Squat racks are a great way to get your workout in. They’re used by everyone from beginners to hardcore gym rats, and they’re a great tool for building muscle, burning fat and improving overall fitness levels. They allow you to safely lift heavy weights without having to worry about injuring yourself, and they are great for people of all skill levels. If you’ve never squatted before, then it’s important to know how to use the squat rack correctly, or else you could end up hurting yourself.
This guide from Muscle Mad for the newbie provides tips and information you should know about squats and the squat rack.
Squat Rack Tips: 7 Tips For Beginners and Intermediates
Warm up before squatting with some light cardio or stretching
Before doing any kind of heavy lifting, it’s important to warm up your muscles and joints so that they aren’t put under unnecessary stress during your workout. A good warm-up can consist of light cardio or stretching to get your blood flowing through your body and loosen up tight areas. You should also make sure that you have good form before doing a heavy squatting session.
Find The Right Spot In The Rack
The first thing you need to do is find a spot in the rack where you have enough room to do all the reps you want without hitting your head on the barbell or touching any other weight plates. If you’re lucky enough to have a power rack, go ahead and use it as long as it has safety bars that are set low enough so that you don’t hit your head on them during your squats (the safety bars should be at least 6 inches off the ground).
Placing the bar correctly
Another common mistake is placing the bar across the shoulders. The placement depends on your body structure, but many fitness enthusiasts have the bar at the base of their neck instead of resting on top of their back. In addition, using padding can change alignment and provoke a high squat that puts additional pressure on the base of the neck and upper spine.
Have a proper posture
When lifting heavy weights, it is important to keep your back straight so that you don’t strain your back. If your lower back bends forward (rounds), you could get seriously injured. Powerlifters should maintain an arched lower back and contract their lumbar muscles to eliminate rounding of the back when lifting heavy weights. The upward transition of the squat should be initiated by engaging the buttocks, quadriceps and supporting muscle groups in an explosive energy transfer. This movement is most effective if you keep good form throughout and maintain internal pressure in your core muscles.
Hook Your Elbows In And Squat Deep
Once you’ve found a spot in the rack, make sure to hook your elbows into the J-hooks of the rack before squatting down into position. This will prevent any injury from occurring while putting pressure on your shoulders when leaning forward against the barbell.
Get help a spotter if you’re lifting heavy weights
This is important because if something were to go wrong while doing heavy weight, it could cause serious injury. If no one is around to spot you, then you should use lighter weights so that you don’t have any issues while lifting them up and down.
Learn how to use the safety pins on your rack
If you’re new to squatting, you may not be familiar with the idea of safety pins. Safety pins are an essential part of any squat rack and they help keep you safe while you’re lifting. Safety pins are usually located on either side of the barbell and serve as a spotter for when you’re doing squats and other lower body exercises. They are there to save you from yourself if something goes wrong during a lift. If you get stuck under the weight, they’ll catch it so you don’t have to worry about dropping it on yourself or your head.
Hopefully, you now have a clearer understanding of how to use a squat rack. The tips we included should help you use this piece of equipment safely and productively. Now that you know how to get the most out of your squat rack, grab a buddy, move some heavy weights and start building that muscle!