Getting ready to build your own ultimate home gym? Welp, that starts with choosing the right squat rack for your workout goals. Here is a breakdown of four types of squat racks.
Even though the squat exercise is simple enough—grab some weight, lower your behind, raise your behind, repeat—there are a lot of different types of squat racks.
From the ultra-minimal squat stands (which you can practically tuck into a closet between workouts) to commercial-grade power racks, you’ve got some options when it comes to building the home gym of your dreams.
Before you throw down a decent chunk of change, check out this breakdown of the most common types of squat racks that you can set up in your home gym.
Want a comprehensive guide of the best squat racks on the planet? Here’s a detailed look at the top squat racks for home and garage gyms.
Also known as a cage, power cage, squat cage. The chief benefit of a power rack is that lifters are provided a true spotter with the arms of the cage.
You step inside, put the barbell on your back, and if you have been a little too ambitious with the amount of weight you planned on lifting, the barbell will fall on the safety bars instead of the floor.
(For more information on power racks, check out this detailed guide to the best power racks.)
Cages take up the most amount of floor space and are more difficult to move around (the big ones you see in commercial gyms are also usually bolted to the floor, so they don’t move around at all).
Cages are optimal for people training on their own at home because of the safety, obviously, but I love power racks for their versatility, from additional pull up bars to adding TRX cables to the side, and so on. One of the most versatile set-ups is a power rack with lat pulldown, which gives you even more options for training and building muscle.
With power racks, you do your squats inside the cage.
Next up we have the half rack! As the name suggests, it is half a rack, or more accurately, half a cage.
This bad boy is a slightly smaller version of your usual power cage or rack.
They can provide a lot of the same benefits of the power rack—safety with the big horns at the bottom (although if you fall backward while lifting you are S.O.L.), storage and multi-functional use, a big, sturdy base, and more.
Half racks are appealing because they share a lot of the same functions as the bigger power racks at a lower cost and a smaller footprint.
With half racks, you do your squats just outside of the half-cage.
- See also: Best Half Racks for Home Gyms
These bad boys are your stripped-down, no-frills version of a half squat rack.
They serve basically one purpose—to hold the barbell.
For everything else, you are on your own. For experienced lifters, squat stands hold some obvious benefits.
In most gyms, squat stands are usually last in line for users, who gravitate toward the safety of cages and power racks. For the home or garage gym enthusiast, squat stands take up a minimal amount of space.
Some versions of squat stands come in two pieces and can be very easily tucked to the side when not in use.
Wall mounted squat racks.
Wall-mounted squat racks are another way that you can get to squattin’ at home. Instead of being planted on the floor, they are typically attached to beams and studs in your wall.
The big perk to this kind of set-up is that you won’t trip over the foundations that come with most squat racks (especially two-piece squat stands).
Folding wall-mounted squat racks, which can be tucked flush with the wall when not in use, are very compact and can still carry a lot of weight.
Installation is obviously a little more in-depth, and you will want to install something like this in a place you plan on spending a longer amount of time in, but the benefits of the rack, once installed, are hard to beat.
For smaller home gyms, and for users who own their homes (or whose landlord loves them 😊 ) will want to consider this form of the squat rack.