Squat Rack - Now What?
Squat Rack - Now What?
The squat rack is a must for any serious home gym, and you’ll be upgrading more than your leg gains by installing one. With the cost of a high-quality, gym-grade squat rack costing less than a few months membership at your local sports centre, it’s a no brainer for home trainers.
But, a rack alone isn’t going to have you punching through plateaus and setting new PBs each week. You’re going to need a set of accessories to help you make the most of your fitness investment.
Using a squat rack to its full potential
If you’re new to lifting weights, then the squat rack, or power rack, might seem like a pretty intimidating piece of kit. It’s big, solid, and usually comes loaded with an Olympic barbell with plates stacked on each side. But the truth is, this bulky piece of equipment will change the way you lift, for good.
There’s no doubt about it, squats are one of the most efficient ways to gain strength, supporting growth in a large number of muscle groups throughout your body. And by pairing the squat rack with a range of accessories, you could train every muscle in your body.
5 must-have squat rack accessories
#1 Squat ramp
Before we start looking at how you can make the most of your squat rack to train a wide range of muscle groups throughout your body, we’re going to upgrade your leg lifts
Incorporating a ramp platform into your squat routine will help you to focus on quad strength, improve your technique, and increase your load without compromising your joints — all by adding a simple, yet sturdy 16° incline plate under your heel.
#2 Adjustable bench
While it’s not a small addition to your rack, it’s one we’d recommend. By pairing a high-quality adjustable bench with your squat rack and barbell, you’ll be able to target your chest, triceps, and shoulders with a multitude of exercises.
And, if you purchase a bench that can support a large amount of weight, you can use it as an improvised squat box, too.
#3 Weighted chains
Chains offer an entirely new way of training for most conventional lifters. If you’ve done some research, you’ll know that progressive overloading is one of the key ways to gain both size and strength. Weighted chains add progression on every rep.
As you squat, for example, the chain will alleviate some weight as it rests on the ground, but it increases as you push through the rep lifting more and more links off the floor. This works for bench press too, and you can even use chains for non-squat rack exercises, such as pull-ups.
#4 Safety bar
You’ve most likely already purchased a bar to go with your new squat rack. And whether it’s a 20kg Olympic bar or a smaller technique bar, it’s probably a simple steel cylinder with knurled grips for your hands.
But, if you’re serious about squatting, then a squat safety bar is an investment you’ll want to consider. They come with thick padded shoulder rests, a handle collar for a comfortable grip and reduced wrist strain, and because of their design, they’ll help you to maintain better form and encourage torso alignment throughout your lifts.
#5 Safety spotters
If you’re working out at home, then there’s a chance you’ll be working out alone. By adding a pair of safety spotters to your squat rack, you’ll be able to push your body further, without the worry of an injury from failing a rep. Safety spotters are easy to install, slotting into the pin grooves in your rack.