Up until a few years ago many fitness fans considered squats to be a classic “women’s exercise”. Nowadays, more and more people are becoming fans of this special workout as it can be both incredibly strenuous and very effective.
If you want to do squats with more than just your own body weight? No problem! You can make the exercise more challenging with a squat rack. The concept is simple: place a barbell on the rack, then take hold of the bar and place it behind your neck and then start doing your classic squats.
Squat racks are often integrated in multi-function devices so you can easily switch from one type of exercise to another.
Who can train with a squat rack?
Basically, training with a squat rack is suitable for any athlete wanting to increase the intensity of their squats. Nevertheless, it is not only important that you train intensively, but also in a healthy way.
Therefore, pay attention to your body’s signals, especially if you are training with additional weight. For example, if you feel pain in your knees, you should stop the exercise and check your standing position. It may be necessary to visit a sports physician to get advice on how to prevent overstraining.
Generally, however, training on a squat rack – provided there are no physical limitations – is a wonderful way to challenge yourself a little more, and avoid under exertion.
How much weight should you train with on a squat rack?
If you have never trained with a squat rack before, you will certainly be asking yourself what would be the perfect weight to start with. The answer will of course depend on you and your fitness level.
It certainly is good to get used to a new type of movement slowly using only the bar behind your neck at first without additional weights. When you feel confident, you can start by adding small weights and then work your way up as necessary.
Ideally, you can check your posture by looking in the mirror in your home gym. Make sure your back is straight and that you keep your feet and knees in the classic squat position during the movement.
The various types of squat racks
In the design of a modern squat rack a lot of attention is given to the adjustable features. Afterall, heavy weights are often involved and so it is extremely important to be able to put a barbell quickly and easily back on the rack.
The height of the rack is particularly important to give a high level of training comfort. It makes sense to choose a height at which you can easily take up and put back the weights. Many racks have fine adjustments in small increments.
Models without height adjustments often have several racks at different heights. Here you can either place your barbell at a certain height or use it as a classic barbell rack for several barbells.
Squat racks in a home gym
It is important to have your squat rack in the right place so that you can use it safely and comfortably. Although all types are robust and sturdy, it is important to give them enough room in order to prevent injury or loss of comfort.
Favourite locations are:
In the centre of a free space (in large home gyms)
In front of a large mirror.
As you will probably regularly be training with heavier weights on the squat rack, it is recommended to protect the floor by laying out fitness mats underneath it. This particularly applies if you want to store your barbells and weights in the rack when they are not in use.
Guided squats with multifunctional equipment
Squat racks which are integrated in multifunctional equipment can often be used for guided squats. Depending on the type of training, you may find that this gives you more confidence to train with higher weights. Here the barbell is guided to move in a given path which means that you still require balance when lifting upwards, but the rack gives you a certain amount of support.
With this you may be able to increase your training weight a little sooner. The advantage of free squats is that your deep muscles will also be addressed during the workout.