Squat rack

How to utilise a squat rack

If you want to start training at home, then purchasing a good quality squat rack is essential. With the help of a squat rack, you can get a full-body extensive workout. Having a rack is important for initiating safe training. It allows you to get a loaded bar safely on the shoulders and stop the bar from falling.

Squats are functional exercises that help our body perform real-life activities and are considered effective ways of toning the body. Contrary to what many of us think, squats are not just for the weightlifter or bodybuilders; In fact, they are for everyone who wants to tone up the body at any age. The best thing is these can be done anywhere, anytime.

Below we will share some great full-body exercises that you can do with a squat rack. So let’s get started to get the most out of your squats.

Full Body Squat Rack Workout

If you have decided to buy a squat rack, it’s recommended to go for an adjustable one, such as the OW150 Power rack with pulley system as it gives you the freedom to adjust the weight bench and include variants like incline and decline bench presses with weight bench lateral flyes.

So below are some top exercises that can help you build ultimate strength and let you go under all-around workout.

Ultimate Exercises Using a Squat Rack

  1.     Back Squat

The back squat is a lower-body exercise that works on glutes, quads, and hamstrings. It is also called ‘the king of all exercises.’ This classic basic exercise can build great strength and power.

You place the barbell behind the neck— retract the shoulder blades super tightly, and rest the bar in the upper traps’ meat.

Pro Tip: 

Place both feet between hip and shoulder-width with your toes turned out. This helps to increase the depth of a squat.

  1.     Shoulder Press

The shoulder press, also known as overhead press, is a super-solid upper-body exercise that utilises a collection of muscles to help achieve the desired body. Clubbed together is even one of the most effective compound exercises along with squat, bench press and deadlift; the shoulder press exercise is the key to gaining toned muscles.

Pro Tip:

Always bring the barbell down to ear height before pushing it back. Never lock your elbows when reaching the top of this exercise.

  1.     Flat Bench Press

Flat bench presses are the most recommended ones for building the largest and strongest chest muscles. It reduces the risk of workout injures, making it a simple exercise to perform. Moreover, it increases lifting power, helps you build the overall body strength, and target the major muscles, triceps, deltoids, and serratus anterior.

Pro Tip:

Keep your elbows tucked in slightly while performing it. Don’t put back your shoulders too far as it could strain your muscles.

  1.     Barbell Lunges     

The best thing about lunges is they don’t demand a very high level of hip flexibility to get to the full depth. It puts great pressure on the glute and hamstring to build them. Along with the barbell lunges, you can combine Bulgarian split squats for building ultimate strength and make your workout more exciting and challenging.

Pro Tip:

Always start with barbell lunges initially with the weight bar to check how much pressure you can take on both legs as the muscles in both legs are slightly different.

  1.     Dips

The dip is an effective exercise that mostly targets the chest and activates the shoulders, triceps, and abdominals. It all depends on the body’s angle during the exercise; you can simultaneously increase the chest or the triceps’ demand. So this means this useful exercise can be an extremely effective way to grow and perfectly strengthen the two different body parts.

You should go with the adjustable squat rack kit, which can easily slide in the form of a dip station.

Pro Tip:

You can vary the dip stance to target the chest and triceps to get an extreme upper body workout.

  1.     Bicep Curl

Bicep curls are the best exercise for getting stronger and more intense and well-defined biceps.  It targets the vanity muscle and gives quick pumps in the arms. When the arm fills up with blood and put under the bicep curl’s stress, the arms look insane.

Pro Tip:

You can introduce variation in a bicep curl, from full extension to half extension, back down, then half extension, and go for full contraction.  It’s up to you!

  1.     Hip Lifts

If you want to target the trio of glutes, hamstrings and lower back, then hip lifts are a perfect choice. These lifts tone the back’s spinal erector muscles boosts core strength for improved power and performance in daily life activities.

The reason is, it feels good because, at the top of the move, one feels a deep stretch in the front of the hips and torso. The position is to sit with the weight bench, so the edge is near your back’s middle. Bring both knees in, and squeeze glutes as lift up.

Pro Tip:

Always use a barbell squat pad for the ultimate protection of hips while using a loaded bar.

  1.     Box Squats

Box squats help build strength as these are a dominant hip movement. Such squats emphasise the glutes, hamstring, and erector spinae muscles—these help build strength in the posterior chain. Simply by utilising a wider stance and squatting backwards, the movement emphasises your posterior muscles.

Pro Tip:

Bring a weight bench, and place it parallel into the squat rack to ensure it stays balanced. Now start squatting down and use your bench for support.

  1.     Barbell Rows

It’s a basic upper back exercise, perfectly works on rhomboids, middle and lower trapezius. These entail pulling the weight as quickly as possible without any breaking form, making the pull super explosive for you.

Pro Tip:

Always pick the bar on the spotters and simply squat down so that the back keeps align to the floor, keeping the spine straight. Move bar toward the bottom of abs, squeeze the shoulders a bit and release back down. You can add dumbbells for better performance.

So How Often Should I Increase The Weights?

Well, it all depends on your experience, the ability, and what your primary goals are! If you want to see improvement, you should keep on increasing weight load through each cycle. You can think of adding more weights when you can do 5 reps maximum and increasing the reps until it reaches 12 reps with the same load. Otherwise, stick to the same weight for some time, and improve your performance.

These are some effective exercises that could be performed easily with a squat rack. People often commit mistakes while performing squats and keep repeating them; that’s why understanding those mistakes is necessary to avoid any severe injury.

Squat Racking Mistakes

  •         Not Improving Ankle Flexibility:

This is the most common mistake beginners make! Bad positioning and movement ultimately lead to injuries. All this happen due to inflexible ankle movements.

  •         Positioning Bar Too High on Neck:

Never position the bar too high on your neck, especially if you are just a beginner. Bad positioning can put a lot of pressure on the base of your neck and upper spine.

  •         Don’t be a COPY CAT:

People have different body alignment, so follow a different setup, that’s why never try to copy anyone, especially when you are unaware of your potential power. So always go with what suits you!

  •         Wrong Bar Positioning:

Always take the correct bar positioning; if you are a low bar squatter, then the squat bar always aligns with your chest’s center.


Wrap Up

Many people make the mistake of assuming that squats are all about legs, but it’s a wrong perception. In fact, you should activate the core and upper back muscles to perform squats perfectly. It helps to tighten your core and strengthen your muscles. So when are you going to start your journey?

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