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Squat Racks: Set Up, How to Use Them, and How They Can Benefit Your Fitness

In strength training, squat racks are durable, versatile tools that can be used by professional bodybuilders, beginners, and everyone in between.

Squat racks give trainers the best of strength training, with a number of different exercises available for this piece of equipment. 

They’re metal frames with moveable bars designed to hold olympic barbells at your chosen height, keeping you safe if you’re not with a spotter.

Squat racks are very popular tools in commercial and home gyms because of their versatility and function. If you’re thinking of getting a squat rack, here’s a guide to setting them up, how to use them, and how they can help you.

You’ll need:

  • A squat rack 

We sell 3 different types of squat racks at Gym Gear. 

The Sterling Series Half Power Rack is robust and safe, with a walk through design and an integrated chin up bar.

The Sterling Series Full Power Rack has an integrated chin up bar and gives you the utmost safety for the compound exercises that you’d otherwise need a spotter for. 

The Sterling Series Elite Power Rack has an integrated chin up bar and is durable and heavy duty, perfect for commercial gyms. 

  • Olympic plates 

Click here to see our full range of olympic plates.

  • Olympic barbell

Click here to see our full range of olympic barbells.


Set up

Setting up a squat rack should be simple, but there are some really important steps to follow, too.

  1. Do some checks 

Before you use your squat rack, you need to make sure it can handle the weights plates you’re using. Squat racks are supposed to keep you safe if there’s an accident, so it should be able to take much more weight than you’re lifting. Load the barbell and let it fall on the spotters from around 10 inches and see how it reacts.

  1.  J-Hooks

The J-Hooks need to be set to your height. Most people aim to set them just below their shoulder level. You need to set them so that you can step out of the squat rack with ease, but not so high that you have to go on your tiptoes to get the bar out of the rack. 

  1. Safety pins/bar catches

Adjust the safety pins/bar catches to your lowest squat level so that the bar won’t touch them when you squat but they won’t let the bar pin you to the ground if you fall.

Ways to Use a Squat Rack

One of the reasons that squat racks are so popular in the fitness world is that you can do a range of different workouts with them. Below we’re going to take you through 5: squats, barbell lunges, deadlifts, standing overhead presses, and barbell bent-over rows.


The most common activity to do on a squat rack is… you guessed, it… squats! Stand under the bar and lift it. Keep your chest up and feet apart. Squat by bending your knees and thrusting your bottom out towards your heels.

Barbell Lunges

A step up for the squat, barbell lunges are where you lift the barbell onto your shoulders and keep your back straight. Step forward with one leg, bending it at the knee. Then, go back to your original position, and do the same on the other leg.


Deadlifts are where you move the bar from the ground to your hip level and then back down again.

Standing Overhead Press

Hold the barbell to your collarbone, then lift it over your head with your arms locked. Bring it back down to your collarbone area. 

Barbell Bent-Over Rows

For a back workout, hold the barbell and bend at your waist. Lift the bar while keeping your elbows in and squeezing your back muscles. Bring the barbell down again and repeat.

Benefits of squat racks

There are lots of perks of having and using squat racks at your gym. We’re going to run through a handful of them below.

  • They’re not as expensive as they look. At Gym Gear, we offer the excellent prices for our top-quality products, 
  • Squat racks often come with attached chin-up bars, like our Sterling Series.
  • Squawk racks are there for your safety, so that you can lift heavier weights when you don’t have a spotter next to you. 
  • As well as giving you extra safety, squat racks don’t restrict the barbell.


We hope this article has given you some pointers on getting a squat rack for your commercial or home gym. Our team is on-hand to answer your questions. For more information, contact us.

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