A power rack is a must if you're going to be working out at home.
You can have a great home gym that doesn't take up too much space at all.
A good power rack and a few other pieces of weight lifting equipment are all you need.
A power weight lifting rack provides the safety you need to work out alone at home.
Options To Look For When Buying…
You need to look for a few characteristics to make sure you're getting a good home gym rack.
I'm going to give you some tips for buying and what you're going want to look for. After reading this, you should know exactly what to look for when buying.
1. Good Quality
Make sure the power rack is good quality. Just don't buy the cheapest one that you see. This doesn't mean that the cheaper one you're looking at isn't a good piece of equipment.
If you're buying online, see if you can find any good reviews on the equipment before you buy that particular piece.
For example, you can see the rack below is good quality. It has thicker tubing and is very stable.
You can just tell by looking at the weight lifting equipment above that it is high quality. The rack above is most likely very expensive so you might look for a cheaper option that is still high quality.
Take your time searching for the right weight lifting equipment so you get the best for the money you spend.
2. Chin Up Bar
Most every rack that I've ever seen has a chin up bar attached, but I've seen a few that didn't.
You're going to want to get one with a chin up bar. If not, you're going to need to buy another piece of equipment in order to do chin ups. Why would you want to do that?
You might as well get a chin up bar with your squat rack because it doesn't take up any more space and you'd have to do some work just to find one that didn't have one included already.
Just make sure the one you're looking at has a chin up bar before buying.
3. Dip Bar Attachment
You might not be able to find many that have this option. The one I bought didn't have a dip bar so I had to buy an extra piece of equipment in order to do my dips.
I'm warning you so you don't make the same mistake that I made.
You can find some good power racks with dip bar attachments included or some will include them as an option and charge you extra for them.
The video below shows a rack with dip bar attachments.
Dips are one of the best upper body exercises and I always recommend you include them in your weightlifting program as a triceps or chest exercise.
I like to stay as upright as possible during dips so that the triceps do more work.
You can get you a hip belt when you're strong enough to start adding weight around your waist.
4. Pins on outer side of rack
You need to make sure the rack you purchase has outer pins to set your barbell on when you are doing exercises outside of the rack.
For example, most power racks will not be tall enough for you to do standing barbell overhead press. So, you'll need to have the bar on the outer side of the rack so you can do your overhead presses.
You could do seated overhead presses inside the rack as another option. You could also buy a taller rack that ensures you'll never have the need to go outside of it to do any exercise.
The downside to that is many homes will not have the ceiling height for a taller rack. If you do have the ceiling height, I would definitely get a taller rack so you have the safety bars to spot you on every exercise.
When you go outside the rack, you have to be careful because there is nothing there to catch the weights if they fall except for you and the ground.
5. Adjustable Safety Bars
I probably shouldn't even mention this one because every rack should have adjustable safety bars.
If the rack doesn't have them, it probably isn't a power rack. You need the safety bars!
The feeling of safety you have inside the rack is enough to help you lift more weight. I used to lift from a squat rack, and I just didn't feel as safe when doing heavy squats.
I always pictured myself having an accident which isn't good… sometimes your mind can help make things happen.
Once you get really strong, heavy weights can be intimidating.
Once I got a power rack, I felt safer and my squat started going up again.
6. Weight Holders
You're going to want a rack that has weight holders attached so you can easily change your weights out from exercise to exercise.
Having these right there on the sides of the rack will save you lots of time during your workout. No one wants to walk around carrying weights all over their gym.
See the image below for what weight holders should look like on a rack.
You can get portable weight holder stands and set them near your rack if that's the way you'd rather go. This might be a cheaper option for you, but you're more than likely going to have to bend over much more.
And that will stress your lower back a little more — every little thing does matter when it comes to weight training.
7. Other Options
If you can find a rack that allows you the option of a cable pulley system, I would definitely add that option.
The cable system at least doubles the number of exercises you can do and allows you to do a variety of weighted stretches.
You can even perform new exercises such as cable pull thru's, new ab exercises, cable rows, cable curls, triceps pushdowns, and many more.
I also have a smith machine in my rack. I use it for many calf exercises and some of my weighted stretching. I purchased the rack with it because I was getting a very good deal on it.
The rack was on clearance at a local store. I got the power rack, cable pulley system, weight holders, and smith machine all at the price that you can get a rack alone.
I got a great deal so I figured, why not?
Find the Right Power Rack for You
The only option my rack doesn't have is the outer pins and the dip bars.
I simply use my old squat rack for my overhead presses now. I overlooked that option when buying, so take my advice on this page when buying yours.
It's difficult to find a power rack with ALL the options I've listed above so you have to make a plan, choose the one you like most, and buy the other pieces to make your home gym complete.
For example, you might choose a rack without the dip bars. This means you need to buy another piece of equipment so you can do dips.