11 Best power/squat racks for home gym reviewed
Let me start by dispelling a myth that says power rack is only for serious bodybuilders and people who want to get big and bulky, which is simply NOT true.
The power rack is THE most important piece of exercising equipment in any home gym. If you are looking to lose weight or build muscle, then power rack is probably the most effective, safe, and versatile exercising equipment in the fitness industry.
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It lets you use your own body weight, weights, or other incorporated exercising equipment like bench press and lat pulleys to do so many different exercises that will cover so many different muscle groups without worrying about injuring yourself thanks to the safety features that are incorporated in the power rack design.
I'm the biggest fan of using my own body weight and free weights to keep myself in shape and the power rack is perfect for that. If you are into that, then power rack won't disappoint you one bit.
Before reviewing the best power racks that money can get you and which one should you get that will fit your fitness needs, you really need to know the benefits and drawbacks of getting a power rack, and also what are the main differences between the different types of racks like smiths rack, half rack, and squat and power racks?
Here is a quick overview:
POWER RACK W/ LAT ATTACHMENT
WALL MOUNTED POWER RACK
POWER RACK W/ LAT ATTACHMENT
Best power rack reviews for money- Benefits and drawbacks
Benefits of power rack
The benefits of using power track are :
1- Safety. The number one benefit of having a power track is its safety when you lifting weights. Power track comes with safety holes (holes to hold safety bars) that will keep you injury-free and safe in case you that you can't lift the desired weight and you want to drop the weight. The safety bars will hold the weights and prevent them from dropping on you or on the floor.
2- Full range of motion. Full range of motion means that your joints and muscles are free to move in any direction with no restrictions. Full range of motion is proven to be more effective at strengthening your joints and muscles than using exercising equipment that strict your movement.
3- Versatility. In simple words, you can easily incorporate any exercising equipment that will enhance and compliment you workout like free weights, bands, or bench press etc....
4- Targets large muscle groups. The power track is widely used to strengthen your back, glutes, and legs, which are large muscle groups. Squatting for instance, it's one the most effective exercises that targets your core, back, glutes, and legs all in one single move.
5- Stronger back. Having a strong back means you will have strong core and glutes and that means no pains and aches in your shoulders, lower back, and knees. These are the areas that usually are more prone to all different types of complications and injuries.
6- Work on your own. The safety bars will let you exercise by yourself without the need for someone else around to help you move the heavyweights when doing bench press or squats.
7- Calisthenics. Calisthenics consist of 4 main exercises, which are:
You can do all of these exercises using a power rack while you can incorporate rings and resistance bands in your calisthenics workouts to get the best out of your workout.
Drawbacks of power racks
1- Space. Power racks take a lot of space, and they are usually 2 meters high, and 1 1/2 meters wide, which can be problematic if you are planning to work out in your basement for example (assuming that you don't have a high ceiling).
2- No cardio. If you are a big cardio fan, then this is not for you since it focuses on burning fat and losing weight through hypertrophy exercises to strengthen and tone your muscles.
3- No fast-paced movements. If you enjoy fast-paced movements like martial arts, then this is not you.
4- Most racks (if not all) don't include any weights or barbells. You have to buy these separately, and they are pretty expensive, so make sure that you budget for these extra but essential accessories. The other thing to keep in mind is that power racks only take full length 7' Olympic barbells. If you have anything shorter than 7', then they are pretty useless and just won't work.
Power rack vs. smith machine vs. half rack vs. squat rack- What's the difference?
Power rack consists of 4 posts and they are a cage-like design. The 4 posts make the rack more stable and less wobbly and will support more weight. If you are a serious bodybuilder or planning to get into weightlifting, then power rack is the best investment.
2- Squat rack
The squat rack is mainly used for squatting and doesn't have a pull-up bar. It's merely designed to do squats and not meant to be used for other exercises. However, you can use a press bench for chest workouts. If you are planning to use your rack to do pull-up and dips... then I suggest that you invest in a power rack instead.
3- Half Rack
The half rack is a rack that only consists of 2 posts. When compared to power racks, they are usually not as sturdy as 4-post power rack and doesn't hold as much weight as a power rack. However, It also depends on the make, design, and how much you are willing to spend.
Some half racks are gym quality, very durable and can take serious weights and others aren't, but the general rule is that power racks are more stable and versatile than half racks.
4- Smith machine
Smith machine is designed so the barbell only moves vertically and can automatically hold the weights in place without the need to manually place the barbell on the safety rods.
The twin rods on both sides strict the barbell movement, so you are only moving up and down (no backward, forwards, or sideways movement) and when are done lifting, you simply twist the bar and the weights will lock themselves in place, and you step out of the cage.
The advantage of using smith machine is that it lets you focus only on weightlifting without worrying about balancing the barbell while lifting it, which is much safer than the other types of racks.
The downside of having a smith machine is that the squatting movement is not natural and that can put more pressure and strain on your back and knees.
11 best power racks reviewed
If you are looking for high quality, durability, and affordability, then the fitness reality 810XLT ticks all those boxes, there's no doubt about that. It holds up to 800lbs and has large and spacious walk-in area (inside the cage) where you can move comfortably and doesn't feel claustrophobic.
The 4 steel frame posts have 19 adjustable height levels where the safety bars can be placed to accommodate your height. The 19 height levels are more than enough to accommodate most people's height without any problems. I always recommend that you get a power rack that has as many holes as possible to keep you safe during your workout and to avoid injuries.
The spacing between each hole is around 1 inch, which is the standard in most power racks. Keep in mind that narrow spacing makes it easier to adjust the height levels fort the safety bars.
The safety bars are 23" long, and they come with two 3 1/4" long locks, and they are pretty easy to insert in and out and don't get stuck like some other locks that I have used before. It also comes with adjustable pull-up bar where you can adjust its height.
Please remember that this power rack doesn't come with Olympics bar nor a dip bar and you have to buy those separately. It will require some assembly, and they give you 1-year warranty.
This is a very solid power rack that is well worth the investment if you are seriously thinking about purchasing a power rack.
2-Cap Barbell Power Rack Exercise Stand
This Cap power rack is very simple but durable half rack that will get the job done with no fuss. For its simple design, it's very sturdy and doesn't wobble where the uprights are double gusseted to make it very durable and stable. For extra stability, there are built-in places for concrete anchors if you want to bolt it into the floor.
If you are a beginner and looking for an affordable rack, then this is the one.
It holds up to 300lbs in weight capacity, and that's the total weight capacity of the weights and the user. The included pull-up bar holds up to 300lbs as well.
Bear in mind that the safety catchers are not meant to be used as safety bars. They are there to hold the weights in place and are not there to prevent the weights from dropping on you. In other words, if you are going to lift heavy weights and there's a chance that you might need to drop them, then this rack is not meant to be for that.
The other thing to remember is that this model doesn't have an option to buy safety bar, but they do make J-hooks where you can purchase extra sets of J-hooks for this model, if needed.
As I said, this is a basic model that will help you stay in shape, and it's very sturdy and durable, but it's not for serious weightlifters where the need for safety bars is a necessity.
3-Fitness Reality X-Class
Fitness reality X-class is a commercial grade power rack that everyone must get if you are serious about taking your workout to the next level. If you are looking for a power rack that will take a real beating and still stand its ground, then this is the power rack that you have been looking for.
It takes up to 1500lbs in weight capacity, which is more than enough for most people and you also get 2 J-hooks, and 2 dip handles that can take up to 600lbs in weight. The dip handles can be adjusted up to 13 different positions.
You get two adjustable 11.5" safety bars and two dual mounted 35.5" safety bars for your squats and dips exercises, where each set holds up to 1500lbs in weight capacity. The bars are adjustable up to 25 height levels to let you choose the desired height for your workout, and that's more than what you will ever need.
There are predrilled holes where you can bolt the power rack into the floor for more stability. I don't think you will ever need to do that, but it's a nice option to have just in case.
They also come equipped with two separate chin-up and pull-up bars that you can adjust their position, and they hold up to 600lbs in weight capacity. Plus, you get the Olympic pull down lat attachment for upper and lower body workouts. If you are thinking about converting this power rack into a home gym, then they do sell other attachments like bench, and Olympic barbells, if you want to buy all the extra attachments from the same make.
The other good news is that this power rack won't take a long time to assemble, as the main cage is partially assembled for you.
This is truely one of the BEST power racks/ home gym that covers that whole nine yards.
4- Merax Athletics Fitness Power Rack
The Merax fitness power rack is another power rack that will not disappoint you one bit. It's more than just a power rack that will let you do more than 24 exercises.
This is what I call power rack+ because it gives you more than what a standard power rack will ever give you and all are included in the price. You are getting a power rack (4 posts) that includes:
1- Safety bars that hold up to 800lbs in weight capacity.
2- Chin-up bars
3- Lat pulldown attachment
4- Low row cable attachment
5- Bar catchers hold up to 500lbs (outside the cage) and inside the cage bar catchers hold up to 650lbs.
6- 2 storage pegs ( 1 on each side) that hold up to 6 plates on each side.
As you can see, this power rack is a real investment if you are looking for a power rack that incorporates more than just power squats exercises. It has 17 adjustable height levels that are separated by 1-inch spacing to let you adjust the height of the bar catchers and the safety bars.
Titan fitness is specialized in making one of the best power racks in the fitness world. The titan power rack (T2) is no different. The T2 power rack is one of the most popular racks because it checks all the boxes in terms of its solid build, stability, durability, and very simple design that lets you focus on your workout rather than worrying about the rack and whether it will break on you or not.
The first thing that you will notice about the cage is that it feels very spacious and there's a lot of room to move around without hitting anything, which is critical when you are doing power squats or pull-ups.
The solid-build steel frame holds up to 700lbs in weight, and they also provide you with J-hooks, safety bars, and a pull-up bar, which most power rack makers don't usually include all of these accessories, especially for this price.
It has 25 adjustable height levels, so you can comfortably adjust the J-hooks and the safety bars. The spacing between each hole is just over 1 inch and as I said before, the closer the holes, the better for height adjustability.
If you want to get dip bars and plate holders for instance, then you have to buy them separately, and most accessories that you will find online should fit just fine.
For the price, you are getting one of the best power racks out there that will last a lifetime
6- Titan Fitness T-3 Series Fold Back Power Rack 21.5" Deep Wall Mounted
This is the T3 power rack from Titan fitness that is very popular among people that don't have a lot of space to purchase a regular power rack. As the name suggests, it's wall mounted power rack, and it folds up against the wall when it's not in use so that you can save even more space.
To get the best out of this power rack, I strongly suggest that you bolt it into the floor for best stability results and don't let it hang off the wall. If you want to do pull-ups and feel this is not high enough, then you should get a separate pull-up bar.
With the T3, you are getting 4 J-hooks and a pull-up bar, and they don't include any other accessories like dip bars where you have to buy them separately. If you want to get extra attachments for the T3, the T2 attachments do work on this model.
There are two sets of spacing between the holes on the T3 model. The top and the bottom of the rack, the spacing is around 1 inch, and it's 1/2 an inch in the midsection of the rack. This will give you much more flexibility to where you want to hook your bars and hooks for more precision and peace of mind. You are getting 56 adjustable height levels, which is almost unheard of when compared to other models.
Believe it or not, the assembly and installation of the T3 are as easy as it gets, which is another reason why this rack is worth the investment.
7- Best Fitness Power Rack
Best fitness power rack is very similar to the T2 rack. It's similar in its simple design, durability, stability, and the space that you get inside the cage. It holds up to 500lbs in weight capacity and gives you 23 height positions.
You are also getting 2 lift offs and full-length safety bars that can be easily taken in and out of the frame.
The thing that I didn't like the most is the spacing between the holes, which is wider (3 inches) than what's recommended for height flexibility. This is the only downside, and if you can live with that, then you are getting a highly rated power rack that will last a lifetime.
Overall, this a high-quality power rack that should let you do your exercises without any problems.
8- Valor Fitness BD-7 Power Rack with Lat Pull Attachment
The Valor BD-7 power rack is similar to the Merax power rack where you are not only getting a power rack, but you are getting a home gym that every single piece of it is made of steel that will last forever.
The BD-7 power rack holds up to 350lbs in weight and has 17 height levels separated by 1-inch spacing to hold your safety bars securely in place when doing power squats or other exercises. You are getting a lat pull attachment, pull-up bar, safety bars, 4 adjustable bar catchers, and 4 plate begs that hold up to 550lbs of plates.
This a power rack/home gym covers all the major muscle groups, which will help you to get in shape in no time.
9- TDS Power Rack / Squat Cage
TDS power rack is a gym quality rack that is as good as it gets. It's built and designed to take anything that you throw it with a breeze. It holds up to 1000lbs in weight and lets you go on with your workout without worrying about anything else.
It has 31 height levels, and they are separated with 1-inch spacing, and they also provide you with full-length safety bars and J-hooks where the barbell can be placed on the inside or the outside of the cage.
They come with pre-drilled holes where you can add lat or other attachments to convert it into a home gym. But, they don't provide you with dip bars or plate holders, but the good news is that they do make them and you can buy them separately.
I can honestly say that this power rack is a five-star rack that is going to beat you into shape in no time.
10- Marcy Olympic Multi-purpose Strength Training Cage
The Marcy multi-purpose cage is a commercial grade power rack/home gym that you will ever need. It covers all major muscle groups so you can do a full body workout with ease. If you are looking for a beast of a machine that is super stable, durable, and designed to accommodate your fitness goals, then this power cage won't let you down.
Here is a list of what you are getting with the Marcy cage:
1- Adjustable safety bar catchers (15cm long) that you can place them on the outside of the cage to do your squats and bench presses. The weight catchers take up to 300lbs.
2- High and low cable pulleys that lets you do so many different upper and lower body exercises. The maximum weight that the pulleys will take is 155lbs.
3- Weight storage rack to store your extra weights. You can store up to 410lbs on the weight plate rack.
4- Multi-grip pull-up bar where you can do different types of pull-ups and chin-ups. The pull-up bar takes up to 300lbs in weight.
5- They also give you abcrunch rollers that are attached to the base of the cage.
6- 9 adjustable height levels that are separated by 2-inch spacing.
7- Dumbbell storage tray. The tray will hold up to 254lbs in weight.
8- Dip bars that are attached to the back of the cage (non-removable).
As you can see, that you are getting an almost a complete gym that is a commercial grade and should last for a long time.
Remember that the weights are not included nor the barbell bar where you have to buy them separately. The other thing to remember that the assembly should take around two hours to do, and I recommend that 2 people do the assembly to make the process less painful.
11- Body-Solid Power Rack, GPR378
Body solid are specialized in making power racks that last a lifetime. When you see the name "Body solid", then you know that are getting a gym quality product.
The Body solid power rack is made from a heavy-duty steel frame that holds over 1000lbs in weight, and it comes with 2 J-hooks, 2 full-length safety bars, and a chin-up bar as well.
If you are looking for a simple power rack that takes over 1000lbs in weight capacity, the body solid is the one for you. Remember that you are only getting the essential accessories that I already mentioned and that's it. Whatever extra accessories that you will need, you have to purchase them separately.
The best (and affordable) Olympics barbells you should get
As you know, that power racks don't include either barbells or weights, and you have to buy these separately. Most (if not all) of power racks only take 7' Olympics barbells and nothing else. If you have anything that's shorter then 7', then you are risking serious injuries.
That's why it's vital that you get the right barbell that will fit properly on the safety bar. There are so many different barbells on the market, but I strongly recommend that you get 7' Olympic barbells for your safety and better results.
Top rated Olympics barbells:
1- CAP Barbell Olympic Bar, 2-Inch, 1200-Pound Capacity, 7-Feet
Cap 7' Barbell Olympic bar is one of the best and holds up to 1200lbs in weight, and the sleeves spin smoothly in and out, so you don't have to worry about any jerky movement when taking and adding plates.
2- Body-Solid 7-Feet Olympic Bar
Body solid bar takes up to 600lbs, and it's one of the top rated 7' Olympic bars out there that just let you go on with it.
Regardless of your fitness plans and goals, whether you are trying to pursue weightlifting or want to get fit, power racks are one of the best investments that you will ever make. Because of their durability and versatility, you are getting more than just a frame. With the right accessories, you can turn them into a gym quality home gym that will last for a very long time.