The power rack is crucial equipment in every gym. You have probably heard that a power rack is an essential equipment, especially for real gains. Have you been asking yourself what is a power rack? Don’t worry, you are not alone.
It is believed that this machine is a hefty investment, and nothing comes close to the strength gaining opportunity of this machine. This is because it will replace plenty of equipment in your home gym; thus, saving a lot of money.
With the help of power racks, lifting weight alone can be safe and easy. It will allow you to perform a pro-level workout without needing a spotter. This machine can be used for squat racks and heavy partials. It is versatile enough to help safely accomplish your workout goals.
To get desired results, you need to use the power rack to its full potential. This post talks about power rack and how to work out better using this machine.
What is a Power Rack?
A power rack is a fitness machine that is used for barbell exercises. This fitness equipment is also known as squat cages or power cages. It contains a steel cage in which you stand when you are exercising. For making it easy to work out, the cages have safety bars that can be adjusted without any difficulty, at various heights.
One of the exercises that are associated with power racks is squats. Fortunately, there are numerous exercises that you can do on a power rack. They include:
- Bicep curls
- Bench press
- Bent-over row
- Shoulder press
- Calf raises
- Shoulder shrugs
By looking at these exercises, you can notice that all these are classic powerlifting moves. One of the best things about power racks is that it is capable of spotting the lifter mechanically. It is an extremely useful tool when you are exercising alone.
For a long time, power racks have been widely available in the commercial gyms. In recent times, they are also becoming common in home gyms. This is because it is affordable; you can get a power rack under $1000.
Additionally, the power racks available nowadays include pull up bars. Many power racks even have the ability to attach different attachments for various exercises like Lat pulldowns, dips, and rows. Thanks to these attachments, you can easily increase the number of exercises you can do.
Tips for Having a Better Workout
Here are some important tips for improving workout on power racks.
1. Warm-Up Is Essential
The first thing you should focus on is warm-up. Keep in mind, you must never do any exercise on a power rack without warming up before. Many athletes get comfortable with their routine that they skip the warm-up. This is one of the most common mistakes made by many beginners.
Warming up is imperative and should not be skipped, no matter in what shape you are or what exercise you will be performing. If you are not warmed up, your muscles will not be primed. In this way, you will be damaging your body instead of building it up. It can result in severe injuries and complications and will slow down your progress.
So, it is advised to warm up for 10 minutes before moving to the power rack.
2. Military Press (Barbell Overhead Press)
The best thing about power rack is its versatility. It enables you to perform a wide range of exercises. One of the exercises that you can do is the military press. This exercise is a wonderful way to improve your shoulders strength. It might seem like an easy exercise; however, it is complex. Picking up and putting down the barbell at the beginning or at the end is not easy.
It is advised to set the rack at the right position to make it convenient to start and end the exercise. The safest way to do this exercise is by setting the safety bar at chest level. If you get stuck on a lift, you can easily dump the bar without getting hurt. Additionally, for keeping yourself safe, you should press the bar in front of your body rather than behind. There are two ways to perform this exercise, standing or seated.
Performing Overhead Press the Right Way
- First, you should set the bar. It is recommended to set it on the safety bars.
- Then, you must load the weight on the bar. Keep in mind that the right form is important rather than weight in the beginning.
- You must position your hands on the bar a little wider than shoulder-width.
- Next, move forward and your knees should be bent. The bar should be at your shoulder level.
- After that, you must stand up, so the weight is resting on your shoulders and upper chest.
- Whether you are seated or standing, your back should be straight. This is because if your back is rounded or arched, it can put a strain on your lower back.
- When lifting up the weight, you must choose a spot on the wall and keep eyes on that spot. Avoid looking up at the weight.
- Slowly lift the weight up to the height that your elbows are locked out. After that, gradually bring down the weight back to the shoulder level.
- Keep in mind, don’t snap the weight or bounce the weight.
- When performing overhead press while seated, you must follow the same steps except you will not have to stand with the bar.
- When lifting, make sure you lift the bar in a smooth and controlled way.
3. Squatting Correctly
One of the most popular exercises you can do with a power rack is squats. This exercise might be one of the reasons why you invested in this exercising tool. Mostly, lifters prefer high bar squats. However, it is recommended to keep changing your squat game, so you can increase the number of lifts.
In high bar squat, you must keep the bar at the top of the trap. On the other hand, in the low bar squat, the bar is placed on the lower back.
Right Way to do Low Bar Squat
- When it comes to low bar squat, your stance should be correct. Mastering your stance will make all the difference.
- Start by keeping your back tight and nice. The bar should be spaced evenly behind you.
- Forearms and hands must create a perfect line. Keep in mind that you should not use your hands for supporting the bar.
- Ensure your chest is forward and pointed. Maintain this position.
- Next, you must make sure your elbows and shoulders are down.
- Your knees should be out while your shoulders must be tilted back.
- Keep in mind your feet should be wide out, you must balance your weight on the center of your foot and heels. An important tip is that you should never balance on toes.
- To avoid using toes as balance points, try curling them.
- Since the bar will be on your back, you should have a neutral back. A rounded or arched back will be dangerous for you, so you must avoid it at all costs. A slight curve in your back will not be bad for your health.
- Once you hit the bottom of the squat, you must come back up using gluteal muscles. At the same time, you must raise your chest.
4. Perfect Deadlifts
Let’s face it, everybody deadlifts in a different way. Before you deadlift, you have to keep in mind that it is a dangerous exercise if done wrong. In addition, you might not be able to see the desired results.
Traditional deadlift – if you want to do a traditional deadlift, you will have to lift the weight directly from the floor. This is done outside the power rack. Another way to deadlift is rack pull. It is performed from the lower bars of the rack.
Tips to Deadlift from the Floor
- Start by standing with your feet, hip-width apart.
- Then, hold the bar in a double overhand grip; keep in mind that your hands should be shoulder-width apart.
- Avoid flexing your elbows while you are lifting.
- You should lower yourself enough that your shins touch the bar.
- Next, you should keep your hips down while your chest must be up and out. Make sure your head is also up and back is straight.
- Lift the bar. You must start by engaging your leg muscles, then engage back and hip muscles along with the posterior chain.
5. Right Way for Doing Bench Press
Another great exercise that you can do using a power rack is the bench press. For this exercise, it is critical to have a good bench. This is a useful exercise for toning your muscles of the upper body including shoulders, arms, and pectorals. It is good for enhancing your upper body strength and increase muscular endurance.
How to do Bench Press?
- First of all, you must have a bench and place it in the power rack. The edge of the benchtop must be 5 to 6 inches beyond the bar.
- You must lay down on the bench in a way that your eyes must be under the bar.
- Keep your elbows away from your body at 75 degrees while gripping the bar.
- While gripping the bar, the forearm should support the weight rather than your wrist.
- After that, you should lift up the bar and extend the elbows. During this, you must make sure the bar path is over your chest.
- As far as your feet are concerned, your feet should be flat on the surface and knees bent.
- Make sure your shoulders are down and abs are tightened during the lift.
6. Bodyweight Exercises
Without a doubt, a power rack is not associated with bodyweight exercises. Still, you must incorporate bodyweight exercises into your routine. The best place to do it is a power rack. This will make the rack more versatile as you can do plenty of exercises.
Through bodyweight exercises, you can improve your strength. It will make you a well-rounded athlete and increase functional fitness. This means you will be able to perform various activities outside the gym.
How You Can Use Power Rack for Bodyweight Exercises?
- Grip strength training
- Knee raises
- L hangs
- Front levers
- Toes to bar
7. Use Add-ons
Power rack will enable you to perform a lot of exercise by using different attachments. This will allow you to get more from the power rack. We have mentioned some of the add-ons that you can use.
The Viking press can be used with landmine and barbell attachment. Through this attachment, you can easily perform presses, rows, and pulls.
One of the best add-ons that you can use is land mines. This will place the barbell in one end while you lift the other. A great thing about land mines is that it can pivot in several directions. Despite it, the base will be stable when you lift the barbell. You can easily perform presses, rows, twists, and pulls.
You can use a set of multi grips to the power rack so you can bring versatility to your lifting routine. By attaching multi grips high, you can use it for pull-ups or other exercises. In addition, you can attach them at mid and perform dips. Through multi grips, you can increase muscle building.
By adding a dip station, you can do a wide range of exercises. With this station, you will not have to spend money on a dip rack or power tower.
We hope these tips will help you get the most out of the power rack. A power rack is safe equipment that will help you lift without having a spotter. You must keep in mind the rack must be capable of holding at least 700 pounds. Use these tips and get in shape without needing plenty of exercising equipment.