How to Squat Without a Power Rack

Squatting without a power rack requires perfect movement execution.

Squatting without a power rack requires perfect movement execution.

Typically, to assist women and men during a barbell squat, the exerciser uses a power rack to guide the movement and prevent accidental injury by offering safety pins. Although power racks increase safety, it is possible to squat without a rack of any type. Yet, it is important to note when executing squats without a power rack that you must execute each squat with proper technique to avoid injury.

Position the barbell so it is standing vertical. If needed, have a spotter help lift the barbell into the vertical position and hold the bar steady.

As your spotter holds the barbell vertical, place your right foot 6 inches from the barbell and lower yourself to a squat position. Place your hands on the barbell with a wide grip. This will require you to lean into the barbell. Do not move onto the next step until you have a firm grasp on the bar.

Slowly let the barbell fall onto your upper back near your shoulder blades. If you’re using a spotter, have him guide the barbell into position.

Deepen the squat as the barbell horizontally falls onto your lower back. Keep your back as straight as possible, and don’t let your knees travel past your toes. This typically requires a wide foot stance.

Find your balance, and perform the squats.

Remove the barbell from your shoulders by leaning to the left or right, and allowing one side of the barbell to find the floor. Guide the barbell into a vertical position by performing a slight squat and pushing the barbell with your upper back into the upright, vertical position. This movement is similar to the third step, but only in reverse. If you’re using a spotter, have him help guide the barbell.

Carefully guide the barbell to the floor so it rests horizontally.

Items you will need

  • Barbell
  • Spotter


  • Wear strength-training gloves to increase your grip strength.
  • Execute this movement without any weight on the barbell to learn how to safely lift and lower the barbell without a rack.


  • Do not attempt with heavy weights, as excessively heavy weight could cause injury due to not being able to fully control the barbell.

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About the Author

Jonathan McLelland has been a professional writer since 2005. He has worked as a story writer and editor for the international sitcom, “Completing Kaden,” as well as a proposal writer for various production companies. McLelland studied communication and theater at St. Louis Community College.

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