There's a lot to factor into finding the best squat rack, especially as they can vary drastically in price despite appearing almost identical at first glance. However, as squats are one of the 'core movements' that should feature in almost every workout programme, we'd argue that getting a squat rack is a great way to upgrade your home gym.
So, to help kick off your search for one of the best pieces of home gym equipment you can buy, we've put together a list of our top picks based on features, price, and reviews, highlighting some of the key differences that make each one of these items stand out from the crowd.
For instance, we've covered both compact stands, which tend to be a little cheaper, as well as four-sided cages for added safety and stability.
So, whether you're after one of the best power cages, like this HulkFit bit of kit, or you're searching for something slightly smaller, like this BangTong&Li Squat Stand, we've got you covered right here.
We've also answered some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding squat racks to help you decide which is right for your own gym setup. With that in mind, let's get into it...
Best squat rack
- DMoose Squat Rack
- HulkFit Multi-Function Adjustable Power Cage
- BangTong&Li Squat Rack Stand
- Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max
- CAP Barbell FM-8000F
1. DMoose Squat Rack
Best squat rack overall
Maximum Capacity: 1500lbs
When attempting a PB squat or bench press, the last thing you need weighing heavy in the back of your mind is whether or not your rack can take it. With this DMoose stand, however, those fears can be put to bed.
DMoose describes its design as "bombproof", as it's made from durable steel and can hold up to 1500lbs of weight. That's more than both the squat and bench press world records, so you've got absolutely nothing to worry about from a stability point of view.
To further improve the sturdiness though, the rack features weight horns attached at the base and, as an added bonus, it comes with spotter arms to stop you from getting stuck if you fail a lift while alone.
It's adjustable in height as well (up to 86”) and you can add in a pull-up bar to complete a fuller, more complete workout at home. All in all, we'd say it's well worth checking out if you're looking to upgrade your home gym space.
Read More: Best weight benches
2. HulkFit Multi-Function Adjustable Power Cage
Best power cage squat rack
Maximum Capacity: 1000lbs
If you're in search of a robust rack capable of handling substantial weight loads, the HulkFit Power Cage is an excellent choice.
It is crafted from 11-gauge steel, giving it an impressive 1000lbs weight capacity, making it ideal for even the most seasoned powerlifters. What sets it apart though is the inclusion of a versatile multi-grip pull-up bar and two dip bars, allowing you to target your back, arms, and chest with a single piece of equipment.
Furthermore, the two sturdy steel safety bars that span the cage not only enhance your safety during lifting sessions but can also be utilised to attach resistance bands for effective warm-up exercises. Therefore, this one power cage can complement an entire training session from start to finishing, making it an excellent option for a home gym.
Read More: Best barbells
3. BangTong&Li Squat Rack Stand
Best budget squat rack
Maximum Capacity: 500lbs
Sometimes a simple squat rack, like this BangTong&Li Stand, is all you need if you're looking to save space and are working within a budget.
The stand can still hold 500lbs safely and securely which means you are still able to squat pretty heavy if you're more of an accomplished lifter. We'd also recommend this bit of kit for beginners just starting out as its relatively inexpensive price tag means you can use the stand as a starting point before progressing to a full power cage if you want.
It also comes with Olympic plate storage which means you can keep your weights racked when they're not in use to help keep your gym nice and tidy.
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4. Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max
Best multi-purpose squat rack
Maximum Capacity: 800lbs
This impressive piece of equipment offers a comprehensive and challenging full-body workout, perfect for those looking to save space while having all the necessary attachments conveniently accessible in one place.
Constructed with a heavy-duty steel frame, the Fitness Reality rack boasts exceptional durability and strength, supporting up to 800lbs, catering to both beginners and seasoned fitness enthusiasts.
Enhancing its capabilities, the cage can be equipped with a high lat and low row pulley attachment, providing the opportunity for a killer back workout alongside its multi-grip bar across the top.
The Fitness Reality 810XLT truly shines in its versatility, catering to a wide range of exercises for legs, back, chest, and arms. This makes it the perfect addition to any home gym setup.
Read More: Best multi-gyms under 500
5. CAP Barbell FM-8000F
Best half-cage squat rack
Maximum Capacity: 500lbs
For more than three decades, CAP Barbell has established itself as a leading player in the fitness industry, specialising in bringing the gym experience right to your home.
One of its standout products is its robust power rack, meticulously crafted from a combination of 11 and 12-gauge steel, ensuring maximum strength and safety even during your most challenging workouts.
An enduring powder coat finish and industrial zinc hardware further enhance the rack's durability, promising a maintenance-free experience for years to come.
Incorporating a convenient pull-up bar rail across the top, the CAP Barbell Power Rack becomes a versatile and all-in-one weights setup, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a multi-purpose gym solution.
Read More: Best adjustable dumbbells
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
People often have a tonne of questions about squat racks, especially as there are so many different types, but we're here to clear up a few common queries to help you make your purchase.
What is the difference between a squat rack and power cage?
Power cages and squat racks are both weightlifting equipment that aid in exercises like squats, bench press, and shoulder press. While they share similar functions and appearances, there are some key differences between them.
A power cage, also known as a power rack, is a rectangular structure with four upright posts, two horizontal crossbars, and, usually, two safety bars that can be adjusted to different heights. This feature enables the safe lifting of heavy weights without the need for a spotter. Additionally, power cages often include attachments like dip bars, cable pulleys, and a chin-up bar for added versatility.
A squat rack, on the other hand, is also designed for weightlifting exercises but has only two upright posts that are closer together than those on a power cage. Like the power cage, a squat rack often comes with adjustable safety bars to facilitate safe weightlifting. However, it usually does not feature additional attachments, but they do tend to take up far less space, thus making a squat rack a great pick for home gyms.
Is a squat rack worth it?
Whether a squat rack is worth it depends on your fitness goals, preferences, and individual circumstances. But, if you enjoy lifting weights and want to get stronger, then a squat rack will seriously benefit your training if you work out at home.
Squats are a compound exercise that targets multiple muscle groups, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core. If you're interested in building lower body strength and muscle mass, a squat rack can be a valuable tool.
But that's not all. With an accompanying bench, you can easily train your chest, back, shoulder, and even biceps if you wanted to. From a classic barbell chest press to a barbell row, owning a squat rack can make all these exercises easy and safer to perform by providing a secure and stable framework to lift from.
You will have to consider your available space though, although squat racks do come in a range of sizes and shape to suit different home gym restrictions.
So, if you consider all these factors and you're interested in lifting weights, then yes, we'd say a squat rack is definitely worth the investment.
Do squat racks last?
Yes, squat racks are typically durable and designed to last for a long time with proper care and maintenance. The lifespan of a squat rack can vary depending on factors such as the quality of the materials used, the brand, and the frequency and intensity of use. However, high-quality squat racks made from sturdy steel frames can last for many years, even with heavy use in commercial gyms.
To ensure the longevity of a squat rack, it's important to follow the manufacturer's guidelines for assembly, use, and maintenance. Regular inspections should be conducted to check for any signs of wear or damage, such as rust, bent components, or loose bolts. Keeping the rack clean and free from moisture can also help prevent rust and corrosion.
While squat racks are generally built to withstand heavy loads and intense workouts, it's important to use them within their weight capacity limits and avoid any misuse or abuse that could lead to damage. Properly cared for, a squat rack can last for a significant period of time and provide a reliable and safe workout environment.
How high should a squat rack be?
Generally speaking, fixed squat racks are around 79" (200cm) to 90" (229cm) in height to accommodate even the tallest of individuals.
For adjustable squat stands, like this BangTong&Li bit of kit, you may find the height in which you can set the rack to fall between 55” and 70” in order to reach around shoulder height for the majority of standing exercises.
There are, of course, some stands that measure even taller than this, but for home gyms, we'd recommend sticking to a rack that sits somewhere in these height ranges.
Should a squat rack be bolted to the floor?
While not essential, it can be advised by manufacturers to bolt a squat rack to the floor to avoid it tipping over when loaded with a barbell and weight.
Bolting it to the floor can also help stop it from unnecessarily moving which can cause issues when you're trying to re-rack, especially after going for a PB.
That said, it's not essential to secure a squat rack to the floor as they tend to come with wide, sturdy bases to minimise the risk of tipping and movement.
These risks tend to apply most when the rack is storing a significant amount of weight, so make sure you always return your weights once you've finished an exercise to reduce the risks even further.
Is it safe to lift heavy weights alone with a squat rack?
Using a squat rack provides a significant jump in safety when lifting heavy weights alone, especially when used correctly. The primary purpose of a squat rack is to provide a stable and secure environment for performing various exercises, including squats and other heavy lifts.
As a result, most squat racks come with useful safety bars which allow you to carefully rest your barbell on, for example, if you attempt and fail a lift. That said, it doesn't completely remove the risk of injury, and you are still better off with someone spotting you if you're attempting to lift a weight you've not hit before.
If your squat rack doesn't come with additional safety arms, we'd highly recommend sticking to weights you're comfortable lifting while alone, and only going heavy when you've got a training partner nearby. Without safety arms, you're essentially stuck if you can't lift a weight.
So, while a squat rack can improve the levels of safety when lifting weights, don't completely rely on it as a substitue for a trusty spotter.