Whether lifting at home or in the gym, safety should always be a priority. After all, you won’t see any gains if you get forced into a prolonged spell of inactivity due to injuries. Using squat racks is one of the best ways to stay safe while lifting.
So, how do squat racks keep you safe throughout lifting exercises? Here’s all you need to know about why squat racks are a great tool and how you can use them effectively.
Squat Racks Support You Through Multiple Exercises
One of the main benefits of squat racks is that they can be used to support lifters of all experience levels through a wide range of exercises. Given that many Canadians exercised less during the pandemic, the knowledge that squat racks are suited to various routines is fundamental, regardless of whether you’re an experienced or inexperienced lifter.
Some of the exercises that they can keep you safe during include but are not limited to:
- Bench presses
- Hanging leg raises
- Bicep curls
- Barbell rows
They don’t just provide support during one exercise. Squat racks help you through an entire session, time and time again.
They Offer Stability
Stability is a crucial ingredient in the recipe for successful and safe lifting. Starting and ending each set in a balanced position is vital. A squat rack facilitates this even when you do not have a spotter. It is an instrumental piece of equipment when trying a different lift or increasing the weight or number of reps per set.
To enjoy the most significant level of stability, you must first ensure that the squat rack is securely in place. Otherwise, tilting could severely increase the risk of injury or dropping weight. Squat racks can get bolted to a lift platform or the floor. Either way, eradicating unwanted movement allows the squat rack to keep you safe.
They Encourage Better Form
Maintaining good form is one of the key steps to avoiding injuries, highlighted by this list of poor form injuries. Squat racks keep you safe when lifting by encouraging better form through every set you complete. Starting each lift in a stable position is enhanced by the fact that you can be sure that the weight is comfortable to lift and at the right height.
Moreover, exercising with a squat rack means that you will set the weight back on the rack at the end of each set. Doing this allows you to rest adequately between sets before readjusting yourself and taking on the next set. Using a squat rack is far safer than many alternative approaches where bad form in one lift risks affecting the whole session.
They Are Your Safety Net, or Rather Bars
Squat racks include features that aid comfort and safety during exercise, including J-hooks. However, the safety bars give squat racks a massive advantage over many other features. When used correctly, they will ‘catch’ the barbell if you cannot complete a set. It protects the floor and weights. More importantly, it stops a disaster.
Whether you attempt to lift something too heavy, slip, or tweak an injury, safety bars are there to help. Without the safety bars of a squat rack, you’d have a split second to recompose and rebalance yourself. You could technically drop the bar without significant issues if you complete the exercise with the safety bars below your lowest point of motion.
How to Safely Use Squat Racks
Investing in a quality product and knowing which exercises a squat rack can be used for will give you a solid foundation. However, it is still necessary to utilize a safe lifting method to avoid sudden or progressive injuries that have the potential to sideline you for months.
The following steps will promote the safest and most effective lifting experience;
- Set the rack to the correct height - usually with the barbell at chest height.
- Check that the weight plates are secure - and that the exact weight is on each side.
- Ensure the weight gets evenly distributed - then lift and slowly take a step back.
- Squat with a proper stance - your feet should be shoulder-width apart.
- Return to the squat rack - and gently set the barbell back down.
By now, you should be ready for safe and productive lifting. If you still want more information, check out our comprehensive guide to squat racks today. The road to increased fitness starts now.