If you have invested in a power rack for your home gym but feel you aren’t harnessing its full capabilities, it may be because you have not paired it with the right accessories. By integrating some of the power rack accessories I’ll describe in this article, you can increase both the volume and types of exercise you can perform on your cage.
Best of all, power rack attachments allow you to maintain a compact and efficient workout space, a benefit that makes cages a popular centerpiece of many home gyms.
For each accessory, I’ll evaluate its design and rack integration, popular exercises you can perform, and the primary fitness and health benefits.
A power rack landmine is a pivoting barbell sleeve that attaches to the bottom of a cage post. You slide one end of a barbell into the sleeve, which acts as a base while the other end of the barbell can be rotated for maximum range.
Landmines are usually sold as a single-item accessory. However, some manufacturers like Rogue Fitness sell a double landmine set that allows for dual rotational exercises.
Power rack landmines are the perfect solution for any angled barbell training lifts. Some of the most popular uses for landmines include landmine presses, landmine rows, deadlifts, push presses, push jerks, and cleans.
Leo Panda provides an interesting history of landmines and shows how to perform single-arm landmine rows and a landmine lateral raise.
A step-up platform is a secure metal platform attachment that mounts to your rack with a vertical bar that you place a removable pin through. With this attachment you can perform exercises like box jumps, step ups, or any other plyometric exercises.
Step-up platforms provide a safe and stable way to perform these exercises as opposed to risky, free-standing methods using a box or chair.
The beauty of step-up platforms is that you can easily adjust its height. By gradually increasing the height, you can push the limits of your jump training exercises for faster results.
Platforms can also can be leveraged to create a tremendous aerobic workout routine when combined with additional exercises.
Check out this video series from Life Fitness Training that shows twenty-four different exercises that are possible with a step-up platform.
A lat attachment connects to your power rack to enable you to perform a variety of lat pull-down exercises using cables and pulleys. Depending on the muscle group you’re targeting, you can utilize a lat attachment to perform exercises from either the standing or seated position.
Some of the best exercises for a attachment are single and double-handed lat pulldowns and rows. These moves can be performed with the rep ending in front of or behind the head.
Here Athelean-X shows some of the lat-targeting variations you can explore with a standard lat pulldown attachment.
Dip stations and dip handles are fairly simple l-shaped bars that attach to your rack at any height to let you perform dip exercises. Dip accessories sometimes come as a one-piece unit, or in a pair so that you can attach them at varying heights.
Dip exercises are often referred to as upper body squats. They engage all of the muscles in your upper body that are responsible for pushing, making it an efficient and effective exercise.
Beyond building strength, dip exercises also increase mobility by stretching your chest muscles. Dip exercises effectively work your chest, triceps, and deltoids.
This video from the Buff Dudes show you the proper technique for performing dips.
J-Hooks are simple yet effective accessories that attach securely to a power rack and hold your barbells firmly in place in between reps. They are inserted into one of the holes on your rack and are held in place with a metal sleeve that wraps around the rack.
J-Hooks are typically sold in pairs, one for each side of your rack. In this way they can easily balance a bar while you rest or perform other exercises inside the cage.
J-Cups are the perfect accessory to begin a rep safely. When performing exercises where you are lowering a weight, J-Cups let you place the weight safely above you to start the rep from the proper position.
This video shows the how to attach J-Cups to a power rack.
Dumbbell holders are metal bars that connect to your rack with two wells to support your dumbbells at any desired height. Dumbbell holders are sold in pairs and are built to handle the weight of the dumbbells, even when they are not centered on the rack.
Regardless of your fitness goals, it’s great to have dumbbells that are easily accessible. They provide a virtually limitless amount of press and pull exercises to chisel your chest, back, arms and shoulders.
The beauty of dumbbell holder attachments is that they lessen the chance of injury when performing these exercises. Instead of having to bend down to pick up weights off the floor, you can place them conveniently at any height.
Weight storage peg accessories attach to your power rack and act as plate storage for your rack. You just slide the pin through a hole in your rack and then lock it in on the opposite side with a screw-in system.
Storage pegs are generally sold in pairs, but can come in sets with multiple pairs as well. These attachments come in various designs, including some with a rubber or plastic covering to keep weights from sliding.
In addition to keeping your gym organized, weight storage pegs have several other benefits:
Spotter arms are metal extensions that mount horizontally to your rack, just above your maximum range limit. When properly placed on your rack, they provide a mechanical “spot” during heavy lifts.
Spotter arm attachments are sold in pairs and are built with a fixed pin on the top of the arm and a removable pin on the bottom of the arm. The arms are built to support upwards of eight hundred pounds and handle even the most extreme workouts.
Spotter arms deliver the benefits of a human spotter, even when you’re working out at home. They allow you to push your limits without the fear of weights crashing down on you.
Here is a video highlighting the added safety spotter arms attachments provide during solo workouts.
Safety straps are durable, dual nylon straps can replace safety bars as a spotting mechanism. Like safety bars, they run from the front to the back of a cage on either side and can be adjusted to any height.
The beauty of safety strap add-ons is that in the event you lose control of your weights, the bar and weight will not only be caught, but will roll away from you. Contrast this to standard safety bars that are rigid and inflexible.
Compared to spotter arms or safety pins, safety straps typically have a lower capacity. But unless you need support for six hundred pounds or more, most straps will suffice.
In addition to acting as a spot, straps can also be used to support a bar when starting an exercise. For instance, older lifters sometimes use straps to elevate a barbell before performing deadlifts.
Sphere grip pull-up bars are a multi-function power rack accessory that attaches at the top of your rack like a typical bar. But unlike standard pull-up bars, these feature spherical grips that extend out from the cage.
Although sphere grip pull-up bars have many of the same benefits of stock bars, they primary purpose is to quickly build grip and forearm strength. Most of these accessories come with grip spheres of varying diameter.
You may have heard people discuss tennis ball pull-ups before. They are known to increase your pulling strength due to the tension created in your wrists.
Sphere grip pull-up attachments provide the same benefits as tennis ball pull-ups, without the need for tennis balls!
A bench clearance bar is a power rack attachment that replaces the rear cross member on your power rack. It has two angles rather than just a straight cross member. This change allows you to slide a workout bench under the cross member and create more space for your bench inside your power rack.
Cross members on standard racks can limit the range of your most effective upper-body lifts, including incline presses, decline presses, and shoulder presses. A bench clearance bar attachment can return full function to these lifts and eliminate the cramped feeling you get inside many cages.
Band pegs are accessories that merely slide through the holes of your power rack. Elastic workout bands can then be attached from these pegs and to your barbell for added resistance.
Band peg attachments are sold in pairs or multiple pairs. The pegs are simple in design and fit snugly into the holes of your rack with no other hardware required.
Believe it or not, the right bands can really up increase your explosive leg strength. That’s because they cause weight to get proportionally heavier throughout the lift.
They essentially pull the weight to the floor.
By incorporating band training into your squats and deadlifts, you can really learn how to complete a movement with authority. This small adjustment to your routine will pay off with higher maxes in a shorter period of time.
You’ve all seen physical challenge shows with competitors swinging from hoops and bars. Shackles allow you to add accessories like rings to your power rack for a truly unique workout experience.
You secure a shackle attachment to your power rack’s cross member using a simple bolt and screw. Hook a carabiner through the bottom hole and you can hang a multitude of strength-training add-ons.
Standard pull-up bars are useful, but shackle accessories enable your rack to support a boundless number of pull-up tools. Here are just a few attachments that work seamlessly with power rack shackles:
Rope attachments are metal rings that mount to an upright power rack. MMA fighters, athletes, and anyone looking to chisel their core can perform their rope conditioning exercises by looping a rope through the ring.
You can easily mount rope attachment anchors to your rack using a screw and nut combination. They are usually sold individually, as you only need a single ring to perform most exercises.
You can pair all kinds of conditioning ropes with your rope anchor attachment. They are great for building core strength, increasing your grip strength, and metabolic endurance.
Some of the most common exercises using ropes include jumping power slams, alternating wide circles, and jumping jacks.
Here is an excellent series of videos, with descriptions, showing some of these moves.
Skid plates are hefty base plates that allow you to stabilize your power rack in areas where bolting it to the ground is not an option. Attaching your rack to skid plate attachments prevents it from shifting and swaying during heavy usage.
Skip plates are typically sold individually, although you’ll need at least two for a single power rack. You could need more of you own a cage that is larger than the standard size.
Skid plates are a great accessory for your power rack if you want to use your rack in your backyard. You can place the rack on grass or any other spot where a permanent mounting solution isn’t an option.
Skid plate attachments are frequently used during events where racks have to be transported, so you know they work and are durable.
Lever arm attachments are pivoting beams that you attach to the top of your power rack. They feature handles and weight pegs on the other end of the arm, allowing you to expand your upper body exercises.
Lever arms are sold in pairs and can support upwards of six hundred pound on each arm. They allow for both push and pull exercises, depending on how you position yourself relative to the arm and rack.
Lever arms are great for all weighted push and pull exercises with a free range of motion with no hitches or catches. Each arm operates independently, enabling you to utilize them unilaterally or bilaterally.
Here are some examples of level arms in action.
A leg curl attachment allows you to perform standing leg curls while at the same time saving valuable gym space. This power rack accessory attaches to any rack upright.
In design, a curl attachment looks similar to the leg curl machines you see at most gyms. The difference here is that you can perform these exercises standing up, removing the need for bulk equipment.
These attachments can be quickly added or removed from your rack with an insertable pin, so when you’re not working legs it’s easy to detach to free-up room. Add variable weight to your leg curl attachment to incrementally build your hamstring strength.
I started building a home gym out of necessity following my divorce. I quickly learned that I could build-out a complete workout space for cheaper than it would cost me for a multi-year gym membership. I enjoy trying out new equipment and evaluating different products to expand my gym and learn more about home-based workouts.