A power rack, also known as power cage or squat cage, is a versatile and multipurpose gym equipment that allows you to execute a number of different workout drills with maximum efficiency. Power rack eliminates the need for a spotter while ensuring complete safety for weight trainers. The equipment consists of four vertical bars of 5 to 7 feet in height. A supporting beam holds the entire rack and keeps it fixed on the ground. Typically, the vertical bars are separated approximately 4 feet apart and are lined with holes at two-inch intervals. These holes are used to fasten bars for catching weights or saddles to hold them.
With power racks, you can perform a lot of basic and advanced workout drills to help you achieve a high level of fitness and physical conditioning. Here are five of the best exercises you can do at the gym with a power rack.
For bench press, remember to keep the saddles low and the bars easy to reach in order to maintain proper balance. Set the supporting bars just above your upper chest and position the bench in the middle of the power rack. Lie flat on the bench facing upwards and begin by drawing the bar near your chest. Lift the bar up until your arms are fully extended. Bring it back towards your upper chest and repeat six to eight times.
Squats are the most popular exercise you can do using a power rack. This routine starts by setting the bar below the shoulder level. Position yourself under the bar and grip with both hands. Maintain proper posture while keeping your feet flat on the ground and the bar resting on your upper back just below the neck and the shoulder line. Once comfortable and balanced, slowly lift the bar up from the saddle until you get into a standing position. Go back to the initial position and repeat three to four times for each set.
Set the bar on the power rack at chest height. Start by pushing the bar on your chest, in line with the collarbones. Grip the bar at shoulder width and lift it over your head until both of your arms are locked at the elbows. Hold the bar up and slowly bring it back to its initial position. Repeat three to four times for each set.
For the deadlift, you need to set the bar down to the lowest position possible. Keep your stance at shoulder width and your head facing forward as you pull the bar up from the floor. Draw the weight towards your hips and slightly lean back as you squeeze your glutes and shoulder blades together. Bend at the hips as you bring the bar down. Repeat three to four times. Check out our guide to Deadlifting from Britain’s Strongest man Eddie Hall.
Always make sure that the rack is stable before performing this drill. Position the bar at the highest position that you can reach in a standing position. Firmly grip the bar with your fingers and pull your body up using your chest muscles. Maintain an upright posture and slowly exhale as you bring your body down. Repeat six to eight times.
Follow this link to learn more about the best power rack models of 2017, the benefits and advantages of using a power rack, and the things that you need to consider before purchasing your own one.