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How to Incorporate a Squat Rack into Your CrossFit Training

December 27, 2022 4 min read

How to Incorporate a Squat Rack into Your CrossFit Training

What is a Squat Rack?

A squat rack is a piece of weightlifting equipment that is commonly used in CrossFit training. It consists of a sturdy frame with adjustable bars for supporting the weight of a barbell. The rack also has a set of vertical uprights with adjustable pins for setting the desired height of the barbell. Squat racks are also known as power racks or cage racks.

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Why Use a Squat Rack for CrossFit Training?

A squat rack is a versatile piece of equipment that can be used for a variety of exercises, including squats, bench press, and overhead press. The adjustable bars and pins make it easy to set the height and weight of the barbell, allowing you to safely perform heavy lifts without a spotter. This makes the squat rack an essential tool for CrossFit training, where heavy lifting is a key component of the workout.

In addition to providing a safe and stable platform for heavy lifts, the squat rack also allows you to perform exercises with proper form and technique. The adjustable bars and pins can be set to the appropriate height for your body, ensuring that you maintain proper posture and alignment during your workouts. This can help prevent injuries and improve the effectiveness of your training.

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How to Use a Squat Rack for CrossFit Training

Using a squat rack for CrossFit training is simple, but it's important to follow proper safety guidelines to avoid injuries. Here are some steps to follow when incorporating a squat rack into your CrossFit routine:

  1. Start by adjusting the height of the barbell and the pins on the squat rack. Set the barbell at a height that is comfortable for you to lift from, and adjust the pins to a height that will support the weight of the barbell when you are finished with your lift. Make sure the pins are securely in place before proceeding.
  2. Next, place the appropriate amount of weight on the barbell. Use a weight that challenges you, but is still within your ability to lift safely. If you are unsure of the right amount of weight to use, start with a lower weight and increase it gradually as you get stronger.
  3. Now, stand in front of the squat rack with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outward. Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip, making sure your hands are evenly spaced on the bar. This is your starting position.
  4. To begin the squat, bend your knees and hips, lowering your body as if you were sitting back into a chair. Keep your back straight and your chest up as you lower the barbell. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor, or slightly below parallel if you are able.
  5. Pause for a moment at the bottom of the squat, then push through your heels and extend your legs to return to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
  6. When you are finished with your set, carefully return the weight to the pins on the squat rack. Make sure the weight is securely supported before stepping away from the rack.

Other Exercises to Try with a Squat Rack

In addition to squats, there are many other exercises you can perform with a squat rack as part of your CrossFit training. Some examples include:

  • Bench Press

    To perform the bench press, set the barbell on the adjustable bars of the squat rack. Lie on a weightlifting bench beneath the barbell, with your feet flat on the floor and your head, shoulders, and buttocks in contact with the bench. Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip, making sure your hands are evenly spaced on the bar. This is your starting position.

    To begin the press, straighten your arms and press the barbell up and away from your body. Keep your wrists straight and your elbows close to your sides as you lift the weight. Pause when your arms are fully extended, then lower the weight back to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

  • Overhead Press

    To perform the overhead press, set the barbell on the adjustable bars of the squat rack. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outward. Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip, making sure your hands are evenly spaced on the bar. This is your starting position.

    To begin the press, straighten your arms and press the barbell up and away from your body. Keep your wrists straight and your elbows close to your sides as you lift the weight. Pause when your arms are fully extended, then lower the weight back to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Conclusion

A squat rack is an essential piece of equipment for CrossFit training. It provides a safe and stable platform for heavy lifts, and allows you to perform exercises with proper form and technique. By incorporating a squat rack into your routine, you can improve the effectiveness of your training and reduce your risk of injuries. With a little practice, you'll be able to perform a variety of exercises with confidence and ease.