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Squat racks for a home gym: What you need to know

Squat racks for a home gym: What you need to know

You probably already know that squatting is one of the most important exercises for building strength. If you’re looking to build or upgrade a home gym, a squat rack will probably be your most significant—and most expensive—purchase.

A rack of your own means you can strength train whenever you want, without having to wait for a free rack. And if you want to do bicep curls in the squat rack, go for it. It’s all yours!

This article will run you through the different types of squat racks, what you need to know, and some of our recommended products. 

In this article:

  • Different types of squat racks 
  • What you need to know before you buy a squat rack 
  • What squat rack should I choose
  • Why choose a Strength Shop squat rack 
  • FAQ

We have a wide range of squat racks for every budget. Check them out

Different types of squat racks

For most people without injuries, squatting is one of the highest-load exercises they regularly do. So, choosing the right squat rack is crucial for ensuring a safe and effective workout.

Here's a breakdown of the different types of squat racks you might encounter:

Power racks: Power racks, also known as power cages, are the most versatile and secure option for heavy lifting (and probably the most common type of squat rack). They typically consist of four vertical posts with adjustable horizontal safety bars to catch the weight if you fail on a lift.

As well as squats, a power rack allows for a wide range of exercises, including squats (as long as you have a bench, of course), overhead presses, and pull-ups. Power racks are ideal for those who lift heavy weights and want the option to train safely without a spotter.

Because of their size, they can be quite expensive. But if you buy a quality product and take care of it, your rack should last for a long time. 

Half racks: A power rack might be out of the equation if you’re building a home gym in a tight space, like a garage. Thankfully, a half rack offers many of the same benefits! 

Half racks have a more open design than power racks. They still provide adjustable safety bars for squats and bench presses but take up less space, making them a good choice for garage gyms. Half racks often include storage for weight plates and sometimes pull-up bars, offering a balance of support, exercise versatility, and size. 

Squat stands: Squat stands are the simplest form of squat rack, consisting of two adjustable vertical posts. They are compact and easy to move, making them suitable for tight spaces or home gyms where equipment needs to be stored after use.

Squat stands are also popular for weightlifiting gyms, as it’s easy to move them around when not needed. However, they typically don't offer the same level of safety as power or half racks, as most squat stands lack safety bars. Likewise, you need to be cautious of the weight limit. 

Wall-mounted racks: Wall-mounted racks are a space-saving solution that can be folded away when not in use. They are mounted to the wall and can be unfolded to create a squat stand or half rack-like setup. While they save space, their stability and weight capacity might be lower than other racks. 

As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all squat rack. If you have the budget and space, a power rack or half rack are the most versatile options. However, a squat stand and wall-mounted rack can be a great choice for smaller home gyms. 

What you need to know before you buy a squat rack 

Now that you understand the differences between different types of squat racks, here are the main factors you need to consider before you invest in a squat rack: 

Space requirements: Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way first. Squat racks, especially power racks, require a large footprint and ceiling height to accommodate the rack itself and overhead movements. It’s important to measure your available space and compare it with the dimensions of the rack you’re considering.

(You can get shorter power racks, which are specifically designed for low-ceiling use -- such as with our Garage Cage.

Weight capacity: Remember, the goal is to get strong, so make sure you get a rack that can support a weight higher than you can currently lift. If you’re an advanced lifter, your strength increases will be slower but don’t underestimate noob gains for new lifters. 

Adjustability and versatility: If you’re training alone, it’s important to opt for a rack with adjustable height settings for safety bars and J-hooks. If you plan to use your rack for exercises beyond squats, such as bench presses or pull-ups, look for a model that supports these activities.

Stability: A squat rack’s stability is vital for safety unless you want to tumble into the wall during a heavy squat. Freestanding racks should have a solid base that doesn’t wobble during use. Many racks also have the option to drill into the floor for maximum stability. Wall-mounted racks need to be securely attached to the wall.

Safety features: If you’re training alone, it’s important to opt for a rack with adjustable height settings for safety bars or straps, that can catch the bar if you fail a lift.  

Accessories and expansion: One of the benefits of a power rack over simpler squat solutions (like a squat stand) is the versatility, and ability to add accessories.  Many racks offer compatibility with accessories like dip bars, landmines, and lat pulldown attachments, allowing you to have more exercise options. Consider whether you’d like to add such features in the future and if the rack supports them.

Budget: Finally, squat racks vary widely in price, influenced by their size, features, and material quality.  It’s not worth cheaping out on a squat rack. By investing in a high-quality rack, you can lift safely for years to come. 

What squat rack should I choose?  

At Strength Shop, We pride ourselves on having a wide variety of squat rack options: from super-durable power cages, to space-saving squat stands. 

Here’s a rundown of some of our squat racks, and some key information:


Model name

Type

Key features

Dimensions

Good for

Rated To

Warranty

Riot Power Cage

Power Rack

Includes pull-up bar, adjustable safety bars and J-hooks

141cm x 120cm x 210cm

Beginners to advanced lifters, versatile training

600kg

2 years

Half Rack

Half rack

Open design, pull-up bar, adjustable J-hooks and safety arms, weight storage

172/126cm x 214cm x 130 cm

Space-saving setups, flexibility in exercises

400kg

2 years

Squat Stand

Squat Stand

Lightweight, adjustable height, includes spotter arms

50 cm x 60 cm x (160-180) cm

Small spaces, basic home gyms

250kg

2 years

Wall Mounted Folding Rack

Wall-mounted

Space-saving, foldable design, quick setup

23 cm x 232 cm x 61 cm

Multipurpose rooms, minimal space usage

350kg

2 years

Heavy Duty Squat Stand

Squat Stand

Robust design, greater stability with 60mm box section, adjustable

25 cm x 190 cm x 120 cm

Small to medium sized home gyms 

400kg

2 years

Riot Squat Stand

Squat stand

Customizable height, solid construction, suitable for heavy use

27 cm x 1.8/2.3 m x 122 cm

(1.8m or 2.3m height options)

Small to medium sized home gyms 

450kg

2 years

Garage Half Rack

Half Rack

Space-efficient, includes pull-up bar and weight storage

166 cm x 186 cm x 113 cm

Home gym enthusiasts with limited space, versatile training

400kg

2 years

Riot Garage Cage - 1.85M High

Power Cage

Designed for garages, durable construction, compact height

124 cm x 185 cm x 147 cm

Home gyms with space and height limitations

600kg

2 years

Foldable & Freestanding Power Cage, 60mm Box Section

Power Cage

Space-saving foldable design, sturdy 60mm box section for stability

122.5 cm x 220.5 cm x 121.6 cm

Small spaces, multipurpose rooms

400kg

2 years

Four reasons to choose a Strength Shop squat rack 

There are many different squat racks on the market, ranging from cheap and cheerful squat stands to bomb-proof power racks. 

So why should you consider a Strength Shop power rack over the competition? Here are four reasons:

    1. We’re tried and tested: We’ve been selling squat racks for over a decade. In that time, we’ve listened to customer feedback and constantly improved our racks. When you buy a Strength Shop squat rack, you’re benefiting from years of product development.
    2. Quality materials: We believe that lifting is for a lifetime. Our racks are created with high-quality materials, including rust-resistant steel so that you can use the equipment for a long time. 
    3. Space-saving (and lower-cost) options: Strength Shop has provided squat rack set-ups for elite, world-class lifters. But we understand that not everyone has the same needs. That’s why we offer a large variety of racks, from our affordable Garage Half Rack, to our top of the line Riot Power Cage.
    4. Trusted: With a 4.8 rating on Trustpilot, you can order your rack knowing that you’ll have a good experience. 

Here’s what our customers say about our squat racks: 

“This is a must have for any gym, you cannot train to your fullest without top quality equipment. It was easy to put together, as it came with instructions. It is very solid, and sturdy; easily commercial quality. The cut-out logo, matt black paint, and numbering down the tubing gives it a really high quality finish. When we were looking for a rack, we looked at all the main brands, and the Strength Shop one came out on top. It matched, or beat the others on specifications, and was a very competitive price. We would highly recommend this product to anyone who is serious about weight training.”

“This squat cage is just amazing ! It's very strong and fast to build.Another benefit of this PowerCage is it’s the price-performance ratio, and I love the the fact that he has an integrated chin-up bar!”

“Have had these stands for around a month, they live in the hallway of my university house and don't take up much room at all (all of our equipment including oly bar, 170kg plates, Not only do these have safety catchers but the stand feels a lot sturdier and "heavy duty" as the name implies! They do take up more space but they still fit nicely in my shed and are easy enough to manouver and assemble”

  • A review of our Heavy Duty Squat Stands on Strength Shop UK 

  • FAQ

    How much space do I need for a squat rack in my home gym?

    Generally, you'll want to allocate at least a 20.3cm x 20.3cm area to comfortably use the rack and have space for a bench, barbell, and weights. Also, consider ceiling height for overhead exercises or if the rack includes a pull-up bar. For instance, it might be difficult doing standing overhead presses with a 1.85m tall rack.

    Is it necessary to bolt down a squat rack?

    Free-standing racks with a wide and stable base might not require bolting for general use but could become unstable with very heavy weights or aggressive racking. For safety and stability, especially with heavier lifts, it could be worth bolting down your rack. 

    How do I maintain my squat rack to ensure longevity and safety?

    Regularly inspect your squat rack for any signs of wear or damage, such as rust on metal parts, cracks in welds, or loose bolts and screws, and tighten or replace as needed. Clean the rack with a mild detergent to remove sweat and grime. 

    Can I assemble a squat rack by myself, or do I need professional help?

    Our squat racks are designed for home assembly and come with detailed instructions. If you're comfortable with basic tools and following assembly guides, you can likely set up the rack on your own. However, an extra pair of hands is recommended because the racks are heavy.  

    Increase your strength with a Strength Shop squat rack

    A squat rack will be one of the most important investments you make in your home gym, and not one you should make lightly.

    By choosing a Strength Shop rack, you’re choosing a quality rack that will support your lifting for many years to come.

    Shop squat racks 







    Next article What is the best bench for a home gym?

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