adjust a back extension machine?

    Many back extension machines have two adjustable features: a height-adjustable hip pad and a position-adjustable foam roller. To adjust them, start by finding the knob near the hip pad and twisting it until it feels loose. Then, shift the hip pad to your preferred height and tighten the knob to lock it in place. Do the same with the foam roller to switch up the angle. 

  • What muscles does a back extension machine work?

    “The back extension machine works the erector spinae muscles that run up and down the length of the spine,” Lewis says. “Secondary muscles worked are the glutes (butt muscles), hamstrings, hip flexors, and deltoids.”

  • What are the different types of back extension machines?

    There are two main kinds of back extension machines: 45-degree machines and 90-degree machines. “Both are great options for developing your posterior chain,” Ferrazzo says. “[But] due to the angle, the 90-degree [machine] is going to be more difficult. [It also] allows for more exercises to be performed, such as glute ham raises and reverse hyperextensions.”

    Not sure which one to buy? “If you have inherent lower back problems or are new to lower back exercise, you should go with a 45-degree hyperextension machine,” Lewis says. “More experienced trainers,” he adds, “can use a 90-degree hyperextension machine.” You can also find adjustable machines that offer angles from 45 to 90 degrees, for a bench that you can use as you move toward your fitness goals.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Lindsey Lanquist is a contributing writer for Verywell Fit with seven years of experience in the health and fitness space. She is careful to recommend products that are reliable, comfortable, and genuinely well-reviewed by those who’ve tried them.