If you are setting up a home gym, you need a solid, reliable, and compact squat rack. Without one, your home gym will never be complete. Yet, finding a squat rack that is up to the job is not as easy as you’d think.
Many of them are designed primarily for beginners and light weights. In this article, however, we focus on heavy-duty squat racks for home use that can handle the demands of beginners as well as experienced squatters. We will identify the best squat rack home gym currently on the market along with the best also-rans.
When it comes to a top quality squat rack for your home gym, you need a rack that is solid, secure, easy to adjust, and that provides a good amount of room to move with the rack.
The best squat rack for a home gym, currently on the market, is the Rogue RML 3W Squat Rack. This wall mounted folding squat rack provides you with the solid design, thick frame structure, and Westside barbell design to provide you with superior performance when you’re going heavy with the weights.
- The 5 Best Squat Racks for Home Gym:
- 1. Rogue RML 3W Squat Rack
- 2. Cap Barbell Power Squat Rack
- 3. Fitness Reality 810 LX Squat Rack
- 4. Cap Barbell Full Cage Power Rack
- 5. Merax Athletics Olympic Power Rack
- What to look for when buying a squat rack
The 5 Best Squat Racks for Home Gym:
1. Rogue RML 3W Squat Rack
Rogue Fitness is among the most respected names in the fitness industry. They are the official suppliers of the CrossFit Games and supply thousands of commercial gyms around the world. But Rogue also provides home fitness equipment, including a wide range of power and squat racks. Their biggest selling home gym squat rack is the Rogue RML 3W and it is easy to see why.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Rogue RML-3W is that it is wall-mounted and can be folded like a clothes hanger when it is not in use. That is a huge bonus for people who have limited space in their home gym. The frame is super heavy, being made from 3 x 3 inch, 11 gauge steel. One inch diameter bolts keep the whole thing together. That makes this squat rack the most solid, complete framed unit for home use that we have come across.
You get a solid pair of J-Cups to make it easy for you to position your squat bar. Even better, this rack uses the Westside Barbell hole system. That means that the distance between the rack holes on the uprights is one inch between the bench press area and then two inches around the squat rack area. This allows you to more easily customize your bar positioning.
You also get a quick attach pull up bar with this rack to allow you to exercise your back and biceps. Optional laser-cut stringers are available to keep the rack secure when it is in the storage position. These custom-compatible stringers are made from laser-cut and formed 11-gauge steel and finished in a texture black powder coat. They measure 59″ long x 10.125″ tall and extend 0.8125″ off the mounting surface when installed.
Considering the quality of this rack, the price point is very reasonable. It even comes with a lifetime warranty!
2. Cap Barbell Power Squat Rack
The Cap Barbell Power Squat Rack is a budget rack that is more designed for beginners and intermediate squatters, while also providing the rigidity that more experienced lifters need. In fact, for the low price point of this product, you get a whole lot of squat rack.
The Cap Barbell Power Rack Squat provides you with a frame that is made from 11 and 12 gauge steel that is made from industrialized zinc and powder coated for extra durability and finish. You also get a built-in pull-up bar. There are two plate holders on the front of the base of the rack. When loaded this provides you with an extra element of stability to keep the rack solid and secure. The max weight allowance on the rack is 300 pounds.
The Top Frame of the Cap Barbell Power Squat Rack can be mounted with resistance bands or training straps to add versatility to your workout. Cap is one of the oldest and most trusted names in the home fitness industry with thousands of certified reviewers attesting to the quality and performance of their home use squat and power racks.
The Cap Barbell Power Squat Rack meets and exceeds all ASTM standards. The Assembly of the rack is fast and easy.
3. Fitness Reality 810 LX Squat Rack
The Fitness Reality 810LX Squat Rack is a cage-type power/squat rack that provides plenty of versatility in your training. You get 19 holes on the uprights which are spaced one inch apart. This allows you to do a range of movements including squats, bench presses, deadlifts, and overhead presses. This is an all-steel rack that is thick and rigid, as evidenced by its 800-pound weight capacity.
The Fitness Reality 810 LX Squat Rack comes with a built-in pull-up bar to allow you to work the muscles of your upper back. The pull-up apparatus is impressive with multiple gripping options available. Putting the rack together is pretty straightforward with all nuts and bolts supplied.
However, you will need a partner and a dedication of about an hour to assemble it. The rack comes with two pairs of solid safety bars. Taking into account the solid nature and versatility of this power / squat rack, it is available at a very good price. However, you get a 12-month warranty on this product.
4. Cap Barbell Full Cage Power Rack
The Cap Barbell Full Cage power rack is the second appearance by Cap Barbell in our top 5 home squat rack list. This model is an advance on the previous one, is designed for more experienced weight lifters. This is a full cage power / squat rack. That means that it is far more versatile, allowing you to safely squat, deadlift, rack pull, bench press, and overhead press inside of the rack. It is a great option for people who often train at home by themselves.
As you would expect from Cap Barbell, this is a very well priced full cage rack. This is also a relatively solid and secure rack. It has a weight limit of 500 pounds, which should meet the needs of most home lifters. The frame is made from solid 12 and 14-inch gauge steel. It provides you with a full range of height adjustment holes so that you can use it for your entire workout.
The only negative we could find with this power/squat rack is that, even though the marketing states that assembly is quick and easy, most people have found the opposite. The instructions for assembly are not as complete as they could be, making it a real chore to put this thing together. However, if you can get past that initial frustration, you will get plenty of safe, solid, and reliable use from this squat rack.
5. Merax Athletics Olympic Power Rack
The Merax Athletics Olympic Power Rack is another excellent quality, well priced squat rack for home use. This full cage rack is made from reinforced steel and provides you with enough room within the rack to perform such exercises as Sumo squats and wide stance deadlifts. Unlike some racks, you do not feel confined when you are squatting inside the rack.
The Merax rack provides you with 17 variable position hole spacings so that you can position the bar for everything from deadlifts to bench presses and overhead shoulder presses. It should be noted, however, that your purchase does not include a bench. The package comes with four adjustable weight bar supports. The rack is impressively solid and rigid even when you pack on the plates. We like that Merax provides a lifetime warranty on the frame.
What to look for when buying a squat rack
Doing squats at home is one of the most potentially dangerous exercises you can do, especially when you are training alone. When you’ve got a maximum load on your back, you need to be 100 percent sure that the equipment you’re using is going to keep you safe and secure. That means that you need a squat rack that can do the business. Here’s what to look for to make sure that it does just that:
If you are a beginner, you can get away with a non-cage design that simply provides you with a pair of uprights that support the bar. However, when you start moving on to heavier weight, you need to invest in a cage-type rack. The major benefit of this setup is that it provides you with more safety. The side rail pins are there to catch the bar if you fail on your squat, allowing you to release the bar and drop under it rather than having it drop on top of you.
A cage design also allows a lot of greater training variety. You will be able to do a wide range of exercises, including deadlifts, bench presses, and overhead presses. Make sure that the rack provides you with enough room to comfortably step back and perform the exercise without feeling confined.
The strength and durability of a squat rack is wholly dependent upon the frame strength. You need a frame with as thick a steel gauge as possible, remembering that the lower the number, the thicker the gauge is. Ideally, you should go for a rack with 11 or 12 gauge framing. Of course, the budget models will not have gauges that low, but you should expect to be able to get a 14 gauge steel on a low priced squat rack.
You should expect to get a squat rack that allows you to do more than just squats. The versatility of the rack is largely dependent upon the hole spacings that are provided on the uprights. These will allow you to adjust the bar up the full height of the uprights in order to do a full range of exercises, including, deadlifts, shrugs, upright rows, bench presses, and overhead presses.
If possible, you should go for a rack (such as our top choice, the Rogue RML-3W) which features Westside Barbell spacing. This system provides one-inch hole spacings through the bench press zone, with two-inch spacings above and below those areas.
In order for it to be secure enough to handle the demands of a heavy workout, a squat rack needs to be relatively heavy. This will keep it securely in place as you are squatting. With some racks, you may have the option to bolt it down to the floor.
Of course, this may not be something that you want to do in your home gym. Look for a rack that allows you to store plates on the base of the unit. The addition of your storage plates will provide extra strength and stability to keep the rack in place.
Pull Up Bar
Many cage squat racks also provide you with a pull-up bar. This is a great addition that can save you some serious space and money. Look for a rack that has a pull-up bar with a range of hand grip positions, including neutral and palms facing.
Look for a rack that has verified user reviews stating that the assembly is easy and non-time-consuming. You don’t want to open a box and then end up hopelessly frustrated that you can’t put it together. It should come with a full and detailed set of assembly instructions.
Our final consideration is often the most important for many people. Keep in mind, though, that a squat rack is something that should last for decades of use, so it often pays to spend a little bit extra to get the best that you can afford. Budget models usually go up to around $300, with more advanced models being between $300-$700. Our favorite squat rack for home gym use, the Rogue RML-3W is priced at $495.00.
Squatting is something that all home gym users should be doing. That means investing in a solid, reliable, and secure squat rack that will keep them safe while providing the versatility to do a range of other exercises.
The best overall squat rack currently on the market is the Rogue RML-3W. This wall mounted folding rack is extremely solid with a high gauge frame and Westside hole spacing. The best rack for beginners is the Cap Barbell Power squat rack, which is suitable for squatting up to 300 pounds.
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