Matt Gemkow, the author of this content section at Select Fitness USA, boasts more than 15 years of fitness experience. He started out in sports and athletic training for many years and has since 2014 transitioned into heavy-weight training and bodybuilding. As a result, he has become one of the most experienced fitness equipment experts out there, and a valuable source of information.
The Only 6 Types Of Squat Rack You Should Know About
With so many different types of squat racks on the market, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which one is right for you.
In this post, we’ve broken down six popular types of squat racks and ranked them based on their features and benefits.
So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced lifter, read on to find out which type of squat rack will help you achieve your fitness goals.
So, What Are The Types Of Squat Racks?
There are only 6 main types of rack that you need to know about. They are structurally different from each other providing greater differences them others out there. They are:
1. Power Rack
2. Half Rack
3. Squat Stand
4. Folding / Wall-Mounted Rack
5. Combo Rack
6. Squat Rig
Now let's get into detail about each one so you know exactly which is good for you!
1. Squat Stand
A squat stand is a type of squat rack that provides support and stability during weightlifting exercises.
It typically consists of two upright posts with adjustable pins that can hold the barbell at different heights for various exercises, such as squats or bench presses.
Some models may also include additional features like a pull-up bar or attachment points for accessories.
A squat stand provides stability and versatility for weightlifting exercises, making it a great space-saving equipment for home gyms and training facilities.
One popular version of this type of squat rack is the combo rack, which combines elements of both a power rack and a squat stand in one piece of equipment.
This versatile design allows athletes to perform multiple exercises without having to switch between different pieces of equipment, making it ideal for smaller home gyms or training facilities with limited space.
What Is The Squat Stand?
The squat stand is a popular piece of gym equipment that many fitness enthusiasts use as part of their strength training routine.
It provides users with a stable platform for performing squats, deadlifts, and other exercises that require lifting weights off the ground.
Here are some key features to consider:
- Basic design and structure:
- Squat stands consist of two vertical posts connected by a horizontal bar at the top.
- Different components of a squat stand:
- Safety bars, J-hooks or spotter arms, pull-up bars.
- How it differs from other types of squat racks:
- Squat stands take up less space than combo racks but offer fewer features.
When choosing the right type of squat rack for your needs and goals, it's important to understand how each option works so you can make an informed decision.
Squat Stand Pros
Affordability compared to other types of squat racks is the biggest advantage of a squat stand.
This makes it an accessible option for those who want to set up a home gym without breaking the bank.
Not only that, but this type of rack is also easy to assemble and disassemble for storage or transport.
Its compact size makes it ideal for small spaces, which is especially helpful if you're setting up a home gym in your apartment or garage.
Some additional benefits of using a squat stand include:
- Combo rack options that allow you to perform multiple exercises
- Adjustable height settings
- Lightweight construction means it's easier to move around
- More affordable than combo racks or power cages
Squat Stand Cons
A squat stand may not be the best choice for those who plan on lifting heavy weights as it has a limited weight capacity compared to full-size power racks.
Additionally, safety features like spotter arms or J-hooks are often missing in squat stands, which can increase the risk of injury during lifts.
This is especially important for those who train alone and don't have someone to act as a spotter.
Another downside to using a squat stand is the "jiggle" factor due to lack of stability when lifting heavy weights, which can make it difficult to perform certain exercises properly and safely.
While some combo racks offer added stability and safety features, they may still not be as secure as full-sized power racks.
Who Should Use A Squat Stand?
Beginner lifters who are just starting out with weight training can benefit greatly from using a squat stand.
It provides the necessary support and stability for proper form during exercises like squats, lunges and deadlifts.
Lifters who don’t plan on lifting extremely heavy weights will also find that a squat stand is sufficient for their needs.
For those looking for an affordable, compact solution for their home gym, a squat stand is an excellent option.
They take up less space than larger equipment like combo racks but still provide the ability to perform a variety of compound exercises.
- Provides necessary support and stability
- Suitable for beginner lifters
- Ideal choice for lifters not planning on lifting heavy weights
- Affordable and compact alternative to combo racks
2. Half Rack
A half rack is a popular type of squat rack that takes up less space than a full power cage while providing many of the same benefits.
It typically features two uprights with adjustable J-hooks for holding the barbell, as well as safety arms or pins to catch the bar if you can't complete a rep.
One advantage of using a half rack is that it allows for greater freedom of movement compared to more enclosed cages or machines.
However, this also means that there's less overall support and stability provided, which could be an issue for those lifting very heavy weights or working out alone without a spotter.
Ultimately, whether or not a half rack is right for you depends on your specific fitness goals and preferences.
What Is A Half Rack?
A half rack is a type of squat rack that is designed to be more space-efficient than a full-sized power rack.
It typically features two upright posts with J-hooks for holding a barbell, as well as safety bars on either side.
The design of the half rack allows for easier access to and from the bar, making it ideal for exercises like squats and overhead presses.
Compared to other types of squat racks, such as power racks or squat stands, the half rack offers a more compact footprint while still providing ample support and stability during heavy lifts.
Typical dimensions for a half rack are around 48 inches wide by 48 inches deep by 84 inches tall, although sizes can vary depending on the manufacturer.
A quality half rack should have an weight capacity of at least 500 pounds or more.
Because of its compact size and versatility in exercise options available with this piece of equipment makes it popular among home gym owners or those with limited workout space who still want access to heavy lifting capabilities without sacrificing floor space.
Half Rack Pros
A half rack is an excellent piece of equipment for those who want to get a full-body workout without taking up too much space.
It is affordable compared to full power racks or squat stands and offers versatility for various exercises beyond just squats.
Here are some Half Rack Pros worth considering:
- Space-saving design for home gyms or small workout areas
- Affordability compared to full power racks or squat stands
- Versatility for various exercises beyond just squats, such as pull-ups, chin-ups, and dips
If you're looking for a compact yet versatile piece of gym equipment that won't break the bank, then a half rack could be an excellent investment.
With its sturdy construction and multiple functions, it can help you achieve your fitness goals without taking up too much precious floor space in your home gym.
Half Rack Cons
A half rack may not be the most stable or safe option for your home gym needs.
Compared to full power racks, they often have fewer safety features and no spotter arms or safety bars - leaving you at risk of injury if something goes wrong during a heavy lift.
Additionally, customization options are limited compared to modular systems, which can restrict your ability to tailor the rack to fit your specific workout routine.
Keep these drawbacks in mind when considering whether a half rack is right for you.
Who Should Use A Half Rack?
Beginner lifters on a budget, intermediate lifters looking for versatility and people with limited space can all benefit from using a half rack.
Its compact size and integrated features make it an attractive option for those who want a comprehensive solution without breaking the bank.
- Beginner lifters on a budget looking for an all-in-one solution
- Intermediate lifters who don't require heavy lifting capabilities yet but want more versatility than just a squat stand
- People with limited space available in their homes or apartments.
3. Power Rack
A power rack, also known as a squat cage or squat rack, is a piece of gym equipment designed for strength training exercises like squats and bench presses.
It consists of four vertical posts with adjustable horizontal bars that can support weights at different heights.
The purpose of a power rack is to provide safety and stability while performing these exercises, which allows the user to lift heavier weights without risking injury.
Power racks come in various shapes and sizes but are generally made from sturdy materials like steel or aluminum.
They often include accessories such as pull-up bars, dip handles, or weight storage pegs.
While power racks have many benefits for weightlifters looking to increase their strength and muscle size, they can be expensive and take up quite a bit of space in your home gym or fitness center.
Power Rack Pros
A power rack is a versatile piece of equipment that can help you perform various exercises for strength training.
Its sturdy and stable design makes it ideal for heavy lifting, while its safety features like adjustable safety bars or straps ensure that you can work out with confidence.
Additionally, the power rack allows for progressive overload and strength gains, making it an essential tool in any serious lifter's arsenal.
Finally, the power rack can be used with various attachments like dip bars or pull-up bars to further enhance your workout routine.
- Versatile for a variety of exercises
- Sturdy and stable design for heavy lifting
- Safety features such as adjustable safety bars or straps
- Allows for progressive overload and strength gains
- Can be used with various attachments like dip bars, pull-up bars, etc.
Power Rack Cons
A power rack could be a great addition to any home gym, but there are some downsides worth considering.
Firstly, it requires a fair amount of space compared to other types of squat racks. If you have limited space in your workout area, this may not be the best option for you.
Additionally, a power rack may be more expensive than other options on the market.
While it does offer numerous safety features and versatility in exercises, if budget is a concern then you may want to explore other alternatives before committing to a power rack.
Who Should Use A Power Rack?
Serious lifters looking to increase their strength and muscle mass will benefit greatly from using a power rack.
The sturdy structure allows for heavy lifting with safety features such as adjustable bar catches and safety pins.
Additionally, the ability to perform multiple exercises within one piece of equipment is perfect for those wanting to target various muscle groups.
Individuals who prefer training with free weights rather than machines should consider investing in a power rack.
Unlike traditional weight machines, power racks allow for more freedom of movement and provide a better overall workout experience.
With the added bonus of being able to adjust the height settings and add additional attachments, it offers flexibility in exercise selection.
People who want an all-in-one piece of equipment that can support multiple exercises will find value in using a power rack.
From squats, bench presses, pull-ups and more - all can be easily performed on this versatile equipment without needing separate pieces cluttering up your home gym space.
4. Wall-Mounted Rack
For those looking to save space in their home gym, a wall-mounted rack is an excellent option.
This type of squat rack attaches directly to the wall and can be folded up when not in use, making it perfect for smaller workout areas. It also allows for greater flexibility in terms of placement, as you won't have to worry about finding enough floor space.
One downside of a wall-mounted rack is that it may not be able to support as much weight as other types of squat racks.
Additionally, if you're someone who likes changing up your workout routine frequently or needs multiple bar positions for different exercises, this may not be the best choice for you.
However, if you value saving space and simplicity above all else, a wall-mounted rack could be just what your home gym needs.
What Is A Wall Mounted Squat Rack?
A wall-mounted squat rack is a space-saving weightlifting equipment that attaches directly to the wall. Unlike other types of racks, it does not require any additional floor space for support and stability.
The rack usually consists of two vertical posts that are attached to horizontal crossbars designed to hold weights at various heights, making it ideal for smaller home gyms or spaces where floor space is limited.
Wall-mounted racks offer several benefits such as flexibility in terms of placement options and adjustable height settings, but they also have some drawbacks like reduced weight capacity and potential installation challenges due to its fixed location on the wall.
Generally speaking, individuals who possess limited workout space or those looking for a compact strength-training solution may find a wall-mounted squat rack ideal for their needs.
Wall Mounted Rack Pros
Saves floor space compared to freestanding options, making it ideal for smaller home gyms or apartments.
Easy to install, a wall mounted rack can be securely anchored into wall studs for added stability during workouts.
Additionally, they can often be more affordable than larger standalone models without sacrificing functionality and durability.
For those looking to optimize their workout space and budget, a wall mounted squat rack may be the perfect solution.
Wall Mounted Rack Cons
A wall mounted rack may not be the sturdiest option compared to standalone models, as it relies on the strength of the wall for support.
Additionally, its weight capacity is limited compared to larger options and may not be suitable for those lifting heavy weights.
Those looking for full functionality such as dip bars may also need to purchase additional hardware or accessories.
Despite these cons, a wall mounted rack can still be a great choice for those with limited space or who prefer a more compact setup.
Who Should Use A Wall Mounted Rack?
Home gym owners with limited space, individuals who primarily perform exercises such as squats and overhead presses that don't require a lot of movement around the rack, and lifters who don't need extremely heavy weights or high weight capacities are all excellent candidates for using a wall mounted squat rack.
This type of rack is ideal for those looking to save floor space while still getting an effective workout. Additionally, it provides a stable base for performing squats and other similar exercises without taking up too much room in your home gym setup.
5. Combo Rack
Combo racks are versatile pieces of gym equipment that offer a combination of features for strength training.
They usually include a squat rack combined with other attachments such as pull-up bars, dip stations, and weight storage pegs.
With their space-saving design, combo racks are perfect for home gyms or small commercial facilities.
One of the main benefits of using a combo rack is the ability to perform various exercises without needing multiple machines or equipment.
However, this convenience comes at a cost as most combo racks tend to be more expensive than standalone squat racks.
Additionally, some users may find it challenging to adjust the height settings in between workouts due to its compact design. Overall, combo racks are an excellent investment for individuals who want an all-in-one solution for their workout needs but have limited space in their gym area.
What Is A Combo Rack?
A combo rack is a multifunctional piece of gym equipment that combines features of both a squat rack and a bench press. It typically includes adjustable safety bars and J-hooks, as well as an attached or detachable bench. This versatile design allows for various exercises such as squats, bench presses, shoulder presses, and more.
Combo racks are great for those who have limited space in their home gym or need to maximize the use of their existing equipment.
However, they may not be ideal for powerlifters or serious weightlifters who require specialized equipment with higher weight capacities.
Combo Rack Pros
- Versatile equipment for multiple exercises
- Saves space in your gym or home workout area
A combo rack is a type of squat rack that combines different types of equipment into one, making it ideal for those who want to save space without compromising on their workouts.
Combo racks are great for performing various exercises such as squats, bench presses, pull-ups and dips. This means you can get a full-body workout with just one piece of equipment.
One advantage of using a combo rack is that it saves space in your gym or home workout area. Instead of having separate pieces of equipment taking up valuable floor space, a combo rack allows you to have all the necessary gear in one place.
Another benefit is their versatility - they offer many exercises within one machine which makes them perfect if you're short on time but still want an efficient and effective training session.
Combo Rack Cons
Combo racks are versatile and efficient pieces of equipment that can save you space in the gym. However, one major drawback is their limited weight capacity, which makes them unsuitable for heavy lifting.
Additionally, combo racks can be more expensive than standalone squat racks or bench presses.
Another disadvantage of combo racks is that they take up valuable floor space when compared to other types of squat rack. This limits the number of exercises you can perform in a small area.
Furthermore, combo racks may require additional attachments to perform certain exercises comfortably, which can add extra expenses to your budget.
Who Should Use A Combo Rack?
A combo rack is a great option for those who want to perform multiple exercises in one place.
It's perfect for people who have limited space, or those looking to maximize their gym experience. The combination of different exercise machines can help you save time and money, making it a great investment.
If you're someone who wants to build strength and muscle mass with minimal equipment, then a combo rack could be the perfect choice for you.
It's also ideal for powerlifters and athletes looking to enhance their performance in various sports disciplines.
By using a combination of squat racks, benches, pull-up bars, and other features that come with the machine, you have everything needed to achieve your fitness goals all in one place.
6. Squat Rigs
Squat racks come in many different forms, and understanding the types of squat rack available can help you make an informed choice when selecting one for your gym.
Some popular types include power cages, half-racks, wall-mounted racks and more. Each type has its own unique features and benefits that cater to specific fitness goals or space requirements.
One factor that sets squat rigs apart is their versatility. The design allows users to perform a wide range of exercises beyond just squats – including bench presses, pull-ups and dips – making them ideal for those who want a complete workout without switching stations constantly.
However, some models may require additional floor space and budget compared to other gym equipment alternatives which might be a concern for certain individuals.
What Is A Squat Rig?
A squat rig is an essential piece of gym equipment that allows athletes and fitness enthusiasts to perform a range of exercises.
The main purpose of a squat rig is to provide stability, support, and safety while performing weightlifting exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench press, pull-ups and more.
It consists of various components that work together to create a versatile training platform.
The following are the components that make up a squat rig:
- vertical posts used as support for the entire structure
- hooks attached to the uprights where you place your barbell for lifting
- Spotter arms:
- adjustable bars attached on either side of the uprights used for safety if you can't finish your lift
- Pull-up bar:
- an overhead horizontal bar typically located at the top center part of the rig
- Plate storage pegs or sleeves:
- allow you to store weight plates next to your rack
In summary, understanding what makes up a squat rig will help in selecting one that meets personal needs and goals during exercise routines.
Squat Rig Pros
When it comes to the pros of a squat rig, versatility in exercises is at the top of the list. With various attachments and add-ons, you can perform multiple exercises beyond just squats.
Another benefit is that multiple users can utilize the rig at once without interrupting each other's workouts.
In addition to its versatile functionality, a squat rig has a space-saving design that makes it an ideal choice for home gyms or small studios.
The compact structure allows for efficient use of space while still providing ample room for movement during workouts.
Squat Rig Cons
Although squat rigs come with many benefits, they often come at a higher cost compared to other types of racks.
This may be a deal-breaker for those on a tight budget. Additionally, these racks may not be the best option for beginners who are still mastering their form as they require more stabilization and skill to use properly.
It's important to consider your level of experience and budget before investing in a squat rig.
Who Should Use A Squat Rig?
Experienced lifters who want to take their training to the next level will benefit from using a squat rig.
With various attachments and customization options, a squat rig enables advanced exercises that can target specific muscle groups for an intense workout.
Gyms or fitness studios with limited space but high demand will appreciate the versatility of a squat rig.
It allows multiple individuals to train simultaneously while taking up minimal floor space, making it an efficient piece of equipment in smaller facilities.
Athletes training for specific sports or competitions can benefit greatly from incorporating a squat rig into their routine.
The ability to perform functional movements such as squats and deadlifts helps athletes build strength and power in the muscles used during competition, leading to improved performance overall.
In conclusion, we've examined the unique characteristics of six types of squat racks: the versatile Power Rack, the compact Half Rack, the minimalist Squat Stand, the innovative Folding/Wall Mounted Rack, the adaptable Combo Rack, and the multi-user Squat Rig.
Each one offers distinct benefits to fit individual needs, space availability, and training goals.
With this guide, you should be able to select the squat rack that best suits your circumstances, ensuring a safe and effective strength training journey.
Do you need personalized help getting your questions answered? Reach out to us today by live chat, email, or give us a call at 888-995-4450.