Different Types Of Squat Racks (Ultimate Guide)

A squat rack for your home gym is perfect for, you guessed it, squats. It's a rack that will hold a barbell or an Olympic bar in the upright position. Not to be confused with power rackssquat racks are handy for getting into position so that you can lift more weight than you'd be able to lift without a squat bar.  

So if you have a home gym and you want to lift heavy, you need a squat rack. Fortunately, there are many types of squat racks available for your home gym. In the guide below, we will talk about squat racks and go over their advantages and disadvantages. 

The squat is a major lower body lift whether you're an Olympic lifter, professional athlete, Crossfitter, or you're just trying to get and stay healthy. A properly executed squat aids in overall strength and is one of the most functional lifts you can do.  

Air squats are great, but they can only do so much. The squat is most people's heaviest lift, just ahead of deadlifts. Most people can squat a lot more than they can press overhead, which is why squat racks are a must for your home gym. Without a squat rack, you're selling yourself short on your lifts. 

When you have a squat rack, you can load the weight onto the bar while it's already in a position to lift. Without it, you have to load the weight on the ground and then get it overhead before starting your squat.  

Everyone who wants to lift heavy needs a squat rack to make heavy lifts from a comfortable position, allowing you to make gains in strength and functionality much faster than if you didn't have a squat rack. 

woman training in rack

Different Types Of Squat Racks Explained 

When looking for squat racks, there will be some noticeable differences between the different types of squat racks available. There's no official name for the different types of squat racks, and they're typically listed under one category as a squat rack or stand. 

Squat Stand 

Squat stands are actually two separate pieces. It's two squat stands that aren't connected and are entirely freestanding. Before using it, you just have to be sure both pieces are secure and at matching heights.

Our favorite thing about the squat stand is that it's very light and portable, and it doesn't take up a lot of space. And, you can put the bars closer together to accommodate bars that are just 5 or 6 feet long. However, there's nowhere to store additional weight plates. 

Pros

  • Light and portable 
  • Takes up minimal space 
  • Can accommodate shorter bars 

Cons

  • Need to add weight plates to maintain stability 
  • No place to store additional weights 

Squat Rack Cage 

We personally love squat rack cages because they were some of the most heavy-duty, durable feeling racks we reviewed. The safety mechanism that almost all squat rack cages have is vital in ensuring your safety while working out

This gave us an extra boost of confidence to lift a little heavier during our workout. However, they take up a lot of space, and the price tag is slightly higher than other racks we reviewed. But, always remember, you get what you pay for. 

Pros

  • Excellent safety spotters 
  • Gives you confidence to lift heavy 
  • Heavy duty and durable 

Cons

  • Needs a lot of space 
  • More expensive than other squat racks 

Standard Squat Rack 

When most lifters picture a squat rack, they are probably picturing a standard squat rack. Standard squat racks don't take up as much space as a squat rack cage, which is nice. However, the safety spotters are a little more advanced on squat rack cages.  

On standard squat racks, you will also have room to store additional weight plates. These feel really strong and sturdy, and you don't have to worry about anchoring them to the ground like you do with the squat stands. 

Pros

  • Additional pegs for storing weight plates 
  • Solid and sturdy 
  • Don’t use a lot of space 
  • Don’t need to be anchored 

Cons

  • A little expensive 
  • Not good for bench presses 

Wall-Mounted Squat Rack 

Wall-mounted squat racks, also known as folding squat racks, are growing in popularity because they are a great space-saving alternative to a full-size squat rack cage for people who don't have the dedicated space for a home gym.  

With a folding squat rack, you will only need a little bit of wall space and a few inches of floor space. However, it opens up to a full-size squat rack to do just about anything that a standard squat rack can do. Fortunately, these are fairly easy to assemble, so you'll be working out in no time. 

Pros

  • Strong and durable construction 
  • Easy to assemble 
  • Takes up very little space 
  • Can be placed anywhere 

Cons

  • Not everyone has a wall to mount them to 
  • Can damage your wall if its not mounted correctly 

Combo Rack 

A combo rack is a specialized squat rack designed for powerlifters to be used in powerlifting meets. Combo racks come with a bench that will lock in, and they have adjustable uprights. Combo racks can be used in home gyms.  

However, they are better suited to be used in powerlifting gyms or at meets. They also aren't as available as the other types of squat racks are since they are specialized pieces of equipment. 

Pros

  • Great for heavy lifting 
  • Ideal for professional lifters 
  • Locked-in bench 
  • Adjustable uprights 

Cons

  • Not necessary for most lifters 
  • Not widely available 
woman squat training

What Kind Of Squat Rack Should I Get?  

Since the squat rack will be the centerpiece of your garage gym, you need to do your homework before choosing the one that's right for you.

Your squat rack should be versatile, durable, functional, and fit the space it will be used in. Here are a few other things to look for. 

Safety 

The very first thing you need to consider when buying a squat rack, and every other piece of equipment for your home gym, is safety. If you can't safely use the squat rack, you need to avoid it.

For example, if you really want a squat rack cage, but you don't have enough room for it, it could present several hazards. So only get a squat rack you can use safely. 

Also see - Which Lifting Exercises Need Spotters

Ease Of Loading 

This is a big deal, especially for squat racks that will be used in home-gyms. You don't want to have to fight with your squat rack every time you need to change weight, especially in the middle of a workout. Make sure you can easily add and remove weight plates from the squat rack to avoid injury and frustration. 

Rack Construction 

Even though they will be cheaper, no one wants a flimsy squat rack. Since you'll be lifting heavy weights, you need a squat rack that can support them.

There's nothing worse than loading weight on a squat rack that feels flimsy and weak. So pay a few extra dollars for a solid and dependable squat rack. 

Rack Sizes 

The size of your squat rack will depend on how much room you have for it and the layout of your gym space. If you have ample space in a dedicated room, go all out and buy a squat rack cage. 

If you have very little space in a garage that still needs to fit a car, opt for a wall-mounted squat rack. Don't try to squeeze a massive rack into a tiny space. 

squat rack in gym

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How long does a squat rack last? 

Squat racks with high build quality are designed to last for many decades. You should never buy a squat rack that you have to worry about replacing in a few years. Squat racks are durable enough to last a very long time. 

How much does the squat rack cost? 

Prices will vary between brands and models, but you can expect a squat rack to cost between $200 and $500. Of course, some might be a little less than this, and some will be much more expensive. But, remember, you get what you pay for. 

How much does a squat rack bar weight? 

The average squat rack bar weighs 45 pounds. So more often than not, the bar that comes with your squat rack will be a regular power bar. Sometimes, though, it could be a thicker and stiffer bar weighing 50-55 pounds or more. 

How do I keep my squat rack from moving? 

Many people stabilize their squat racks using a loaded barbell on j hooks you aren't using. You can also buy storage pegs for the outside of your rack. The more weight on your rack, the more secure it will be. 

Do you have to bolt down a half-rack? 

Your squat rack always needs to be secured in place before you use it, even if you have a half-rack. Not securing it is usually a recipe for disaster.

Bolting your squat rack to a lifting platform or the floor is the most secure option. If you can't bolt it to the floor, do what we talked about above and ensure your rack is weighted down and has a wide base for stability 


Conclusion

Your squat rack will be the cornerstone of your home gym. If you want to lift heavy, build strength, and burn fat, squats are essential. And the heavier the squat, the better. After reading this guide, you should have a much better idea of what to look for in a squat rack. 

Paul J

Last Updated on August 20, 2021