Best 10 Squat Racks
As Of June 2022
We did the
Squat Racks Can Take Your Body Workouts to a Whole New Level: Are you Ready?
If bench presses, weight training, squats, lat pulldowns and chin-ups are your thing, then you might consider creating your home gym at your own pace and convenience.
Although squat stands and power cages can be a rather pricey purchase, they will cost you far less in the long run, compared to a gym membership. By bringing high-quality centrepieces to your home gym, you can gain some significant advantages both financially and personally as a lifter. Just to count some of them:
- You will adjust your training to your rhythms, specific needs and goals.
- You will feel more comfortable and free in your personal space.
- You will focus on what is important to you, for as much time as you need.
- You will do more workouts throughout the day, according to your schedule.
- You will become more disciplined since you won’t have any “excuses” about not exercising enough.
- You will not have to worry about bad weather conditions and lockdowns.
- You will be able to exercise, even if you live in a rural area with no sports facilities.
- You will not pick up any germs from other people using the same equipment as you.
So, check our buying guide and see which of the squat racks we suggest is best for you!
What Types of Squat Racks Can I Find?
The term “squat rack” broadly means a specific category of home gym equipment primarily used for weightlifting of various types. Hence, it might be confusing to distinguish which rack is the one you should be looking for. But we have it all in here, readily available for you:
Squat half racks
Squat half racks stand independently on the floor upon their bases. They are easier for you to assemble and, as a general rule, they are adjustable to all sizes and heights. Although they are built with thick, steel sidebars, you can use them mostly for squats and weightlifting using barbells. They can bear up to 200-250kgs roughly, which makes them quite reliable. Nonetheless, it is advisable not to use them for lifting your whole body during chin-ups, for example. Also, they tend to be the most affordable. Lastly, they are best suited for small to medium-sized home gyms.
Power racks or power cages
Power racks or power cages, on the other hand, are a heavy-duty piece of equipment that takes up considerable space in your home or garage gym. They are made of steel frames; however, they are tailor-made to behold much more weight. Sturdy and safe as they are, they will perfectly support you throughout your bench presses, chin-ups, pull-ups, lat pulldowns or weightlifting using barbells. They also have dip bars and multi-grip handles so you can move more flexibly. On the downside, they are more expensive. Besides, they are more complex to assemble, although it is worth the time and effort. For high-end CrossFit and multi-function workouts, they are the ideal solution.
What Other Features Should I Look for Before Buying a Squat Rack?
Now, either you go for squat half racks or a power rack, make sure that you pay attention to additional features before your final choice. Here, we list some of the most important:
Investing in a power rack or squat rack without figuring out which weight capacity fits your training needs, can turn into a disaster - let alone the waste of your money. For a powerful and versatile weight training, choose a model that can safely bear your body weight along with barbells, pulleys and additional weight plates. If you are aiming for some basic light daily workout, consider a squat rack with less maximum weight load. It will be enough, especially if you are a newbie at weightlifting.
Durability and safety go hand in hand with the material which the squat racks are made. In most cases, manufacturers use 11 gauge steel frames and chrome-plated safety bars to ensure maximum longevity and strength. Home gym equipment is a piece made to last for many years in a house. Besides, it has to be highly safe, even when toddlers are around or teenagers wish to have some fun. So, the steel sidebars and base, along with the chrome metal pins or steady anchors can make for a sturdy construction overall.
Another thing to consider is the adjustable height levels. Make sure that the squat rack you are buying can adapt to more than one level so that you can switch the pressure on different muscle groups. Furthermore, think about the fact that there may be another family member who wishes to train, too!
Pull up station and lat pulldown stations
These terms refer to two different types of exercises. The pull-ups tend to build more strength to your upper body and waist since you lift your body weight. On the contrary, the lat pulldowns are doing an excellent job to strengthen the broadest muscle in your back, which governs the stability of your overall spine.
A thorough home workout must have an average of both exercises; this way, you will have more balanced results. The only minor here is that not all squat racks are built with lat pulldowns in mind. Hence, if you decide that you need this additional feature, opt for versatile home equipment that offers you this alternative.
Safety Catches & Dip Bars
Power racks tend to have this feature as they offer you added safety and steadiness while you move. Squat racks may or may not have them, because usually they are not designed with chin-ups in mind.
Easy to assemble and use
Think about it. Even if you buy the best squat racks in the market, it will be pointless if you can’t correctly assemble it and use it. Do not look only for the “top machine online”. Ensure that what you get is what makes you feel safe and comfortable. The easier it is for you to handle, the better results you're going to have!
Squat half racks have a certain degree of portability. That is, you can easily fold the sidebars to some extent or pull them aside to the corner of your room or garage, if necessary. However, when we’re talking about power racks, their portability is more limited; although they can be folded and stored, they are also larger, taller and constructed to bear more weight. Some of them can also be mounted on the wall for extra safety. Therefore, make your choice depending on the storage facilities you have and the type of workout you want to do.
How Much Space Does a Squat Rack Take?
Squat half racks usually are more compact with a maximum height of 1,50m - 1,79m and 40cm - 55cm depth; their width depends on the barbells you're going to use. Power racks, on the other hand, have a larger walk-in design, with a height that can reach roughly up to 2m or more and a depth even up to 97cm to fit multiple body sizes.
So, check these features before you order one, although the majority of squat racks have adjustable dimensions. Also, if you lack spare room, opt for a wall-mounted model or one that can be easily folded and stored after use.
How Much Weight Can Squat Racks Support?
- Squat half racks can support up to 250-300kgs, covering some standard weightlifting training.
- Power racks are designed for more extensive workouts and can hold from 200kgs up to 500+kgs.
How Do I Know What Size Suits Me?
Your racks’ size depends on your body size, meaning height and weight. The taller you are, the higher your squat rack must be. Also, the wider upper body you have, the wider your training space it has to be. Now, when it comes to your weight, usually, more weight means more muscle power and thus, more pulling strength. So, opt for a power rack that can fully support you and do not compromise your comfort and safety.
How Much Does a Squat Rack Cost?
Both squat half racks and power racks, depending on their features, can start from a relatively affordable price range, ending up at some high price tags. As a general rule, more versatile uses and larger weight capacities mean more money. But, let’s have a detailed view with a brief feature recap:
- Squat half racks cost roughly £125 - £400: They are smaller in size, but entirely adjustable; they can support specific types of exercises like weightlifting and bench presses.
- Power racks cost £200 - £3.000: They are larger, adjustable, usually with added safety bars and dip bars, more robust steel frame and larger maximum weight capacity; they are ideal for chin-ups, lat pulldowns, bench presses and even push-ups.
It all depends on your budget and the effort you wish to put into your daily fitness. Also, have in mind that barbells, knee sleeves, weight plates, lifting belt, replacement j-hooks, weight storage, pulleys and other fitness equipment will come to an additional cost. However, you can find them at various price points.
What Other Equipment Do I Need to Buy?
For a full weight training program at home, except for an adjustable squat rack, you will need to get some extras on an additional cost:
There are two different types, the standard and the Olympic bars. The latter are thicker, heavier and more expensive. They are better suited for more experienced athletes and professional lifters. The standard ones are more affordable and more suitable for home gym fitness.
Each type of weight bar has its plates. It is a good idea to switch weights from time to time for levelling up your daily training. You can’t use standard plates on an Olympic barbell; luckily enough, though, you can place Olympic plates on a standard bar, thus reducing your overall cost.
You can find various equipment for storing your weight plates and keep them out for sight for extra safety. You can try iron stand holders or wheel-shaped ones. Or you can use peg accessories which you can attach to your power rack, just by sliding the pin through the holes. Storage pegs are usually bought in pairs or sets of more. Besides, they come with a rubber or plastic covering, to hold your weights firmly in place. Again, take into account your budget, number of plates and space available to decide.
There are all sorts of weight benches out there, and their cost is relatively high. That’s why a versatile bench will serve you more in the long run, as they can support more heavyweight exercise types.
You can find plastic and leather belts, as well as postpartum abdomen ones. Choose the type that fully supports your spine.
This attachment is an ideal addition to your power rack since you are alone doing your training at your home gym. So, if you find yourself in a weak moment, it will hold the weight for you, protecting you from potential injury.
How Do I Get Started?
Set it Up
Once your home gym squat and power rack arrive, you will have to set it up on your own, with your tools. So, expect to go an extra mile to reassure that everything is done correctly and follow the instructions with ultimate precision. The safer you feel, the more time you will spend training. And your results won’t be late to show!
Work it Out
- Choose the right weight plates for you and start gradually.
- Arrange the position of the bar in a way that rests upon your shoulders and not your neck. This will prevent injuries and grips on the neck.
- Check if your foot positioning is right.
- Adjust the rack’s height and width to your body size so that you feel comfortable.
- Do the heavy lifting, keeping your waist straight as you pull the barbell on top. Do not forget to breathe correctly, too.
- Always use safety bars, no matter how experienced you may feel. Adjust their height levels based on how low you squat.
- Repeat the set, but don’t try to copy what other people do. Discover your own pace and squat accordingly. Your body will reward you for this!
Safety Considerations for Your Home or Garage Gym
When it comes to safety matters, bear in mind that your home gym is not a regular gym. Your trainer or spotter won’t be present during your workout, and you need to be more cautious than ever when you are performing your squats or weight lifting. Thankfully, we have prepared a list of easy tips as a reminder on how to always stay on the safe side.
Do not skip the warm-up, nor the cooldown.
The Harvard Medical School is pretty clear as to why: During a 10-minute warm-up, highly nutritious and oxygenated blood runs through your muscles to “feed” them and wake them up, as your heart rate increases. Experts also inform us that you better start slowly and then, gradually pick up the pace. You can start with either some cardio exercises, jumping jacks and lunges; or simply dance to a few songs from your favourite radio programme! How about that?
Then, after your fitness routine comes to an end, do not forget the cool-down phase. Again, spare another 10 minutes to lower your pace and gradually calm down your breathing and heart rate. This will help you avoid muscle cramps and dizziness. In this stage, you can try stretching exercises for 10 to 30 seconds for your body to relax and stay flexible.
Do the deadlifts correctly.
Deadlifts are a compound exercise that activates several muscle groups all at once: quads, glutes, low back, mid-back, abs, calves, hamstrings, inner thigh and so on. As beneficial as it might be for your body, it can also get harmful if not executed properly. So, practice until you get it right:
Step 1: Wrap up your waist with a lifting belt. It will help you maintain the right posture while lifting your barbells. If you feel your knees weak, consider wearing your knee sleeves, too, to better support your joints.
Step 2: Stand with your toes under the barbell and bend over to grab the bar. Place your body in such a way, so that your grip equals your shoulders’ width. Try to maintain an overhand grip. Leave the reverse hand grip for heavier weights.
Step 3: Bend your knees until your shins touch the barbell.
Step 4: Put your chest up and straighten your back so that it remains neutral; otherwise, you risk massive injury on your lower spinal discs.
Step 5: Breathe deeply and hold as you stand up with the weight. Keep it for a second at the top, with locked hips and knees. Then return the weight to the floor by moving your hips back while bending your legs.
Step 6: After some rest, repeat.
Ask someone to become your spotter... in crime!
Let’s face it: Most of the time, you will be training alone. That’s why it is essential always to use spotter’s arms. But, if a friend or a close relative can pop in to help you, it wouldn’t be a bad idea. Besides, a bit of a chit-chat will always make things more fun!
Best Squat Racks Are Here to Improve your Strength Training
We hope that our guide helped you discover which squat racks are most suitable for your body needs, fitness profile and training goals. Now that the final choice is totally up to you, please remember to stay safe while exercising.
For it doesn’t matter whether you are a professional lifter, personal trainer, athlete or the sports enthusiast next door; Taking care of yourself comes when you can properly sync with your natural rhythm and stamina!