I have a client who is kyphotic as well as slightly swayback whose physical therapist has prescribed roman chair back extensions. Personally, I think those exercises are for advanced exercisers and as a pilates instructor as well as personal trainer, I’m sure my client is more likely to end up with low back pain. Any comments?
Dr. Stuart McGill is an expert in the field on Back Health. He advocates minimizing lumbar flexion under load for the majority of people due to the pressure on the discs. I would suggest looking at his work to determine safer methods to exercise and access ALL core musculature, not just the Rectus Abdominus–it seems to me that there are safer and better ways to work the core than the Roman Chair (depends on the client, and their level of fitness as well). Please take a look at his website: http://www.backfitpro.com/ as well as his books for evidence-based information. Page 232 in his book, “Low Back Disorders” addresses the usage of the Roman Chair and other machines and equipment. I bet you could find some information on the use of the Roman Chair and it’s efficacy/safety in this and other writings.