Best Squat Rack for 2016

If you are serious about working out at home but have minimal space and a low budget, then a squat rack is an awesome item to include in your home gym. Read on to find out why, and which squat racks are best!

 

Things to Consider

  • Space
    • Before you start to look for your squat rack work out how much space you have available for it. Don’t buy a rack that will be taller than your ceiling will allow, or wider than your garage has space for. If you have a small apartment, try out our space saving squat rack recommendations.
  • Equipment
    • Make sure your rack will have space around it, in addition to the above. Remember you’ll need wall space to be able to load the bar, and ceiling space to do pull ups.
  • Size
    • Squat racks come in different sizes- heights and widths, so if you are a short tall man, don’t buy a small rack. Likewise if you are short, don’t pick a rack with a pull up bar 8 feet off the ground. Generally, the cheaper the rack, the narrower and shorter the rack will be.
  • Ease of use
    • Don’t just go for the cheapest rack option out there because they can be tricky to put together and hard to use. Instead, pick your preferred option and save money in the long run by prolonging the upgrade process.
  • Stabilization
    • Does the rack have anchor holes? If you are going to want to be doing pull ups or dips you should definitely get a rack that can be anchored down. Some racks come with stabilizer bars that supposedly offer support, but they are more of a hindrance than help, and are often best removed for the best results. Ensure your rack can be anchored and it’s stabilizer bar is optional and removable.

With all of this information in mind, here are some of the best squat racks on the market at the moment, to help you make your decision on which squat rack to buy:

 

Best Squat Racks (Free standing)

This section reviews and recommends the best free standing squat racks. Compared to wall mounted versions, these can support bigger weights so it is really ideal for serious or advanced weight lifters.

 

Body Solid Multi-Press Rack Review

Body Solid Multi-Press Rack ReviewBody Solid’s multi press rack is a high quality squat rack that is extremely sturdy and stable. Its biggest selling point being the multiple rack position and weight storage. It also has an spotting arm which can be adjusted in small increments so that you can get the exact position you want for different types of exercises from squats to flat benching.

When putting the equipment together, it is highly advisable to have 2 person. It will seriously make the installation much easier.

What we think is great:

  • Only 74″ high (so should fit into most basement gyms)
  • High quality material as it is made with 2″ x 3″ 11-gauge steel
  • Adjustable spotting arms
  • 14 different rack positions
  • Adjustable spotters
  • Comes with 2 bottles of paint for covering up scratches or other aesthetic flaws

Nitpicking:

  • The labels for the level of the blades can peel off easily so you need to stick them back using some form of adhesive help
  • Steel bars can rub against each other bar and cause scratches

 

XMark Multi-Press Squat Rack Review

XMark Multi-Press Squat Rack ReviewXMark Fitness XM-7619 has  one of the most solid built. It is so good that it impressed by a steel fabricator on Amazon, who knows how to tell a solid steel product from a bad one. According to him, the 11 gauge steel is very very strong and the whole rack has some solid welds that gives great support.

Protip: Switch the conifguration for the bar catches on the insider rather than the outside. This gives you more space at the end of the bar for your exercises. This is not only safer but also allows the smaller bar to fit better.

One amazing thing is that there is not single negative review on Amazon yet as of this writing. Most people who bought these are simply amazed at how sturdy they are and how good the quality build it for its price.

What we think is great:

  • Short rack, great for low ceilings
  • Adjustable spotter arms
  • Horns for plate storage
  • Easy to assemble
  • 400lb weight capacity

Common FAQs

  • Length of bar: You need at least a 7 feet bar for the this squat rack
  • Dimensions when fully assembled: 48.3″ L x 62″ H x 38.3″ W

 

Adidas standing squat stand review

adidas squat stand reviewThe Adidas squat stand is a piece of affordable equipment that is sturdy and comes with a couple of useful features. Adjusting the height is made very easy via the peg adjustments.  The weight storage at the side is the same design as those found in professional gym so it is easy to work with.  Best of all, it support really heavy weights (support up to 600 lbs) and is ideal for cross trainers who are at the intermediate or advance level.

What we think is great:

  • Stand alone rack
  • Weight storage posts
  • Adjustable spotter bars
  • Durable construction

Nitpicking:

  • It seems to be common for this equipment to be missing 1-2 small parts when being shipped. Although you can easily get it replaced by calling the manufacturer, it shouldn’t even be missing them in the first place.
  • The distance between the pegs for adjusting the height seems to be far apart. I would prefer something closer to give a finer choice for how high I want my bar to be.

 

Best Wall Mounted Squat Rack for Small Apartment

For folks with small apartments or limited room size, the best kind of racks are the wall mounted squat racks. They free up valuable floor space and leverage on empty room for the installation and placement. Besides being space saving, these are also more economical.

 

Titan Fitness foldable squat rack review – space saving squat rack

titan fitness wall mounted squat rack reviewTitan Fitness’s T3-Series foldable squat rack is one of the best mounted squat rack for the money. For its quality, you probably have to pay nearly double for other brands.

The T3 Series is a real space saver as you can flip to the side after using to reduce the amount of space taken. The process is easy: simply remove the pens and swing the steels against the wall when not is use and vice versa when you want to work out.

What we think is great:

  • Value for money
  • For serious lifter as it can support heavy weights
  • Easy to fold and store away
  • Good quality materials
  • Strong stability

Nitpicking:

  • Some mounting holes is not of the right size. If that is the case for you, use a dremel carbide cutter to widen any small holes
  • Equipment is not power coated so it will suffer wear and tear. For maintenance, it is good to regular oil the joints with W40.
  • Doesn’t come with instructions although it is easy to figure it out yourself

 

PRx Performance Profile Racks review

PRx Performance Profile Racks review reviewThe best thing about this equipment is that it is really space saving. It can be folded away when not in use against and free up a lot of space in the process. The build quality is equally impressive with 11 gauge steel that is on par with the Xmark machine.

This produce comes from the Shark Tank show so it is really interesting to see if consumers will take to it.

What we think is great:

  • American made
  • Lots of options to choose from (depending on space available/ color preferences)
  • Depth footprint of only 4”
  • Optional dip attachment

 

Rogue RML-3W Fold Back Wall Mount review

Rogue RML-3W Fold Back Wall Mount reviewThe Rogue fitness wall mounted rack is as sturdy as the other products in their fitness equipment line.  Best of all, it is really compact when stored away as you can see from the image on the right.

What we think is great:

  • Can be folded away (allowing you to fit a rack and a car in your garage!)
  • Suitable for low ceilings
    • Strong design, made from 3″x3″ 11-gauge steel
    • Includes all mounting equipment e.g. brackets
    • Includes a detachable pull up bar
  • Very stable

Nitpicking:

  • The instructions that come with the package wasn’t too clear. It will be good if they have a video to show the step by step of getting this on to the wall.

 

Again Faster Wall-Mounted Folding Power Rack

Again Faster Wall-Mounted Folding power Rack review

Like all the wall mount squat racks we recommend, this one handles all movement easily and sturdily. Whether it is forward or backward movement, the thing doesn’t move if you mounted in to the wall correctly. Horizontal swing is also fine.

What we think is great:

  • Proven track record for high quality
  • Folds up with special handles for safe maneuvering
  • Reduced sway thanks to hinge system
  • Suitable for very low ceilings

Nitpicking:

  • Similar to the Rogue model, the instructions on this was fairly unclear. One area to look out for is the horizontal mounting arm that will not fit nicely into the mounting point. It is best to get another person to help you spread the mount and make it wide enough to slot in the arm. I believe this is done intentionally to make sure that the arm will not slip out of the mounting point but it makes installation pretty hard with only 1 person.

 

Best squat rack with pull up bar

This category of squat rack needs a high ceiling as the pull up bar is usually position at the top.

 

Titan 2 power squat review

titan fitness t-2 reviewIf you are looking for a no frills squat rack with pull up bar, this T2 series is one of the best option for the money. It is very stable without the need to install anything. Just put in weights on the back and you are good to go. Although it is simple in design, you can do so many different exercises with it, from pull bars to deadlift to squats to bench presses.

What we think is great:

  • Very good pricing for the quality
  • Stable
  • Easy to assembly and needs no drilling of holes in your home
  • Can support a variety of exercises
  • Safe

Nitpicking:

  • One of the safety pin at the back is not aligned so you will have a hard time inserting it
  • Seems to sway very very slightly to the left not not really significant enough to impact your exercising

 

Cap Barbell power squat with pull up bar review

Cap Barbell power squat with pull up bar reviewCap Barbell Deluxe Power Cage model is another affordable piece of equipment that give you bang for your buck. It is made of solid steel with 3 step power coat to ensure it will last.

What we think is great:

  • One person can assemble it without much trouble within 30 minutes
  • Small footprint so great for small apartment
  • Can handle a variety of exercises
  • Stable and sturdy

Nitpicking:

  • Packaging sucks and will tend to be trashed by the time it gets to you. Fortunately, the equipment is solid enough to withstand the shipping abuse. If not, return it for a new set.
  • Some holes might be too small so you need to enlarge it yourself

 

Squat Rack Vs Smith Machine?

Smith machines have no place in a crossfitters proper strength training program. Smith machines do not prepare the body for squatting (an essential exercise in CrossFit) because they force you to move in an unnatural guided path. This can cause shearing on the knees, and a rounding of your back, which can also put you at risk of knee and back injury. Furthermore, the bar on a Smith machine is on a track and this increased stability, although it may seem better, actually decreases the requirement of the body’s neutralizer and stabilizer muscle functions and therefore won’t get you the sports performance gains you were after.

In contrast, squat racks allow you to do weighted squats safely, thanks to catchers which you can set to just below the lowest point of your squat in case you need to bail, and a raised bar hold, giving you the option to rest your barbell once finished. Squat racks also allow you to carry out full range weighted squats allowing your body to build the stabilizer muscles it needs to be able to carry out a range of essential CrossFit exercises. Long story short, don’t try and justify getting a Smith machine. Instead, get under a real bar, carry out a full range squat and reap the benefits in your CrossFit competitions.

So, now you have decided that a squat rack is for you, but as there are so many different squat racks on the market, with all sorts of additional features, deciding on which squat rack to get can be challenging. Here are some things that you must consider before shopping around.

 

Conclusion

When buying your squat rack, ensure that you consider how much space you have, what your budget is and what your maximum weight requirements will be. Browse the internet, and read reviews, and also take the above into consideration. Make sure that you don’t waste your money on unnecessary parts if you don’t need them- although I would thoroughly recommend getting a pull up bar if it is not already included. If your budget is tight opt for smaller units to save money- they are still great ways to boost your training, and stay sage. Bottom line is that whichever squat rack you choose; ensure that it works for you.