Squat racks are synonymous with strength training, serving as the temple for a number of muscle-building exercises, and for those wanting to flex their ultimate home gym setup, adding one of these rigs to your space is a smart, efficient decision. Not only can squat racks create a solid structure to rack your barbell and plates pre- and post-squat, but the included safety components can create an ideal setup for solo lifting sessions and beyond.
Much like their beefier relative, the power rack, squat racks can come in a number of sizes, capacities and price points. Understanding these factors pre-purchase can help ensure your new rig is prime for some serious strength training progress.
BEST OVERALL SQUAT RACKRep Fitness SR-4000 Squat Rack Read More
BEST UPGRADE SQUAT RACKFringe Sport Osprey Commercial Power Cage Read More
BEST BUDGET SQUAT RACKHulkfit Pro Series Power Cage Read More
BEST SQUAT RACK FOR TALLER ATHLETESTitan Fitness T-3 Series Tall Squat Stand Read More
BEST SQUAT STANDRogue SM-2 Monster Squat Stand 2.0 Read More
How to Choose the Best Squat Rack
Height and Footprint
Before you even begin to search for a well-built squat rack, it's important you're prepared to give up a good chunk of floor space to this rig. Squat racks can take up to 9 square feet or more, and that's just accounting for the footprint. To allow for multiple racking heights, and the occasional pull-up modality, squat racks can easily stand as tall as 6.75 feet or higher. If you're not comfortable giving up this space, or if you live in a smaller apartment, this might not be the home gym equipment for you.
Squat racks are designed to hold a hefty amount of weight, but if you're seriously pushing the limits of your strength, you need to have confidence that your rig can house your planned totals. Thankfully, though, most of the available squat racks, like those featured in this list, are constructed from high-grade steel, allowing for higher weight capacities over 500 pounds, with some even capable of housing over 1,000 pounds at a given time. This can mean two things for the average fitness enthusiast. One, your squat totals shouldn't surpass what the rig can hold safely. Two, you can easily store your free plates across the rig for added convenience and a clean workout aesthetic.
In relation to a squat rack's weight capacity is its stability, which stems from the steel used in construction as well as the geometry of the frame itself. To create that rigid, upright silhouette that's prime for racking and un-racking heavy barbells, most squat racks will use a 3-inch by 3-inch steel, which creates that secure, stable framing and more ground contact for premier rigidity.
Some squat racks can also be mounted to the floor itself, but this can require additional construction steps that might not be feasible, especially for those renting their space.
While squat racks are more attuned to squat modalities than larger power racks, that doesn't mean these structures can't house a number of workout opportunities outside of freeweight exercises. Some of the rigs featured in this roundup can also serve as a pull-up station, dip station and more, depending on the available accessories. Additionally, adding a workout bench can easily reimagine your squat rack into a bench press in no time.
Be mindful, though, that your squat rack's versatility is very reliant on how much you're willing to spend, as these add-ons can really begin to add up if you're not careful, turning your budget-friendly rack into an expensive colossus of a rig before you can say "No Lift."
Squat Racks Vs. Squat Stands
Now, you might hear the terms "squat rack" and "squat stand" used interchangeably across the fitness community, but there are some differences between these two home fitness structures. If you're looking just to squat or bench and have a little more experience in weight training, a squat stand can be a great option for its smaller footprint and typically cheaper price. If you're looking to start the foundation for a well-rounded setup, and prefer the closed-in security of a cage silhouette, I'd recommend a squat rack. These beefier structures can be fantastic due to their extra modalities and stability but aren't as add-on friendly as, say, a power rack.
How We Tested
While squat racks aren't the easiest pieces of fitness equipment to compare side-by-side, I've had the opportunity to utilize a plethora of these rigs over my extended fitness career, noting key features like weight capacity, overall footprint, available add-ons and more. Also, as I've had the pleasure of lifting on a number of well-built squat racks, I've had more than enough experiences with shoddy rigs that left every set feeling like I was lifting on a structure constructed from masking tape and bubble gum. This dichotomy has created a better sense of what's worth your money and what should be avoided when laying out your optimal home gym.
Now, let's get under the bar, reach the proper depth and get down with the best squat racks for improved training setups.
Best Overall Squat Rack: Rep Fitness SR-4000 Squat Rack
Rep Fitness makes some of the best home gym equipment on the market, and the brand’s racks and rigs are no exception. I’ve lifted within the SR-4000 before and always appreciated the convenient features available that give off that power rack aesthetic without the cumbersome footprint. The included j-hooks provide a solid base for racking the weight, and spotter arms are also available, albeit for an extra $150.
The SR-4000 is also a great rig for garage gym setups thanks to the multiple heights to choose from — 96 inches or 103 inches — but this is also the biggest factor to consider. You’ll need over 8-foot ceilings to properly house this setup, which might not be achievable if your house doesn’t feature the tallest ceilings.
Best Upgrade Squat Rack: Fringe Sport Osprey Commercial Power Cage
Want to bring that commercial-grade quality into your own domicile? The Osprey Commercial Power Rack boasts a weight capacity of over 1,000 pounds and features multiple safety options for secure lifts whether training solo or with a partner. I’d personally opt for the available safety straps, but pin pipes and power spotters are also available for any workout taste.
The Osprey Commercial Power Rack also features 1-inch holes and numbered slots for easier changes to your j-hooks and pins, so your setup isn’t uneven when going to un-rack the barbell. While I like how accessible this squat rack is, however, spending over $1,000 on a rig is still not the easiest pill to swallow, especially when compared to other structures on this list.
Best Budget Squat Rack: HulkFit Pro Series Power Cage
HulkFit’s Pro Series Power Cage delivers all the stability and lifting potential you’d want without breaking the bank. Setup is rather easy, and I also like the rubberized feet that create a stable, secure footing regardless of your floor type. There are also a number of accessories available, including spotter arms and a landmine attachment, to help you get the most out of this rig capable of holding up to 800 pounds.
I’m also a sucker for any squat rack featuring safety straps as opposed to traditional pin pipes, but these straps do have a little more slack in them than other offerings. While squatting atop these safety devices was never an issue, I did see their faults when benching — the bar can travel too far past your setup, and setting the straps at the next highest hole can leave your range compromised.
Best Squat Rack for Tall Athletes: Titan Fitness T-3 Series Tall Squat Stand
If you’re a taller individual, like myself, finding a rack that can be set up for higher shoulders can be difficult at times. The T-3 Series Tall Squat Stand’s 91-inch silhouette carries its adjustment holes from top to bottom, allowing for even the tallest athletes to find an ideal j-hook placement.
At just 140 pounds, I’ve also found the T-3 Series Tall Squat Stand to be surprisingly maneuverable when rearranging a home gym setup. Just be mindful to allow a little space between the upright bars and the wall itself. Physics can really come into play when the barbell is racked higher on this rig, leading to some teetering and tottering if you’re not particularly careful.
Best Squat Stand: Rogue SM-2 Monster Squat Stand 2.0
Boasting a quality construction that can easily rival most power racks, the Rogue Fitness SM-2 Monster Squat Stand 2.0 is one of my favorite rigs within the category. The 1,000-pound weight capacity is sure to house most lifting PRs and I’ve always admired the satin black finish strewn across the sleek silhouette.
When paired with the appropriate weight bench, it’s difficult to beat the SM-2 Monster Squat Stand. I will say, however, that if you’re looking to build a complete personal gym on this frame alone, you may be in for a bit of a battle. Because of the squat stand makeup, there are less accessories available. While Rogue Fitness does offer a handful of “monster” attachments that are compatible, the single upright design does not lend itself to added security like that of a Rogue power rack of similar structure.
Best Power Rack: Titan Fitness T-3 Series Power Rack
For power rack enthusiasts, it’s hard to beat the T-3 Series from Titan Fitness. The frame is constructed from 11-gauge steel offering up loads of rigidity and security, and the Westside hole spacing — 1-inch as opposed to 2-inch — can allow for more precise and comfortable adjustments when setting your pins and hooks.
I’ve always loved lifting within the T-3s, and often thought about adding one to my personal home gym setup. As part of this desire, however, I noticed one major caveat to consider — safety pipe pins are sold separately. If you want to make the most of this rig and utilize its 1,100-pound weight capacity for squats, be prepared to add a few more items to your cart before checkout.
Best Foldable Squat Rack: Force USA Folding MyRack Power Rack
While I like this foldable MyRack from Force USA for its convenient storage capabilities, quite possibly the biggest perk that comes with this streamlined design is the downright impressive weight capacity. Capable of housing 2,000 pounds, this is easily one of the strongest rigs available. Add in the fact that Force USA makes 10 available accessories for even more training potential and you have a great starting position for any respectable home gym.
I will say, however, that you shouldn’t expect to chase down any new PRs with just the Folding MyRack alone. All safety components — like pin pipes, j-hooks and more — are sold separately. So, if you want to pursue gargantuan totals, make sure to round out your cart before finalizing your purchase.
Best Squat Rack for Pull-Ups: Tru Grit Flat Foot 3x3 Dynamic Rack
Pull-ups can be a fantastic addition to your workout routine, but it helps when your pull-up station is secure enough to house your bodyweight without any fear of falling — try working out across less secure door frames to understand what I’m talking about. This power rack from Tru Grit provides not only a comfortable bar for kipping pull-ups, chin-ups and more, but the flat-footed geometry promotes a more upright, stable setup sure to house a number of sessions.
I would go into further detail on the true footprint of this otherwise impressive rig, but sadly, the website is difficult to navigate and can glitch at times, leading to more questions than answers when seeing if your space can truly support this structure. If you’re less worried about spacial limitations, though, this can be a great rack to bolster both your squats and pull-up workouts.