Going to the gym can be quite hard to schedule for some of us. Sometimes, we’re too caught up in our work or family life that we don’t have enough time anymore to hit the gym. This is why starting a home gym can be a great idea for some of us with spacious homes.
One of the first equipment you should look into is a power rack. This piece of equipment can help you save to space with your plates as well as help you deadlift and squat. Today, we will find out the best power rack for you.
Power racks are more commonly used by men at the gym because these are designed for power lifting heavy barbells. The purpose of this equipment is to enable you to deadlift, squat, or bench press hundreds of pounds of plates without needing a spotter.
Before using a power rack without help from an experienced person or expert, you should know how to perform the exercises that it caters to properly. So, if ever you do purchase a power rack for your home, below are our top suggestions.
Before we get into the detailed review. Let's look at some of the exercises you can do with a barbell and power rack at home.
The good thing about this equipment is that it doesn’t take a lot of space. It’s not wide or big enough to need a large room. Although it does have a pretty tall frame, which is why you might want to station this where the ceiling is high at your home.
Choosing A Power Rack?
Well, it depends what you want to do with it...Power racks are versatile.
By versatility, it means that some power racks lets you do an exercise while some don’t. Some have additional features like built-in weights, while others have a workout bench that’s included. Now, when we talk about the uses of a power rack, this is where it shines the most. The best thing about a power rack is that you can do a lot of heavy training in one place.
Unlike in some gyms where you need to go to one corner and the other, a power rack is an all-in-one. That’s why it’s good for those who are looking to make a simple home gym; you’ll purchase lesser equipment with the power rack.
One of the primary uses of a power rack is its storage capability. Power Racks are racks that are initially built to place your plates and bar handles. Usually, the main heavy exercise that you can do with this equipment is squats.
I am sure that if you are interested in purchasing a power rack for home gym, then you are interested in doing the following lifts:
Squats are a famous workout for bodybuilders who are looking to increase their core body strength along with lower body resistance. Squats are good exercises that target your hamstring, calves, and legs. It also targets your butt and shoulders because of the added weight that you’re lifting. This is one of the premiere heavy exercises that can work out your muscles!
To do this with a power rack, set up your barbell and its plates on the rack. Put it at a reasonable height just enough for your shoulders to slide under it. Once you’ve secured your grip, slowly lift the barbell from the rack.
You can now slowly do squats by bringing the weight down slowly as you bend your knees. At the same time, extend your butt outwards and keep your shoulder straight.When pushing it upwards, do it with a quick burst and be sure to stretch your body until straight.
Be sure to read these two articles if you are serious about squatting:
Is it bad to squat everyday?
What you need to know before and after doing squats
The bench press is arguably the most efficient workout for increasing overall chest mass. If you’re planning to get significant gains in your pectorals, bench pressing is for you.
Before doing bench presses with a power rack, you need to have a workout bench first. Align your workout bench where you’ll set your barbell.
Make sure you adjust the level of your barbell close to your chest. This way, it will be easier for you to grab it and lift upwards in your first rep.
When doing bench presses, never shrug your shoulders outward since this can cause injury. Arch your chest towards the barbell and slowly lift as you keep your chest arched. This puts maximum stress on your chest.
On a side note, if you ever wondered why you bench more than you squat, then here is the reason and solution.
Unlike the bench press, deadlifts are one of the complete workouts that work your arms, lower body, glutes, and back. When doing deadlifts, you need to properly lift a barbell at rest on the ground until your arms fully extend and your shoulders straighten.
To deadlift with a power rack, you’ll need to remove the bars that are connected to the poles. You’ll see these at the lower end of your power rack.
Afterward, position the bar catcher a few inches above knee-level. After you deadlift, just place the barbell on the catcher and take a break.
Other Exercises You Can Do
As we mentioned earlier, there are other exercises that you can do with a power rack. One of these exercises are the not so common ones like the dips and the pull-ups. Dips and pull-ups target different parts of your body too.
For dips, it targets parts of the chest and the triceps; pull-ups meanwhile can help improve your upper chest, back, and your biceps. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a taller power rack. This enables you to add more difficulty in your dips and pull-ups.
Things To Consider Before Buying
When choosing a power rack at home, you need to take into consideration the size, weight, performance, durability, and even the price of what you’re buying. A power rack’s only suitable for your home if it’s not a space eater and if it can last you for years.
Durability is probably the most important aspect in your power rack. It’s important to note that your power rack should be designed to help you lift heavy weights. The rack should guide you in performing bench presses and deadlifts safely by yourself.
Hence, you should look for a power rack that’s made out of high grade and durable steel, something that can accommodate 800 pounds or higher.
Of course, if you’re planning to lift heavier weights, going for a rack that’s around 1,000 pounds would go a long way
Because you’re looking to start a home gym, you’d want your equipment not to take too much space. Your power rack isn’t the only equipment that you should aim for. With that said, look for power racks that have an extensive walk-in feature.
This feature lets you quickly move your power rack, whether you’re going to use it or you’re only passing it by. A good power rack should have its steel poles wide apart. Try also to check other parts of your rack when looking into this feature.
For example, if your rack comes with a workout bench, that bench’s size should be proportional to the width of the power rack.
Our third on the list is performance, and that’s because a poorly designed power rack will lead you to nowhere but possible injuries. Your power rack should be designed simply, but at the same time, it should have paid attention to detail.
All power racks have holes that you use for adjusting, make sure they are at least 2” apart to give you better control over the plates that you’re using.
Other power racks also have added features like J hooks, so these are a real bonus for you to maximize your workouts.
Lastly, another important workout that you can do with a power rack is chin ups and pull ups. Be sure to check how heavy your power rack can accommodate before attempting to swing on these.
A good power rack will remain sturdy and still even when a heavy person performs pull-ups.
Our Top 5 Best Power Racks
#2 Fitness Reality 810 XLT Super Max (Editor's Choice)
#5 TDS Power Rack Squat Cage (Our Budget Pick)
The Titan T Series is a sleek power rack the specializes on light-heavy training. Similar to the PowerLine, it has a wide and space-saving design that gives you a lot of movement in your exercise.
You have two options, The T-3, which is the heavy duty option, and the T-2, the more lower priced smaller brother.
The Titan T-3 can easily accommodate weights that go over 1,000 pounds. It’s great for pull ups and barbell squats. However, you can also perform incline and decline presses which make this a very versatile rack.
The specs of the Titan T-2 is also more than enough for most buyers. The capacity of the power rack is a good 700 Ibs., which makes it sturdy for storage for a lot of heavy plates. Furthermore, it has HD J-hooks with 2x2” steel uprights.
With the Titan Power Rack, you get a simple equipment that’s efficient in what it does. This power rack isn’t that type of rack that has a lot of added features that can boost its versatility.It sticks to the traditional power rack in which you can do squats and pull ups. It’s great for those who are looking at a simple but sturdy power rack.
The fitness reality 810XLT is our first product that includes an extra feature to it. As we previously mentioned, having a workout bench will do wonders for your workout especially if you’re going to use the power rack.
Well, for the Fitness Reality power rack, you have an option to get a weight bench. Despite the additional, it’s only around the $280-$300 price range which makes it an absolute bargain.
Moreover, the Fitness Reality 810XLT is a great power rack regarding its durability. It has safety locks that are all made from chrome, while its frame is built with tough steel.
The 800 Ibs capacity just shows that this power rack has a lot more strength to it than the other ones out there.
When it comes to convenience, the PowerLine PPR200X power rack is one of the best finds online. This machine can fit in your room without much trouble. It measures at a reasonable 44 x 82 x 46 inches in width, height, and diameter respectively.
There’s also a lot of side-to-side movement with this power rack. Not only is it not big, but it has spaces at the sides which gives you a lot of conveniences when you place this in your house. It’s takes up the same amount of space as a big dress cabinet.
Sadly, this is not the strongest rack.Its strength is rated at 400 pounds, which is great for beginners, but if you really get into powerlifting, 400 pounds of squats can be relatively quickly.
The Valor Fitness BD-7 is one of the more expensive power racks out there. This is because it adds more to your workout by having a lat pull attachment.
Lats are the type of exercise that mainly targets your back, so it’s a good add-on especially since lats are not a standard home practice.
This lat pull attachment feature is done by its pulley action that’s included. So if you’re interested in targeting your back the hard way, then this is an excellent power rack.
The TDS Power Rack Squat Cage is a simple power rack that’s effective in what it does.
The TDS Power Rack is another item on the list that’s simple yet effective. This power rack and squat cage goes straight to the point and offers you great dimensions for your home. Moreover, the quality of its frame is enough to hold 1000 pounds.
It’s as space-saving as the body, but that extra 20-pound capacity can go a long way. It has a deep knurled chinning bar that’s 1 and ⅛ inches in size. It also comes with 31 holes for adjusting to give you maximum variety in your presses.
It is not the most versatile, but it makes up for that by being very competitive in price.
With all that said, it’s time to announce the winner! Although power racks are just a matter of personal preference, based on the features it has, the Fitness Reality 810XLT is our winner. When you’re searching for the best power rack for your home gym, it’s important to remember three factors: Size, durability, and performance and the Fitness Reality 810XLT does a good job on both ends.
The TDS Power Rack Squat Cage is worthy of a mention as the runner up. I'ts sturdy frame coupled with its versatility makes it the budget pick of this review. Not to mention, it’s also relatively cheap.