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5 Best Squat Racks for Home

5 Best Squat Racks for Home

If you’re looking to kick up the intensity of your home strength workouts, you may be considering buying a squat rack for your home. Exercises on a squat rack allow you to lift a lot of weight and activate the huge muscles in your legs, arms, core, and back, giving you great gains. In order to up the ante of your home squat workout, we’ve complied a list of the best commercial and homemade squat racks.

In this article, we will review a variety of squat racks for purchase. If you’re looking for a shortcut on our product reviews, skip to “The Rundown” for quick product specs. Obviously, commercial squat racks are available online for immediate delivery if you want to get started on your intense squat workouts as soon as possible. For those who like to take matters into their own hands, we’ve included instructions on how to make two different versions of homemade squat racks. Once you have your squat rack at home and ready to use, check out our sample squat rack workout.

What are all the exercises you can do on a squat rack?

Man Doing Squats Using Batbel and Squat RackLike many people, you may think that squat racks are just for barbell squats. If this equipment can do only one or two exercises, who would want a squat rack in their home? On the contrary, a squat rack is a highly versatile piece of equipment that can allow you to engage in several heavy weight exercises.

According to the research, barbell-based training may be more effective for muscle development than other types of weight training, especially for building the lower body (1). Here is a list of exercises you can do on a home squat rack:   

  • Barbell squats (regular and front squats)
  • Resistance band squats (effective for warming up on your squat rack)
  • Barbell deadlifts
  • Overhead press
  • Barbell lunges (forwards and backwards)
  • Barbell bent over row
  • Pull-ups (squat racks with pull-up bar)
  • Power clean
  • Bench press (on the floor or on a weight bench)
  • Calf raises
  • Intense gluteal exercises like the barbell hip thrust
  • “Good mornings”
  • Deficit deadlifts (standing on a weight plate)
  • Barbell shrugs
  • Arm stretches (on the squat rack itself)
  • Hamstring stretches to prevent injury and to achieve better flexibility (applicable if the squat rack has safety bars)

Endless Possibilities

As you can see, you can do many different exercises on a home squat rack, but here’s the best part: squat racks can handle plenty of weight! If you are interested in bulking up and becoming stronger by lifting lots of heavy weight, the squat rack gives you the ability to hold and store all of your heavy weight equipment.

Along with some customizable products like adjustable dumbbells and effective cardio machines like an elliptical or rower, your home fitness area can be complete with your own squat rack machine!

Discover “Fitnessator’s Top Picks” in both commercial and homemade squat racks, keep reading. By using our squat stand reviews, you will be better equipped with choosing the best squat rack for your home. Then, make sure you take a look at our intense squat rack workout!

What types of squat racks are available?

Different Kinds Of Squat RackContrary to popular belief, a squat rack is so much more than a steel shelf to hold your barbells. With so many different designs and materials used, you may want to know all of the options that are available. Also, you probably want to know which type of squat stand is most beneficial for your situation. Here is a list of several different types of squat racks you can have in your home:

  1. Squat rack stand:

    In its basic form, a squat rack stand typically consists of two vertical posts in which a barbell can be set. The person exercising simply grabs the barbell and moves away from the squat rack stand. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that once the barbell leaves the stand, there are no safety features to catch the bar in an emergency.

  2. Squat rack cage:

    Squat rack cages resemble power racks in that the barbell is set inside a cage. With these cages, the person exercising can step into the cage, work out, and then step away, leaving the barbell safe within the cage. The squat rack cage is suitable for those who want the barbell secured inside the cage, as these cages often have safety bars to catch the barbell if it’s dropped.

  3. Foldable squat rack:

    As you may guess, foldable squat racks are made to save space. Usually, they are mounted on the wall and are able to fold flat when not in use. If you have a small home fitness space, a foldable rack may be the best squat rack for you. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that sometimes these foldable squat racks cannot hold your barbell and weight plates when folded. So, you may need to find other places to store these items.

  4. Multi-use squat rack:

    It seems exercise equipment is becoming more innovative by the day. If you look online, you may find squat racks with a pull-up bar for added exercises. In some cases, a weight bench and a squat rack may be offered together. Regardless, if you are looking to maximize your dollar, space and exercise diversity, consider a multi-use home gym squat rack.

  5. DIY squat rack:

    If you’re more interested in creating a homemade squat rack, there are endless possibilities! DIY squat racks range from very basic wood posts to welded steel racks that are comparable to commercial products. That being said, really think long and hard about whether a DIY squat rack is worth the effort. If you are interested in building one, we’ve included the best designs in this article.

Determining the Best Squat Rack for You

As you can see, there are a lot of features that a home squat rack has to offer. If you keep reading, choosing the best squat rack for your home will be simplified. While you’re reading, consider the features you’d like in a squat rack, the price, and the effort that may (or may not) be involved. Before you jump into a DIY squat rack project, weigh the costs and benefits of doing so. In this article, we include both commercial squat racks as well as homemade squat rack designs to consider.

Fitnessator’s Top Pick

Rogue RML-690C Power Rack

Rogue RML-690C Power RackWhy We Love It

The Rogue RML-690C earned it’s spot as “Fitnessator’s Top Pick” due to its, safety features, sturdy frame and its ability to be highly customizable for your home. Furthermore, the Rogue squat rack cage has several additional pieces to increase the versatility of this equipment.

The Research

Free weight and heavy weight exercises that are often performed with squat racks are not only great for the main muscles being targeted, but they are also great for strengthening your core. As seen in one 2016 study, researchers found that free weight barbell exercises like the overhead press and push press activate the core muscles while you’re focusing on your shoulders and arms. In fact, the push press in particular is so effective with core muscle activation that we included it in our sample workout below. So, if you’re hoping to build muscle while keeping your waist lean, add more barbell exercises to your routine. You’ll need a good squat rack to do so.

Details
  • Price (Rogue Website): $1750
  • Squat rack cage includes safety bars, barbell rack and posts to store weight plates
  • Includes a pull-up bar
  • This squat rack cage can be bolted into the ground or left unbolted
  • Comes in a variety of colors: red, orange, blue, black, white, green, gray
Things to Consider

To note, this is a huge piece of equipment (80in x 53in footprint; 90in height). While it does not have to be bolted to the ground for safety, always use good barbell safety and etiquette (don’t drop weights onto the rack). Also, several other attachments are available for purchase to make your Rogue squat cage even more customizable and secure.

Customer Reviews

Many customers who purchased the Rogue squat rack rave about its heavy-duty and well-built frame. According to several customers, they have had the same Rogue squat rack for many years and look forward to many years ahead. If you’re concerned about where you would put this squat rack cage, customers stated it fits seamlessly into a garage or large guest room.

While most reviews about this squat rack are positive, some report that the Rogue squat rack lacks horizontal support. For one customer, this caused the vertical beams to tilt outward. As you can imagine, unstable vertical posts could be dangerous during exercise!

Who Should Purchase This Product

Overall, this is a well-built and sturdy piece of equipment. If you have the funds available to purchase this product, you can customize it to your fitness needs and personal color preferences. All in all, this is perhaps the most customizable commercial home squat rack on the list.

Fitnessator’s Runner Up

SML-1 Rogue Monster Lite Squat Stand

SML-1 Rogue Monster Lite Squat StandWhy We Love It

If you want more flexibility than a squat rack cage to take the barbell away from its stand, consider another product by Rogue. This SML-1 Monster Lite Squat Stand is a heavy-duty piece that allows you to save space and use the barbell away from the stand on the open floor. Also, you can easily slide a weight bench within the squat stand for chest workouts.

Details
  • Price (Rogue Website): $365 for the basic stand (safety bars, weight bench, weight plates not included)
  • Dimensions: 48in x 49in x 72in
  • Stand includes a horizontal support attachment to prevent vertical post from sliding away
  • Compatible with standard and Olympic barbells as well as any weight bench
  • Comes in black
Things to Consider

If the Fitnessator’s Top Pick is too large or too expensive, consider the Fitnessator’s Runner Up choice. The SML-1 by Rogue has a smaller footprint. This basic model allows for free movement of the barbell beside the stand. Furthermore, you could engage in squats within the squat stand itself or you are free to remove the barbell and work out on the open floor.

Customer Reviews

Similarly to the Fitnessator Top Pick Rogue rack, the SML-1 is also a product that is as “solid as a rock.” As with other Rogue products, this squat rack is durable for long-term use. Another plus for this piece is that customers claim it is easy to assemble.

According to some customers, the rack can slide around a bit. While some people claim their rack is sturdy without bolting it to the floor, consider purchasing the floor bolting kit of you are concerned with movement during use. Cosmetically, we also read that the outer coating of paint tends to chip in certain areas but does not affect the integrity of the stand.

Who Should Purchase This Product

Since this Rogue product is significantly cheaper and smaller than the Fitnessator Top Pick, it may be better suited for smaller homes and smaller budgets. Likewise, for those who want to do open floor exercises like the power clean, the SML-1 squat rack allows you to easily remove the barbell from the stand.

Fitnessator’s Honorable Mention

Titan Fitness T-3 Series Foldable Squat Rack

Titan Fitness T-3 Series Foldable Squat RackWhy We Love It

This folding squat rack by Titan can be a true space saver for a small home fitness area. Mounted on the wall, the T-3 Foldable Squat Rack tucks away when not in use. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that if you decide to completely fold up this squat rack, you will have to find somewhere else to store your barbell and weight plates. So, make sure you think through the logistics of your home fitness space before purchasing this foldable wall squat rack.

Details
  • Price (Titan Fitness Website): $419.95
  • Compatible with weight benches for chest presses
  • Includes a pull-up bar
  • Installation package includes Titan brand mounts to connect to your wall
  • Dimensions: 41.5in x 50in x 91in
Things to Consider

As with many wall-mounted squat racks, you will need to make sure your wall can withstand a heavy-duty squat rack such as this one. Make sure you plan out how you will secure and protect your wall from damage. With your purchase of the T-3 Foldable Squat Rack, you will need to purchase wood panels and special wall anchors that are not included with the product.

Customer Reviews

Being that this folding squat rack folds flush against the wall when not in use, many customers state that this product fits seamlessly into their home (even small homes). Per the customers, assembly and installation was easy and user friendly. Also, customers say the product is very durable.

On the other hand, while customers were excited to purchase this product, some customers stated that the shipping for this particular item was over $100 depending on where they purchased. So, make sure to do your research and scope around for better prices. Another downside to the product that one customer experienced was an incomplete package upon delivery. According to the customer, not all of the necessary hooks and tools came with the original package. If you purchase this product, check to see if there are multiple packages with the order.

Who Should Purchase This Product

Anyone looking to save space should consider the Titan T-3 Foldable Squat Rack. That being said, however, your walls must withstand the weight and need proper anchoring tools. For those living in a rental space, check with your landlord about installing a wall-mounted squat rack.

Now that you read the reviews of the best squat racks above, maybe you think you can build one that is a better fit for you. Get your tool belt out and check out these two DIY squat rack designs. One thing to remember with any DIY project, however, is safety. As always, there is a risk of collapse with improper DIY squat rack construction.

If you are not interested in homemade squat stands, jump to “The Rundown” for quick product specs. Also, regardless of which squat rack you choose, don’t forget to try out our squat rack workout below.

Cheap DIY Squat Rack

Do-It-Yourself DIY Squat Rack5-Gallon Bucket Squat Rack

The Design

If you’re looking for a simple DIY version, consider building a squat rack with a pair of 5-gallon buckets and some 2-by-4 wood boards. Here is a list of things you may need:

  • Six 2-by-4 wood boards (4 boards of the same length + 2 boards that are 2-4 inches shorter)
  • Wood glue or screws
  • Two 5-gallon buckets
  • Concrete mixture
  • Necessary Tools
The Basics to Building

You can make this 5-gallon squat rack in as little as one day. All you have to do is glue or screw the 2-by-4 boards into two groups of three boards. In the most basic form, two longer boards should flank a shorter middle board. Once secured, stick each grouping into a 5-gallon bucket and fill with the concrete mixture. After the concrete has dried, you should have two secure vertical barbell posts. Finally, place the barbell so that it sits in between the tall flanking boards, and you’re all set!

Wooden DIY Squat Rack

Cage Squat Rack

 The Design

Compared to the 5-gallon bucket squat rack, this wooden cage squat rack requires a little more skill and craftsmanship. Essentially, create a squat rack cage that is made primarily of wood. Here are some materials you will need:

  • Eight 2-by-6 wood boards (for the 4 vertical posts)
  • Base boards around the sides and back of the cage
  • Boards for the top of the cage around the sides and back
  • Extra wood for structural support
  • Notches and hooks for the barbell
  • Notches and hooks for the safety bars
The Basics to Building

The cage should have four vertical posts plus horizontal support beams at the top and bottom of the cage. For added safety, reinforce the inner corners of the cage with 45-degree angle wood beams. Also, consider adding steel safety bars in case you drop the barbell during use.

The Rundown on Squat Racks

This chart offers a  quick and easy way to compare all of the squat rack product reviews in the article. Hopefully, this list will help you can find the best squat rack for your needs.

Product Less than $400 Less than $1000 Extra attachments available DIY
Rogue RML (Top Pick) X
Rogue SML -1 (Runner Up)  X X X
Titan T-3 (Honorable Mention)  X X
5-Gallon Squat Rack  Varies Varies  X
Wooden Cage Squat Rack Varies Varies  X  X

 

Sample Workout: Squat Rack

After reading these reviews, you probably know which squat rack is the best fit for you. For your first workout on your new squat rack, try our sample workout. Our workout exercises several areas of your body. Once you acclimate to your new squat rack, follow the workout with step-by-step instructions below. This workout is designed for general use, so you’ll need to determine the best weight resistance for your level of fitness.

Name of Exercise Sets Repetitions
Barbell squat 3 10
Calf raises 3 12
Barbell lunges 3 10 (for each side)
Barbell shrugs 3 15
Barbell deadlift 3 8
Push press 3 10
Barbell row 3 8
Power clean 1-3 1-8

 

Before you Purchase

As you can see, squat racks can be a great addition to amplify your strength workout, however, they can be expensive or take up lots of room. If you want to engage in heavy weight lifting at home, think about the expense of the product (and any attachments). Additionally, you want to consider the layout of your fitness space. Also, barbells and weight plates require additional room and added investments! If you want to build a DIY squat rack, make sure to take safety precautions.

Be sure you speak with your doctor before beginning your weight lifting regime. Once you have your doctor’s approval, you can shop for your squat rack with confidence, choosing one of the great products we’ve reviewed above. Then, once you’ve made your purchase try out our comprehensive workout once you feel comfortable using your new squat rack.

Thinking about your lifestyle, do you prefer building your own workout equipment, or do you leave it to the experts? Let us know in the comments.

13 Comments

  • What’s up, this weekend is nice designed for me, as this moment i am reading this enormous educational article here
    at my house.

    • Amanda Kostro RD, LDN & Professional Dancer says:

      Glad you found this article to be educational! Are you interested in investing in a squat rack? What other exercise equipment are you interested in for you home fitness space?

  • Khan says:

    Thanks dear! You have very good point and honest reviews! Any real advantages we can get? Have you been satisfying 24-inch depth racks? Get a T3 and search for the standard version, but usually my home gym has used a beautiful deep rack.

    • Amanda Kostro RD, LDN & Professional Dancer says:

      I’m glad you like the reviews! We try to give you the best products and objective information so that you can make an educated purchase. I am not sure I am understanding your questions, however. Can you clarify?

  • Cheska J says:

    Just started out in investing on good items in our home gym. My boyfriend wanted to purchase a squat rack so it’s no surprise I had to check out this post. I didn’t know there were so many kinds! The DIY squat rack looks fun to do but I don’t think we’d have the time to do that with our kind of schedule. Rogue has always been a good brand, I’ve seen it being used in the crossfit gyms we’ve visited.

    • Amanda Kostro RD, LDN & Professional Dancer says:

      It’s great you came to this site for more information about exercise equipment that you were interested in. For many people, the DIY squat rack may be impractical, but there is always someone with a DIY attitude! I have written lots of different product reviews, and I recommend a lot of Rogue products. Rogue products are typically well made, durable, relevant and have lots of positive reviews. Same goes for a Rogue squat rack. Purchasing a Rogue squat rack would be a great choice!

  • Jason Torres says:

    Yeah I was looking at your article on power racks then wondered what recommendations you might have for squat racks, because my garage is too small to fit a power rack… even though I really want one! The Titan T-3 looks like the perfect fit for what I have at home, with it being foldable – that’s all I need! It’s also very affordable by comparison. I have my own spot for the weights so that’s not going to be a problem. Just having that pull-up bar and a sturdy frame that I can put away when I’m not using it (and to keep the wife happy), it’s a win-win.

  • Izona says:

    Hi, I am new to this world of becoming fit. I read your article on the best squad racks and must admit I didn’t know that there was so many to choose from. I like the Titan T-3 because it does not take up a lot of space. What would you recommend is the best for a novice like myself.

    • Amanda Kostro RD, LDN & Professional Dancer says:

      Definitely choosing a compact squat rack would be beneficial for a beginner. Compact equipment can help you save space (and since you’re a beginner, it doesn’t have to overpower your home fitness area). Besides the Titan T-3, also consider the Rogue SML-1 since it is lower-priced. Oftentimes beginners are hesitant to invest a lot of money into fitness equipment because they don’t know how to use it or if it will provide long-term workouts (that they’ll actually do). The Rouge SML-1 is one of the cheaper options.

  • Lindsay Niles says:

    In your opinion, would it be best to first purchase a folding squat rack before making the commitment to a high-quality squat rack cage like the Rogue RML-690C Power Rack?

    • Amanda Kostro RD, LDN & Professional Dancer says:

      Yes, if you are unsure if you would use your squat rack regularly, choosing a cheaper option may be the best idea. Some people use squat racks all of the time, whereas others find other exercises they like or that fit better with their goals.

  • Francisco says:

    We had the Titan one back home because my older brothers preferred that one. Now that I’ve moved to another state I’m looking into purchasing another one, looking into another brand perhaps but it’s great that Titan was listed as a choice. It was a good one but maybe a new one would suit for me for a change. The Rogue Power Rack would fit right home, perhaps I’ll look more on to that.

  • M. Rashid says:

    The photo and description of Rogue RML-690C Power Rack is not enough for me. Could you clarify the following issues:
    What are the inside-the-rack dimensions? How much weight can this hold? Thanks.

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