The Best Full-Body Workout You Can Do In the Squat Rack – BarBend

Your workouts shouldn’t make you feel like you’re on a scavenger hunt. If you’re ever had to scour a crowded facility , desperately trying to find that one missing cable attachment (seriously, where is it? ) a person know just how frustrating it can be to not have what you need readily available.

The squat rack can be the answer to your woes and worries. Despite being such a simplistic piece of equipment, a good rack can provide you with the resources you require to effectively train just about every muscle in your own body .

man squats in rack
Credit: Andy Gin / Shutterstock

If you are pressed for time (or just love working with the particular barbell ), consolidating your exercise plan into one location can save time, reduce stress , and help you get after your goals just as well — if not better. Here’s how in order to make the squat rack your ground zero with regard to gains.  

Squat Racks vs. Power Racks

Before you dive in, you should know that will there’s more than one type associated with rack out there. While most cages or frames meant to house the barbell can be colloquially referred to as squat racks, there is a distinction that merits a mention.

Generally speaking, a squat rack consists of two vertical frames with adjustable hooks for you to set the particular barbell at various different heights.

squat rack in gym
Credit: Yadwinder Heer / Shutterstock

A power rack on the other hand is a rectangular cage that you’re designed to lift inside of. Notably, power racks have a vertical bar overhead that you should perform pull-ups from. Many power shelves also have safety arms or belts on the sides meant to catch a falling barbell inside the event you fail a lift .  

The workout in this article is meant to be performed in a power rack, though you may be able to find success with this even if your own gym only comes equipped with a conventional lift station.  

The Exercise

If you’ve decided to seclude yourself to the squat (or power) stand in the corner of your gym, you’ll have to get comfortable with the barbell .  

There’s some room regarding flexibility and the inclusion of bodyweight-only movements , but be aware that this training plan will test your proficiency with the bar above all else.  

This three-day routine will incorporate many associated with the fundamental movement patterns you need to build comprehensive, well-rounded strength plus muscle. You can tweak and tailor it to suit your specific needs by kicking up the number of sets or reps you perform.

Day One

Day 2

Day Three

Even though some of the listed exercises aren’t performed with a barbell by default, you may execute all of them just fine in a rack.  

Inverted rows and even pull-ups can be performed by suspending yourself from the bar while it sits in the rack, and you can hoist the plate onto your back for the planks.  

How in order to Progress

Since you’re doing your entire session in one place with (mostly) one tool, you will need to lean on linear progression, RPE-based loading , and exercise substitutions in order to drive progress.

Your best and safest option will be to simply look intended for conservative increases in weight across in least 1 exercise per workout . You don’t have to push all your lifts at the particular same time — if your lower-body movements are cranking yet pressing plus rowing feels funky, push the squats and try to maintain your upper body strength to get the period being.

Additionally , you can also add another element of challenge simply by modifying your own movements . Performing Romanian deadlifts from an elevated surface in order to elongate the range of motion, or substituting Zercher squats in pertaining to your front squats will ante up the challenge without requiring that you slap on another weight plate.  

Who Should Try Full-Body Training

There are usually no frills or fanciness to a three-day, full-body program . While it does lack the particular specificity associated with certain training styles (if you want to be a bodybuilder you should probably look elsewhere), there are some populations that stand to benefit from a barbell-only workout routine.  


Full-body training is great for beginners because it removes much of the intricacy that comes with designing (or performing) a more specialized schedule. When you’re just starting out in the gym, you needn’t worry about choosing between a push-pull workout or even an upper-lower split .

Keep it simple, work with the barbell, and the gains will flow .  

Those Pressed meant for Time

Whilst you can certainly hop around the gym and still be efficient, one of the greatest ways to improve your “gym economy” is to cut down on time spent changing out weights or moving between machines .

You’d be surprised at how much time those tasks add up to. But by making the squat rack the particular centerpiece of your training, you can freely flow between exercises with almost no downtime — or waiting for a machine to free up.  

Amateur Powerlifters

Powerlifting is all about how proficient you are within the back squat, bench press , and deadlift . If you aspire to be the strength athlete but don’t feel ready to tackle a powerlifting-specific program , a full-body routine centered around the barbell may help acclimate you to the rigors of compound lifting.  

If You’re Coming Back From a Break

If you’ve been away from the fitness center for a while, you’ll need to get your sea legs back in the first few weeks associated with returning to workout.  

A barbell-based full-body routine covers all the big movement designs you need to readjust to coaching and won’t bog you down along with endless isolation exercises that will you’re most likely already comfortable with performing.  

Benefits of Full-Body Coaching

Training your body as an unit teaches it in order to perform as an unit. Specific, isolated work has its place , but there are certain perks to working yourself head to toe that a person just can’t get elsewhere.  

Teaches Movement Congruity

Your entire body can work as one large, synchronous unit , or as a series of discrete parts. Compound lifting develops the former and teaches your secondary movers plus stabilizers to get in the particular game even when they are not moving the weight.

Woman performs squat in rack
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For example , during the barbell row, your entire posterior chain needs to contract isometrically to maintain a static posture in your hips and trunk. If your hamstrings, glutes, or lower back are weak, you will not be able to line very much for very long.

The same principle applies on dynamic movements like the push press. Your hip and legs may initiate the drive of the particular barbell, yet you have to smoothly plus reliably transfer that force up through your torso and let your own arms finish the job.  

Saves Period

Dedicated isolation exercises are essential designed for building up particular parts of your body or even addressing weak points. However, the more single-joint workouts you add to your exercise, the longer it’ll take.  

Conversely, compound raising does a great job of stimulating multiple muscles or muscle groups simultaneously. You may not really be able to fatigue your chest using the along with press because well since you can with the dumbbell flye , but you’ll get the work done.

If you’re on the particular clock inside the gym , an assortment of compound elevates for your own upper and lower body will properly fatigue you without slowing down your session.  

It’s Beginner-Friendly

On their own, small or single-joint movements are usually easier to learn just for beginners. It’s pretty hard to mess upward a dumbbell biceps curl , after all.

However , beginners can easily fall prey to paralysis by analysis or fail to grasp the nuances associated with programming . In that way, newbies can interfere with their own progress by trying in order to do too much at once, or use more motions than they need.

A full-body routine made up of compound exercises removes many of the potential “user errors” that new gymgoers might accidentally commit without having realizing. Learning the technique of the lift , deadlift, or push may get longer individually, but once you’ve got this figured out, a person can just work.  

How to Warm Up for the purpose of Full-Body Teaching

A full-body routine requires a different approach in order to warming up than you’d do for an intermediate or advanced bodybuilding workout .

Further, with so many large lifts packed as one session, knowing exactly where to direct your efforts in the 1st fifteen minutes of the exercise can pay dividends for that next hour.  

Get Some Light Cardio

Before you pick up your very first weight, you should carry out some kind of activity that elevates your base heart rate. Low-intensity cardiovascular exercise is a great way of doing so, yet some light calisthenics will work fine as well.

Go for 5 to 10 moments on a low incline treadmill, stair-stepper, or even elliptical before you get to the racks . Alternatively, you could work through a light bodyweight circuit for two or three rounds to get your blood pumping.

Do Dynamic Stretches

Once your heart is (lightly) pumping, a person may want to consider some dynamic stretches or drills, especially if your workout is your initial form of physical activity on the day.

Your brain needs in order to ramp up simply as a lot as your heart or muscles do — it’s quite common to feel sluggish or slow within the fitness center if you’ve been sitting from a desk since you woke up.  

Work through two to 4 different active drills or even stretches in order to get your own nervous system fired up for the program at hand. Burpees , box jumps , cat-camel stretching, or single-leg hip hinges are great options. Anything that will challenges your stability, coordination, or energy output will do fine.  

Perform Practice Reps

If your own workout has you squatting , the most appropriate thing you can do before a person squat…is to squat. Every compound exercise you execute should come after a few sets associated with technical function with just the empty barbell .

This is usually a habit shared simply by rank beginners and world-class strength athletes alike. Whether you squat 80 pounds or 800, you start with the pub . Practice reps help engrain the technique of the workout and remind you where to direct your attention.

man loads barbell in power rack
Credit score: Dusan Petkovic / Shutterstock

Perform at least one set of 10-15 practice reps with regard to every substance, barbell-based movement you have to do that day. Focus on the particular path of the barbell, your own breathing habits , plus activating the relevant musculature.  

Consolidate Your own Gains

When you have been in the gym regarding a few years already, you may think that full-body teaching has exhausted its potential usefulness and that to succeed, you must specialize .

While this is definitely (usually) more true compared to false, life does get in the way of your gym career from time to time. You might not have the luxury associated with following the two-hour powerlifting or weightlifting workout strategy every day.

Sometimes, your main priority is just getting in the door and obtaining it done, ideally with out traversing your gym’s vast landscape simply to possess a fulfilling workout. Luckily, you are able to get your own daily dosage of iron all in one place — the squat rack.  

Featured Image: Dusan Petkovic / Shutterstock

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