Whoa! What a name! The “Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial Multi-Workout Abdominal/Hyper Back Extension Bench”. Try saying that 3 times in a row really fast! From here on out we’re just going to call it the Fitness Reality Hyperextension Bench. And, we’re going to start by saying that the Fitness Reality Hyperextension Bench is an impressive piece of equipment. If you have the room, no home workout space is complete without a good workout bench – and this one is up there with the best workout benches you’re going to get. In reality, it’s actually a Roman Chair and bench rolled into one, and it has been done well.
If you’re looking for a great quality bench that allows you to do an excellent range of upper body and core exercises, including the elusive lower back extensions, then read on. If you’re looking for a bench with a rack that you can do bench presses on, then this is not what you’re looking for.
With that out of the way, let’s get into the review!
Fitness Reality Hyperextension Bench Review
This is one of the highest quality, best looking and most versatile workout benches you’ll find. In case you couldn’t tell, we’re super impressed with this piece of equipment.
Fitness Reality X-Class Light Commercial Multi-Workout Abdominal/Hyper Back Extension Bench
|Range of exercises|
|Design and quality|
|Ease of use|
|Ease of assembly|
|Value for money|
Range of exercises
The Fitness Reality Hyperextension Bench is a really versatile piece of equipment. It has a ton of exercise options, so it’ll definitely give you a solid workout. In particular, it allows you to do really comfortable back extensions. Back extensions are difficult to do properly without the right equipment and this makes doing them an absolute breeze (well, as breezy as back extensions can be). Here are some of the main exercises you can do with this workout bench and the muscles they’ll work:
Lower back extensions
Lower back extensions (sometimes referred to as ‘hyperextensions’) are a great exercise for developing strength through your lower back. You’ll primarily be working a group of 3 muscles known collectively as the erector spinae. To a lesser extent, lower back extensions also work the glutes (butt muscles) and hamstrings. Strengthening your lower back through hyperextensions is really important for developing a strong core, and for helping to reduce the risk of back injuries when doing more strenuous exercises like squats, deadlifts, and clean & jerks.
If you aren’t experienced with lower back extensions, it is absolutely vital that you start slowly. Begin with just your bodyweight for a few weeks before moving into weighted extensions, as your muscles need time to adapt to this challenging exercise. Also, always warm up properly and do the exercise in a slow and controlled fashion, never bouncing or jerking throughout the movement. Most importantly, stop straight away if you feel any strain or pain in your back.
Sit-ups and reverse crunches
The Fitness Reality Hyperextension Bench allows you to do both sit-ups and reverse crunches (bringing your legs towards your body from a straightened position), for a good abdominal workout. The bench can be adjusted to one of four different positions; 1 flat, and 3 declined positions, which will make your sit-ups and reverse crunches more or less difficult as needed. Also, for a well-rounded ab workout, you can turn yourself 90 degrees in the Roman Chair section and target your oblique abdominals.
With the bench in the flat position, you can do a range of dumbbell exercises, including dumbbell rows for your latissimus dorsi (lats), deltoids (delts) and biceps, chest flyes and presses to give your pectorals (pecs) a good workout, and shoulder presses for your delts. You can also use the foam cushions to do preacher curls, which are a great isolation exercise for the biceps.
You can also use the handles next to the foam cushions to do inclined pushups, which work the lower portion of your pecs, however this is a very easy exercise and probably only suitable for people still developing the strength to do regular pushups.
Design and quality
Put simply, the Fitness Reality Hyperextension Bench has a great design and is made from high quality materials. It has a very sturdy steel frame that doesn’t rock or wobble at all, especially if you have it sitting on some home gym flooring. The steel frame makes it quite heavy (56 lb; 25kg once assembled), but it has rollers on one of the stabilizers to help move it around fairly easily. It has a load capacity of 650 lb (295 kg) so there’s no risk of breaking or bending it
The foam cushions that support your mid-section during back extensions, the adjustable foam rollers, and the padding on the bench are all made of high density foam, which should stand the test of time. They’re also covered in black vinyl with red double-stitching. All of this combined with the black powder coating on the steel frame just makes it look really cool. Very few people will be disappointed with how this looks in your their home workout space.
Ease of use
This hyperextension bench is very easy and very comfortable to use. The high density foam and sweat-resistant vinyl coverings make your back extensions, situps and reverse crunches, and bench exercises about as comfortable as they can get. The bench, foam cushions and foam rollers are all adjustable, and the adjustment mechanisms are easy to use. They’re also very secure and there’s little chance that they’ll move out of position once locked in.
So why the slightly lower rating? Well, no piece of exercise equipment is perfect and this one is no different. The bench section measures in at 36 inches long (3 ft; 0.91 m). This means that if you’re on the taller side (6’1 inch or taller) the bench isn’t quite long enough to do chest flyes and dumbbell presses completely comfortably. Also, when doing reverse crunches with straight legs, you wont be able to extend them out so that your body is straight. A bit of manoeuvring will get you into a position where you can do these exercises perfectly fine, but the bench is definitely a little on the short side. This is likely because the manufacturer wanted to keep the overall length manageable, nevertheless it is a flaw.
Another minor issue is that the bench doesn’t come with any instructional materials on how to use it. You can just look at the pictures included on the listing to give you an idea of the various exercises you can do, but some sort of instruction manual, even just a short one, would have been good. That said, there are always lots of free videos on YouTube to help you out, such as this one for a bench in the flat position, this one for a bench in a declined position, and this one for the Roman Chair section. These videos are not for the Fitness Reality Hyperextension Bench, but you be able to do all of the exercises shown.
Ease of assembly
Fitness Reality® have made this workout bench about as easy to assemble as it could be. The assembly process is split into 6 simple steps, making it very straightforward. All of the nuts and bolts are individually packaged according to the step that they’re used in, which is brilliant and something other manufacturers of workout equipment should consider doing. However, the drawback is that if you have to send it back for some reason, you’ll struggle to get it all to fit back in the box so neatly. All of the necessary tools come in the box, though you may want to have a small mallet / hammer on hand if you have one. All up, it shouldn’t take more than about 30 – 45 minutes to assemble, probably less if you have someone helping you.
Value for money
The Fitness Reality Hyperextension Bench is more expensive than some other workout benches, and similar pieces of equipment – but it’s quite possibly the best of the lot. It’s built like a tank and should last for many years, even with regular and heavy use. We consider it a sound investment in your health and fitness, and for that reason it’s great value for money!
Overall, the Fitness Reality Hyperextension Bench is an excellent piece of equipment: You’ll get a really good upper body and core workout, it’s got a sturdy and great looking design and is made from high quality materials, and it’s quick and easy to assemble. We love it. Add it to your home gym and enjoy using it for years to come! If you want one for yourself, you can check the current price here.
Thanks for checking out the review. Leave any questions or comments you have in the comments section below.
As always, all the best with your home workouts. Remember – When it comes to our health and fitness, we can make the effort or we can make excuses, but we can’t make both!
THFF (The Home Fit Freak)