Within the realms of the fitness and bodybuilding there exist one piece of machinery that is herald as the “Granddaddy of them all”. The Squat rack has been a cornerstone of fitness gyms since the beginning of time. The Squat Rack offers users a small, but spacious space to train intensely without having to worry about injury.
The Squat Rack has a very extensive history that goes back a couple of decades. Since this time the Squat Rack has received many upgrades, but still stays true to its original roots. To truly appreciate the benefits of owning a Squat Rack it is important to understand its beginnings.
The History of the Squat Cage (Rack)
The history of Squat Cage is somewhat founded in a mystery. However there is one person that this machine is typically traced back to. Dr. Craig Whitehead made the Squat rack popular with his research on muscle fatigue.
He and Terry Todd wrote papers about the “Theory of maximum fatigue”, where they delved into the idea of training to failure. This idea revolutionized the field of fitness and strength training causing a change in the way that many people trained.
The Squat Rack offered users an opportunity to experiment with “training to failure” for muscle growth.
Taking a Look at the Squat Rack
True to its name the Squat Rack was designed for users to perform squats in. However, the name does not completely define all the benefits of this piece of equipment.
The Squat Rack allows the user complete freedom of movement, without any bounds. This is perfect for those training with free weights and resistance bands, as it offers them more space.
The Squat Rack design is what really make it so beneficial. There are four vertical pillars that have holes drilled in them that are perfect for a bar guard. The bar guard will offer you protection from dropping the bar on yourself during an intense workout.
The Squat Rack: Great For Squats
Squats have be called the best exercise for your entire body. No other exercise(besides deadlifts) activates so many different muscle groups in the body. The Squat Rack offers a person optimal space for vertical movement, making it the perfect place to perform Squats.
In fact many newer squat racks offer spotter hooks that act as secondary guards for a person training.
The Squat activates muscles in the forearms, deltoids, quads, glutes, calves and even the core. Making Squats the superior lower body exercise when compared to leg presses and lunges. However, it is still possible to perform lunges and even calf raises within a Squat Rack.
The Squat Rack: Great For Bench Presses
One aspect that truly sets the Squat Rack apart from many other machines is its diversity. The Squat rack is not only great for squats, but for other exercises as well. One exercise that is performed in the squat rack is the bench press.
This exercise is typically performed on a incline,decline or flat bench. The users will lift the bar off the bar catcher and go through motion of pressing the bar upward. By using the spotter hooks in conjuction a user will not have to worry about finding a spotter on heavy lifts.
The Squat Rack: Great For Curls?
Probably one of the most heavily debated topics is whether or not the Squat Rack should be used for performing bicep curls. Whether a person believe this is a good idea or not, does not discount the fact that the Squat Rack makes an awesome spot to perform this exercise. Bicep curls can easily be done inside of a squat rack when other barbells are taken.
Since the squat rack offers space for free movement, you can completely contract and extend your biceps curls doing this workout.
The Squat Rack: Great For Chin Ups
One of the advancements made to Squat racks was the installation of other pieces of equipment to it. One of the most common is the pull up/chin up bar. This bar comes in a variety of different shapes and styles. T
he most common is the straight chin up bar which allows for wide and short grips. Other pull up bars may include only short grips, V bars, or a combination of short and long grips. This is an awesome accessory to any Squat Rack as it offers another dimension of the body to train.
The Squat Rack: Great For Dips
Another recent addition to Squat Rack is the introduction of the dip station to the Rack. The Dip station allows a user to perform dips to strengthen their upper chest as well as their triceps. This addition to the Squat Rack makes the rack a complete full body workout machine.
The Dip station is typically fasten to the back or the side of the Squat Rack, so it does not impede anyone using the inside of it. The bars are either made from non slip materials or from an ergonomically designed hand grips to keep you from slipping.
Squat Rack Manufacturers
Squat Racks are probably one of the most sought after pieces of equipment in gyms or for personal usage. Many companies picked up on this very early and began to create Squat racks of their very own.
Some of the best Squat Racks comes from big name companies like Powerline. Powerline is known for its wide array of exercise equipment and has a plethora of different Squat Racks available. Rogue Fitness is another exercise company that offers a great selection of Squat Racks.
Looking Back at Squat Racks
Squat Racks offer you the best in free range of motion while being a space saver. The history of Squat Racks begins somewhere in the 50’s or 60’s, with the introduction of the Theory of Maximum Fatigue.
As the popularity of Squat Racks grew many additions such as the dip station and the chip up bar, was added to it. This helped to make the Squat Rack a more dynamic and diverse workout machine.
PowerLine PPR200X Power Rack
The PowerLine Squat Rack is a power lifters dream machine! This Squat Rack is designed with a heavy duty steel frame that is sturdy and durable. The Squat Rack offers you a spacious training space that makes performing exercises easy. There is no odd attachments that will prevent you from performing free weight exercises and training intensely.
This Squat rack is ideal for Squats, Incline bench press, Decline bench press and flat Bench press. For safety there are two safety rods that can be set at any height that you desire. The rack itself weighs about 136 lbs with a 10 year warranty on the frame and 1 year warranty on all other parts.
- The PowerLine Squat Rack offers you a incredibly spacious machine, that will not hinder your workouts.
- Comes with a ten year warranty on frame and a one year warranty on all other parts.
- There are two safety rods that can be set at any desired height
- Great for performing a number of different exercises.
- Comes with two safety rods that are perfect for keeping injuries at a minimal during a workout.
- Assembly is required.
- All weights, bars and benches must be bought separately.
- Comes with no exercises instruction guides or DVD’s.
Valor Athletics Inc. BD – 7 Power Rack with Lat Pull
The Valor Athletics Squat Racks is an awesome rack for intermediate trainers looking for a piece of home gym equipment. This Squat Rack comes complete with four 8 inch storage pegs. These pegs are made from gauge steel so they will be sturdy and durable. The storage pegs will be able to fit all of your weights without tipping over or scratching them.
This machine also comes with four solid steel weight bar supports. The parts and pieces on this Squat Rack offers you a one year warranty.
This is perfect for storing your barbell in between sets or after a workout is completed. For safety measures there are two solid steel safety bars to protect you from dropping the bar on you. The frame of this Squat Rack is made from solid steel making it more durable and long lasting.
What really makes this Squat Rack specials is its attached pull up bar. The Pull up bar offers you 17 different variations on Lat pull ups. The maximum weight for the Lat pull up bar is 250 lbs.
- The Valor Athletics Squat Rack is great for intermediate and advanced trainers.
- Comes with 8 inch storage pegs that are made from solid steel.
- Squat Rack comes with two bar catchers for advanced safety.
- Lat pull bar is perfect for back exercises and offers you 18 different variations on your workouts.
- Maximum weight for each bar holder is about 500 lbs.
- Maximum weight for Lat pull up is 250 lbs.
- Some assembly is required
- No additional weights or bars are included.
- Not a great system for beginners or novices.
CAP Barbell Olympic Bench with Squat Rack
The CAP barbell Olympic Bench with Squat Rack is an awesome 2 and 1 workout system that is perfect for those looking to train intensely. The equipment offers you a bench that can be set to incline, flat or decline.
This offers you a more diverse array of workouts for you to utilize. What is best about this is the bench can be detached from the Squat Rack to offer you more room and space to perform other exercises. Attached to the bench is a leg curl machine with foam rollers, that offer you comfort for your legs.
The safety spotters located on this bench allow you to train hard without needing assistance from anyone else. The spotters also act as a safety measure to ensure that you do not drop the bar on yourself. The Squat Rack is designed to accommodate a 7 foot Olympic bar with weights.
Total capacity of this machine is about 500 lbs(users and weight combined). The size of this machine makes it an incredible option for those looking for a home gym. It does not take up much space and can be stored in the backyard or in the garage. This is an ideal weight system for an experienced lifter.
- Offers you three settings for your bench: incline, decline and flat
- Detachable bench allows you to perform other exercises with the Squat Rack.
- The Squat Rack is designed to fit a 7 foot Olympic bar
- Leg curl machine is attached to bench for increased comfort.
- Safety spotters designed to ensure safe weight training.
- Great for an experienced lifter looking for a home gym.
- Compared to other home gyms, this rack takes up very little space.
- The cost of this Squat Rack/Bench is very affordable
- Adjustable Safety Spotters for different exercises: Military Press and bench press.
- Incredibly easy to assemble with just a few common tools.
- Sturdy upright frame will not tip over during intense exercises.
- Can only facilitate up to 500 lbs of total weight!
- Does not include any weights, dumbbells, barbells or bars.
- Not designed for an inexperience lifter.
Adidas Squat Stand
This is the ultimate in Squat Racks. The Adidas Squat Rack offers you a oversized, stand alone Squat Rack that is perfect for in home usage. There are two storage clips that are perfect for keeping weights in place.
This Squat Rack is perfect for those that are looking to use Olympic weight plates. Adjustable bar catcher with safety clips makes this one of the safest Squat Racks on the market.
- Max weight capacity of 600 lbs.
- Adjustable bar catcher with two safety clips.
- Oversized, stand alone Squat racks.
- Olympic weight plates is perfectly compatible with this rack.
- Perfect for those looking for an in home gym.
- Great option for newbies looking to begin training.
- Does not come with any equipment: barbell, dumbbells or weights.
- Some assembly is required
- There is no exercise guide or DVD available.