The weight rack is the ideal complement to your barbell (and sometimes your bench) when your training calls for heavy lifting. The standing rack holds your barbell just below shoulder height, allowing you to skip the step of cleaning the weight from the ground when your workout doesn’t call for that.
Movements: You’ll want to have a weight rack ready for when you’re performing moderate-to-heavy barbell lifts that don’t require a clean. Movements like squats (front squats, back squats, overhead squats), overhead presses (strict presses, push presses, jerks), and bench press are the kinds of movements you’ll want to do with a weight rack if you’re going heavy.
From a Rack vs. From the Ground: CrossFit-style metabolic conditioning WODs are often, but not always, designed to be done without weight rack. Such workouts may prescribe that the athlete “take the barbell from the ground.” More strength-oriented workouts may allow an athlete to use a rack. Check each workout’s description to be sure.
As a Mobility Tool: In addition to holding your barbell for strength movements, the rack is also a great implement for pre-WOD mobilizations and flexibility training. You can attach rubber bands to your rack and perform dozens of banded mobilizations (see: Mobility WOD), using the rack as an anchor. You can even rack the barbell and use it for myofascial release (example).
Ready to lift heavy? Try some of these strength-oriented WODs using a weight rack at your next training session!