Squat racks are a must for safe and comfortable barbell work in the gym or even at home! As a rule, the most commonly used exercise is the barbell squat. It will be enough to add a bench to the racks to get a full-fledged sports equipment for performing a bench press, however, the supports, in this case, should have a small height so that it is convenient to remove the projectile during the exercise. In general, the racks can be called a universal training device.
- 1 Here Our TOP List 12 Best Power Racks & Squat Racks for Home Gym – Editor’s Choice
- 1.1 1# Sunny Health & Fitness Power and Squat Rack with High Weight Capacity
- 1.2 2# CAP Barbell Full Cage Power Rack
- 1.3 3# Fitness Reality Power Cage with Optional Lat Pull-down Attachment and Adjustable Leg Hold-down – Amazon’s Choice
- 1.4 4# Sunny Health & Fitness Power Stand Rack Power Cage Zone Squat Stand Rack Power Cage
- 1.5 5# Icon Health & Fitness Squat Rack
- 1.6 6# ER KANG Barbell Rack Multi-Function
- 1.7 7# Yaheetech Squat Rack Adjustable
- 1.8 8# F2C Rack Squat Sturdy Steel Adjustable
- 1.9 9# Fitness Reality Power Rack Squat Stand Multi-Function Adjustable Power Rack Squat Stand
- 1.10 10# ZENY Squat Rack Pair of Adjustable Stand Barbell
- 1.11 11# CAP Barbell Power Rack
- 1.12 12# HulkFit Power Cage with J-HooksMulti-Function Adjustable Power Cage with J-Hooks
- 2 Types of squat racks
Here Our TOP List 12 Best Power Racks & Squat Racks for Home Gym – Editor’s Choice
After several hours of research, I finally made my selection of the 12 best squat racks out of over forty models currently in existence.
1# Sunny Health & Fitness Power and Squat Rack with High Weight Capacity
The squat rack is versatile! You can use it not only for squats but also for bench press. It also comes equipped with a pull-up bar. You can also place weights on the rack for convenience. It can be installed both at home and in a strength training gym. This squat rack keeps you safe while in use!
2# CAP Barbell Full Cage Power Rack
The squat rack is geared towards professional fitness clubs and home gyms. It is a versatile equipment that allows you to perform exercises with a barbell without assistance. Safety while doing exercises is ensured by parallel horizontal bridges, which prevent the barbell from falling. By placing an adjustable bench inside the frame, you can perform a variety of barbell presses. The principle of operation of the simulator: squats with a barbell, bench press, bench press from the chest while standing, lifting the bar for biceps, holding the bar or dumbbells in the lowered hands for a while, dead-lift.
3# Fitness Reality Power Cage with Optional Lat Pull-down Attachment and Adjustable Leg Hold-down – Amazon’s Choice
The squat rack is for doing barbell exercises. The rack design allows you to perform both the classic squat with a barbell and the chest press, as well as pull-ups and various exercises with dumbbells. The stand is made of oval steel profile. This makes this exercise machine more ergonomic compared to analogs. Safety hooks and supports are covered with wear-resistant plastic, which protects the frame of the simulator from chips and scratches.
4# Sunny Health & Fitness Power Stand Rack Power Cage Zone Squat Stand Rack Power Cage
This is a high-quality squat rack that can hold up to 805 lbs. It is made of high-quality steel. You can not only squat, but also do chest press, and also pull up on the bar. The disk storage system makes your workout more comfortable, as the process of changing disks takes less time and requires less effort.
5# Icon Health & Fitness Squat Rack
The stand is used as auxiliary equipment for performing various exercises. Do any barbell exercise: squats, bench press, sitting and standing, deadlift, and more. This squat rack is great for the home gym as it takes up little space and is versatile equipment. It can withstand heavy loads and will serve you for at least 30 years!
6# ER KANG Barbell Rack Multi-Function
The squat rack is also suitable for bench pressing and allows you to do basic strength exercises to develop the muscles of the lower body, arms, shoulders, and back. It provides performance for athletes of all levels. The rack is manufactured from base steel to withstand heavy loads (up to 600 lbs) and aggressive operating conditions. Thanks to the rubber coating, there is practically no noise from the impact of the barbell. Adjust the stand height from 36 to 57 inches.
7# Yaheetech Squat Rack Adjustable
The barbell rack is part of the basic equipment for a full-fledged training complex. It is usually used for squatting, but it also works great as a bench press rack. The maximum load on the squat rack is 200 kg. The stand is non-slip and non-scratch thanks to the feet pads. You can adjust the height so that you feel comfortable. It is made of a steel tube frame for high strength and stability.
8# F2C Rack Squat Sturdy Steel Adjustable
The Squat and Bench Rack helps you do muscle-building exercises for your entire body, from calves to shoulders. A versatile apparatus that can be used by both beginners in sports and professionals. The main material is stainless steel, resistant to damage and moisture. Powder coating provides additional protection against any negative influences. The stable base is complemented by rubberized footpads, which eliminates rolling and sliding.
9# Fitness Reality Power Rack Squat Stand Multi-Function Adjustable Power Rack Squat Stand
This squat rack is suitable for experienced athletes and beginners alike. It can be used to perform basic exercises to develop the muscles of the arms, shoulders, back, and chest. Stainless steel can hold up to 800 lbs. You can adjust the height to 78 or 81 inches.
10# ZENY Squat Rack Pair of Adjustable Stand Barbell
Fix the vertical posts at the required distance from each other. It is especially convenient if a barbell has already been purchased in advance. They can be installed both at home and in the strength training hall. The non-fixed distance between the uprights allows you to exercise with any grip. The height is changed by clamps on the back of the safety supports.
11# CAP Barbell Power Rack
This is a high quality and reliable model made of steel. Powder-coated, the construction is incredibly durable. Suitable for squats, bench presses, pull-ups, and other upper and lower body exercises.
12# HulkFit Power Cage with J-HooksMulti-Function Adjustable Power Cage with J-Hooks
This is a stable squat rack for your home gym! It holds up to 1000 pounds. If you have a bench press, then you can not only squat but also press from the chest. Besides. the rack is equipped with a crossbar for pull-ups. It is a secure construction with two dip bars and J-Hooks.
Types of squat racks
To perform strength exercises, as a rule, two main design options are used:
- Squat Racks
- Safety Racks
The first option consists of two frames connected to each other. The long side of each is equipped with several restraints that the squat rack holds the bar of the projectile. If difficulties arise during lifting with weights, the athlete can use the restraints at the bottom of the frames.
Belay squat racks are identical to the design described above, with one difference – they are not as tall and are more suitable for squatting with a shell on the shoulders.
It is used, although not so often, the version of the racks with separate frames without a connecting element. This option is not the most successful because of the increased instability of the structure. When working with such a device, it is important to ensure that at the time the projectile returns to the starting point, the frames are symmetrically relative to each other.
Moreover, a base that is too lightweight can lead to the fall of the projectile and, as a result, injury. The only solution, in this case, maybe to strengthen the uprights – using bolts with which the structure will be screwed to the floor.
Why do You Need a Squat Rack?
Barbell training provides exceptional benefits both in terms of increasing strength and muscle mass and in terms of other variables that are often overlooked in our training (strength, balance, coordination …).
However, barbell training also has two major drawbacks:
Safety: When working alone with multi-joint movements (such as squats or bench presses), there is a real risk of being pinched under the bar in the event of muscle failure. In these cases, it is important to have some kind of safety support to support the barbell.
Comfort: If you are moving the least amount of weight, you will need support from which to remove the loaded bar. You may also need to raise the starting position for certain exercises to adapt it to your anatomy or to work on certain technical aspects.
To address these and other problems, squat racks have emerged to a greater or lesser extent.
Before the Squat Rack Stand, squatting had to be done in the Steinborn way, which markedly limited progress and involved obvious risks. But that is not all. To the previous two advantages of racks, a third should be added: versatility.
Many of these designs include or allow the inclusion of a pull-up bar and a push-up station, saving you the cost of purchasing these accessories yourself and offering a stable base for your exercise.
They often also allow other accessories to be included, such as disc holders, attachment points for resistance bands, etc.
Squats with Barbell
Immediately here I recall that squatting consists of flexion and extension of the hip and knee joints. Let’s consider which muscles are working in each part of the movement.
Extension in the knee joint occurs due to the contraction of the quadriceps femoris muscle, which has four heads:
- Intermediate thigh muscle
- Rectus femoris muscle
- Lateral broad muscle of the thigh
The rectus femoris muscle starts from the iliac spine, goes down and, connecting with the rest of the heads, attaches to the patella. Being two-joint, and passing through the hip and knee joints, it can perform two movements: flexion of the hip in the hip joint and extension of the lower leg in the knee.
The lateral, medial, and intermediate muscles are single-joint. Starting from the femur, they, together with the straight line, are attached to the patella. From it to the tuberosity of the tibia, there is a patellar ligament, which is a continuation of the quadriceps femoris muscle.
Extension in the hip joint occurs due to contraction:
- Big adductor muscle
- Semimembranosus muscle
- Semitendinosus muscle
- Biceps femoris
- Gluteus maximus muscle
Biceps femoris (long head), semitendinosus, and semimembranosus – biarticular muscles. They can perform hip extension and knee flexion.
And I will immediately say something about the spine. When squatting, the muscles that extend the spine receive a significant load. The muscles that stabilize the spine work in a static model.
The squat consists of two movements: extension in the hip and knee joints. The first movement is in the hip joint, the second in the knee.
Why am I talking about an extension, even though the exercise is called squat? When we squat, the muscles do not need to hold something, fix something somewhere, resist something. Going down to the squat, we give ourselves to the force of gravity, and the muscles, relaxing, give us the opportunity to sit down. But when we need to get up from the squat, only then the muscles begin to do their job and resist the force of gravity.
The main role in squatting is played by the gluteus maximus muscle. She not only extends the hip joint but also helps the quadriceps to unbend the knee.
What Are the Best Squats?
It depends on different situations. Each option has its own advantages.
If you are just starting to squat, then a wide stance with the feet turned outward allows you to better master the movement. In it, it is easier to start the movement from the pelvis, the straight back is better controlled.
Then we start to get more complicated, gradually decreasing the width of the legs and trying to keep the back as straight as possible. It will be very good if we learn how to squat with feet shoulder-width apart without mistakes. I find this leg position to be the most optimal for squats.
Should you do narrow stance squats? Yes, it sometimes takes place. But here it must be borne in mind that a deep squat with this position of the feet will not work, which means that the gluteus maximus muscle will not receive its portion of the load. With a limited training time, this can be one of the deciding factors in favor of avoiding narrow squats.
First of all, you should be comfortable doing the exercise. The defining condition here – as mentioned earlier – is a straight back and the absence of bringing the knees inward when moving up. Let me remind you that when the knees are pushed inward, the knee joint is subjected to a strong rotational load, and this joint does not really like this kind of movement.
When it comes to squat depth, it’s all about back position and which target zone you prefer to work on. I prefer to maximize the use of the gluteal zone, which means I squat below parallel. If, while squatting, you maintain natural deflections in the spine and areas close to the vertical axis as possible, then squat lower. Otherwise, hone your squat technique in a higher position.
If you are looking for a squat rack for home use, then you’ve come to the right place. I told you about the 12 best Squat Rack Stands. If you still can’t make a choice, then I advise you to take a closer look at the CAP Barbell Full Cage Power Rack model. This is a versatile squat rack that meets all the requirements of professional sports equipment. You will feel safe while exercising and will be able to train without any help.
European and world record holder in different versions: UPO (EPA, IPA), WPC, GPF, UDFPF (WDFPF), WPA and others.
- World and European Powerlifting and Bench Press Absolute Champion
- More than 50 world records
- Master of Sports of International Class
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About the author: Each article on our website is checked and edited by a professional and expert in the field of sports (boxing, athletics and weightlifting). Nikolai Sergeev is a multiple world champion and record holder: during his sports career Nikolai set more than 50 world records among youth, juniors, adults, in different weight categories and in different versions (NPA, IPA, WPC, GPF, WUAP, WPA, IPO, RPS, etc.). The author has more than 30 victories and more than 30 gold medals received at competitions of the international level, the European and World championships. Read more at «About» page. Official website / Wikipedia.
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