best squat rack home gym man training barbell review

The best home gym squat rack

Upgrade your home gym with a squat rack. Why? Because adding one to your set-up is the best investment you can make if you’re serious about building a bigger, leaner and stronger physique to look, feel and perform at your very best, says New Body Plan co-creator Jon Lipsey

If you’ve got a squat rack, you’ve got an impressive home gym set-up. Without one, you’re never going to be lifting heavy weights for the most important lifts. The great news is that there are some excellent and reasonably-priced options on the market. Here’s what you need to know before you buy.

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What is a squat rack?

It’s a piece of exercise equipment designed to hold a barbell. It has two upright stands and a horizontal bar connecting them that makes it sturdy and stable. You can adjust the height of the bar according to the exercise you want to perform. You can also usually change the width between the uprights by adjusting the horizontal bar.

Do I need a squat rack?

If you want to do heavy barbell lifts, you’re going to need one. Otherwise you simply won’t be able to get the barbell into the correct starting position. They’re particularly useful for exercises such back squats and Zercher squats as well as barbell  overhead shoulder presses, the close-grip bench press and traditional barbell bench presses.

What’s the difference between squat racks and squat stands?

Squat stands are two individual stands, whereas a rack has connected uprights, which makes it more stable. Stands are a good option where space is very limited because you can pack them away between workouts. Racks tend to be a bit more expensive but the difference isn’t that significant. Another option is a power rack, which has four uprights and the most sturdy home gym option.

Should I go for a rack or stands?

If you have the space, a rack is a better option than stands because it offers more stability. And that becomes even more important as you get stronger and start lifting heavier weights.

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The best new home gym squat racks

JX Fitness Squat Rack

Best budget squat rack

Key info

Max load: 200kg
Rack height: 105-145cm
Adjustable levels: 5 (10cm gaps)
Adjustable width settings: 4 (12cm gaps)
Buy the JRX Fitness squat rack from Amazon

What makes this rack so good?

It’s solid, handles enough load for the vast majority of lifters and it’s excellent value for money.

What are the key features?

It does the basics well. The main thing you want from your rack is stability, and it delivers on that. It does also have dip bars. So you can do chest dips and triceps dips if you adjust the crossbar of the support frame.

Are they any downsides?

It’s not a flaw as such, but it may be an issue for taller lifters. The maximum height for the bar is 145cm, which isn’t that high for back squats. Having said that, doing a quarter squat to get the bar out of the rack at the start of your set shouldn’t put you off.

Should I buy JRX Fitness squat rack?

You should if you want an excellent entry level all-rounder at a bargain price.

Buy the JRX Fitness squat rack from Amazon

Mirafit M1 Squat Rack

Best all-round squat rack

Mirafit squat rack review

Key info

Max load: 250kg
Rack height: 93-151cm
Spotter height: 65-95cm
Adjustable height levels: 13 (5cm gaps)
Adjustable width settings: 7 (5cm gaps)
Buy the Mirafit M1 from Mirafit

What makes this rack so good?

It’s a well-made squat rack with a stable construction and a nice finish. Handles a heavy bar really well too. Impressive stuff at the price.

What are the key features?

The sturdy adjustable spotter arms are a real bonus. It means you can really push your bench press without having to worry that you’re going to get trapped under the bar.

Are they any downsides?

Only if we’re being really picky. The rests have a covering to protect your bar and the rack but the spotters don’t. Not a big deal and the biggest complaint we could find.

Should I buy the Mirafit M1 Fitness squat rack?

Yes, if you want to big up your bench press and you want an excellent rack at a genuinely outstanding price.

Buy the Mirafit M1 from Mirafit

JCM Squat Rack and Pull-up Bar

Best squat rack for heavy loads

JMC squat rack review

Key info

Max load: 350kg
Adjustable height levels: 25 (6.5cm gaps)
Buy the JCM squat rack and pull-up bar from Best Gym Equipment

What makes this rack so good?

It has a sturdiness that wouldn’t be out of place in a commercial gym (it weighs 58kg). So if you’re a serious lifter and you want to load up the bar, this squat rack will let you do just that without worrying about whether your kit is up to the job.

What are the key features?

It has 25 adjustable levels so you can do any exercise variation you can dream up. The pull-up bar at the top is a nice bonus. But the real standout feature is the build quality. It’ll basically last you a lifting lifetime.

Are they any downsides?

It doesn’t come with safety bars, so you may be in trouble if you miss a lift. The manufacturer has however said that a safety bar option is ‘coming soon’.

Should I buy the JCM squat rack and pull-up bar?

Yes, if you’re incredibly strong and you want to get even stronger.

Buy the JCM squat rack and pull-up bar from Best Gym Equipment

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