After a barbell and some weight plates, the squat rack (or power rack) might be the best investment for your home gym.
Considering all the exercises you can do and the equipment you can use with a squat rack, you need to make sure you’re picking the best one.
In this article, we’ll show you five of the best racks on the market, based on over 20 years of fitness experience as a Certifed Personal Trainer and the experience of what holds up in the firehouse gym, so you can find the perfect one for your space and needs. After that, we look at the critical aspects of what to look for when deciding on a squat rack, including type, size, and attachments
Let’s get to it!
A Quick Look
Best Squat and Power Racks
Rogue RM-6 Monster Rack 2.0 – Best Overall Rack
Dimensions: 80” W x 53” D x 90” H
Material: 3” x 3″ 11-Gauge Steel
Hole Spacing: 1″
Weight Capacity: 1,000 lbs (rating of J-cups)
The Rogue RM-6 Monster Rack 2.0 is part of Rogue’s Monster series of racks. We like the RM-6 because it’s a little deeper and offers more storage than some of the smaller Monster racks while being more affordable than the more giant Rogue Monster Cave.
The RM-6 comes in three different height options: 90″, 100″, and 108″. You can also choose from a variety of color options and select your choice of a pull-up bar, rear cross member, J-cups, and safeties when you order the rack.
Rogue uses heavy-duty 3×3″ 11-gauge steel tubing for the RM-6 and a bolt-together design that is easy to assemble with the pair of included Rogue Monster 1.5″ Wrenches.
The RM-6 has 1″ holes, numbered pin holes (up to 40), eight plate storage pegs, and four band pegs. The RM-6 Monster Rack 2.0 is also compatible with all of Rogue’s Monster attachments, such as the Monster Matador dip bars and the Monster Landmine 2.0.
- Rogue might be the best brand when it comes to offering additional accessories and attachments.
- The 1,000 lb weight capacity ensures you never need to worry about lifting heavy.
- The numbered pin holes make it super easy to change the location of attachments.
- The 80″ x 53″ footprint might be too large for the average home gym space.
- There are better options than this expensive power rack for athletes working on a tight budget.
Titan Fitness X-3 Series Tall Squat Stand and Half Rack Conversion Kit – Best Half Rack
Dimensions: 48” W x 48” D x 93” H
Material: 3” x 3″ 11-Gauge Steel
Hole Spacing: 2″
Weight Capacity: 1,000 lbs
The Titan Fitness X-3 Series Tall Squat Stand has gotten a fantastic upgrade in the form of the X-3 Series Half Rack Conversion Kit. Purchasing the squat stand and conversion kit is not only more affordable than many standard squat half racks but also a significant upgrade over inferior half rack models.
With the conversion kit, you can upgrade the X-3 Tall Squat Stand from Titan Fitness to increase the amount of plate storage you get, and the conversion kit gives you better safety positions.
The conversion kit provides the superior 25mm Westside Hole Spacing configuration in the bench and clean pull zones so that you can adjust your positions more accurately. Above the benching area, the hole spacing is the standard 2″ configuration.
This half rack saves on floor space while giving you the robustness and security of 3″ x 3″ 11-gauge steel uprights. You also get four plate holders, two stabilizing gusset plates, and a couple of nice-looking, laser-engraved Titan Fitness logos on the top braces for a little extra style.
- The Westside Hole Spacing on the lower portion of the rack is helpful for adjustments.
- The heavy-duty steel uprights will support up to 1,000 lbs
- You can remove the half-rack conversion kit and still use the squat stand when you want to.
- It’d be nice to have the Westside spacing on the entire length of the uprights.
- There are limited options for color or size customizations.
Force USA MyRack Modular Power Rack – Best Beginner’s Rack
Dimensions: 47” W x 55” D x 87” H
Material: 2.4 x 2.4″ 12-Gauge Steel
Hole Spacing: 1″
Weight Capacity: 2,000 lbs
If you are a beginner looking for a vigorous power rack that will last you a long time, consider the Force USA MyRack Modular Power Rack. This equipment is a full rack but only takes about 55″ worth of depth. Better yet, its 12-gauge steel uprights are rated for an impressive 2,000 lbs max weight capacity.
The MyRack Modular Power Rack is highly customizable with over 20 different attachments, including a cable crossover and lat pulldown station. You can also find accessories, including J-hooks, safety bars, flooring, benches, barbells, mono lifts, and more.
The uprights on the MyRack use Westside spacing, and there are 54 adjustment points on the front and back uprights. This rack is exceptionally sturdy and works well freestanding or when bolted to the floor.
And if this is your first rack, you can rest easy knowing that Force USA provides a limited lifetime structural warranty to protect your investment.
- Over 20 different attachments mean you can create a complete home gym using this power rack.
- With 54 adjustment points, you can hit every conceivable angle of any movement you want.
- The base model is the right size and price for a first-time buyer.
- Finding third-party attachments for the 2.4″ square uprights might be difficult.
- Some users might feel constricted inside the narrow (but space-saving) uprights.
Bells of Steel Power Rack 4.1 – Residential – Best Budget Rack
Dimensions: 64” W x 55” D x 84.5” H
Material: 2.3” x 2.3” 14-Gauge Steel
Hole Spacing: 2″ & 1”
Weight Capacity: 700 lbs
Bells of Steel is one of our favorite brands, and their Power Rack 4.1 – Residential makes the perfect budget buy for anyone looking for an affordable full-sized rack.
Bells of Steel built the Power Rack 4.1 with 2.3″ x 2.3″ 14-gauge steel uprights, which offer stability and a max weight capacity of 700 lbs. We do wish Bells of Steel would have numbered the uprights for added convenience. Plus, since this power rack has a compact footprint of 64″ x 55″ and only requires 84.5″ of head space, it’s an excellent option for smaller areas.
The Power Rack 4.1 comes with a pull-up bar, pin-pipe spotter arms, and padded J-cups. This power rack is also compatible with plenty of attachments, including dip bars, storage, landmine attachment, lat-pulldown attachment, and more.
You can select the 72” tall option as well which is ideal for low ceilings. The 72” option is not compatible with the lat-pulldown or cable cross attachments.
- Competitively priced compared to similarly performing racks.
- The size and weight limits make this power rack an excellent option for beginners.
- There are plenty of high-quality attachments to help turn this power rack into a whole home gym.
- The lower max weight capacity makes it a poor choice for extra-strong lifters.
- Tall athletes might wish they had more room when doing pull-ups on this 84.5″ tall rack.
Rogue RML-90SLIM Door Mount Fold Back Rack – Best Compact Rack
Dimensions: 49” W x 13” D x 90” H
Material: 3” x 3″ 11-Gauge Steel
Hole Spacing: 1″
Weight Capacity: 1,000 lbs (rating of J-cups)
If space is at a premium in your home gym, consider a folding door-mounted rack like the RML-90SLIM Door Mount Fold Back Rack from Rogue. This half rack mounts to your wall around a doorway and, when folded down, takes up a measly 5″ of depth space.
The 90SLIM uses 3″ x 3″ 11-gauge steel uprights and offers a weight capacity of 1,000 lbs. It also comes with a Monster-Lite adjustable pull-up bar and Monster-Lite J-cups.
This folding half rack will fit around any door size from 28″ to 36 “, not including door trim. When unfolded, the RML-90SLIM only requires 13″ of depth space. Also important is the use of the split stringers, which hold the rack to the wall. The stringers require 19” of wall space for mounting, so remember to account for that if you want to measure your gym space.
With the RML-90SLIM, you can open the door and use a bench for movements such as a bench press. Or, if you are a fan of gymnastic movements, you can open your door to perform kipping pull-ups without having to worry about your wall.
All of Rogue’s Monster Lite attachments work with this rack, including the bar hangers, plate storage, cable pulley system, safety straps, and more.
- The RML-90SLIM is one of the best space-saving designs we’ve ever seen for a squat rack.
- Considerably cheaper than some of Rogue’s other freestanding power racks.
- The list of Monster Lite accessories is extensive and comprehensive.
- Working out so close to a wall can be uncomfortable for some lifters.
- You cannot move this fold-down door-mounted rack easily.
Squat Rack Buyer’s Guide
At first glance, a squat rack doesn’t look like a complex piece of equipment, but there can be a big difference between a robust, versatile power rack and a flimsy bottom-of-the-barrel model that will let you down when you need it most.
Before you review our five favorite power racks, let’s learn about what goes into creating a high-quality rack.
Type of Rack
The type of squat rack you need will depend on your specific needs. The most crucial decision is the basic setup you want. Here are the four types of rack designs you will find:
Squat stands are not technically a rack, but many lifters who are tight in space or low on funds might consider using them.
Squat stands are two individual uprights that are entirely unconnected. The advantage of squat stands is that they are small, easy to set up and tear down, and are usually one of the most affordable options.
Squat stands have hole spacings for J-hooks and other attachments, so you can use them for squatting, pressing, or benching (if you have a separately-purchased bench).
As the name implies, this squat rack is roughly half a full-size power rack. Unlike a full cage that you can step “inside” of, a half rack is an open rack.
The half rack will often offer more stability and weight capacity than a set of squat stands, but it doesn’t provide a full rack’s more robust safety features. Of course, a half rack is cheaper and smaller than a full-sized power rack.
Another advantage of half racks is you can perform movements such as pull-ups and dips with the correct attachments.
A folding rack is simply a full squat rack with a series of hinges that allow you to fold it flat against the wall when it’s not in use. Folding squat racks are a modern attempt to combine the complete set of features of a full-sized power cage with the space-saving efficiency of a half-rack.
Many folding racks are surprisingly strong but require sufficient space to be “unfolded.” There are fewer options for folding racks than for half or full racks. Another important thing to remember with a folding rack is that you need a very level floor to fold and unfold the stands. Sloped concrete in a garage can create a clearance issue.
Full Power Rack (Cage)
A full power rack (sometimes called a power cage) is the crème de la crème of squat racks. These are the large racks you often see at well-equipped gyms where you can step inside the cage and squat between two full-length safety bars.
A full rack, such as the Rogue RML-590C, offers many advantages, such as high maximum weight capacities, extra space/options for attachments and plate storage, and the ability for multiple people to use the rack simultaneously.
Unfortunately, a full-size rack can take up a lot of room, and you can’t quickly move a full rack once you’ve installed it. They’re also more expensive than other types of squat racks.
The list of materials used for squat racks varies based on the brand and model. Most reputable manufacturers use 11 or 12-gauge steel. If you are a heavyweight powerlifter or some other form of gym superhero, some racks use extra-thick 7-gauge steel, but that’s unnecessary for most people.
The size of the power rack is a significant consideration primarily constrained by the size of the space in which you want to install it.
Most manufacturers make their racks with 2″ x 2″ steel columns, but you can also find heavy-duty 3″ x 3″ columns. Sometimes you can find odd sizes, such as 2″ x 3″ or 2.3″ columns as well.
For the “footprint” of the rack, you need to know your available space for height, width, and length (depth). There are dozens of squat racks of different dimensions, so finding one you need should be easy.
Heights usually range between 70″ and 110″ but are primarily in the 80″ -90″ range.
Depths vary based on the rack type, with some being as narrow as 24″ between the front and back columns. Most racks will offer a depth of between 40″ and 50″.
Unlike the other two measurements, width is relatively standardized. Regardless of the type, almost all squat racks will fall around 45″ -48″ wide.
One final note about sizes: remember to consider not just your squat rack but your other equipment as well. Firstly, the standard Olympic barbell is about 7′ long. This extra length means that if you purchase a 48″ wide rack, you must still have 18″ plus a little more on either side of the rack.
The same goes for the other dimensions. If you get a rack with a pull-up bar, ensure you have enough head space to perform pull-ups safely. If you want to use any other attachments on the sides or back of your rack, you must also consider the space for that equipment.
Every manufacturer will pre-drill holes on the columns (or uprights) of a squat rack. These holes are where you secure your pins, J-Hooks, dip bars, and other attachments.
Most brands offer racks with a hole spacing of 2” (50cm). However, a tighter spacing, called Westside Spacing has been becoming more popular for racks. Westside hole spacing is 1” (25mm).
Westside hole spacing will give you roughly twice as many options for where to put your safety pins and other equipment, but don’t worry if you can’t find a squat rack with it. Westside hole spacing is far from an essential feature.
A final note on hole spacing: some manufacturers number the holes. This numbering can be helpful if you frequently change your attachments’ locations. Again, if you don’t care about this feature, don’t feel you have to spend extra time tracking down a rack with numbered hole spacings.
Weight capacity refers to how much weight you can safely load onto the squat rack via a barbell, storage rack, or some attachment. As we have alluded to, not every squat rack can handle the same weight.
Most squats rack will handle around 500 lbs which is more than enough for most athletes. For superstar lifters who plan to squat over 500 lbs, heavy-duty power racks with a considerably higher max capacity are available.
Regardless of your max lifting numbers, double-check what a rack can handle before you purchase it. Not doing so could result in damaged equipment or, even worse, personal injury.
Attachments & Accessories
Some squat racks are so customizable that they blur the line between a rack and a complete home functional trainer.
All the worthwhile manufacturers will also have a range of attachments and accessories compatible with the brand’s squat and power racks. Dozens of third-party manufacturers make attachments using the standard-size configurations of racks.
Going through an entire list of accessories and attachments in detail would be a whole article on its own. For now, here is a list of some of the most popular squat rack attachments you might consider purchasing.
These attachments are for holding a bar or catching it after a failed lift so it doesn’t hurt the lifter.
- J-hooks (or J-cups)
- Safety pins (or safety pipes)
- Safety arms
- Safety straps
Some racks have attachments for storing your weight equipment when not in use.
- Bar holder
- Weight pegs (or plate pegs)
- Chain and band holder
This section is the most extensive list of accessories and also the one with the most variation from brand to brand. Some of these attachments might come included in a power rack package, so double-check before picking any of these items up separately.
- Pull up bar
- Lat pulldown attachment
- Landmine attachment
- Band anchor pegs
- Dip bars
- Lever arms
It’s difficult to determine anything definitive based on price alone. Squat racks can get expensive fast, even without the added costs of shipping or buying additional attachments.
You want to find the best model possible for the budget you have. To do so, consider what you want to do with your squat rack. Please review all the other sections in our buyer’s guide and try to figure out what gives you the best bang for your buck.
If it helps, consider that you don’t need a complete setup all at once. Start with a basic squat rack and slowly upgrade it with attachments, accessories, and other hardware when possible.
The Right Power Rack for You
Selecting the right power rack might be your most crucial decision for your home gym. We hope that this article provides you with the knowledge to go out and find the right squat rack for you.
If you want a full-sized rack with tons of options for customization, check out the Rogue Rm-6 Monster Rack 2.0. It offers Rogue’s legendary manufacturing standards and is highly configurable.
If a premium squat rack isn’t what you need right now, consider the Force USA MyRack Modular Power Rack or the Titan Fitness X-3 Series Tall Squat Stand with Half Rack Conversion Kit. Either rack will still give you great workout options while saving space and money.