Curling in the squat rack is something that seems to bring out intense passion in supporters or opposers of the task.
On one hand, we have the supporters, who seem to believe that the height of the safety bars are the perfect drop zone after your curl reps are complete.
On the other hand, the opposers are very intense about the fact that those squat rack curling people are taking up valuable real estate.
Whether you are on the supporting team or the opposing team, it doesn’t matter here, because I plan on trying to convince you that it is a bad idea. If you are a beginner that doesn’t know any better, this is perfect for you. When I first started out on my fitness journey, I didn’t understand the gym faux pas, and I could have used an article like this.
Argument 1 for not curling in the squat rack – Space
The most compelling argument for avoiding the squat rack to get your curling reps in, is that doing so takes up valuable space in the gym. I am very lucky that my gym has 6 squat racks.
Even though I can usually find an open space, sometimes I will find all 6 of the squat racks full. That is when I will start looking around to see if people are misusing the squat racks and wonder if they can do their exercise elsewhere.
Some people are not as lucky as me with their gym selection. The gym that I used to go to only had 1 squat rack, and let me tell you, if you were caught curling in the squat rack, someone would let you know.
With all this being said, I think it’s fair to assert that squat racks were made for squatting.
Argument 2 – Respect
When you are at the gym, it is important to understand all the unwritten rules. Of course, doing barbell curls in the squat rack is a classic unwritten rule of things not to do. This is just disrespectful to those that want to use the squat rack for squatting.
The rules of the gym are pretty simple. Don’t crowd the space of other people. Do not stare at other people. Don’t call out other people for being out of shape. Do not do curls in the squat rack. Don’t try to give people unsolicited advice.
Pretty simple, right? Just follow these rules, and your life will be better at the gym.
Argument 3 – Embarrassment
By now, you have probably seen a theme throughout this article. 99% of all gym goers understand that you are not supposed to curl in the squat rack. Unfortunately, we still see people do it.
Are people just completely ignoring the fact that it is embarrassing to do curls in the squat rack?
Let’s talk for a second about a barbell curl. What is a barbell curl? It is the only type of curling that you can do in the squat rack. It is when you curl a straight bar, either by itself, or with weights on each side.
If you are going to do a barbell curl, just take a barbell to the floor space somewhere away from the squat rack.
Here is a video of how to do a barbell curl outside of the squat rack
Alternative to squat rack curls – Doing it all at home with your own home gym
All of this talk about squat rack curls goes completely out the window when you have your own home gym. Why? Because when you have your own home gym, you make the rules, and you can do whatever you want. When you price out the cost of a gym over a year or 2, sometimes it makes more sense to make your own home gym if you have the space.
We are so passionate about home gyms, that we even put together a list of 20 of the Most Recommended Home Gym Equipment Essentials on Amazon.
When I first started working out, I was so embarrassed to go to the gym. I was a scrawny guy, which is why I ended up building my own home gym. Don’t let that discourage you from going to the gym however. The amount of judgmental people at the gym is almost nonexistent. In fact, I have never had anyone call me out or laugh at me at the gym.
Main Point – Don’t curl in the squat rack
I know this was a quick article, but after seeing multiple people getting their curls on in the squat rack, I knew that I had to write something. Maybe someone will read this and realize that what they have been doing is embarrassing. Or maybe I can prevent someone from being humiliated. Either way, it is all in good fun, I hope nobody takes offense to this.