Adding a home gym squat rack will bring your exercise room to a whole other level. This smart investment can really pay off for your fitness program. Squat racks for the home gym are durable, long lasting, versatile, and can be used for tons more exercises than just squats.
Some squat racks or “power racks” offer all the attachments necessary to make a full gym setup for your exercise room or basement gym.
I’ll be reviewing the squat rack benefits, the different categories of squat racks, what customizable attachments are available, and anything else that you need to know about this awesome piece of home gym equipment.
What Is a Squat Rack
This may seem obvious to some, but this question is highly searched on Google, so I’ll make this it quick. On Wikipedia, a squat rack can be known as a power rack, squat cage, or power cage.
It’s important to know the difference between these types of squat racks when trying to select the best at home gym equipment. I’ll discuss these in more detail in the section below.
The simplest form of a squat rack is simply 2 vertical uprights support pillars attached to a stable base. However, some squat rack systems are much more involved.
Each pillar has a hook on which to set the barbell to hold heavy weight during squat exercises. To adjust the height of these hooks, each pillar will contain different pins or holes. The height increments are used to set the barbell correctly based on how tall you are.
Types of Squat Racks for the Home Gym
I had mentioned earlier that the term “squat rack” can mean almost any type of gym rack depending on who you talk to. To help sort this out, I’ll list the main categories that we will be focusing on.
This is what most people think of when they are first considering a squat rack.
It is the simplest and least expensive type of squat rack consists of a base with two verticle pillars, and it will have two adjustable hooks in which to set the barbell height.
Many squat racks are compatible to add support arms for safety and to rack a barbell.
A highlight of this type of rack is the safety factor. The best home gym power rack (or power cage) will have stable “catch” bars on either side to keep you from getting crushed. This is so important when lifting heavy or by yourself.
They can be recognized by their four vertical support pillars that surround you like a cage. They also can have multiple pull up bars at the top which double for stability, and horizontal bars low to catch a heavy lift or use to rest the barbell on.
Another benefit to the power rack is that it is able to accept the most add-ons and accessories to allow more types of exercises. We will go over all of the accessories that you can add in a section below.
Attach an Exercise Resistance Band Set to your rack, adding multiple exercise movements.
Just like it sounds, the half rack squat (or half power rack) is half the size of a power rack. Its a lot like the standard squat stand, but they have a reinforced base for stability, a pull up bar on top to for better support, and some of them come with an additional set of pillars.
A half rack is made to have support arms on each pillar. These stable attachments can be adjusted to different heights, but are best used around thigh level. They are long enough to catch the bar for safety if your muscles fail during your squat.
This style of rack is not as safe or secure as the power cage, but the arms will still catch your weight. The support arms actually help with many other exercises for a weight training program. I will mention more in the “squat rack attachments” section.
They have come up with some pretty ingenious designs for these folding weight racks. This concept can be a lifesaver for a compact home gym design.
Folding squat racks or “fold away racks” may or may not have to be attached to a wall. Either way, you will never have to move the entire rack out around the room.
These fold up squat racks are affordable, durable, and also allow for plenty of customization options and attachments.
They are not only stable but will easily fold flat while remaining in the upright position.
There are all different sizes and price points for these, and they are designed to effortlessly fold in to give you back your space.
Best Squat Rack for a Home Gym-What to Look For
A squat rack will be the most worthwhile investment for any home gym, so it’s important to purchase the right one on the first try. However, this can get challenging. Once you start looking into squat racks for the home gym, there are many more options than you would think. Here are a few things to look for.
It is important to keep in mind that as your bodybuilding workout program workouts progress so will your home gym equipment. I recommend getting a little more than you think you will need the first time for a home gym squat rack. You will be happy later if you get one that is expandable and customizable.
This simply means that it has the ability to attach a variety of exercise equipment options to your rack as your fitness level develops.
Keep your options open. In a section below I list about 20 cool accessories, and they make ever more that may fit your workout style as you progress.
Squat Rack Size
Having a compact squat rack could be your most important requirement depending on space. Others may have an entire garage or basement gym setup to work with.
Keep in mind the footprint of this exercise machine. A full power rack with attachments, along with your bar and weight plates can be bulky and take up more space than you would think.
The best home gym spacing saving option is the folding squat rack along with an adjustable folding bench.
Size up which squat rack is best for your space depending on your future expansion. There is a good chance that you will eventually invest in a dumbbell set or exercise bike. You don’t want to regret taking up too much room with one piece of equipment.
You will find that most quality squat racks are manufactured with at least a 1000lb capacity. This recommended weight capacity makes for a very stable rack for doing most types of heavy lifting.
Most people won’t squat close to this, but with this type of exercise equipment, it best to have more than you need for both safety and stability.
When considering the weight of the bars and any heavy steel attachments that you may want to add later, you may want to invest in an even higher squat rack weight capacity.
It’s also important to think about how much you will be lifting over time since your body will progress with heavier weight while reaching new goals.
Besides weight capacity, there is also steel gauge thickness. The standard gauge thickness in quality weight racks is fairly consistent with 11 gauge. This will give you a sturdy and safe rack with good weld quality.
Keep in mind the higher the gauge number, the thinner the metal. For example, a 14 gauge would not be as strong as 11 gauge.
Most squat rack machines use a heavy duty commercial paint, but if you can find what is called “powder coated”, this is the most durable and non-scratch type of finish.
Squat rack systems offer quite a bit of quality steel construction, size, and design for the money. I recommend paying at least $400.00 or more to get a well made, basic squat stand setup. Less than this and you are compromising quality and safety.
When it comes to a power rack system with exercise attachments, the sky is the limit with the pricing. Fortunately, a good piece of home gym exercise equipment will maintain a strong resale value in case you ever want to trade up.
When considering a squat machine budget, you also need to consider the prices for the weight bar, weight plates, and anything exercise equipment that you need to get your home fitness program started.
If purchasing a squat rack set up from a well known manufacturer. Many of them offer a lifetime warranty on things such as the frame and factory welds.
These warranties don’t include abuse, negligence, or faulty use of their product. Other parts and accessories like wheels, upholstery, and weight bars come with a shorter warranty that varies depending on the maker.
On this website, I recommend both Rogue Fitness equipment and Dicks Sporting Goods for a good choice in home gym equipment. These companies offer excellent customer service in case there is ever a problem.
⇒ If you have any questions or comments about what to look for in the best squat racks for a home gym, please leave a message at the bottom and I will respond.
Squat Rack Attachments
Most squat racks are made with the capability to add so many excellent and functional attachments. Racks can be fully expandable and customizable to your workouts. And if you have a power rack squat rack, the possibilities are endless. The best part is that, with a versatile rack, you can add your accessories little by little as your workout routine develops.
The add-ons allow the user to perform almost any exercise in the book. From squats to deadlifts, bench presses, and rows. The attachments can add back workouts, core, legs, chest, and every other body part.
Here is a list of the most popular attachments. However, there more ideas coming out every day.
- Spotter arms, j cups, safety pins
- Pull up bars – kipping bar, multi grip bar, knurled grip pull up bar
- Dip bars
- Weight horns
- Stabilizers and foot extensions
- Lat/low row attachment
- Monolift arms, jammer arms
- Flat bench, folding bench, adjustable benches
- Weight storage towers
Home Gym Squat Rack Conclusion
The best exercise equipment for a home gym should include a quality squat rack or power rack. Their function is for a huge variety of workout exercises other than just squats.
Look for one that has the capability to be expandable and customized. This way the number of exercises you can get out of this type of workout equipment is limitless and you will never get bored.
Squat racks are an excellent investment, they are durable and long lasting, and even expandable.
⇒ If you have any questions or comments about the best squat rack for the home gym, please leave a message below and I will respond.