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Squat Rack Types: Pros & Cons of 13 Variations

May 23, 2024

Squat Rack Types By Robor Fitness

If you're building a home gym, you'll want to get your hands on a squat rack. It's a game-changer! This piece of equipment is more than just a tool for squats; it's a powerhouse for a total-body workout.

With a squat rack, every muscle group is within your grasp, opening the door to various exercises. But hold up – did you know there are many different squat rack types? That's right, from the compact independent stands to the robust power racks, the variety is impressive.

Each type comes with its advantages, tailored to fit different spaces, workout styles, and fitness goals. Today, we’ll explain each of the squat rack types to help you make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing yours. Get ready to discover the perfect match for your fitness journey!


The 11 Different Squat Rack Types

Independent Squat Stands

Squat stands

Meet the most flexible friends in your gym lineup: Independent Squat Stands. Unlike their more stationary cousins, these stands come as two separate units. This means you can slide them closer together or further apart, adjusting to the perfect width whether you’re racking a barbell for squats or setting up a bench press.

Their versatility doesn’t stop there; you can tweak the height, ensuring each exercise you tackle is set up for success. Ideal for home gyms where space is at a premium, they can be easily moved aside when not in use, opening up your floor for other exercises.


  • They are easily moveable to suit a changing gym layout.
  • They can be packed away after use, making them perfect for small spaces.
  • Generally the most affordable squat rack option


  • They are not the most stable, which can be a concern during intense workouts.
  • Cannot handle hefty weights, limiting their use for advanced lifters.
  • Prone to toppling over if not used carefully, especially with heavier loads.
  • The safety bars are often not very deep, which increases the risk of toppling over.
  • They are not the safest option, making them less ideal for beginners who need extra stability.


Linked Squat Rack Stands

Linked squat rack stands are a step up from independent stands. They incorporate a crucial difference: a cross member at the bottom. This simple addition significantly increases the overall stability of the stands, making them a more brilliant choice for those seeking a bit more security during their workouts. Like their independent counterparts, these linked stands can be moved around to fit any gym layout and packed away neatly after your training session ends.


  • Easily moved around a gym space, adaptable to different workout areas.
  • It can be packed away after use, which is excellent for space-saving.
  • It is more stable than individual squat rack stands due to the cross member.
  • Remain affordable, offering good value for those on a budget.


  • Cannot handle hefty weights, which might limit their use among more advanced lifters.
  • The safety bars are often not very deep, limiting the safety margin during heavy lifts.
  • Despite increased stability, they are still not the safest option, making them less ideal for beginners.


Free Standing Squat Rack

Free standing squat rack

The Free-Standing Squat Rack is a sturdy and versatile addition to any fitness enthusiast’s arsenal. This design typically features a solid frame connected by a cross-member at the bottom for enhanced stability and a pull-up bar at the top, adding an extra dimension to its functionality. The pull-up bar not only increases the exercises you can perform but also adds to the structural integrity of the rack, making it more robust than simpler models.

Perfect for a comprehensive home gym, the Free Standing Squat Rack allows for a wide range of exercises. From squats and pull-ups to bench presses and more, it supports a variety of workouts essential for building strength and muscle. This rack’s self-supporting design means it doesn’t need to be bolted down, giving you the flexibility to move it as required within your space. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced lifter, this squat rack offers the durability and adaptability needed to push your limits safely and effectively.


  • Includes a pull-up bar for additional exercises.
  • It is less wobbly compared to standalone squat rack stands.
  • It is generally more affordable than full power racks.


  • It's still not as stable as a power rack, which may be a concern for heavier lifters


Wall-Mounted Squat Rack

Wall mounted squat rack

The Wall Mounted Squat Rack is a space-saving powerhouse designed for the savvy fitness enthusiast with limited space but unlimited goals. This robust rack is mounted securely to the wall at two points and anchored to the floor at another two, ensuring a stable and secure setup that maximizes both safety and functionality.

Ideal for compact home gyms or multipurpose spaces, the Wall-Mounted Squat Rack frees up floor space allowing room for other gym essentials. Its sturdy construction allows you to engage in heavy lifting sessions without the worry of wobbling or instability.

From squats and lunges to presses and more, this rack supports a full spectrum of barbell exercises. Being anchored both to the wall and the floor ensures that you can push your physical limits safely. Whether you’re a casual lifter or a serious athlete, this rack ensures that space constraints don’t limit your fitness journey.


  • It is extremely sturdy as it’s anchored to both the floor and wall.
  • The shallow design saves space for other gym equipment


  • It's a permanent installation, limiting flexibility in placement.
  • Requires a solid wall for secure mounting, which may not be feasible in all home or gym environments.


Folding Squat Rack

Folding squat rack

The Folding Squat Rack is a true champion of space efficiency, explicitly designed for those who need to make the most out of limited gym space. This ingenious piece of equipment can be folded away to lie flat against the wall, virtually disappearing when not in use. This feature is perfect for multi-use spaces or smaller home gyms where every square inch counts.

Despite its foldable design, this rack does not compromise on strength or functionality. It provides a sturdy and reliable base for a variety of exercises, including squats, presses, and more. When extended, it stands ready to handle your rigorous workout routine, and when you’re done, it tucks away neatly, freeing up space for other activities. The Folding Squat Rack is an ideal solution for fitness enthusiasts who want the full functionality of a traditional squat rack but must consider space constraints in their workout area.


  • Space-saving design allows it to be folded flat against the wall, which is ideal for limited spaces.
  • Sturdy construction that can safely handle heavy weights (Depending on manufacturer!)


  • Requires a solid wall for secure mounting.
  • Installation can be complex, needing careful planning and execution.


Half Rack

Half squat rack

A half rack is distinguished by its structure, featuring four uprights instead of the typical two on a standard squat rack. This design allows you to perform squats outside the rack, similar to a traditional squat rack. However, the additional uprights and a larger base significantly enhance the stability of a half rack.

This added stability means it can handle heavier weights more safely than a standard squat rack, making it a robust choice for more intense weightlifting sessions. This rack type is well-suited for home gyms and professional settings where space allows for a slightly larger footprint.


  • The half rack is exceptionally sturdy and designed to enhance safety and stability during use.
  • Capable of handling heavy weights, making it suitable for serious lifters and those progressing in their weight training.


  • It requires squatting in front of the rack rather than inside it.
  • Occupies more space due to its structure.


Power Rack

Power rack

When comparing a squat rack vs power rack, the power rack is often the preferred choice for enhanced safety and functionality. A power rack features four uprights connected by four pieces, including a pull-up bar and incorporates safety bars or slings for added security during exercises.

This design allows you to perform exercises inside the rack, which is safer, particularly if you fail on a rep, as the safety mechanisms are in place to catch you. This setup supports a broader range of exercises and boosts confidence in lifting heavier weights safely.


  • Heavy duty, capable of handling big weights.
  • Very sturdy construction.
  • Includes a pull-up bar for additional exercise options.
  • Highly durable for long-term use.
  • The safety bars or slings significantly reduce the chances of injury


  • Assembly can be time-consuming, taking between 3 to 5 hours.
  • The unit is quite heavy, which could complicate installation.
  • More expensive than your standard squat rack


Power Rack With Storage Extension

Power rack with storage extension

A power rack with storage extension maintains all the robust features of a standard power rack but includes an additional section at the back to store weight plates conveniently. This added functionality helps keep your training area organized and tidy, making managing different weights and accessories easier within the same space.

The storage extension is particularly useful in home gyms or smaller gym facilities. It maximizes space efficiency without compromising the power rack's safety and versatility.


  • Keeps gym space organized by providing storage for weight plates.
  • Convenient access to weight plates right where you exercise.


  • Occupies more space due to the additional storage feature.
  • Assembly can be time-consuming, adding a couple of hours onto the assembly of the power rack
  • The unit is heavy, potentially complicating the installation process.
  • It’s an additional cost


6 Post Power Rack

6 Post power rack

This 6-post power rack steps up the game by adding two more uprights than the standard 4-post power rack. The additional posts enhance the rack's stability and strength, making it an ideal choice for heavy lifters who require extra support and safety – such as powerlifters.

This configuration allows for more exercise versatility and the ability to handle more weight, providing a robust platform for professional and serious home gyms. With its expanded structure, this rack can accommodate more accessories and attachments, offering a comprehensive workout station.


  • Very robust lifting station
  • Offers enhanced sturdiness for intensive workouts.


  • Requires a significant amount of space.
  • Assembly can be lengthy, potentially taking 4-6 hours.
  • Due to its weight, installation may be challenging.


Power Rack Rig

Power rack rig

The Power Rack Rig is a substantial piece of equipment designed primarily for commercial gym settings. It essentially combines two power racks into one robust unit, offering double the workout stations and capability.

This setup allows multiple users to exercise simultaneously, making it ideal for busy environments where space and efficiency are paramount. The design caters to various exercises and can be customized with various attachments, enhancing its utility and appeal in professional fitness centers.


  • Extremely sturdy construction.
  • Capable of handling large weights, suitable for intense workouts.
  • Ideal for CrossFit and other high-intensity training programs.


  • Significantly more expensive than standard home gym setups.
  • It requires a lot of space, which is not practical for most home gyms.
  • It is unsuitable for most home gym configurations due to its size and cost.


Power Rack With Lat Pulldown

Power rack with lat pulldown

As the name suggests, a Power Rack with Lat Pull-down Cable Attachment features a built-in lat pull-down cable attachment, adding significant versatility to the traditional power rack. This attachment allows for various exercises, enhancing upper body workout routines.

You can perform lat pull-downs to target the back and tricep extensions for arm strength, and by simply adjusting the cable setup from top to bottom, you can engage in bicep curls, delt raises, and back rows. This multifunctional piece is ideal for users looking to maximize their training efficiency within a single station.


  • The cable attachment unlocks a variety of new exercises, enhancing workout diversity.
  • Adds functionality for comprehensive upper and lower body workouts.


  • Installation of the cable attachment can be complex and time-consuming.


Smith Machine

Smith machine

A Smith machine features vertical guide rods, restricting the barbell’s movement to a strictly vertical path, eliminating side-to-side motion. This design ensures more controlled movements, making it particularly suitable for beginners or those focused on specific muscle targeting.

The fixed pathway can help perform squats, presses, and other exercises with a focus on form and safety. It provides a stable environment that reduces the risk of improper weight handling.


  • Excellent for learning correct movement patterns.
  • Safe for beginners with multiple lock-in points on the rack for added security.
  • Effective for isolating specific muscle groups and enhancing targeted strength training.
  • Comes with a barbell so you won’t have to purchase separately


  • Typically more expensive than standard squat racks.
  • Limited exercise variety compared to traditional squat racks and free barbells.



Multi gym

The multi-gym combines the functionalities of a squat rack, smith machine, and cable machines, offering a versatile, all-in-one workout solution. It integrates both a squat rack and a smith machine, allowing users to choose between using free weights for versatility or the smith machine for added stability, which often prompts a comparison in the squat rack vs smith machine  debate.

This comprehensive piece of equipment is designed to effectively target every muscle group. It has two adjustable cables that facilitate arm, back, and shoulder workouts. It eliminates the need to invest in multiple pieces of equipment, as it includes everything necessary for a full-body workout, making it an efficient and space-saving choice for any gym setup.


  • Combines multiple pieces of gym equipment into one comprehensive machine, providing everything needed for a full-body workout.
  • Simplifies setting up a home gym as it eliminates the need for multiple purchases.
  • It occupies less space than several separate pieces of equipment, making it ideal for home use.


  • Generally, it is more expensive than a squat rack or power rack.
  • Assembly is complex and time-consuming, potentially taking 7-11 hours.
  • It doesn't support as much weight as dedicated power racks, though it's sufficient for most users.


The Final Say

Choosing the right equipment for your fitness regime depends on your workout preferences, budget, and space availability. Whether you opt for the versatility of a multi-gym, the stability of a smith machine, or the simplicity of a squat rack, each piece of equipment offers unique benefits.

From enhancing safety for beginners to accommodating complex full-body routines, the array of gym setups we've discussed cater to every fitness level and goal. Make your selection based on the functionality you need and the commitment you have towards your health and fitness journey.

Thomas D
Thomas D


Thomas is a dedicated fitness enthusiast with over 12 years of experience in the gym. As a level 2 qualified gym instructor, he combines his passion for working out and nutrition to help others achieve their fitness goals. Thomas stays up to date with the latest fitness research and follows the work of top experts in the field. With a balance of textbook knowledge and real-life experience, he provides practical guidance to help others reach their full potential.

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