How this gym equipment can help you in your fitness journey
So you’ve decided to finally get the Home Gym and spend the afternoon busting a sweat. You’ve prepared for this, did your homework as to the types of workout you will do and the equipment to go along with them. Suffice it to say, you’re all set to start your fitness journey, choosing the best suited Squat Rack for your Home Gym.
Imagine you step foot in the gym, put on some music, and start lifting some dumbbells and having a go at the treadmills. It’s all good fun, and everyone else is minding their own business, save for the few nods they send your way every now and then. You then decide to do some shoulder and back work by lifting some barbells, but as you near the rack, you come to a realization. You don’t have a spotter, and you’re too shy to ask anyone. Now this is a problem. Clearly, you can do the weight lifting on your own, but you don’t want to risk injuring yourself by dropping the weights on yourself, and maybe even stopping you from going to the gym ever again.
So how do you go about this problem? Pretty simple, actually. Enter the squat rack, or power rack, as it’s appropriately called. Now we know it’s big and sturdy, and there are usually a ton of weights placed on it, but don’t be intimated. As a matter of fact, if used properly, it can become one of the most important pieces of equipment that you will keep coming back to.
Simple enough to understand and use, the beauty of the squat rack is that you can do almost any exercise on it while also vastly decreasing the danger that comes with lifting heavy without a spotter. All you need to do is to use proper placement on the safety mechanisms. Its primary purpose is to essentially act as your guide as you gradually progress with heavier and heavier weights.
Made for the squat, which is a hard technique to perform safely and with perfect form, the squat rack lets you do things on you own, at your own pace and time.
How to Use a Squat Rack
- Put the upper racking mechanisms, The J Hooks at shoulder height. The J Hooks is where you’ll be “resting” the bar in between your intense sets.
- Next, place the lower safety racks, The “Emergency stoppers” to the lowest point where you want it to be. Some lower it until their thighs are almost parallel to the ground, but no need to push yourself that much. Start slow, and light. Place the Emergency stoppers an inch lower than your chosen point. Always remember this.
- Place your chosen weight at the J Hooks mechanisms. Secure the weight via spring locks at the bar end.
- Grip the bar tightly using your whole hand, and carefully perform your set.
What Exercises Can Be Done on the Squat Rack
Of course, due to its simple to use mechanics, the squat rack or power rack can also be used on other exercises. This includes the Squats, deadlift, the overhead press, barbell lunges, and bent over row. When combined with an Adjustable bench it is capable of performing almost every workout required to train the entire body muscles effectively. As always, all the different exercises employ different techniques on the squat rack, but all are generally safe if you do them properly.
Benefits of Using a Squat Rack or Power Rack
- Improves Your Core Strength
When you do a complete squat, your core muscles become very engaged, working hard to make sure your body has the strength to stay in an upright position. This results in better core strength.
In addition to helping you build overall muscle size, squat racks are also efficient because they activate a variety of other major muscle groups as well. This involves your glutes (Glute Maximus) and your calves, and even helps build your stamina.
Surprisingly, doing your squats on the squat/power rack can also help give you peace of mind. This is because in addition to the focus you have to give, the idea of pushing yourself further and further without worrying if it’s too dangerous for you also helps boost your confidence, which in turn livens you up and pushes you to work out more.
- Develops Mental Stability
Squats require incredible focus and is generally very physically demanding, and so consistently doing it helps build your mental toughness. This results in heightened focus even when under pressure.
One of the best things about the squat/power rack is how “friendly” it is in terms of usability and accessibility. The idea of the squat rack is that you can basically get a full workout with all of the safety equipment even when you’re by yourself.
Home Gym Squat Racks are not necessarily any different than the squat rack you would find in your local gym. If you are new to squatting, a simple Squat Rack without the bells and whistles (extra attachments) will be fine.
If you are more serious about workout variations and anticipate that you would like to have all of the functionalities in it, a Squat Rack with Pulley may be a better option for you. It all depends on your preferences, abilities, space and budget. Do your homework before you purchase your home gym squat rack to be sure that it meets your needs and that you are purchasing from a quality supplier.
A Squat Rack with Pulley is a power rack that has a cable or pulley attachment. There are both high and low pulleys that will allow you to perform a variety of exercises from Biceps Curls to Lat Pull-down. It gives ordinary squat racks the whole new dimension in workout capabilities. It transforms ordinary squat rack in Full Fledge workout machine which can perform almost every possible workout variation required to train every single muscle group of your body. It’s like bringing the entire Gym at home, Making sure you never compromise on any added workout for every single muscle.
A gym cage is a power rack that has four posts that form a square, as compared to the squat rack that could only have two posts. Basically bar weight is racked on 2 legs of rack only either we go for 4 legged or 2 legged. Entire strength of squat rack is in its base structure. As long as base provided is good and stable enough to support the mounted bar weight and has Emergency Safety Stoppers capabilities in it, 2 legged squat rack is good as it saves a lot in spending. Gym cages or power racks will be the most costly type of workout rack.
Additional Tips When Using a Squat Rack or Power Rack
- Make sure your ankles are flexible. Squatting up and down require proper control, and a stiff ankle may lead to injury.
- Don’t position the bar too high. Put the bar on your back, not on the base of your neck. Simple lapses like this can often lead to grave injury.
- Position your foot properly. Use your dominant foot as a guide, and make sure they are at least shoulder width apart.
- Don’t round your lower back. Contracting your lumber muscles should help stop this, as it can cause some serious injury on your part. Rounding your lower back also means that you are relaxing some of your muscles, which is not recommend as everything needs to fully engaged to get the full result of the workout, and to make sure your safety is secured.
- Neglecting other exercises. It’s easy to neglect other exercises. However, know that the squat rack can only do so much, and different muscles and goals require different types and levels of training.
- So there you go, that should cover more than the basics of the ins and outs of the squat rack. Used properly, it can be a really effective tool for your fitness journey, and can help jumpstart a strong body workout using only one type of exercise. So make use of this information what you will, and start your way to a healthier, and stronger life today.
The Difference in Size between a Squat Rack and a Power Rack
Traditionally the squat racks are mainly just for squatting and therefore tend to take up a lot less space which makes it fit easily in your Home, especially when compared to the power rack, which is essentially a large metal cage suited with safety belts or bars which act as a spotter. When starting your own gym whether that be Home or commercial it should be a consideration of whether you can afford the space of a power rack.
What Is the Cost of a Squat Rack versus a Power Rack
When looking at how much money you’re able to spend it as the cost of a Good Quality, Sturdy and durable squat rack can range around INR 14,000 to 20,000 compared to a power rack which will range from INR 35,000 and above. You can buy both Adjustable bench and Squat Rack with some Weight plates as well in a cost of bulky Power Rack.
Versatility between a Squat Rack versus a Squat Rack with Pulley
Ask yourself this question would you want a rack mainly just for squat and bench or would you rather a rack that can be used for squat, bench, rack pulls, pull-ups, dips, Cable Exercises and the list goes on.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I chose the Squat Rack with Cable crossover capabilities?
There are some squat racks with cable crossover capabilities. Basically cable crossover exercises are mostly performed for muscle definition sets using both hands same time. You can perform same exercises on single hand high or low pulley as well training each left and right side of the body separately. Cable crossover capability increases machine price significantly for a similar functionality provided with Single hand High and Low pulley in relatively less price.
Should you go heavy on Lat pull-down?
If you are a beginner to Lat Pull-Down it’s better to go light and practice your form similar to rowing. After that, you need to decide if you want to look chiseled or build strength. If you want to build strength go for heavyweights and moderate weights to get the chiseled look. Be careful if you choose heavy as this is more likely to lead to injuries.
What should I look for when buying a Squat Rack?
When picking a Squat rack it’s important to keep in mind the max weight capacity if you are looking to fill it out with various attachments. The safety of the rack is also important as a lot of racks and wobble which is a big red flag. The pipe size plays an important role in making structure more rigid. 3 inch by 3 inch pipe section with 3mm of Pipe Gauge (Thickness) is sufficient enough to boost your home workouts with weight load capacity of 300 to 400 KGs.
Do I need to bolt down my Squat Rack?
While not all racks need to be secured to the grown due to the weight of them we always recommend it due to safety concerns.
Can you keep a Squat Rack outside?
Squat Racks can be left outside but should be covered or preventions are taken so the rack won’t rust. A good preventative measure is a good coat of paint.
If there’s anything good that you think we’ve missed, or if you have any questions about anything, then let us know down in the comments below.