by Brian at Home Gym Strength site: homegymstrength.com | email: firstname.lastname@example.org This might sound familiar to you. It’s gym day again and you are going to do the same exercises for the upteenth time. It's easy to get bored when you are just doing the squats, deadlifts and press. We have your back though! There is a lot more you can do with a Power Rack than just the big three lifts. Read on to to see our recommendations: #1. Banded bench press: https://gph.is/g/4Mkv30W What if you could lift heavy weights without a spotter 100% safe? With the power rack you can! By using bands you can add some resistance to your press which makes you produce more force in ranges where you wouldn’t otherwise. How to Perform: - Set up a bench inside the rack, make sure it’s centered and in an optimal position. - Adjust the safety bars slightly (around 2 inches) below your puffed up chest position to have a full range of motion. You can perform wide, regular and tight grip as well as decline and incline presses. - Set up the pins so that you can grab the bar comfortably. - Attach the band to one end of the bar, pull the band underneath the bench, put the band on the other end of the bar and adjust it to be around shoulder width. - As the first step, take a big breath and unrack the bar by straightening your arms. - Move the bar over your shoulders with your elbows locked and lower the bar until it reaches your chest. Remember to keep your forearms vertical. - Hold your breath at the bottom then press it back to the starting position while releasing the air. Repeat. Hold the bar in the base of your palm with a full grip and straight wrists. Keep your butt on the bench and make sure to lock your elbows at the top. #2. Romanian deadlifts: https://gph.is/g/EJY5GzA Romanian deadlifts are one of the lesser-known exercises despite the fact they are great for working the posterior chain: hamstrings, glutes and lower back. You have to set the pins to a position where you can grab and unrack the bar comfortably with your arms straight. How to perform: - Grab the bar, step back, make sure your stance is hip width and toes are pointing forward. - Push the hips back with your knees slightly bent, guide the bar along your legs until you feel the hamstrings stretch. - When you feel the burn down there, explosively return to the top position. Repeat. You always have to keep a straight back, arch your back, hold your chest up and chin neutral. #3. Rack pulls: https://gph.is/g/ZrdrGvP Rack pulls are like the top part of a deadlift, focusing on the back, a little bit on hamstrings and glutes while also providing grip strength. How to perform: - Set the pins around your knees. - Extend the hips then contract your lower back and lats. - Squeeze your shoulders back and flex the lats on the top of the exercise then return to the starting position. Repeat. #4. Inverted row https://gph.is/g/E0rOpqr The inverted row is one of my favourite bodyweight exercises and it’s almost impossible to perform without a power rack. Inverted rows build strength and muscle in your back, biceps, forearms, grip and even core. Plus, it is a must for people wanting to advance to doing pull ups. How to perform: - Set the bar a little bit above waist height. If you are a beginner you can set the bar higher to make performing the exercise easier. The lower the bar, the harder the movement becomes. - Lie on your back on the floor, underneath the bar. - Grab the bar with a wide, overhand grip. - Contract your muscles and keep your body straight. It is like doing a push-up just in reverse. - Pull yourself up until your chest reaches the bar. - Lower yourself down while maintaining the proper form. Repeat. #5. Front, wide and reverse grip pull up https://gph.is/g/4w8yDqO Always start from the bottom position with your arms straight. Focus on maintaining constant tension and don’t just hang. You can keep your legs crossed for more comfort. How to perform: - Leap up and grab the bar. - Try to use your whole upper body when pulling up. When your chin reaches the top of the bar squeeze your shoulder blades back and contract your muscles. Repeat. Your hips and feet may move in front of the bar. Make sure you avoid your shoulders moving forward of the bar as this can cause injury. #6. Banded exercises https://gph.is/g/aRWvVwg Bands are incredibly versatile and can be used for a ton of different exercises so the only limit here is your imagination. Chest flys, lateral pulldowns, bicep curls, rows and tricep pushdowns all can be performed using a power rack just to name a few. Not to mention that you can (and should!) use the bands for stretching as well. How to perform: The only things you need are the bands and a power rack to attach them to. Anchor the bands suitably for each exercise and you are good to go. With your newly acquired knowledge nothing can stop you from using the power rack to its fullest potential, so grab your gym bag and give a try to these fantastic exercises!