Power Rack Muscle Building Exercises: Let’s GRIND

Power Rack Muscle Building Exercises: Let’s GRIND

Opting for the best exercises is a key component in our muscle-building journey. It’s all about maximizing our workout efficiency and selecting exercises that will effectively stimulate the muscle to force growth.

A power rack is a staple piece of equipment in many muscle-building routines. If you’re lucky enough to own one, you’ll be able to train every muscle in the body from one machine.

Today, we will guide you through the best muscle-building exercises you can do with your power rack. We'll even piece together a killer power rack workout for you to implement to build muscle mass – let’s get to it.

Power Rack Muscle Building Exercises


The squat reigns supreme in the kingdom of leg exercises. It's not just any old move; it's one of the top five exercises for building serious strength and size. And with the power rack, you've got the perfect setup for various squats. The classic back squat is your go-to, but don't miss out on the front squat, overhead squat, heel elevated squat, box squat, and split squats.

Each brings a slightly different challenge, targeting your quads, glutes, calves, and spinal erectors. Squats are a true total-leg builder, and you're set for endless progress with these variations.

Military Press

When sculpting impressive shoulders, the military press is your go-to exercise. This powerhouse move targets the entire shoulder complex, building strength and size in your deltoids and triceps. Whether pressing a barbell overhead or using dumbbells, the military press is a fundamental exercise for anyone serious about upper body strength.

Bench Press

The bench press is synonymous with chest day. Lying on your back, pushing weight upwards – it's an exercise that's as classic as it gets for building a strong, muscular chest. But don't just stick to the flat bench. Mixing in the incline bench press can shift the focus to your upper chest, and a close grip variation hones in on your triceps. The bench press is a versatile tool in your chest-building arsenal.

Bent Over Row

Turn to the bent-over row for a comprehensive back builder. This exercise targets your lats, rhomboids, and traps, bringing thickness and strength to your upper back. It's not just about pulling weight; it's about mastering a movement that recruits a significant amount of your back muscles, contributing to overall upper body strength.


Pull-ups are a true test of upper body strength, specifically targeting your back. Using a power rack, you can precisely perform this bodyweight exercise, focusing on your lats and upper back muscles. And if you want to shift the focus to your biceps, switch to chin-ups. The variation in grip changes the game, making it a versatile exercise for your upper body routine.

Romanian Deadlifts

Romanian deadlifts are a fantastic exercise for targeting the posterior chain, including hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. Unlike traditional deadlifts, the Romanian version focuses on hip hinge movement, emphasizing hamstring and glute activation. This exercise is vital for building lower body strength and improving overall stability.

Good Mornings

Good mornings are an excellent exercise for strengthening your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. The movement involves hinging at the hips while keeping your back straight, simulating a bowing motion. It's a fantastic exercise for increasing lower back strength, essential for overall stability and injury prevention.

Power Rack Workouts

Ready to add some serious structure to your gym routine? We've got you covered with a killer upper and lower body workout, perfectly tailored for your power rack sessions. Now, let us share a little secret: we're huge fans of the upper/lower split. Why, you ask? It's all about efficiency and effectiveness.

One of the top researchers in muscle hypertrophy discovered that going beyond 6-8 sets per muscle group in a session doesn't add any extra muscle-building benefits. Take a look at this revealing graph:


(Image received from: https://weightology.net/)

This insight suggests that working on multiple muscle groups in one session is smarter. Why spend time on "junk volume" – excess sets that don't add value – when you can be more strategic?

Plus, research supports that hitting each muscle group twice weekly trumps a once-a-week approach (1). The typical “bro split” (think: a whole day for the chest, another for the legs, and so on) just doesn't allow for that frequency. But with an upper/lower split, you can work out each area twice a week, giving your muscles the regular stimulation they need to grow.

Here's the breakdown:

Upper Workout

Exercise Sets/Reps
Bench Press 4 sets of 6-8 reps
Pull Ups 4 sets of 8-10 reps
Military Press 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Bent Over Row 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Barbell Curl 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Lower Workout

Exercise Sets/Reps
Barbell Squats 4 sets of 6-8 reps
Romanian Deadlifts 4 sets of 8-10 reps
Split Squats 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Good Mornings 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Calf Raise 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Wrapping it Up

As you can see, the power rack allows you to perform a countless number of exercises from one workout station. Squat, deadlift, bench press, pull up, and shoulder press – the 5 “King” exercises can all be performed in this essential piece of equipment. Choosing the right exercises can significantly impact your progress. Opting for the compound exercises listed in today's article will help you on your way to building a physique you can be proud of.

Happy lifting!


1. Schoenfeld BJ, Ogborn D, Krieger JW. Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Measures of Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med. 2016 Nov;46(11):1689-1697. doi: 10.1007/s40279-016-0543-8. PMID: 27102172.

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