I'm a Fitness & Nutrition writer for CNET who enjoys binging Netflix shows, cooking new recipes, going for a scenic run or hitting the weight room at the gym.
Squat racks are useful if you strength train regularly and are aiming to lift heavier weights. They're designed to hold an Olympic-size barbell (usually 6 to 7 feet long) in between two metal stands that can be adjusted depending on the exercise. A squat rack can be used for squatting, deadlifting, bench pressing, overhead pressing and more. You don't need to be a Crossfitter or powerlifter to reap the benefits.
The one drawback to owning a squat rack is that you need the space. Since they tend to be big, some people use them in a garage, backyard or a home gym space. Depending on the manufacturer and style of the rack, they can also be pricey, so you may need to review your budget.
If you're in the market to buy a squat rack for home use, I rounded up some of the best on the market based on overall customer satisfaction and brand reputability. Here are my top choices.
If your home gym is in your yard, you know that mother nature's elements can rust your equipment. So you'll want to get a squat rack that's protected against the weather. The Get RX'd Galvanized Backyard Builder RMU Rig is a great option if you want a squat rack specifically intended for outdoor use that can handle it all.
This squat rack uses hot-dip galvanization to prevent corrosion from the inside out. Hot-dip galvanization is when steel is immersed in molten zinc to help create a multilayered weather resistant coat to prevent rusting. Aside from being a sturdy squat rack, this rig can be used by multiple people at the same time, has plenty of room to set up gymnastics rings and offers three different pull-up bar options.
Customer reviews show that this squat rack is ideal for a backyard and lives up to its promise. One buyer said, "Living in Portland with monthly rain, this is perfect for the backyard! Even wet, it has plenty of grip and is definitely all weather!" Another reviewer said they've owned this rig for over two and a half years, and they've used it consistently without any issues.
During the pandemic, many people set up their home gyms in their garage. If you've been shopping for a good squat rack that will fit, the PRX Performance Profile PRO Folding Squat Rack is a solid choice. This squat rack first gained attention when the creators appeared on the TV show Shark Tank, promoting their genius new space-saving device.
It's perfect for a garage space because it doesn't take up a lot of room (4 inches of wall space) and can be folded in when you're done using it. You'll need to make sure your garage is tall enough -- you need a ceiling that's at least 91 inches (7.5 feet) high.
Customers love this space-saving squat rack. One reviewer is a musician who uses the garage as a studio space and a gym and says the squat rack is easy to store when not in use. Other buyers say it's sturdy, worth the investment and has changed their workout routine for the better.
If you have a low-ceiling home gym, then you'll love the Titan Fitness T-3 Series Short Squat Stand. At only 72 inches (6 feet) tall, this squat rack can fit into just about any room in your home. Despite its size, it's sturdy enough to hold up to 1,000 pounds and doesn't need to be drilled into the floor or a wall.
Customers say this squat rack exceeded their expectations for being both heavy duty and easy to put together. One powerlifter said they've racked up to 600 pounds on the spotter arms without any issues and found that it fit perfectly in their small space. This squat rack is even appropriate for commercial use -- one gym owner said he bought several of these racks for his gym.
A power rack is helpful for making your weightlifting practice safer. It also makes you feel more confident to lift heavier even without a spotter. The Hulkfit 1000-pound capacity Multi-Function Adjustable Power Cage will help you achieve new PRs thanks to its versatile use. This squat rack includes a pull-up bar, dip bars, as well as J-hooks to rack your barbell. It's on the larger side, so you'll want to make sure you have a ceiling at least 7 feet high to fit it.
Buyers who purchased this multifunctional squat rack found that they got their money's worth. According to Amazon, the manufacturer is transitioning from safety bars to safety straps, which means depending on when you order, you may receive either one. One thing to keep in mind is that it appears some customers had issues with the way the squat rack was shipped and said some of the packaging was torn, but the parts themselves weren't damaged.
This no-frills squat rack is one of Amazon's most highly rated pieces of exercise equipment. It can hold up to 800 pounds of weight and fit up to a 7-foot long Olympic bar. The squat rack includes adjustable spotter arms, storage for Olympic plates and includes an angled pull-up bar. If you'd like to upgrade this squat rack, there are two other styles available that include a lat pulldown attachment and a weight bench. Make sure you have a ceiling that's over 7 feet tall so it can fit comfortably.
Customer reviews on Amazon have positive feedback for the most part. One reviewer said their family, including a teenager who is a football player, uses this squat rack for conditioning. Another woman who uses this squat rack regularly and the pull-up bar says it can even withstand the intensity of kipping pull-ups. She adds, "The squat rack itself is great, and I've used it to squat, bench, and do rack pulls on."
Rogue is well-known for its weight training equipment and the go-to for Crossfit and big box gyms. If you're looking for a tried and true squat rack that gets the job done, you'll appreciate the SML-2 Rogue 90" Monster Lite Squat Stand. This compact squat rack is a hybrid between a squat rack and a power rack, which allows you to perform other exercises such as bench presses or deadlifts. It also includes the choice of two pull-up bars: a thicker and thinner bar. This squat rack will fit in a garage gym as long as the ceiling can clear over 7.5 feet.
Customers who purchased this squat rack say it was easy to put together and that it's heavy duty and high quality. Many reviewers say they are able to do various lifts with this rack, and the pull-up bars are height-friendly for even the tallest people. Buyers agree it's worth buying the spotter arms for extra safety when lifting.
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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.