If you're looking to build your thunder thighs, you'll need to add a trusty squat rack to your home gym. This piece of equipment is essential for everyone looking to make some serious gains.
But how are you supposed to know which squat rack to buy? Every gym enthusiast will benefit from a different product because our squat racks vary in size, price, features, and weight limits.
Below, you can read about 13 of the best squat racks on the market and determine which one will help you meet your fitness goals.
1. Orion HD Elite Quarter Squat Rack
The Orion HD Elite Quarter Squat Rack is an excellent weightlifting product if you have a smaller space. It will easily fit into your apartment's garage or your two-bedroom home's spare room. Despite its smaller design and light build, it doesn't sacrifice safety or functionality. You'll receive optimal use from it, just as if you had invested in a complete squat rack.
The Orion HD Elite Quarter Squat Rack will revolutionize your at-home gym. This weight lifting rack comes with several attachments and features heavy-gauge steel for superior durability. Some of its key features include one set of J-hooks and two robust spotter arms. We also love the double pull-up bars, as you can switch them out to prevent both from wearing out prematurely.
You can enjoy a two-year warranty on this product, but we doubt you'll need to use it. It's built to last for the long term, so feel free to use it heavily (even every day if your fitness plans call for this level of consistent use!).
2. TuffStuff Evolution Half Cage with Dip Handles (CHR-500)
The TuffStuff Evolution Half Cage (CHR-500) is an excellent product if you're learning how to use a squat rack for the first time. It features a 7° slant that lets you load and unload the weight bar much more easily. Plus, this thoughtful design gives the user much greater freedom in their body movement.
The Evolution Half Cage from TuffStuff Fitness comes with integrated safety stoppers for your peace of mind. If you accidentally take on more than you can handle, you can drop the bar and let it fall directly onto the stoppers. You won't have to worry about crushing your toes and putting your weightlifting goals on hold.
This product also comes with integrated storage for the weight plates and Olympic bar, built-in dip handles, and patent-pending J-hooks. For your assurance, the Home Lifetime Warranty protects this weight lifting rack and all its pieces. And if you put this piece of equipment in a commercial environment, you can take advantage of the Light Commercial Warranty.
3. York STS Power Rack with Hook Plates
Are you looking for a sleek, versatile piece of equipment to help build your muscles? The STS Power Rack with Hook Plates from York is just the product for you.
To start, this product has an aesthetically pleasing silver finish that's resistant to rust buildup. It'll shine for years to come and blend in seamlessly with any other at-home gym equipment you have.
But the STS Power Rack's benefits extend far beyond visuals. This weight lifting rack comes with a pull-up bar to help build your arm and back muscles. It sits eight feet high and has a 135° V-shape in the middle to provide extra grip options.
As far as weight storage goes, this product really delivers the best quality. It comes with scuff-resistant spots to keep your 2.5, 5, 10, 25, 35, and 45-pound plates. It also features sturdy interior safety arms and two upright bar holders for your convenience.
4. Northern Fitness Supply HD Squat Stands
If you're looking for a squat rack that won't break the bank, consider the Northern Fitness Supply HD Squat Stands. With your purchase, you'll receive two separate stands that you'll have to place an appropriate distance apart — usually about three-and-a-half to four feet apart.
The stands each have a 5" chrome backplate to catch the bar as the user moves it back onto the stand. On the alternate side, you'll find a 2.5" mouth opening for additional bar support. You can adjust the 4" safety spotters accordingly.
Depending on the specific workouts you're doing, you'll likely need to adjust the stands' height at some point. Luckily, you can move these stands to as low as 46" and as high as 78".
Though some veteran lifters might not appreciate this product's simplicity, it's best for anyone who's just starting. These squat stands are easy to load and unload without extra pieces in the way. You can focus on perfecting your form and getting stronger without maneuvering around unnecessary pieces.
5. York STS Collegiate Squat Rack
Looking for something that'll take you back to your college days? Check out the York STS Collegiate Squat Rack. It looks like something straight out of a football training room, and it'll help you work your way to building the body of the NFL's best lineman.
It's a robust piece of equipment that can handle hundreds of pounds without teetering mid-use. One of the unique things about this product is its single bar holders. You can store up to two bars in this product, and the bars stand vertically (instead of lying horizontally). This design choice prevents the bars from sticking out while they're not in use, saving you some serious storage space. The STS Collegiate Squat Rack also comes with hook plates and a bench stringer to introduce even more stability.
Note that you'll have to purchase all the weights, collars, bars, and spot arms separately. But this purchase is a solid squat stand for anyone looking to get into lifting.
6. Orion HD Elite Half Squat Rack
If you like what the Orion HD Elite Quarter Squat Rack offers but want something a little more comprehensive, consider the HD Elite Half Squat Rack. This product is made from heavy gauge steel and is ideal for any serious lifter. It comes with multiple attachments that will make your lifting experience more enjoyable and effective in the long run.
We particularly love the band pegs, as they let lifters improve their technique and speed and overcome plateaus. This product also comes with a landmine attachment on each side, allowing for enhanced stability while performing specific movements and a greater range of exercises to perform.
The multi-grip pull-up bar is also an excellent addition, as it allows you to perform your upper-body exercises using various grip positions. The plate horns allow for easy access to storage, and the pairs of safety catchers and J-hooks are must-have features that complete the lifting experience.
7. Orion HD Elite Power Rack
The HD Elite Power Rack is very similar to its Half Squat Rack counterpart, except it takes on more of a cage form. It's a short squat rack (about eight inches shorter), but it's significantly wider — as a result, it brings more stability to the table. It's made of the same heavy gauge steel and comes with various attachments that contribute to a fuller lifting experience.
The straight pull-up bar offers a wide range for whatever grip width you want to take on for a particular workout session. You can also benefit from the single pair of J-hooks and safety catchers to store your bar easily and increase your feeling of security as you work out.
If you're worried about investing in this piece of equipment, the two-year warranty should put your mind at ease. We doubt you'll experience any issues with a product of this caliber, but the warranty is there just in case.
8. York STS Self-Standing Half Squat Rack
If you're setting up your home gym for multiple lifters, it's worth buying the York STS Self-Standing Half Squat Rack. You can adjust this product to 19 different positions. Each position is 3" apart, so this product is very accommodating to people of different heights. Your 6'4" brother-in-law can use this squat rack when he comes into town, but so can your teenage son still lingering around the 5'8" mark. Adjusting the stainless steel hook plates is easy, too — it'll take no more than a few seconds to secure the plates in your desired position.
The York Self-Standing Half Squat Rack also comes with a combo grip pull-up bar, one pair of single bar holders, a bench stringer, and two welded vertical bar holders. The storage pegs accommodate plates that range from 2.5 to 45 pounds, so you'll always have the weights you need on hand.
9. Orion Power Rack with Lat Pulldown & Low Row
Have you felt like your workouts have been lacking a bit of variety? If so, the Orion Power Rack with Lat Pulldown & Low Row may be just what you need to spice things up!
This power rack is so much more than just a squat rack. We'll note that it does come with two pairs of J-hooks and a set of safety catchers for you to get your squats in. But if you want to focus on working out other parts of your body, this squat rack with cables allows you to do so. The lat pulldown component lets you engage your back muscles, and the low row option helps you perform some serious bicep curls. The possibilities are endless with this squat rack with cables, so you won't ever skip arm, leg, or back day.
10. True Fitness XFW-8100 Half Squat Rack
The XFW-8100 Half Squat Rack from True Fitness is a pretty standard piece of equipment, but it'll make a reliable addition to your home gym. It comes with eight plate holders and Olympic bar storage. It also has the option of a band peg kit, which includes band storage posts and band pegs. You must purchase this kit separately if you decide you want it for your half squat rack.
The open-face design is quite intuitive, and it features 19 adjustment points that are 3" apart. You can easily adjust the bar catches and catch rails to accommodate your bar's new position.
Avid lifters who are looking to perfect their pull-up will love the integrated pull-up station. This station includes both narrow and wide grip spots for you to experiment with different positions.
11. True Fitness XFW-7900 Power Rack
The True Fitness XFW-7900 Power Rackis very similar to the above-mentioned model, but it comes with 23 adjustment points instead of 19! All these adjustment points still lie at 3" increments, and the catch rails and bar catches are fully adjustable. Better yet, the catch rails are chrome plated to prevent rust and general wear and tear.
This product also includes eight standard plate holders (four on each side) and an integrated pull-up station. You can take advantage of wide and narrow grip positions to build your lats or biceps.
12. True Fitness XFW-6800 Smith Machine
This XFW-6800 Smith Machine from True Fitness features one of the most modern designs we've come across. It looks like it belongs in a modern commercial gym, but it'll also suit your home gym. It has an open-frame design, and the elevated head clearance lets you easily move and access any utility benches you purchase.
The manufacturers counterbalanced the weight carriage to ten pounds, and it sits at a 3° angle to grant users the natural movement of their anatomical joints while they exercise. It comes with eight storage posts for all your plates and adjustable safety stops. The bar catch assembly has 14 positions you can choose from.
And because this machine has a commercial-centric design, it comes with a commercial warranty. You'll receive ten years of coverage for the frame, five years for the parts, one year for the labor, and three months for the coating and other cosmetic elements.
13. Orion HD Elite Quarter Squat Rack Bundle
If you don't want to shop for all the necessary parts separately, consider getting the Orion HD Elite Quarter Squat Rack Bundle. This bundle comes with one HD squat rack, one seven-foot Olympic training bar, and two spring collars. You'll also get 14 rubber Olympic plates, ranging from 2.5 to 45 pounds.
This product is a simple squat rack rather than an impressive squat cage. But it comes with everything you need to start lifting, and it's an excellent space-saving addition to your workout room.
Frequently Asked Questions
After reading these 13 product reviews, you may have discovered a weight lifting rack that piques your interest. But you shouldn't make a purchase without leaving any unanswered questions unaddressed. Below, you can read some of the most common inquiries we get about squat racks.
What Is the Purpose of a Squat Rack?
A squat rack lets ambitious lifters workout safely. You can load the appropriate weight onto your Olympic bar and pick it up from its resting position. The squat rack often has safety features that protect you if you drop the bar. And, this piece of equipment offers you a safe place to return your bar to once you complete your reps.
What Are the Benefits of a Squat Rack?
First and foremost, a squat rack will help you improve the size and strength of your leg muscles. But its benefits extend far beyond these. Some additional benefits of a squat rack include:
- Burning calories
- Increasing leg strength for runners and other endurance athletes
- Alleviating back pain (thanks to the core strength you'll develop)
- Improving cardiovascular health
- Increasing reproductive hormones like the growth hormone (GH) and testosterone
What If I Don't Know How to Use a Squat Rack?
If you're new to the world of working out, you may not be sure how to use a squat rack. Luckily, it's pretty easy to learn. Below, we'll provide a brief list of instructions on how to use a squat rack:
- Adjust the bar and safety bar height.
- Load the bar with a weight you can handle. If you're just starting, you may consider only using the bar.
- Position the bar across your shoulders.
- Lift the bar up (and off the rack), and step backward.
- Perform your squat (or several squats).
- Carefully return the weight to the rack.
Can I Use a Squat Rack By Myself?
You can squat by yourself, but ensure your squat rack has the proper safety features. One non-negotiable safety feature is either safety stoppers or spotter arms. If you accidentally drop the excess weight, these features will stop your bar from plummeting to the ground (and toward your toes).
It's especially safe to use a squat rack by yourself if you have a squat rack with cables. These machines come with components, like low rows and lat pulldowns, that are ideal for single lifters to use.
While you can use a squat rack by yourself, it's a good idea to invite a buddy over. Having a friend who's familiar with working out nearby is wise, especially if you are new to the weightlifting world. Your friend can give you tips regarding how much weight to use and how to perfect your form. And, they'll be able to step in and help if you start wobbling mid-lift. Even if your friend isn't familiar with weightlifting, having an extra set of hands nearby will never hurt anyone. Plus, you can stay motivated to work out when you have a buddy pushing you to do your best!
What Are Some Other Safety Tips for Using a Squat Rack?
Here are some essential safety tips for using any type of squat rack:
- Use barbell collars to prevent the weight plates from sliding off.
- As you squat, try to get your thighs parallel to the floor without extending your knees over your feet.
- Never try to lift more weight than you can handle.
- Avoid positioning the bar too high on your neck.
- Don't round your lower back.
What Is a Folding Squat Rack?
A folding (or foldable) squat rack is a space-saving piece of equipment. It resembles a traditional squat rack, but it's lighter and folds up. When you're not using it, you can condense it and store it in a closet or prop it against an empty wall.
While a folding squat rack is convenient, it's not ideal for stability. And you still have to find a spot to store your weights and bar.
What Other Exercises Can I Perform Using a Squat Rack?
A weight lifting rack is a very versatile piece of equipment. While squats are a favorite exercise among squat rack owners, you won't have to partake in this exercise only. You can also perform:
- Bicep curls (using the bar)
- Bench presses
- Hip lifts
So even if you're not the biggest fan of squats, you can still benefit from a squat cage. The workout possibilities are endless, and you'll find a routine that you can stick to. And along the way, who knows? You may develop an affinity for squats as they become so accessible to you.
Can I Use a Short Squat Rack While Barefoot?
You can, but that doesn't necessarily mean you should. We always recommend you wear shoes while using your short squat rack or squat cage.
It's poor practice to go barefoot while you're performing squats. Your bare feet won't provide you with the grip you need to maintain a sturdy foundation while you exercise. Letting your toes breathe can put you at risk of slipping mid-rep, resulting in a severe injury.
Buy Squat Racks From Our Online Store Today!
Are you ready to make a purchase you're confident in? Browse our selection of squat racks from some of the most trusted brands in the fitness industry. We're sure you'll find something to love!