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Home / Tips n Tricks / Safety 101: How You Should Be Using Your Squat Rack

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Lifting weights is a great way to tone your body, bulk up muscles and gain strength and confidence in the gym. However, traditional methods require you to have a gym buddy, also known as a “spotter,” to lift weights safely. This can be frustrating for those with home gyms, or those who prefer to work out alone. Thankfully, with the rise in popularity of squat racks, you can lift weight safely without fear of injury and without the assistance of a friend.

When it comes to using a squat rack, there are a few important steps you need to take in order to get the safest and most effective workout possible. Many people make the mistake of using a squat rack incorrectly, and it results in a poor workout and personal injury. Be sure to follow the steps below to get the most out of your squat rack.

Step 1: Set Up

In this first stage, you’re going to want to adjust the squat rack to your appropriate height. Shift the mechanisms for the upper rack until they reach the same heights as your shoulders. This will give you a place to rest the bar between sets.

Step 2: Stay Safe

Next, make sure to adjust the lower safety mechanisms. These will help catch the weight if you lose your grip or accidentally try to lift too much. Do a test squat to see where your thighs become parallel to the floor. About an inch below that, adjust these safety racks to meet this height. Never skip this step before using your squat rack; otherwise, you may be risking damage to your equipment or painful and damaging personal injury.

Step 3: Time for Weights

This next step is where it all starts to come together. Fit the bar onto the upper rack and put the right amount of weight on either end for your workout. Don’t forget to secure the weights with collars. Be sure to double-check the lower safety mechanisms, especially if you plan on pushing yourself to new lifting goals.

Step 4: Work Out

You’re all set! Go ahead and perform your sets as you would with a spotter. Don’t forget to practice the right form and keep breathing.

Other Uses for a Squat Rack

A beautiful thing about the squat rack is that it’s not just limited to squat exercises. You can use a squat rack as a cheaper, smaller alternative to a power rack and use it for multiple kinds of free weight sets. For example, you can safely and easily use your squat rack for bicep curls, upright rows and shrugs. This will give you access to a safe and well-rounded workout.

If you’re looking to expand your home gym by getting a squat rack of your own, be sure to look for one made of quality material with the right safety catches.

For more information and advice about all kinds of gym equipment and exercises, you can check out the rest of our blog entries at At Your Own Gym Zone, we are your source for information on the best equipment for your strength training goals.


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