A squat rack or a squat stand is a piece of fitness equipment that allows the users to safely load and unload the weight plate from the bar while it is on the rack and to lift the loaded bar off and on the rack.
For dedicated gym enthusiasts, exercising squats is one of the most critical routines. The purpose of the squat rack is to assist them in training in a safe way while a barbell is involved. Adding weights on the barbell squat not only level up your workout challenges but also help you build overall body strength and gain muscles.
Squat Rack – NC Fitness Australia
The squat is an integral part of almost any workout. To safely perform a squat, you require a reliable squat rack. But all squat racks are not made the same. Some will meet your needs better than others, while some will be too big for your space. Different types of racks might suit your needs in different ways.
To find the perfect squat rack, you’ll need to consider the amount of space you have, what you’ll be using the rack for, and how robust of a rack you want. For example, do you want a simple squat stand to hold your barbell, or do you need a power rack that you can attach various training tools to?
Squat Rack vs. the Power Rack
A squat rack only has two vertical posts- there is no “cage”; it’s simply a stand that holds the barbell at the correct height for you during squats. Squat racks are also known as “half-cages” sometimes because it’s basically half a power cage. Squat racks can also have safety arms to help spot you during your lift.
Squat racks and power racks have similarities, but they are not entirely the same. Squat racks can be used for squat variations, bench presses, and to rack your barbell. Power racks can give you the same benefits but can also help you diversify movements like pull-ups. They can also provide plenty of space for plate storage.
While the differences between a squat rack and a power rack can dictate your exercises’ variation, it will also help you decide which one you need for your space. Power racks are suitable for larger rooms, while squat stands can have a smaller footprint. It’s good to know the rack’s dimensions to decide if it will fit in your space.
Basic Squat Rack/Squat Stand
The squat stand or squat rack offers the smallest amount of support you can get while still being able to call it a rack. These stands are typically the most portable. They are a lightweight method of keeping the bar off the ground at shoulder height. The arms can often be moved up and down to adjust the bar height, or J-hook positioning can be changed. This makes it an excellent option for simplicity and adjustability.
Half Power Cage with Dip Station Tower
This type of rack provides you with great all-around freedom in your lifting. It is the perfect solution for a gym looking for small-footprint equipment. The increments found on the front columns allow users to position the J-hooks and safety bars precisely.
Being ‘open’ at the front makes a half rack a good option for lifts that are performed a couple of steps away from the rack. For example, this is particularly important for overhead lifts and movements like split jerks or overhead squats.
Squat Rack for Small Spaces (Fold-Away Squat Racks)
If you’re looking to squat and live in, say, an apartment, you need a sturdy squat stand that is also light as heck and compact. ATTIVO wall-mounted Power Rack is a sturdy and sleek way to start building your own garage or home gym.
Attivo Power Rack/Cage
While it can look a little intimidating at first glance, a power rack serves much the same purpose as a half rack. It does, however, provide more stability and safety due to its “cage” design. The cage has dual columns at the front and back, supported by horizontal bars top and bottom. This allows the Power Rack to be able to handle weights heavier than a half rack. It also means that any barbells being dumped are less likely to escape out onto the gym floor when released.
The downside is that a full power rack will take up some additional space on your gym floor. A good gym designer will be able to work with your space to maximise it for your specific goals and requirements. You can also add the landmine attachment or Dip bars to your power rack. Having extra Olympic Plate Weight Storage Pegs will make easy access to your fractal plates and collars.
The dual-upright layout also means that Power Racks can often be used by two people at once. One on the inside and one on the outside of the rack. Usually, a rack wouldn’t come with enough J-Hooks and safety bars to do so but these are readily available. If you are a gym runner, a commercial grade power rack will be a necessity.
AttivoSquat Rack with Cables
For lifters who want a complete gym set up, this power rack with cables will allow you to isolate more muscles without the need for extra equipment. ATTIVO Power Rack Cable Pulley System is perfect for adding more functionality to your rack. It bolts directly onto the ZY18 Power Rack and comes complete with straight bar, lat pull bar and spring collars. Suitable for a wide range of exercises.
For commercial usage, our L3 Power Rack features a 60mm steel frame in a choice of black or orange finish. Comes with Cable System is perfect for upgrading your home gym. It attaches to the rack and adds high and low cable system functionality. Perform rows, curls, push downs and a range of other useful exercises.
Benefits Of Using a Squat Rack
Squats are one of the best exercises you can do for overall strength and power building. A dumbbell squat is great, but a barbell squat and other barbell exercises can be even better. However, a squat rack is used for much more than squats. And there are several reasons to consider buying a squat rack:
Above all, my favourite thing about quality squat racks is that they help make exercise safe. When lifters are moving hundreds of pounds, whether they are new or veterans, it’s imperative to be safe. Doing bench press or squats alone could leave you in a bad spot if you fail a lift. A squat rack with safety bars keeps the weight from crushing you – literally.
It’s called a squat rack, but you can perform a large number of exercises just with the uprights and J-hooks: front squats, back squats, overhead squats, overhead presses, bench presses, weighted good mornings, just to name a few.
However, some of the top squat racks on the market have a large number of attachments to add even more exercises. There are dip bars, cable attachments, land mines, lat pulldown add-ons, pulley systems, and more. Your power rack could essentially be a complete home gym if you are willing to spend the money.
For nearly every human being, there is a setting on most squat racks that should work for you. The holes in the uprights house the J-hooks, which are adjustable for your height. Therefore, you can put your Olympic barbell at whatever height you need. Some squat racks actually have uprights that feature adjustable heights, though these aren’t typically as sturdy.
A Squat Rack is an essential fitness equipment that ensures users safety when they are doing weightlifting. Without a squat rack, the squat exercise can be very difficult as it requires lifters to perform a clean, partial press, and allow the weight to pass over their heads and onto their shoulders. With a squat rack, the stress on the performer’s knees will be reduced. In addition, exercising while using a squat rack is much safer than without it, especially when you are training by yourself. In case of a failure, squat rack will be able to catch the barbell which would reduce the risk of hurting yourself by falling weights.
The same is true for power cages, which not only serve the function of a power rack, but also could be used to perform a variety of exercises for a full-body workout. Their sturdy frame and structure make it more and more popular amongst people who wish to set up a gym studio at home.
Both are designed for strength training; the difference between a squat rack and a power cage is that a power rack is mainly used for squats with weights, and power cages are multi-functional. NC Fitness Gear offers a basic squat rack as well as some bench presses with the same function as a squat rack. There are also options of power cages for you to consider.
How to use a squat rack?
Although squatting is already a pretty common exercise and almost everyone in the gym has it in their workout plan, it cannot be emphasised enough the importance of using the equipment correctly in order to achieve your goal in an effective and safe way.
Here are some things for you to consider:
Firstly, it is essential to set up the equipment correctly and then adjust the height of it to around shoulder height. You should test the bar height several times to ensure it is in a suitable position.
Then, make sure you are in a central position when you grip the bar to keep the balance of the bar and avoid hurting yourself.
Always check and make sure the weight plates are secured in place at either end of the bar.
Remember to load suitable weights the first time and slightly add weights progressively. Too much or not enough weight will either hurt you or get you stuck.
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