If you want to make noticeable strength and size gains, you’ll need to move heavy weights only possible with a barbell and plates. And pushing yourself to the absolute limit training hard means sometimes, you’ll fail a rep.
To use heavy weights safely, you’ll need a spotter.
This spotter could be your gym buddy … or a Power Rack - one of the most versatile tools you could add to your home gym.
In this article, we cover:
- What is the Power Rack
- Safety of the Power Rack
- 5 Exercises with the Power Rack
What is the Power Rack?
The Power Rack, not to be confused with the Squat Rack, is a steel frame with four uprights within which you perform your lifts.
Compared to the Squat Rack, the Power Rack is built with more steel and covers a bigger footprint. It’s a heavier, sturdier and more versatile piece of gear on which you can also store your weight plates.
The Better Body Power Rack measures 49”x49” and 90.55” tall. It’s made using heavy duty, premium steel with a 2000lb max weight capacity.
In addition to main lifts like squat, bench press and deadlifts, you can do countless other workouts including chin-ups and pull-ups. We’ll share 5 of our favourite Power Rack exercises at the end of this article.
In Photo: Better Body Power Rack
Safety of the Power Rack
Lifting progressively heavier weights requires the use of a barbell and weight plates. However, there are a ton of exercises that require a spot to ensure safety throughout the lift. These include the bench press, barbell back squat, military press.
If you like to work out at home you probably prefer to work out alone. The Power Rack acts as your spotter while you move the most challenging weights.
Training hard to get those strength PRs means sometimes, a rep will fail. The adjustable spotter arms are there as a safety net in case the weight slips out of your hands mid-exercise. Depending on your exercise, you can place the safety arms where you need them.
For example, if you’re performing a bench press, you may place the spotter arms above your chest so they can catch the weight, protecting your ribcage from being crushed in case of failure. You may also place the spotter arms just below the deepest point of your squat.
Even with a spotting partner, performing certain exercises are a risk for injury. The Power Rack minimizes those risks.
5 Exercises with the Better Body Power Rack
Wide Grip Pull Ups
Want to build functional upper body strength? Don’t neglect your pull-ups. The Wide Grip Pull Up variation increases lat activation and stimulates gains in your back muscles.
Here are some cues:
- Grab the pull-up bar overhand, wider than shoulder width.
- Allow your legs to hang, with your elbows slightly bent.
- Squeeze your glutes and quads. Brace your core.
- Ribs down, pelvis tucked.
- Rotate your shoulders outward to engage your lats.
- Tuck your chin.
- Pull your shoulder blades to initiate upward movement.
- Pulling your elbows toward your body.
- Squeeze your upper back and lats until your collarbone reaches the bar.
- Pause at the top.
- Slowly lower your body to the starting position and repeat.
Barbell Back Squat
The squat is a complex movement, requiring coordination between your joints and muscle groups.
Here are some cues to execute proper form:
- Get yourself tight on the rack
- Breathe and brace your core
- Ribs down
- Bend at the hips and knees
- Push the floor with your feet
- Drive your shoulders back and up into the barbell
- Accelerate through the lift
One of the most effective leg building exercises is the Reverse Lunge - yet many shy away because of their difficulty. Compared to the squat or deadlift, the Reverse Lunge is much harder to execute, needing precision in form to avoid injury.
Here are some cues:
- Lock in your upper body
- Contact the floor with your back knee
- Apply force through your heel and mid foot
Bent Over Rows
If you want a strong back, you need to pull. The Bent Over Row is a must have exercise to help you build strength throughout your middle and upper back, lats and shoulders while enhancing your mobility, improving your stability and even posture. Improved posture also results in reduced pain and discomfort.
Here are some cues for proper form:
- Hold a loaded barbell.
- Hinge your hips back until the weight reaches knee height.
- Allow your arms to hang, with wrists straight and elbows extended.
- Brace your core.
- Draw your shoulder blades together, retract your scapulas and bend your elbows to pull the weight. It should finish between your belly button and the bottom of your sternum.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades and pause at the top.
- Reverse the movement to lower the barbell with control to the bottom.
The Standing Press adds size and strength to your shoulders while also working your abs, lower back, and muscles surrounding your shoulder blades. Your glutes, hamstrings and quads are also engaged, providing you with stabilization.
Here are some cues for proper form:
- Take a shoulder-width grip. The wider your grip, the weaker you'll be.
- Keep your elbows underneath your wrists.
- Work on wrist mobility so you can extend your wrists back toward your body for a stronger push from the start.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades. Use your shoulders to initiate the lift.
- Keep your chest up to maintain a strong and stable upper back.
If you have the space, the Power Rack is a must have for your home gym - allowing you to train heavy lifts safely.
We hope this article was helpful in understanding a key piece of gym equipment.
For more home gym gear, check out our premium range of home gym equipment.