When looking into initial stands, you’ll come across three main types:
- Squat rack
- Squat stand
- Power rack
Squat stands are the most basic, portable, and budget-friendly option and to be honest, they are ideal for beginners. Once you get strong enough though, you’ll soon notice that squat stands are not very stable during a heavy bench press of racking squats so it raises a very important question – Are squat stands safe?
Are Squat Stands Safe
Squat stands are safe provided users follow the correct weight limit recommendations given by the manufacturer. Important factors to ensure safe use of a squat stand include: bolting down the squat stand, correctly re-racking the bar, following the weight capacity, and using a spotter where possible.
Things to Watch Out For with your Squat Stand
A squat stand is a great investment for any fitness fanatic to make. When you purchase one, there are a few things that you should look out for, making sure that you’re using your squat rack correctly and safely. When you’re ready to start squatting safely, check that:
- Your rack is sturdy
- Your exercise selection is appropriate (based on your particular squat rack)
- Your stand is on a flat surface
- You don’t add too much weight
Sounds simple enough but due to different types of stands and requirements, it’s not always such a straightforward check.
Do Squat Stands Fall Over?
Squat stands have a unique construction that is meant to keep them stable and standing. Depending on the type of squat rack you have, you might need to take precautions so that it doesn’t tip all the way over. For instance, the wider the base, the more stable your squat stand will be.
Still, not very many squat stands have wide bases, meant to fit into tight spaces. To prevent your squat stand from tipping over, never add more weight than you can handle, and always take care to practice good technique. The better your technique, the safer you will be and the less chance you have of tipping over your squat stand.
** You could also bolt down the squat stand.
Benefits of a Squat Stand
A squat stand is a helpful companion for your squatting needs. Why should you squat? Well, besides shaping up your glutes and legs, squats are a compound movement that works out your core and strengthens a number of muscles at the same time.
When you take care and quat correctly, you can enjoy:
- Improved posture
- A stronger core
- Improved circulation
- Better digestion
- Increased leg strength
Squats are fundamental to any fitness routine, helping you strengthen many parts of your body and improve your overall health. Though they are fundamental, you still need to watch out for your form and make sure that you use your squat stand safely.
Using your Squat Stand Safely
The benefits that you get from a compound movement like a squat are reason enough to warrant a squat stand. Still, you shouldn’t use one unless you take measures to work out safely. Below, find out how to use your rack safely so that you can reap all the benefits and skip all of the risks.
1. Keep Weight Low
If you’re always looking for a strong pump, save it for later. When using a squat stand, you should respect yourself and the weights that you put on it. Before you start to load up for a killer leg day, take it easy and get used to your stand. Try starting off with no weight and just the bar to get a feel.
Practice a few times and see how it feels to rack and un-rack your weights. Pay attention to any small movements along the way and check your posture and your grip. All of these things will make a big difference in your workouts and make sure that you stay safe while working out.
2. Keep Barbells at Shoulders
Part of a solid technique is knowing how to use tools, weights, and machines. When using a squat stand, you should be extra careful with the position of the squat bar, making sure that it is at the correct height to help you use it right.
As a rule of thumb, adjust your squat rack so that the bar can fall on your shoulders.
You want to avoid having to squat down too low or having to get on your tippy-toes to un-rack the barbell. If you do that, you run the risk of putting strain on your back and other muscles. Keep your joints, muscles, and ligaments all safe by keeping weight at the proper height.
3. Get your Re-Rack Right
We already mentioned trying out your bar without weights but, you should take it a step further and practice both racking and re-racking. While you have to be careful at every turn, it is these two essential moves that come with the most risk. If you take the bar off the rack in the wrong way, you could risk pulling something.
The same goes when you put the barbell back on your squat rack, leaving you to figure out the process. The more solid and safe your technique, the better protected you are and the more effective your squats will be.
4. Strengthen your Grip
When you put the barbell on your shoulders, there are a few things that keep it in place. While the majority of the pressure rests on your shoulders, there is also pressure from your grip. Holding onto the bar with your hands helps you keep it in place and ensures that it won’t slip to fall. Be sure you get the grip down before you start squatting.
During your practice runs, practice holding the bar and get used to gripping in the correct places so that it becomes second nature to you.
If you need, you can take up some gloves to strengthen your grip and make sure that your hands don’t slip while you’re going down to strengthen your glutes and core. Solidify your grip and then you can increase your weight.
5. Location is Everything
If you have a squat rack in your home, make sure that it’s in a spot where it’s far from error. That means avoiding the middle of the room, uneven spaces, an area where something could fall, and near breakable stuff. Using a garage or a spot in your backyard is recommended, as you’ll have a flatter surface and hopefully be far from things you can damage.
Also, think about setting it up against a wall. This will make it sturdier and more come in handy if you ever have an emergency. You could simply walk back and rack weights if you need to and not worry about your squat rack tipping over. Though it’s not common, using your squat rack incorrectly could make it fall over, which could be dangerous for you and your gains.