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The best home gym power racks

Upgrade your home workout space to rival the best commercial gym with the addition of your very own power rack. Why? Because adding one of these serious bits of kit to create a state-of-the-art home gym set-up will allow you to aim for – and achieve – any physique or performance improvement goal you’ve set your heart on, says New Body Plan creator Jon Lipsey

A power rack will accelerate your progress towards almost any training goal. The range of exercises and loading parameters it offers are immense. It will make your training more fun, more specific and more effective. If you can afford to add one to your home gym set-up, you’ll be well rewarded. The great news is that you can now get an excellent power rack at an accessible price. Here’s what you need to know before you make your selection.

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What is a power rack?

A power rack, also known as a power cage or squat cage, is a structure that enables you to do big barbell lifts. It has holds and safety bars that support Olympic barbells and heavy weights. It also allows you to do lots of bodyweight moves and provides and anchor for resistance band exercises.

Do I need a power rack?

If you want to lift heavy weights safely at home, you need a power rack. For example, you may be able to back squat 120kg. But without a rack you’re unlikely to be able to get it into position. The range of height options for where you position the bar also makes them incredibly versatile.

What’s the difference between a power rack and a squat rack?

A squat rack typically has two uprights and is connected by a crossbar. A power rack has four uprights and is a much more substantial and solid structure. Squat racks can have safety bar arms. But they are not as stable or moveable as the ones on a power rack. Squat stands are an even smaller and cheaper option which are two independent stands that aren’t connected.

What can I do on a power rack that I can’t do on a squat rack?

Quite a lot. For a start, you’ll be able to set up any incline, flat or decline barbell bench press lifts, including the close-grip bench press, and do them using safety bars. So you don’t need to worry about getting stuck under the bar even though you don’t have a spotter.

You might be able to do some of those moves with a safety bar arm on a squat rack. But a squat rack is unlikely to have the range of heights required to do everything. You can also set the safety bars at a height that allows you to work on particular ranges of exercises. You may want to work on your lockout strength for the overhead shoulder press, for example. You can’t do that with squat stands or a squat rack.

What non-barbell exercises can I do in a power rack?

There are lots of non-barbell exercises that you can do. Good power racks will have a range of pull-up and chin-up holds. You can also use the frame to secure resistance bands so that you can imitate many fantastic cable machine exercises. You could do banded triceps extensions band pushdowns, for example, as an alternative for the cable triceps pressdown.

Should I go for a power rack or a squat rack?

If you have the spare space and the spare cash, the power rack wins every time.

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The best new home gym power racks

Mirafit M100 Power Rack

Best power rack for value for money
Mirafit M100 power rack expert review

Key info

Max load: 250kg
Adjustable levels: 17 (7.5cm intervals)
Height: 213cm (204cm with pull up bar installed in reverse)
Width: 149cm (122cm to outside of uprights)
Depth: 123cm
Buy the Mirafit M100 from Mirafit

What makes the Mirafit M100 power rack so good?

We had to double check that they didn’t get the price wrong. This really is an impressive bit of kit for the money. The build and feel are excellent. It lets you do absolutely everything you’d want from a rack. First impressions are that it is an outstanding product.

What are the key features?

There’s maybe not one thing that sets it apart. It’s just a great all-round product that does exactly what you want it to do. We tried to find fault but really can’t think of anything worth mentioning.

Should I buy the Mirafit M100 power rack?

Yes, if you’re building your first home gym and you want a great rack that’s unbeatable value for money.

Buy it now from Mirafit

Again Faster Power Rack

Best power rack for precision

Key info

Max load: 315kg
Adjustable levels: 28
Height: 211cm
Width: 122cm
Depth: 122cm
Buy the Again Faster power rack from Amazon

What makes the Again Faster power rack so good?

Again Faster is a great brand with a track record of producing high quality and durable training equipment. This product slots neatly into that line-up. It is reassuringly solid and well built and can cope with a max load most of us can only dream of lifting.

What are the key features?

The all-round performance is excellent, but if we had to select highlights, two come to mind. Firstly, the range of hold and safety bar heights means you can set up with real precision. That may not be a big deal to most beginners. But it will matter more to you the deeper you get into your training journey. The second is the pull-up bar angle options. It has a semi-supinated (45 degree) option. That may not seem like a bit deal but it is surprisingly rare and surprisingly useful.

Should I buy the Again Faster power rack?

Yes, if you want to be really precise about the height of your bar.

Buy it now from Amazon

Primal Strength V3 Power Rack with Lat Pull and Row

Best power rack for exercise versatility
Primal Strength power rack expert review

Key info

Max load: 250kg
Adjustable levels: 32
Height: 217.2cm
Width: 169.7cm
Depth: 167.3cm
Was £549; Now £499
Buy the Primal Strength power rack from Best Gym Equipment

What makes the Primal Strength power rack so good?

Primal Strength is a brand with a strong reputation for building excellent equipment. The plate holders at the side are handy for keeping things neat but they do add to the width. The cable function at the back is an innovative addition.

What are the key features?

What sets this machine apart is the cable pulldown and row option. The fact that you can plate-load the cable feature opens up a whole new set of exercises. You can do big multi-join exercises such as lat pulldowns. And you can do isolation moves such as triceps extensions and pulldowns. That means you can pretty much replicate the moves you can do on a home multi-gym but at a fraction of the cost.

Should I buy the Again Faster power rack?

Absolutely, if you want to maximise the number of exercise options available to you, and don’t want to break the bank in the process.

Buy it now from Best Gym Equipment

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