Squat / Power Racks
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Squat Rack vs Power Cage what is the difference?
Squat Racks and Power Cages are awesome training tools for just about anyone, and they're absolutely essential for building a strong, well-muscled physique. So just what are these things for anyway? Fair question. Especially considering that they have a multitude of uses. Before we explain the difference between the two, the take-home point here is that these two pieces of equipment are primarily used for supporting weights that are too heavy to lift from the floor. Obviously, the exercises that squat racks and power cages facilitate are squats, but there's a lot more to it than that. You can also use them for performing various other lower-body exercises like lunges and Romanian deadlifts, as well as upper-body lifts like bench presses, shoulder presses, heavy rowing movements, and shrugs.
It's not that you have to be some kind of hulking brute to use these pieces of equipment. Pretty much anyone can benefit from using them by working with loads that would otherwise be too difficult to position. It doesn’t matter how weak you might be, you're still going to be able to squat more off the supports in a rack or a cage than you could if you attempted to lift the weight off the floor and position it on your shoulders. The same holds true for a bench press. Trying to maneuver the weight up into position would be a heck of a lot tougher than just lying back and lifting it off the supports.
The first and perhaps more common of these two types of apparatuses is the Squat Rack. This is a very open structure with a back-support beam and weight supports along the sides that make it easy for you to use. One of the best features of a squat rack is that it allows you to set the bar at a variety of angles for easy racking and unracking. Plus, it also has safety supports in case you get into trouble during a lift. Bite off more than you can chew on a set of squats, for example, and you can simply set the weights down on the supports, as opposed to injuring your knees or back by overexerting yourself to get out of trouble.
Enter the power cage: This is a fully adjustable support structure that allows you to vary both the position of the weight supports as well as the safety bars, thus making any lift easier to tailor to your specific needs. This extremely sturdy, cage-like structure basically surrounds you, giving you a heightened sense of security. Regardless of what lift you're doing, the power cage affords you the peace of mind of knowing you can push yourself a little bit harder since you essentially have a built-in spotter. The height of the weight supports and safety bars is also very easy to adjust, making it a breeze to switch from one exercise to the other.
To serious lifters, these are without question two of the most important pieces of equipment in the home gym.