Power racks are a fundamental part of strength training. They can be used across a range of exercises, and are one of the most vital ways to keep yourself safe and maximise progress. Practically all of the major lifts like the bench press and the squat can all see the benefits of them, so they’re worth learning how to use properly. In steps: how to squat in power rack like a pro.
What is a Power Rack?
Power racks, or squat racks, contain two adjustable horizontal bars. These bars can be altered depending on the exercise and the height you feel comfortable with. That means that you’ve got more control using the weighted barbell, preventing you from losing your balance during the exercise. that’s a huge benefit on its own. (Safety first!)
When you’re looking more specifically at how to squat in a power rack, that’s even better. You’re moving the barbell quite a big distance if you think about it. Using a power rack means that these bars can help you to get as low as you need to, without worrying about not being able to get back up. The pegs are acting as a spotter for you, and that’s a huge plus. Especially if you’re just starting out or trying a new weight.
You know where to stop too. That’s another plus. It’s easy to try and go deeper than you need to when you’re actually doing the squat, or not go deep enough. when you reach the bars, you know you’ve hit the mark. A good rep is essential after all, and the wrong depth can ruin everything!
How to Squat – It’s All About Technique
Squats are an incredibly effective lower body exercise to build muscle and strength whilst toning and stripping fat at the same time. Add weights to the mix, and they’re even better. Getting the technique right is crucial though when squatting, especially with weights. The last thing you need is an injury.
If you’re new to weighted squats, we advise that you practice your squats weight-free to see how far down you can go first. (Don’t be afraid to do this in front of a mirror either, it’s an effective way to practice your technique.) When you’re ready to use weights, the barbell should be placed on the back of your shoulders, which you’ll hold in position.
Start with lighter weights or just the barbell with no additional weight plates added to it. That’s the only way you’ll really get a feel for what you’re doing.
Don’t force or pile the weights on either. Too much too soon can easily cause an injury. Start off with a comfortable set of weights that your body can cope with and aim for 12 repetitions. If you struggle to reach 8 reps, lower the weights slightly and if you’re finding it easy, increase the weights.
If you’re unsure how to squat correctly (with or without weights), you need to keep your back straight, stick your bottom out and your hips apart – shoulder to shoulder width. Don’t worry, you won’t look stupid! Check out our proper form guide if you need to
How to Squat Correctly on a Power Rack
Once you’ve mastered the squat technique without weights, it’s time to move into the power racks real benefits.
The two horizontal bars on the power rack can be adjusted to suit you – this is key to remember everyone is different. you need to find what fits your squat. You’ll want to position these bars to a comfortable height so that you can easily reach to lift the weighted barbell without stepping on your tiptoes or overstretching.
The aim is to lift the barbell with your knees slightly bent. We recommend adjusting the horizontal bars to a few different heights until you find the right position that can comfortably squat too.
Don’t be afraid to practice your squatting technique weight-free in the power rack and test how far down you can go. Remember, the barbell will be placed shoulder height, so it’s important that horizontal bars are placed at the correct height to safely secure your squat position.
The key to squatting correctly in a power rack is your technique and confidence. Your confidence will improve your technique and posture, which will enhance your ability to squat with weights.
FANCY WEIGHT TRAINING ON A POWER RACK AT HOME?
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.