If you are looking for the most useful equipment for your home gym, power racks are some of the most versatile pieces of gym equipment. Power racks (also called Power Cages) are not the most common types of rack. Most gyms utilize a squat rack, which is also very versatile, but not as much as the power rack. Here are the main diffrences between the two. 

Power Racks vs Squat Racks

On the surface, they may seem identical, but both of them cater to a different type of gym goer. In general squat racks are a lot cheaper. Power racks can be drasticly more expensing depending on the type of functionally that they offer. For example, expensive power racks can have: a pullup bar and/or a dip station.

The power rack is a lot safer in comparison to the squat rack. If you get overwhelmed by the amount of weight when squatting in the squat rack, you would have to leave the bar on the ground. In the power rack, you can just drop the bar on the bottom part of the stand. 

While the squat rack is a lot more compact than the power rack, it only allows you to perform a limited amount of exercises. Here are some exercise to include in your power rack workouts.

Exercises to Perform on the Power Rack

Squats (with Resistance Bands)

The classic barbell squat is one of the most popular exercises for developing strength, mass and strength endurance in your leg muscles. It is a basic multi-joint exercise that loads multiple muscle groups and as such, has a multi-sport application. But why should you squat on a power rack? 

Well, there are two advantages of squatting on a power rack. Firstly, you will be getting all of the benefits using a squat rack, you will be able to quickly load and unload the bar after finishing a set. Furthermore, you will get the added benefit of not having to worry about what would happen if you go overboard with the weight. The horizontal lower bars will allow you to gently re-rack the weight without needing to drop it on the ground.

As an added bonus, you can add some resistance bands in to make your squat harder. Here is how you can do that. Most power racks have a special segment in the middle of the lowest horizontal part where you can safely wrap around a resistance band. This allows you to perform all types of band exercises easily.

Pull Ups and Chin Ups

Pull ups are one of the oldest and most effective exercises for back development. Pull ups are a great exercise for both muscle mass and strength.

Pull ups affect multiple muscle groups simultaneously, and are excellent for both beginners and advanced trainees. It is advisable to include pull ups in your back training if you have enough strength to perform it.The power rack is the perfect place to perform the exercise. Most power racks are sufficiently high as to not force you to bend your knees.

You can also do chin ups on the power rack. This option puts more strain on the biceps. The grip is slightly narrower than the shoulder. In contrast to the pull up with its pronated grip, chin ups mainly load the lower part of the broad back muscle. 

The speed of execution is increased, as well as the attention to the technique of execution. In the upper phase of the movement, gently pull your curved back. You gather until your chin appears above the lever, hold for a moment, then relax smoothly down.

The Bench Press

The bench press is among the best exercises for the development of strength, stability and the mass of all the chest muscles.

It is important to understand that this is not just a chest exercise but also a complex and multi-joint movement involving many muscle groups. Continuously performing the same bench exercise does not make much sense. There are plenty of other variations that can help you achieve better muscle activation.

For example, you should try performing a resistance band bench press. The power rack is great for that, the bands can easily attach to the rack without you worrying about them popping off. Also, the power rack can assure that you will be safely able to unload the weight if you go overboard with your bench press.

Rack Deadlifts

In general, deadlifts can put a significant strain on your lower back, especially when performed with heavier weight. So here is the alternative – rack deadlifts.

Performing only the upper part of the movement is oriented towards a greater load on the upper back and trapezius muscles.Also, you can perform a deadlift with resistance bands.

Take two resistance bands, wrap them around the bar, stand infront the barbell, feet shoulder-width apart, and overlap the two rubber bands. Hold the bar a little wider than the width of the legs. Bend your knees, lower your buttocks, back straight. During the exercise, the head is straight forward and the gaze is directed forward and slightly upward.

When standing up, take the weight first with the legs and buttocks’ muscles to include the back’s muscles in the next stage. Keep your weight close to your body, and never look down. Immediately after straightening the body, relax the shoulders down and tense the entire back and buttocks muscles. Do not lean back, do not pull your shoulders back.

Slowly and in a controlled manner, return to the starting position. 

Conclusion

If you are wondering if you should buy a power rack for your home gym here is your answer. The power rack will allow you to perform nearly every compound movement exercise: the deadlift, the bench press, squats and all of their variations. In addition, depending on the type of power rack you by, it may come with a dip and/or pull up station. In any case, you should include some of the exercises we mention in your next rack workout.