They say that doing squats is one of the best ways to strengthen the muscles of your lower body. And while many would question why the lower body is so important (and some tend to overlook it), let’s just say that the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, hip flexors and calves are the muscle groups that are working all the time to keep you up and balanced. Power Racks are the piece of equipment that can laser target those areas!
Now, squats have been also used by ladies as a way to make their bottoms bigger, shape their legs nicely, and improve their balance. In order to do squats, you need to have a bar with weights, but also have some place to leave the bar – obviously, not the ground. This is why people have been shopping for power racks and squat racks.
Still, the meaning of a power rack and squat rack is not the same. If you are new to this, let’s talk about the difference(s) below.
A power rack is also known as a rig, power cage, or even a squat rack. It has four feet connected by four metal bars overhead, three stabilizing bars at the foot, as well as two safety bars to catch a loaded barbell, in case you drop it. Even though this is the standard architecture of a power rack, there are different models – but almost all have a square footprint.
A power rack almost always has built-in safety bars that help with catching heavy barbells. Some users even use safety straps instead of safety bars on these products. Besides squats, you can use a power rack for bench presses, pull ups and many other exercises, making this fitness product multipurpose. Below, we are listing the best power racks based on price, features, reviews and popularity.
1. Fitness Reality 810XLT Super Max Power Cage
This power cage comes in four different variations. You can choose from a standard power cage only, as well as three additional options with a lat pull-down attachment, lat pull-down, or with a weight bench combo.
What you get is the Fitness Reality 810XLT power cage that comes with two chrome dual mounted safety bars, as well as two chrome lock-on safety bars. The olympic bar, weight plates and bench are not included in the model. However, strength training enthusiasts should know that with a weight capacity of 800 lbs, this product is ideal for squats, chin ups and pull ups, shrugs, incline and decline bench presses (with a bench) and many other strength training exercises.
Knowing that each pair of bars can handle up to 800 lbs of weight, it is also important to add that there are 19 different height levels to which you can adjust the bars, giving you plenty of flexibility when adjusting your workout positions.
Finally, you can find two rear stability bars at the back of the power cage, which are meant to provide solid state performance while performing any squats, pull ups or other exercises. Now, you can train like a beast with this power cage and get the results you want on a safe and sturdy product that comes at a good price.
2. HulkFit 1000-Pound Capacity Adjustable Power Cage
The HulkFit 1000 Pound capacity power cage is well known to many fitness enthusiasts for its sleek design and the amazing combination of yellow and black. There are variations of this cage which come with cable crossover, weight bench and lat pull-down systems, as well as the Power Cage Elite model which has great features.
A thing you should know about this power cage is that it has been constructed with 11 gauge steel, producing a 1000 lbs weight capacity. There is a 2.5 inch by 2.5 inch frame that offers greater stability throughout it.
Additionally, you get two steel safety bars with J hooks, two dip bars and a bonus set of J hooks. We can also see a set of cross bars which can be used for additional exercises and stretches. HulkFit really goes the extra mile in this manner, giving you a lot of extras, not to mention the great functionality of the model as a whole.
From a first glance at the model, you can see that there is a huge walk-in space and rubber feet, ensuring safety and preventing strange noises whenever this cage is moved. You will also protect your flooring, and be able to do a myriad of exercises on it.
And the best part?
If you want more exercises on it, you can always purchase add-ons such as the lat pulldown and cable crossover attachments, and you will have a complete home gym station.
3. ER KANG Olympic Power Cage
If you are looking for the best power cage with high quality elements and metal used in it, this is definitely a model to consider. The ER KANG Olympic Power Cage has a great design which brings red and black together in a cage that looks very functional and stable.
The 1000 lbs weight capacity is proof that you can do plenty of things and enjoy greater stability while meeting your workout needs. There is also some high tensile strength steel coated cable and easy glide chrome rail for smooth operation.
However, the important details are that this power cage is designed so that you can upgrade and add more add-ons to it. The landmine and barbell row holder can fit a 2" Olympic bar, full 360 degrees swivel with up and down directions.
What comes included in the package is two steel safety bars with J hooks, two dip bars, and bonus J hooks. The high and low row pulley systems with steel coated cable, one 35” bar, and one 12” low row bar attachments all come with the package, helping you save time and money on buying other accessories.
Overall, this is a great power cage if you want to build muscle, lose weight or shape your body. The fact that it comes with plenty of accessories makes it the perfect home gym.
4. Merax Athletics Fitness Power Rack Olympic Squat Cage
The Merax Power Cage is a great set of fitness equipment. IT is able to provide the user with over 24 different exercises, focusing on strength training and many other options.
Finished with silver and designed as a solid steel chrome machine, the construction stands up 85” tall and has an inside depth of 45”. There is a lifetime warranty on frame and a 2 year warranty on parts. Users love the solid steel chrome pull up bar with knurled grips, and the ways they can exercise.
The multi-grip pull up bar can only help you when exercising, allowing you to further engage and enhance your back, shoulder, and arm muscles. You can also get a bench and use the power rack for it.
Its maximum weight capacity is very impressive, which is 500 lbs if using the bar catchers outside of the cage, and even 650 if using the ones inside the cage. Generally speaking, the safety bar’s capacity is 800 lbs which gives you plenty of options for exercises such as dips, push ups, low row, lat pulldown, bench press and chin ups.
The Power Cage ranks among the bestselling power racks out there and is definitely worth the money, based on many user reviews.
5. CAP Barbell Full Cage Power Rack
Another rack with a unique design and some nice colors. The CAP barbell Power Cage can be customized and comes in seven different color schemes, which makes it onle of the few products that can “wear” a color of your choice.
The specs start with the construction, which is made from 12 and 14 steel tubing, allowing this rack to both meet and exceed the industry standards. When it comes to weight capacity, on catches it is 500 lbs and on the pull up bar, it reaches 750 lbs.
Users appreciate the gusseted uprights, which are great for stability and security. Added reliability is provided by the catches and safety bars, while the pull up bar is designed to strengthen your arms and core. With a durable powder coat finish and an industrial zinc hardware, this power cage is one of the maintenance-free models.
The brand CAP, on the other hand, has been a pioneer in the fitness space with more than 30 years of experience and various locations worldwide. The Barbell Full Cage Power Rack is proof for its commitment to detail, being a serious piece of strength equipment that is designed for heavy use and even the most grueling workouts.
6. Fitness First Power Cage
The Fitness First Power Rack in black has a great design which uses black as the base color with some yellow and red touches on the pull up bar and the dips. It is a free standing double-sided racking system that is built for safety and variety, and supported by 11 gauge steel tubing.
That being said, there are six built-in Olympic weight plate storage holders, as well as a large walk-in area for easy access and maneuverability on bench workouts. The multi-grip pull up bar offers solid grip, and this power rack is awesome for exercise and fitness.
Being one of the most versatile and important pieces of equipment, it can also become your comfortable home gym where you can do a variety of exercises. The free standing double-sided racking system is appreciated by many users, while the multi-grip pull up bar is awesome for wide, narrow, reverse and neutral grip exercises.
There are a total of 15 positions for bar support, helping you to customize your exercises. Overall, the Fitness First Power Rack in Black is awesome for anyone who wants to push to their maximum from their workouts.
7. Rogue 490 RML-490 Power Rack
Rogue is known to be the best brand in the field of strength training, and there is a reason why. First of all, the rogue 490 power rack comes in 10 different colors, which makes it the most customizable power rack out there.
Also, the product is designed to utilize 3” x 3” 11 gauge steel uprights, making it one of the strongest and sturdiest power racks in the industry. The RML-490 also includes Westside hole spacing, 0.625” hardware and a set of Monster Lite J-Cups, with pin/pipe safeties and band pegs.
The 53” x 53” standard footprint makes it comfortable to exercise in this unit, and it can be also well suited to many custom additions. Despite the fact that this power cage is one of the heaviest out there with a weight of 336 lbs, it is also one of the sturdiest racks out there. That being said, if budget is not a problem for you, this is one of the best power racks that money can buy.
The Rogue 490 power cage is also the last model in this list. Now, let’s move on to the squat racks and see why they are getting equal attention as the best power racks nowadays.
The Best Squat Racks On The Market
A squat rack can be the throne of your home gym. Even though a power rack supports more exercises than a squat rack, the anatomy of this product features two feet which are de-signed for squatting, which is why the model uses the word “squat” in the name.
Good squat racks are not easy to find, but you should know that a product like this should have safety arms and be connected at the top by a sturdy bar, one that is strong and stable enough so you can also do pull ups on it. Also, the base needs to be stable, and non-tipping. More information about buying the best squat racks can be seen in our Buying Guide section below.
And now, let’s list the best squat racks on the market based on reviews, popularity, features, and price.
1. HulkFit Multi-Function Adjustable Squat Rack
HulkFit is another big name in the power rack and squat rack niche, and the Multi-Function Adjustable Exercise squat rack is constructed with premium 12 gauge steel materials. With a 800 lbs weight capacity and 2.5“ 2.5” frame, it offers great stability.
You can literally use the two pull up bars for your specific needs, mounting them at your preferred height. Included are also two spotter arms (dip bars) with safety locks as well as two J hooks. There are two weight plate holders which are functional and allow you to get weights easily from the ground.
Perfect for many lower body exercises, this is the best squat rack by HulkFit and a piece of equipment that won’t take much space or make a room too crowded. Whether you are into squats or cleans, you can use it to exercise and gain strength while losing weight and boosting your metabolism.
While the weight capacity of the model is 800 lbs as standard, there is also a model with 1000 lb capacity. Other variations of the model are in color, as there is a basic red one and a basic, yellow one.
Lastly, there are multiple holes for any height that you prefer, and the robustness of this squat rack is great. According to many users, it is a solid bang for the buck considering its design, build quality, warranty and overall capacity.
2. CAP Barbell Exercise Squat Rack
One of the things we love about this model is the huge palette of colors it comes in. The shades are great, and you can choose from six different colors that add up to the great design of this exercise stand.
The 11 and 12 gauge steel tubing makes this squat rack to really stand out from its competition, handling heavy weight without any problems. There is a built-in bar and weight storage, as well as double gusseted uprights which provide exceptional stability and security.
The manufacturer is also giving J cups as an extra, helping you safely hold the barbells. When it comes to overall reliability of this model, you should expect long use based on the durable powder coat finish, along with low maintenance. As one of the leaders in the fitness industry, CAP has been here for more than 30 years and has locations worldwide, which adds up to the quality and integrity of the brand.
Lastly, the assembly of this squat rack is pretty straightforward, even though the manufacturer advises to not tighten the bolts completely until all of them are in place. This will allow the unit to fall into place correctly, and CAP wants a satisfying experience for every user.
3. Sunny Health & Fitness Power Zone Squat Rack - SF-XF9931
Sunny Health & Fitness is a brand that has been constructing premium quality powder coated steel for a range of equipment. This great squat rack supports up to 805 lbs of weight capacity on a barbell, and has adjustable and reversible options.
Speaking of which, the pull up bar is adjustable and reversible with 8 different positions, angled for both wide and narrow grip pull ups. The safety lock latches are extended, making sure that you always have a spotter and have peace of mind when squatting with heavier weights.
There is also an Olympic plate storage, with safety clips, which adds extra stability when utilizing the squat rack. The machine fits up to 7 ft Olympic bars and has 6 additional resistance band pins (3 per side) which are meant to increase versatility and add extra resistance for your lifting and squatting.
4. GRIND Fitness Chaos 4000 Squat Rack
The GRIND Fitness Chaos is a very sophisticated squat rack. It is probably one of those hybrids – or for those of you who don’t know, a mixture between a squat rack and a power rack.
With nicely designed spotter arms, a textured multi-grip pull up bar and heavy duty J cups, it gives you all you need out of your lower body home gym, pumping every muscle in your legs and back so that you boost your metabolism and improve your strength.
The machine is more than just a beast – it is capable of handling the heaviest barbells in your home gym with an unbelievable weight capacity of 1,500 lbs! Also, there are heavy duty weight pegs, which can hold your weight plates and be positioned on the back of your rack. This will make your rack stable and easy to load up the bar.
Even though the GRIND Fitness Chaos 4000 is a squat rack designed for a home gym, it offers commercial quality, which is why many actual gyms are considering and buying it. Capable of holding the heaviest loads and having many accessories for upper body workouts, it is a truly legendary piece of fitness equipment.
5. Rogue Monster Lite SML- 2C Squat Rack
Just like in the category above (power racks), last in the best squat rack list is a Rogue model. The Monster LITE SML is more than just your go-to squat rack. It comes in a wide spectrum of custom colors and brings you versatility and strength in an efficient and compact frame.
What’s also worth mentioning is that this squat rack is also the highest, and one of the widest and longest squat racks out there. If you are a big guy, you will definitely appreciate this, just like you appreciate its amazing design that allows exercises such as squats, clean pull ups, floor press, bench presses and more to be done easily without much adjusting.
What you get when buying this Rogue squat rack is the stand along with 3"x3” 11 gauge steel uprights (in 11 different colors), two J cups with protective plastic inserts, one fat/skinny pull up bar, Westside hole pattern and all around, a great piece of equipment.
As a last note, we’d like to point out that any barbells up to 1,000 lbs are safe on this squat rack, and that there are many optional accessories that can elevate your workout. However, most of them are sold separately.
Power Rack FAQ
Below, we are listing some of the popular questions about squat racks and power racks and the true answers. If you have been thinking of buying the best power rack or squat rack lately, you should take a peek at the section below and see if it answers your questions.
Do Power Racks need to be bolted?
Power racks are versatile and great for establishing a good workout routine. Most of the top products should be bolted, which means permanently secured to the ground. The reason is simple – bolted power racks (power cages) won’t move while they are being used.
However, you should also know that since they are very heavy and usually quite tall, some of the new models use their weight to support themselves on the ground, as well as a stable and sturdy base which won’t move the rack even an inch away from its original spot. Even if it does, you should be safe as long as it is not going from one side to another.
Is Rogue overpriced?
Rogue products are not that expensive, once you see the attention to detail and the high-quality equipment that they are using. However, the price point may still be a bit too much for many, especially people who want to get the cheapest home gym equipment to get started. If you are one of them, then the brand may be overpriced.
What you should know is that they are producing commercial quality equipment, which always costs money, and most of the high-end competitors of this brand have similar pricing. That being said, the brand is not overpriced but fairly priced considering the quality equipment that they produce.
Are Power Racks worth it?
Power racks are designed to hold a lot more weight than squat racks. For serious lifting, they are safer. So, if you have the space and budget for it, there is no reason why you should not purchase a squat rack over a full power rack.
As you could see in the list above, we listed the best power racks along with their features. So, when buying one for your home gym, make sure that you consider the safety, attachments, and the overall quality of the power rack model.
Is Rogue Fitness the best?
Rogue Fitness makes great products and has excellent marketing. From the build to the design, the products are excellent, but the price of Rogue is in the premium segment.
There are many products by Rogue Fitness which are “the best” according to many user reviews – for instance, the Rogue Bar 2.0 is a good squat rack. The large manufacturing power, vast experience and attention to detail certainly put Rogue Fitness among the best brands out there.
What Height Should a Squat Rack be?
The recommended height of a squat rack is around 7 feet. Most of the popular models go a little over 80” which is around 7 feet tall. However, if you have a basement or garage with low ceilings, this may be a challenge.
The goal is to find a squat rack that is tall enough for you, and good enough for your ceiling. There are some shorter options available on the market, too.
Can Bumper Plates be dropped on concrete?
Dropping most bumper plates on concrete is totally safe. Eventually, all bumper plates will wear out, but the recommended surface for dropping them is always a rubber mat. So, if you have a concrete floor, our advice is to get a rubber mat on top of it so that it does not damage the weights.
Can You Bolt a Power Rack to plywood?
Even though plywood is not that much recommended by fitness enthusiasts (compared to the ground), bolting a power rack to it is possible. There are videos of it online, and many forum threads that can show you the ropes. However, make sure to get a plywood that is thick enough (at least ¾) so that your rack does not tip over.
How Much Room do you need for a Power Rack?
There are small and big power racks nowadays, and ones with more extensions and attachments, which is why it is difficult to answer this question precisely.
A typical power rack without any extensions or attachments measures 42” wide by 24” deep and 80” high – something that is considered standard in the fitness space. If you add the width of a bar (84” as a standard one) and some room to move around the rack, the room you need for a power rack is 12’ wide by 7’ deep and 7’ high.
Can You Keep a Squat Rack outside?
You can keep your squat rack outside, only if there is a flat surface for support. Also, you should know that you may need to buy some additional equipment to keep your squat rack from rusting throughout the different seasons (mostly from rain and nighttime dew). Doing that will help you keep it in good shape.
How much weight can a Power Rack hold?
Most of the power racks available on the market can handle a weight of 500 to 1,500 lbs. A few racks can handle less than 500 lbs, while there are some models that can even handle more than 1,500 lbs.Make sure to consider the weight capacity on the power rack before buying it.
How far from the wall should a Squat Rack be?
The comfortable clearance you will need between the back of the squat rack and the wall behind is anywhere from 10” onwards, depending on how you rack and unrack. If you just need to get underneath it for squats, it is best to have at least 12” to 15” between the J hooks and the wall.
How do you bolt a Power Rack to the floor?
There is one main way to bolt your rack to the floor so that it does not move or tip. You can secure it to the floor by doing the following:
Are rack pulls better than deadlifts?
While deadlifts are great for building strength and power as well as working the back muscles, rack pulls are even better. Essentially, they utilize the same strength-building movement, targeting the same muscles, and are a great solution for people who lack the mobility to perform a deadlift with a safe form.
How Much are Power Racks?
The average entry level power rack costs anywhere from $200 to $350, while a mid-range power rack costs anywhere from $350 to $700. High-end power racks go above $700 to $1,300, while commercial quality models can be even more expensive.
Can I use a Squat Rack for Bench Press?
Yes. Many people use squat racks for different exercises, including back squats, front squats, shoulder presses, power cleans, deadlifts, heavy rows and obviously, bench presses. However, you will obviously need a bench for that.
What is the difference between a Power Rack and Squat Stand?
The main difference is their design – squat stands are smaller and do not require much space, while power racks are bigger, therefore allowing you to do a number of exercises including squats.
Also, many users love power racks because they can easily drop the bar onto the lower horizontal bars, rather than the floor, which is the case with squat stands.
Things To Consider When Buying A Power Rack Or Squat Rack
If you are a beginner, you should know that you might get a bit uncomfortable when you start exercising on a power rack or a squat rack. However, having your personal home gym station is a true privilege on its own – so if you are dreaming of building one, you should know some of the essentials listed below.
Measure The Space Needed (And Add Some Wiggle Room)
The basic power rack consists of four vertical stands. When assembled, it forms the square shape. So, when looking at it, it is important to make sure that you have enough space in your room for the complete setup.
So, taking some time to measure the space of the gym equipment and adding a wiggle room of 10” to 20” on each side can help you build a comfortable and functional home gym. The only thing you need are the exact measurements – something that is featured in every product, whether it’s a squat stand or a power rack.
Understand The Types Of Exercises Supported
Finally, we recommend everyone to do a double check before they buy a squat stand or a power rack and take a moment to see what are all of the exercises that it supports. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t expect hundreds of exercises, but it would be decent if you can figure out a way to work out your entire body with the use of free weights and a couple of accessories.
Here, the power rack is a winner – it can help you do squats, deadlifts, rows, overhead press, pull ups and dips in a comfortable way, as well as exercises for body aesthetics and ones that need extras (such as cable attachments for rows, pulley, etc.) with the help of some accessories.
At the end of the day, strength training and power lifting are not sports for professionals – they are getting very popular among amateurs as well. The real benefit of these exercises is that they can improve your posture, help you sleep better, get more bone density, maintain your weight loss and boost your metabolism.
Both squat stands and power racks support strength training, and the range of exercises on them can help you work out your entire body in an interesting and very challenging way.