What are Squat Racks?
A power rack is sometimes called a squat rack or a power cage. It is four vertical posts with two movable horizontal bar catchers on either side. It will allow you to use free weights using a barbell; it won't protect you like a smith machine.
Don't just jump in and buy the first one you like the look of, as there are quite a few things you'll need to check in terms of dimensions.
Check the height of your ceiling! Why - because a lot of squat racks some in at 2.2 or 2.4m - so you won't be able to do your pull ups unless you have at least 2.7m ceilings!
This is, not suprisingly, the biggest issue we have on installs - the rig won't fit.
Firstly, the width of the rack itself - you can get narrow width racks along with 6ft Olympic bars. Remember you need space either side of the bar to add/remove weight plates.
If you want to bench press in the rack, then do make sure the bench fits. And if you are using a bench inside the rack and will be using dumbbells, make sure there's plenty of room to drop them if they get too heavy. Some protective rubber mats will also be good to protect your floor.
Ensure The Rack Can Take Your Lifting Weight
Most racks will take up to several hundred kilos, but if you lift or want to lift heavier weights you need to ensure the rack is comercial grade and is capable of holding the additional weight - don't just assume.
We're talking any weight on your bar over about 200-250kg plus here. Check out Exigo Elite Power Racks, which are manufactured to an Olympic grade - just one of the commercial racks we stock.
Check The Hole Spacing
On the front vertical uprights, you will find a host of holes, usualkly numbered. These are used for placing the J-hooks (which hold the bar) and safety support arms (sit lower down to catch the bar if your lift fails).
A smaller gap between the holes allows for greater flexibility; anything down to 1" is fine. You will find that cheaper racks have an opening of 2" or more.
You may want to consider some accessories to go with your rack - dip bars can be hooked onto one of the pins, lateral pull downs, step-up platform, and storage hooks for bars, bands and chains.