The technique requires a lot of practice before the movement can be executed correctly, safely, and effectively. If done incorrectly, it can lead to injuries, especially to the lower back and the knees. Therefore, we recommend starting with just the bar until you become accustomed to the movement. When done correctly, the benefits for the primary muscles are significant.
Let’s go through what the rack squat is, why to use it, and how.
What is a squat rack (or gym cage)
For anyone interested in weightlifting, powerlifting, or simply building strength, gym squats are of vital. They are one of the key exercises that helps to strengthen the posterior chain and stimulate hormone production for muscle building.
It’s not important if you’re just starting out or an experienced lifter, a squat rack is always useful for staying in shape.
Constructed with a sturdy steel frame, squat racks allow you to unrack the bar directly onto your shoulders, eliminating the need to lift the bar upward and overhead. They are equipped with safety spotters designed to catch the bar in case of failure during the lift.
The majority of squat racks are also adjustable, allowing you to set the weight bar at the desired height. There are also foldable racks available to save space.
Using a squat station for your workout
Squat racks have many useful functions to assist you during your workout. Here are the reasons why you should consider having a squat station at home for your training:
- Rack and Unrack When you start doing squats, you might use a sandbag or a kettlebell. However, as you progress, you’ll likely want to use much more weight. You’ll also try to direct the weight more precisely to target your posterior muscles more effectively. This means using a loaded and well-balanced barbell.
- Safety Features Most squat racks have safety bars or spotters designed to catch the barbell in case of failure during the lift. This allows you to train without worrying about the bar falling on you. Additionally, most spotter bars are adjustable to the right height for the person training. Ultimately, both the barbell and the safety bars allow a safe training without a workout partner.
- Used as a training aid, the Squat racks can also help with your strength progression. Safety bars can be used to break the Stretch Shortening Cycle (SSC), a technique used by weightlifters and powerlifters. Some squat racks can also be used to attach the resistance bands that wrap around the barbell – another strength training technique that can help increase the weight load.
- Bench pressing Most squat racks are also equipped for benching, allowing you to train both your upper and lower body. The only consideration you should make is whether a full power rack would be a better choice. Squat racks usually can’t handle as much weight as a full power rack and the spotter bars are typically shorter, giving you less space to rack – or drop – the bar. On the flip side, they take up much less space than a full rack and are generally more affordable.
Which home gym squat rack to buy
For most people, gym racks (or squat racks) will be able to handle more than enough weight. However, advanced lifters with a high-impact training style will want to ensure that their equipment is as sturdy as possible.
If you train more vigorously, you might want to consider a full power rack, as having a four-sided frame that you can bolt to the floor is a sturdier option.
You should also consider whether you want a pull-up bar. So, if you think you want one in the future but can’t mount it on your wall, then a power rack might be more suitable.
Remember that you need to be experienced in using a squat rack, so strictly follow your fitness instructor’s training plans and perform squat exercises correctly. If not executed properly, they can cause issues with your knees and lower back, that’s why it is important to use this equipment only after consulting with an industry expert who can guide you towards the purchase of the best product for your physical abilities and goals.
The squat rack is an essential tool for weightlifting and powerlifting enthusiasts. Thanks to its sturdy structure and safety spotter bars, you can perform squat exercises with peace of mind and without the risk of injuries. However, it’s important to follow a proper technique and rely on a fitness expert to create a training plan. Furthermore, using this equipment helps strengthen the posterior chain and stimulates hormone production for muscle building. If you’re considering buying a squat rack, remember to choose a sturdy one and consult an instructor to select the one that best suits your needs.