Want to know what is the best squat rack for the home gym? Read this article and you'll find out.
In this article you will discover four of the best squat racks available. Also you’ll know how to choose the right one for your physical needs and fitness aspirations.
The humble squat rack makes for a great addition to any home gym. Depending on the rack that you buy it can last for years whilst providing you with a versatile training tool.
Contrary to common misconception you can do far more on a squat rack than just squat. For example, some racks feature built-in power towers (pull-up and dip) and others sport contemporary appendages such as resistance bands, cables and weights – and even mini multi gyms.
Thus if you select the right rack you’ll have everything you need to keep fit and shape a sharp physique. For example, a number of the racks below offer a range of exercise versatility that could only be exceeded by a full-scale gym. This makes them an excellent investment and if they are used properly and consistently they’ll pay fitness dividends for years to come.
But before buying a squat rack there are a couple of considerations you might want to mull over prior to committing the cash. These considerations have been outlined in the Buyer’s Guide below.
Squat Rack Buyer’s Guide
Some squat racks are just that: two supports on which to rest a bar across between sets of squats (or military presses). Don’t get me wrong, such a rack serves a purpose – but it is rather limited. Though I have included in this review a ‘mono-application’ squat rack (that is, a rack designed solely for the purpose of supporting a barbell) the rest are dual or multi-functional. The reason: you get a lot more for your money and usually that more isn’t that much – if you get me.
Squat rack (or cage) dimensions
The overall size of the squat rack is something that needs attention. I once bought a rug that was too big. After eye-sizing it up in the shop for five minutes I arrived at the confident conclusion that it would be a perfect fit. When I got home and rolled it out the carpet was over a foot too long! Fine. Not a problem. I just rolled it back into a huge cigar, carted it down to the shop and swapped it for one slightly smaller. Lesson learnt. Jobs a’gooden. I foolish oversight such as this would not have been so easily rectified if I’d purchased an oversized squat rack. And the frustration and irritation would have been compounded if I realised it wouldn't fit after squandering two hours assembling the thing. So, before buying a squat rack, make sure you’ve got ample room to accommodate it.
Of course it’s always difficult to determine the build quality of a product until we buy it and use it – which is certainly the case when we can’t physically view it first. However, with squat racks, the weight of the rack and its load capacity are indicators of durability. The heavier they are and the greater the load they can support usually suggests superior build quality.
Benefits of using a squat rack
The primary benefits of using a squat rack are that they enable you to ‘go heavy’ without the need of a) recruiting a spotter . . . or b) the worry that, if you have to ditch the weight – cuz you got all enthusiastic after watching that Dimitri Klockov video and overloaded the bar – you won’t have to re-surface the floor.
Other benefits include the array of modifications and/or upgrades that can be included so as to expand the versatility of an already versatile training tool. I’ll keep this short so as to avoid coming across as repetitive, but you can, depending on which squat rack you settle for, include all manner of additional features. Such as? Well such as TRX cables, resistance bands, a bench, a punch bag . . . etc., etc. running out of ideas.
Let’s get on with the show shall we?
1: Pull up Fitness
Pull up Fitness (the company’s name) offer a sleek and durable piece of kit. As well as adequately satisfying the basic requirements we expect of any squat rack – that you can rack your bar after squatting – Pull up Fitness’ offering also features a pull-up bar and dip station.
For the price this squat rack packs a punch. Included with those desirable attributes identified above – squat rackable and pull-up and dippable – this product also boasts a max load of an eyebrow raising 250kg! In addition, the max user weight, for the pull-up and dip appendages, is 150kg, making this one heavy duty son of a gun.
Other points of note. It has received immense customer feedback. With nearly 200 reviews in the bank it’s still confidently clinging on to 4.5 stars. And that vast majority of those reviewers comment favourably on its build quality and price. It only costs £208! That’s crazy cheap.
4.5 stars with 188 reviews
Sturdy and good value
Ideal for squats, lying and pull-ups
Pull up bar can be adjusted to your height, adjustable height
Max load 250 kg, max user weight 150 kg
Tools included for mounting the device, fixing to the floor possible and supplied
Heavy duty weight station, weight storage possible at the back of the device
Click on the image for availability
2: Hardcastle Bodybuilding Adjustable Squat Rack with Spotters & Dip Bars
The Hardcastle adjustable squat rack is little more than your box standard post-squat bar support stands. Yes it comes with the added feature of dip bars but other than that not much else.
However, for those that don’t want a ruddy great cage in their garage/home gym, but would prefer a less intrusive piece of kit which can be stored away after use, this is the squat rack for you. Why?
Well they boast some serious positive customer feedback full of comments like ‘great product!’ and ‘amazing bargain!’ and ‘bomb proof!’ Also, they are constructed form heavy duty industrial grade steel. Which explains why they can comfortably support a load of 250kg.
4.5 stars with over 230 reviews
A great and sturdy product
None as of yet
Hardcastle bodybuilding squat rack with spotters and dip bars - Ideal for squats, dips & bench presses
Adjustable width, rack height & spotter height for enhanced workout ranges
Can be used with 1" & 2" Olympic barbell bars - Heavy duty 50mm steel tube frame
13 rack levels (5cm gaps) - 7 Spotter levels (5cm gaps) - 10 Width settings (5cm gaps)
Total width: 78cm - 123cm - Rack height: 93cm - 151cm - Spotter height: 65cm - 95cm - Depth: 96.5cm - Total height: 163cm (max) - Max load: 250kg
Click on the image for availability
3: Marbo Sport Multi-Function Adjustable Power Cage Rack Exercise Squat Stand
Marbo Sport’s ‘power cage’ – as they’ve dubbed it (an attempt to appeal to the macho types no doubt) – is the first of the multi-functional squat racks. This is a heavy duty piece of kit which has been designed with the serious strength trainer in mind.
It boasts a maximum load capacity of 300kg meaning that, if you’re not currently training for the World’s Strong Man competition, it should comfortably accommodate anything you dare throw at it.
Bolted to the top of the squat rack is a multi-grip position pull-up bar. This is the only additional feature that comes with this ‘power cage’. However, is doesn’t take the brains of an evil genius to see how it could be turned into a jungle gym for the physically insane.
In my fantasy I see a pair of TRX cables hanging from the rear strut, a number of resistance bands tethered to the uprights, a battle rope wrapped around the opposite upright and a bench parked in the middle. Now that is a slice of exercise paradise right there.
5 stars with 1 review
Pull-up bar - The Power Rack has a pull-up bar, on which pull-ups can be carried out in three different reach. Outside there are comfortable, rubberized handles that guarantee safe training.
J-hooks - The Power Rack contains two J-hooks on which you can easily and safely place a barbell during squats, shoulder training or bench presses. The hooks can be inserted at 13 different heights, from 43 to 163 cm.
Emergency trays - The emergency trays are thick bars with a diameter of 25 mm. They can be inserted in 13 different heights.
Made in the EU
Click on the image for availability
4: Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage with Optional Lat Pull-down Attachment
Fitness Reality’s power cage offers a number of additional features. For example, suspended above the centre of the squat rack is situated a heavy duty pull-up bar. But it’s a bit more than just a bar. The parallel cross-section with added lateral grippers will enable you to perform any style of pull-up you want; which include (in case you thought there was only one style of pull-up – and tut tut if you did):
Traditional Pull-Up grip.
Traditional Chin-Up grip.
Neutral Grip Pull-Up.
Close Grip Pull-Up.
Close Grip Chin-Up.
Wide Grip Pull-Up.
Wide Grip Chin-Up.
Mixed Grip Pull-Up.
In addition, you can of course pop in to your session a series of hanging leg raises, toes to bar and (if you’ve got a vaulted ceiling) muscle-ups. Let’s not forget that you could also attach TRX cables and resistance bands which would make this one versatile piece of kit.
Of all the squat racks reviewed Fitness Reality’s has by far received the greatest number of reviews – over 1250! And still it has retained 4.5 stars. This probably has something to do with the fact that it received a favourable thumbs up from the fitness gods over at Men’s Health magazine.
Final point of note, this ‘power cage’ boasts a maximum load capacity of a jaw dropping 360kg!
(Please be aware: the bench shown in the image is NOT included within the price. Fitness Reality has not made this fact quite as explicit as they could. For £549 you will receive the squat rack and the packaging it comes in.)
4.5 stars with 1250 reviews
Solid and easy to assemble
Cage dimensions – 50.5” L x 46.5” W x 83.5” H | Set up weight – 133.5 lbs. | Carton dimensions – 79” L x 13” W x 10” H | Carton weight – 148 lbs. | Weight capacity – 800 lbs. | Bar dimensions – 2” x 2”
Cage – Ideal for squats, shrugs, chin ups/pull ups, incline/decline bench presses and other strength training exercises
Cage – Each pair of bars can handle a weight capacity of 800 (360kg) lbs and are adjustable to 19 height levels to give you a total range of work out positions
Click on the image for availability
Squat rack check list:
Must be durable and manufactured from premium quality materials
High load capacity – 200-plus KG
Multi-functional applications: pull-ups and dips – at a minimum
Received positive user feedback
The squat rack you select should meet all elements of the above criteria. If it doesn’t I advise that you reconsider your options. After all you don’t want to go through the embuggerance of shelling out the coin for a rather costly piece of kit only to find out - post assembly! - that it’s no more durable than a Meccano toy.
(As we are very interested in user feedback at Hungry4Fitness, I would be very grateful if you could take a few seconds out of your day to leave a comment. Thanks in advance!)
Adam Priest is a former Royal Marines Commando, professional personal trainer, lecturer, boxing and Thai boxing enthusiast.