Power racks are widely regarded as one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you can own. They’re invaluable for heavy lifters and can help you reach your fitness goals faster than many alternatives.
However, this somewhat complex piece of equipment requires some knowledge so that you can learn how to use it correctly and most importantly, avoid injury.
Get all the facts on how to use a power rack, common problems, what to look for in a quality power rack and more in the comprehensive guide ahead. Then check out our list below of some of the best power racks you can buy now in order to really kick your training regime into gear.
Because you don’t have the time to try out every power rack out on the market, read every review posted online, and spend your money on experiments, here at Gymventures we do the digging for you. Below we took a closer look at some of the best racks out there to make long term squatting feasible as well as many other exercises that most of these racks afford buyers.
Most offer more than just squatting, including bench presses, shoulder presses, and pullups, while other offer much more than that, including dips.Without getting into too much detail beforehand, go ahead and scroll down and read through each of the carefully selected options to find out more for yourself.
Don’t see your favorite one on the list? Drop us a line in the comment section below telling us why it should make the cut! – Team Gymventures
#10 – Squat Rack W/ Bench Safety Stands
- 600 lbs capacity
- 17 bar support adjustments, from 40″ to 72″
- 11 bench safety stand adjustments, from 19″ to 29″
- 10 year warranty on the frame, 90 day warranty on other parts
- Weighs 76 lbs
This squat rack is ideal for bench presses, squats, rows and Crossfit workouts. It comes with inbuilt safety stands to handle fixed bar catches and all varieties of bench presses. The bar supports are fully adjustable in handy 1″ increments. The steel frame is heavy duty, 2” thick with welded side supports.
It has a wide base to increase stability, and can be made even more stable by adding weights to the storage pegs at its rear. This squat rack comes as a single welded together piece of equipment.
Who Makes It?
Atlas is the brand behind the Squat Rack W/ Bench Safety Stands, a company that specializes in low cost home gym equipment. It is a relatively unknown brand that has been gaining fans for its simple, affordable gym gear.
This is a versatile piece of equipment that is lighter and smaller than most full power racks, while still allowing for most of the essential exercises like bench presses, squats, shoulder shrugs and rows. It isn’t tall enough to provide a pull up bar and only holds to 600 lbs so would not suit a serious bodybuilder or weight trainer. It’s solidly made and takes very little effort to assemble.
#9 – Soozier Ultimate Strength Training Power Lifting Cage
- Wide design for ease of movement
- Allows for 15 different positions
- Solid steel construction
- Weight capacity of 330 lbs
- Weighs 110 lbs
The Soozier Ultimate Strength Training Power Rack is a power rack that allows plenty of sideways movement. It’s ideal for squats, shoulder shrugs, bench presses and more, allowing 15 different positions at different heights.
It stands at 82.68″ tall and 49.61″ across so it suits people on the larger side and those who don’t like to feel cramped during their workouts. This power rack needs to be assembled from pieces.
Who Makes It?
The Soozier brand is known for making budget friendly exercise equipment. They’re committed to allowing the everyday exerciser to acquire decent quality gear in order to reach their home fitness goals.
This is a medium size rack at a great price, so it’s ideal if you’re not lifting extremely heavy weights but still want the safety and security of using a power rack. Ideal for those starting out in weight lifting who don’t want to commit to a huge and expensive piece of equipment.
#8 – PowerLine PPR200X Power Rack
- Allows for 18 different positions
- 10 year warranty on the frame
- Two heat tempered liftoffs and two saber-style safety rods
- Comes with a chin up bar
- Weighs 136 lbs
The PowerLine Power Rack is great for squats, shoulder shrugs, bench presses and more. It measures 82″ high and 44″ across. The PowerLine Power Rack is a particularly heavy Power Rack and can stand up to a beating, backed up by a 10 year warranty on the frame and a one year warranty on all other parts.
There are heat tempered liftoffs and two safety rods to reinforce the structure and support heavy use. It comes disassembled in three separate boxes. There are optional extras including J hook attachments, a lateral pulldown piece and plate holders.
Who Makes It?
PowerLine have been operating for over 15 years and aim to make quality strength training equipment so that customers can get fit in their own home. They’re serious about providing home gym equipment in order for people to save money, time and effort by working out at home instead of a gym.
This is a solid contender with good safety features and a great warranty. However, it’s designed for medium weights with a maximum around 600 lbs so wouldn’t suit a serious bodybuilder or weight lifter.
#7 – Titan Power Rack Squat Deadlift HD Lift Cage
- Weighs 107 lbs
- Huge variety with 28 positions
- 700 lbs capacity
- Chin up bar included
- Dip bar attachments included
The Titan T-2 series Power Rack is a new and improved version of the old rack with heaps of safety features and accessories. The Titan Power Rack is solidly constructed with 2″ steel tubes and 1″ round steel J-hooks.
It holds up to 700 lbs and you can trust that it will hold up to some serious use because all Titan products are inspected by Quality Control Engineers. The Titan Power Rack comes with both a chin up bar and dip bar. It stands at 83″ tall and 48″ across.
Who Makes It?
Titan is all about quality fitness equipment, competitive prices and friendly customer service. They’re a small company based in Tennesee that have been making some standout products in the categories of power racks, slam balls, kettlebells and other strength training equipment.
For a relatively light power rack, the Titan T-2 cage holds some serious weight with strong and thick metal that gives you confidence. The addition of a chin up bar and dip bar makes this workout cage extremely versatile and good value for money.
#6 – Deltech Fitness Power Rack/ Squat Rack
- Weighs 190 lbs
- Heavy duty gussets for stability
- 750 lbs capacity
- Comes with chrome chin up bar
- Zinc plated hardware
This is a heavy power rack, sitting at 190 lbs, so you’ll feel confident performing high weight dead lifts, squats, bench presses and more. The Deltech Fitness squat rack comes with quality safety features like heavy duty spotters, solid side gussets for more stability and welding that has been completed to American Welding Society (AWS) specifications.
If that wasn’t enough, the front weight catches have hooks on the inside and outside of the rack. The Deltech Fitness rack has generous proportions, standing at 81″ tall and 55″ across at the widest point.
Who Makes It?
Deltech Fitness specializes in home gym equipment that lasts. They’re committed to strong materials like heavy gauge steel and excellent construction that has been designed to top engineering standards.
This is a solid contender for the best power cages, with excellent quality materials, high grade welding and heavy duty construction. The safety features are also a standout so you’ll have no fear lifting heavy weights on your own.
#5 – Powertec Fitness Workbench Power Rack
- Industrial grade bearings and spring pins
- 1,000 lbs weight capacity
- Chin up bar with 400 lbs weight capacity
- Dip bar with 400 lbs weight capacity
- Highly customizable
The Powertec Fitness Workbench is highly customizable, so you can add a utility bench, olympic set and lat tower. It allows for heaps of exercises thanks to a dip bar with a 400 lbs capacity and chin up bar, also with a 400 lbs capacity. The rack itself can hold a massive 1,000 lbs and comes with an amazing Lifetime Warranty.
All other components like the bearings, pullers, slides and cables come with a two year warranty. If that sounds generous, it’s because of Powertec’s quality construction with thick steel tubing, industrial grade bearings and spring pins, plus high tensile nuts and bolts.
Who Makes It?
Powertec is a leader in the strength industry and have been going strong in the US, Europe and Asia since 1997. Based in California, they create strength equipment that can handle heavy weights without compromising safety or results. Powertec’s equipment is highly customizable, with multiple accessories and add-ons available so that you can create your own home gym that is just as good, if not better, than a commercial gym.
The Powertec weight lifting rack allows for a great variety of exercises thanks to its accessories and customizable nature. It also holds a great deal of weight so suits heavy lifters and those who like to mix up their workouts. Finally, Powertec is known for their heavy duty construction and the Workbench Power Rack is no different with standout materials and overall quality.
#4 – Valor Fitness BD-33 Heavy Duty Power Cage
- 1,000 lbs weight capacity
- Triangular top frame for added support
- Comes with a pull up bar and optional lat pull
- Weighs 155 lb
- Comes with plate storage
You’ll be able to customize your workouts with ease with the Valor Fitness Power Cage. It’s designed as a cross-training power rack that can be adjusted and expanded to fit your workout, from the pegs that allow 8 positions at the top and 13 positions at the base, to the optional Lat Pull Attachment for lat pulldowns, upright rows, standing curls and tricep pulldowns.
This power rack stands at 87″ high and 64″ across, and comes with an adjustable pull up bar, plus steel plate holders that fit both standard and Olympic plates. Add to that a 3 year warranty on the frame, 2 years on the cables and one year on pulleys and other hardware.
Who Makes It?
Valor Fitness was founded in 2006 and is based in Largo, Florida, with distribution centres in California and Texas. It’s a well known fitness brand, providing quality equipment to help you create your ideal home gym.
Valor Fitness makes one of the best power racks around with fantastic adjustability and a generous size. It’s strong, can accommodate advancements in your workouts and has warranties to back it up so you know you’ll be using this Power Cage for years to come.
#3 – Rep Squat Rack with Pull Up Bar – 1,000 lb Capacity
- 10 year warranty on frame and attachments
- 1,000 lbs weight capacity
- Adjustable height of 94″ or 110″
- 11 gauge steel
- Can be bolted to the floor
The Rep Squat Rack is a tall cage, standing at an adjustable 94″ or 110″ tall and 72″ across so big men and women will love it. This squat rack comes with heaps of accessories, including a flat bench, dip bars, chin up bar, weight storage pegs and spotter arms.
It’s made out of heavy duty 11 gauge steel, with a 1,000 lbs weight capacity. Its solid construction is backed up by a massive 10 year warranty on the frame and attachments. The Rep Squat Rack is stable with a 6″ base and can be bolted to the ground for extra confidence. It comes mostly assembled so it’s easy to put together, and weighs 150 lbs when shipped.
Who Makes It?
Rep Fitness is the brand behind the Rep Squat Rack. They’re a USA-based company that creates fitness equipment for Crossfit, weight lifting, gyms and home training. All products are designed for everyday use and are thoroughly tested to stand up to big workouts. The company began in Colorado in 2012 when two brothers wanted to sell quality fitness equipment that they’d buy themselves.
If you want a big-framed, heavy duty cage with a ton of accessories, then the Rep Squat Rack is one of the best on the market. It’s adjustable, strong, high quality and has great warranties. You can’t ask for much more!
#2 – XMark Power Cage with Dip Station and Pull-up Bar
- 24 adjustments
- 11 gauge steel
- 850 lbs weight capacity
- Dip station and pull up bar included
- Weighs 285 lbs
This is XMark’s top of the line power cage, designed to hold heavy weights and provide versatile workouts. The XMark Power Cage comes with a dip station and split grip pull up bar, with options for lat pull-down and low row attachments. It’s 83.1″ high and 48.5″ across and comes with heavy duty pull-pin safety spotters, along with four pairs of U-shaped bar catches for extra confidence when you need it.
Who Makes It?
XMark prides themselves on the quality of their products, from their 11 gauge steel frames to oversized foam rollers and hi-density foam padding. Their hallmarks are attention to detail, ergonomic design and customer service. They’re serious when it comes to serving their customers and helping them improve with good equipment.
XMark are a brand you can put your trust in with their heavyweight approach to fitness equipment. The XMark Power Cage is heavy, solid and sturdy. It comes with the essential attachments and looks great too.
#1 – Cap Barbell Ultimate Power Cage with Performance Pack
- 300 lbs weight capacity on safety bar and catches
- Rubber lined safety spotters and bar catches
- Oversized easy grip pop pins
- 12 and 14 gauge steel
- Shipping weight 150 lbs
The Cap Barbell Ultimate Power Cage stands at a massive 90″ high and 74″ across. It’s designed as an all-inclusive training tool with an 8 position, multi-grip pull up station, a heavy bag hanger, ball target, adjustable dip station, adjustable plyo jump station, loop anchors for resistance band training and water bottle holder.
If that wasn’t enough to get you excited for your next workout, there are 26 safety spotters, 24 bar catches and a whole lot of plate and bar storage.
Who Makes It?
CAP have been a leader in the fitness equipment industry for over 25 years. From humble beginnings with free weights and benches, CAP now provides over 1,000 products for home and commercial gyms.
It doesn’t get better than this. The Cap Barbell Ultimate Power Cage is the ultimate power rack, with huge potential for workouts. Whether you’re into Olympic weights, bench pressing, plyometrics, resistance bands or hitting the bag, this power cage allows you to do it with lots of space and style.
What is a Power Rack?
A power rack, which can also be called a power cage, squat rack or squat cage, is a piece of exercise equipment designed to aid weight lifting. It usually has four vertical metal beams and horizontal bar catchers.
Some may also incorporate bars for pull ups, tricep dips and other exercises. Power racks are useful for barbell lifting and can allow for heavy lifting without the presence of a spotter.
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How to Use Them
Power racks are designed to assists with nearly any barbell exercise, such as squats, deadlifts, Olympic lifts, bench presses and upright rows. They allow the user to work out solo as well as increasing general safety because you can set the safety bars up to catch your barbell if you fail. Power racks that incorporate a bar can be used for chin ups and pull ups too.
It’s important to note that while power racks can be used for isometric exercises, such as bicep curls, this is considered bad gym etiquette because these can easily be completed outside of the squat rack. However, if you have your own power rack at home you can use it for whatever you like!
Power Rack vs. Squat Stand: What’s the Difference?
Power racks and squat stands may look similar at first glance, yet they do have some significant differences. Squat stands are designed almost exclusively for weighted squats and consist of just two adjustable stands that hold your barbell.
In contrast, power racks have four tall beams and are designed for a variety of movements such as squats, bench presses, deadlifts, dips, pull ups and more. Squat stands take up less room and are cheaper, while power racks take up more room and are more expensive, as well as being more versatile.
Power racks are recommended if you are using seriously heavy weights because they are usually stronger and sturdier, plus the lateral safety pins can be set to catch your barbell if you fail.
Common Injuries & How to Avoid Them
C.J. Murphy, Men’s Fitness and Muscle & Fitness advisory board member and owner of Total Performance Sports, explained the most dangerous exercises and common injuries people get from the power rack:
Any gym exercise comes with risks and the potential for injury if not done properly, and the power rack is no different.
Behind the Neck Presses
This was an extremely popular exercise from the 50s onwards and is known for effectively working the shoulders. However, it also puts extreme stress on the rotator cuff and will most likely cause extra problems for those who have compromised posture such as a rounded upper back and hunched shoulders or poor shoulder mobility.
Instead, Murphy recommends standing presses with the bar in front of you for just a strong shoulders, minus the high injury risk.
The power rack is designed for standing or lying down exercises, not sitting. Lifting in a seated position increases pressure in the lumbar area so you risk lower back injuries while adding no benefit at all.
Similar to behind the neck presses, upright rows load the rotator cuff to a dangerous extent. Instead, try high pulls.
The Kipping pull up is a variety of pull up where you use momentum from your legs and hips to propel your body up to the bar. It was made popular by Crossfit but has drawn a lot of criticism for the way it jerks the body around, increases the chance of injury and is considered easier than a traditional pull up.
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While a well executed Kipping pull up can be beneficial, many Crossfit enthusiasts use poor technique in the absence of strength. Murphy advises not to do these if you can’t do a regular pull up. Instead, use a band to help you do a pull up from a dead hang if you’re not yet up to full pull ups.
Benefits of Using a Power Rack
There are three main benefits to using a Power Rack over free weights without one:
Power racks are widely regarded as one of the most versatile piece of gym equipment you can buy. They can work your legs, arms, shoulders, back and more through exercises such as squats, deadlifts, Olympic lifts, bench presses, pull ups, chin ups and upright rows.
This gives you dozens of workout options so you can always mix up your routine and see the best results. Plus you can constantly progress your workout by adding more weight.
Power racks allow someone to train on their own safely by setting the safety bars to the appropriate height. This means you can achieve much heavier weights safely at home, or at the gym when you’re training solo.
Many exercisers want to train a movement, such as a bench press or squat until the point of muscle failure, but this is extremely dangerous if you don’t have a spotter present.
You can get trapped under the bar or have to dump the bar behind you, which can put extreme stress on the body and lead to injury. Power racks solve this problem. As a consequence, training at heavier weights and without a spotter means more training sessions at higher weights that will lead to better results.
Training Weak Links
As strength coach Mike Mahler from Bodybuilding.com writes, power racks are excellent for training the weak links in your weight lifting range of motion. Some people struggle with the first part of a lift, and compensate by using other muscles or pure momentum.
For example, some people struggle with the lowest part of a squat, while others find it most difficult to raise the bar above their head. If we continually avoid working on our weaknesses then the overall performance will be lacking.
Power racks allow you to train the weakest part of your motion, simply by setting the safety bar at the right height so you can train that bottom part of the squat or the last section of the raise.
You’ll realize that this partial motion has been holding you back and certainly it will be a struggle at first. “Stick with it and you will blow your weak link out of the water. Do not make the mistake of avoiding weaknesses. Attack them with full intensity and make your chain strong,” Mahler recommends.
Is it Time to Upgrade to a Power Cage?
Buying a power rack is a major commitment as it will be the biggest piece of equipment in your home gym. As well as that, it can be expensive and takes up a lot of space. Yet a power rack can be your most used piece of equipment, and the one that really gets the results you want.
You’ll know you’re ready for a power rack if you want to add medium to heavy weight lifting to your exercise routine. There’s simply no safer way to start weight lifting on your own than with a power rack. If you’re a serious weight lifter or body builder then a power rack is almost essential for you to get the results you need.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to have huge weight lifting dreams to upgrade to a power rack. If you’ve hit a plateau in your training then a power rack can be just the thing you need to get you motivated again as it allows you to do a huge amount of new exercises to mix up your routine.
If you’ve ever wanted to add weighted squats, deadlifts, Olympic lifts and bench presses to your home workout then buying a power rack is your best and safest option.
Things to Consider When Buying a Good Power Rack
Don’t jump the guy just yet, below are some important questions to ask your self before investing in a power cage for your home gym.
Do you have enough space?
Power racks are one of the biggest pieces of gym equipment you can buy. Most stand at around 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide. However, you’ll need even more room than that. Think about how much height you need to do chin ups and pull ups. You should most definitely measure up the power rack you’re interested in and see if it works in your designated gym room.
But do you really though?
Measure your floor space and your ceiling height and consider how much space you’ll want around the power rack. You need space outside of the rack so you can lower the barbell onto the rack.
You don’t want to be awkwardly shuffling around with heavy weights in your hands. Furthermore, give some space between the power rack and the walls so that it doesn’t rub up against them. Don’t forget that you’ll need room for all the power rack accessories, at least space for barbells and weight plates.
What flooring will you need?
Power racks use stabilizers or can be anchored directly to the floor. Either way, you’re going to want to lay something down to protect your flooring. This is especially true if you’re renting!
Laying down some matting will also reduce noise from dropping barbells and weight plates. Consider some layers of plywood with a layer of heavy carpet on top. Another common option is a few layers of rubber matting that you can usually buy at fitness stores or buy online.
What other equipment will I need to buy?
Try to buy a power rack that comes with everything included to avoid the feeling of disappointment when you finally assemble your power rack, only to realize that you can’t use it yet because you’re missing a few essential pieces.
The essential items are a bench, barbells and weight plates. Then there are some optional accessories, such as pull up bars and storage for your weights and barbells. Decide what’s important to you and the way you work out, then ensure your chosen power racks has it included.
Related: Guide to Common Gym Machines
Is it stable and high quality?
You’ll be placing a lot of trust in your power rack, especially at high weights. It really needs to catch you when you fall. So make sure there is little plastic in the construction and the load capacity is sufficient for you.
Is it the right size for you?
Power racks to come in various sizes, and different sizes work best for different people. If you’re a big person then you’re going to need a bigger power rack just to fit in it, but heavy lifters will also need a bigger and more solid power rack to handle heavy loads. Beware of suspiciously cheap power racks, as these are usually shorter and narrower.
Is the rack easy to use and adjust?
Check that your power rack has removable safety pins that go all the way down the length of the rack so that you have the option do to floor presses. All power racks are different and require different amounts of effort to adjust so it’s advisable to read reviews to find out how easy yours will be to change around.
Does it come with anchor holes?
Some power racks are designed to be relatively stable when they’re free standing but if you’re using yours for chin ups and pull ups you may want to connect your power rack to the floor, so check that you can do that with anchor holes because they’re not a given feature on every power rack.
Does the rack have a stabilizer?
If your Power Rack doesn’t have anchor holes then it should come with a stabilizer. Some people find these annoying if they’re not completely flush to the floor so take a look and see if you’d be annoyed by it.
How is it shipped and how much will it cost?
Keep in mind that your Power Rack is a big piece of equipment. It’s heavy and bulky so start thinking about how you’re going to transport it inside and move it around your house. Does it come in pieces or fully assembled? Also be sure to inquire as to how much shipping is, as it could jack up the price considerably.
Smaller Alternatives to a Power Rack
Squat Rack: A squat rack is a smaller and more open version of a power rack. They don’t usually incorporate pins so are not as safe as power racks but are of course smaller and cheaper.
Squat racks are another small power rack alternative that doesn’t come with safety pins. They have also been known to be unstable and tip.
Half racks are like a shrunken down version of the power rack, standing at half the height, and are therefore much cheaper. These can be a great alternative if you can’t fit a full height squat rack in your room but it also negates the ability to have pull up and chin up bars as part of your setup.
These machines came about as a supposedly safer alternative to free weights and work with a fixed barbell that slides on a fixed rail and can lock into different heights. They have drawn a lot of criticism due to a poor safety record and minimal benefits as the fixed barbell doesn’t work the stabilizing muscles.
Feeling all powered up yet!? We hope the above selection of the best power/squat racks available on the market helped clear up your concerns and pointed you in the right direction.
On your quest to choosing the best rack for you be sure to keep in mind our “things to consider” section of the guide to power racks as you’re looking into one of the options more seriously.
As always, feel free to drop us a line in the comments section below and we’ll do our best to address any questions/concerns you may have in your pursuit of a good squat rack.
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Update Log Activity
- Updated on March 30, 2019 by Ada Lane