Want to do squats at home but don’t have the space to get a full rack? Try the best squat rack. These are smaller versions of the power rack or cage that still allow you set the barbell up so you can pick it up and set it down for your squat workouts.
In our reviews below, you’ll notice that we’ve split it into 2 categories. The first one consists of squat stands while the bottom section covers squat racks. Many people use the terms interchangeably as both can technically be considered squat racks since you rack the bar on the pegs to do squats using both types of equipment.
But to clarify here are some of the differences:
- Are more compact, and cheaper than full sized squat racks.
- They can come welded together or as a pair where each stand is independent of the other.
- Many people prefer these because they take up less space, are stored easier and cost less.
- They do however, have lower maximum weight capacities.
- They can also be less stable specially when loaded with heavier weights, like 250 lbs. or more.
- Often, they do not offer long enough safety catches for the lifter’s protection.
- For optimum safety, always have a training partner spot you when using these.
- Larger, bulkier and come welded as a single unit. So they’re not easily stored away.
- They are more expensive because they use higher grade steel with all the components welded together.
- Offer higher weight capacities compared to squat stands
- More stable because they are wide, constructed with thicker metal and are heavy.
- Depending on the design, they will have safety bars to catch the barbell in case of a failed lift.
Now that you know the differences, here are the top picks for each of the squat rack types.
Best Squat Stands
Built for stability and small workout spaces, the BD-9 offers a multi-lift racking device. It features a 2.5” wide mouth on top of each bar support for racking the barbell when doing squats or military press exercises. The unit also has secondary hooks below that for loading the bar when doing bench press exercises.
The topmost racking apparatus is able to take as much as 500 lbs. in load while the bench press hooks up to 350 lbs. Both can be adjusted in height to suit the lifter.
We like that this squat stand set offers a very high support height allowing for as high as 79” high. This makes it usable even if you’re well over 6’5” tall. If you’re not that tall you can lower then to as low as 49.5” when you do your squats.
Another feature we like is its flexibility in terms of stability. Each post has a wide base that can be adjusted even wider. You can take out the screws at the foot of the unit and pull of the base to extend it. This makes each support post able to go from 20.25” deep to as much as 28 inches deep on each base. The wider the base the more stable on heavier loads.
We also like the 7” plate pegs at the base which let you put extra weight on the base for added stability. This makes them serve a dual purpose. One for storage and another to stabilize the load.
Affordable Squat Stand: The most affordable pair in our best squat rack reviews, this is something you may want to look at if price and small footprint are among your top priorities. Made up of 2 separate stands it is easy to store them together for space savings.
They come with adjustable support heights as well as spotters whose positions can be adjusted up or down according to your height and type of exercise.
Note that among our picks, this set has the lowest capacity at 390 lbs. That’s still a lot of weight, and more than most of us will ever be able to lift, but definitely something to be aware of.
One of its best features is the high support height. While adjustable, it allows you to set it as high as 67 inches. This is much higher than most squat rack supports can go, making this a unit taller individuals can use without having to crouch too low.
If you want to have squat stands that offer safety bars on the sides, the BD-2 comes with adjustable spotter bars on each of the posts so you can set them to the proper height. The go down as low as 20 inches in height and as high as 30 inches high. In total there are 11 different slots between them since it moves in 1 inch increments..
This allows you to set it to the lower levels when you’re using the stands with a bench for bench press workouts and pull them up to the higher levels when doing squats.
The manufacturer rates this pair to handle loads of up to 700 lbs. maximum which offers a good amount of weight to workout with. The frames of each of the posts are solid using 12 gauge steel that’s 2 inches by 2 inches in perimeter.
The base of each of the squat stands are 28 inches deep with the front stabilizer being 14.75 inches wide, and the back stabilizer 22.5 inches wide. The larger base covered by each of the posts make them more stable when loaded.
Best Squat Racks
If you’re less concerned about space and more about stability, the BD-6 offers a no wobble squatting solution. This is a combo rack that uses a fixed set of racking pegs. Unlike the squat stands above, this requires a bigger amount of space since you can’t reduce the size of the entire unit.
However, the same fixed frame also offers more stability and sturdiness. This is because you’re using a single piece of welded equipment. With that the frame holds up better and won’t wobble even if there is a significant amount of weight placed on it.
A great squat rack that isn’t too costly, this unit is built on a 2” by 2” steel frame. It contains 5 bar pegs that have been welded to the frame. This lets you rack you barbell among these 5 positions, which range from 32 inches high (the lowest peg) up to 60 inches high (this topmost peg). The pegs go up by increments of 7 inches.
- Positions 1 & 2 are ideally meant for bench press depending on the length of your arms
- Positions 2 to 4 for incline presses, while
- Positions 4 and 5 at the top for squats.
- Individuals who are 6′ tall and over will need to use peg 5.
This rack also includes adjustable safety bars that can up to as high as 32 inches. The inside of the unit gives you a floor space of 43.5 inches wide and 45 inches deep to work with.
Over 1,000 lbs. Capacity: Offering the most capacity in our best squat rack reviews, this unit can be loaded with more than 1,000 pounds of weight without any issues. It includes a gun rack setup where you can choose between 14 different positions to rack the bar for your lifts.
Its frame is made with solid 11 gauge steel for sturdiness, with the posts being 2” by 3” thick. This quality not only offers stability during lifts but also so you can load as much weight as you want to get the most out of your workouts.
Measuring 64 inches wide, 45 inches deep and 74 inches high, you have all the room to set yourself up for your lifts between the posts. The high height also ensures than no matter how tall you are you’ll be able to comfortably rack the bar in one of the gunrack hooks.
On each side there are 17 inch long safety bars that are their for security.
What a squat rack should look like: By all technical terms, this is what a squat rack looks like. It isn’t the smallest piece of equipment but it is designed to serve a specific purpose and that is to allow you to lift heavy, do your squats, and if something should happen keep you safe at all times.
Let’s face it, when you’re lifting and pushing yourself, you’re bound to have some failed lifts. Either you’ve run out of gas, or the weight is just to much for you to complete a full rep.
When that happens the squat rack’s main job is to prevent the bar falling on you. This set up where both sides are lined with full sized, horizontal safeties ensures that you can let go of the bar and it will never touch you. So to use it effectively, you always need to lift within the rails.
Most cheaper squat racks offer small, short safety spotters that can’t carry heavy loads. This one isn’t one of those. The frame is built to hold a maximum of 800 lbs., so lift all you want. The steel tubing is 2” thick ensuring both stability and safety.
This allows you to do full squats, half squats or quarter squats and never have to worry about being unable to complete a lift.