Squat racks are a great piece exercise gear but most of them do take up a lot of space. For folks like me living in apartments or small spaces, this represents a problem. This is why I review equipment such as the best compact elliptical for small spaces. Fortunately, there are now compact squat racks with small footprints. There are even wall mount versions that have zero foot print on the ground! Let’s look at what models are these and which small squat rack is the best for the money.
What to look for
When buying compact squat rack for your home gym, do remember there is a trade off to be made. Most of the time, the smaller foot print comes at the cost of less stability as well as functions. They are not deal killers but something you should note when doing the evaluation. Below is what I would look for:
- Stability: Don’t expect the same level of stability as a full blown home gym. However, it is still important to be sure that the squat rack wouldn’t wobble to the point of being dangerous
- Height: Since most of these compact squat racks are smaller in built, make sure their height extension is sufficient for your height
- Workout types: Look out for the type of workouts that you can do on these machines and make sure what you want is available in the squat rack you are buying
- Space requirement: I assume you already have some space constraint which is why you are looking for such small squat rack in the first place. Even though the models reviewed here are rather compact, do double check on their dimensions to make sure you can use them comfortably in your apartment
Best small foot print squat racks review
We will start off with reviewing the best compact squat racks that have a small foot print. These are not easily found because most racks have the ‘box’ design that takes up wide spaces when in use. They are not easily stored away so most will not be.
Valor Fitness BD-9 review
A squat rack with small footprint is Valor Fitness’s BD-9 model. It is really space saving as you can see from the image on the left. The beautiful thing is that it has an adjustable base. When you want a larger footprint for more stability, it can be done via a simple adjustment. Otherwise, it can maintain its small footprint.
Unlike the Powerline squat rack below, this model has no problem with the height extension. Even if you are 6″6, you can get an effective workout. The problem is actually with folks who are shorter. Specifically, if you are below 5″10, you might have a problem reaching the bars.
The Valor Fitness has a number of models but this is the best for the money because (i) there is height extension as mentioned above and (ii) plenty of plate storage capability. The set also includes a separate bench press that makes it convenient for those who want to do bench presses. Finally, there are safety catches that, when used correctly can be very useful to configure the rack for different workout options.
The only downside is that it can wobble a bit when compared to the $1000 dollar home gyms. That is to be expected for small and compact squat racks. Fortunately, the wobble is only for left to right movement and doesn’t affect your performance on squats and bench presses.
At the end of the day, the Valor Fitness is probably one of the best options for folks looking for space saving squat rack. It is high quality, has various configurations for different workouts and feels very stable when using.
Powerline squat rack review
The powerline squat rack has one of the smallest foot print as evident by the image on the left. For small apartments, this is a pretty ideal rack to have.
The quality itself is good and is versatile enough to do enough type of weight lifting exercises. The versatility comes from the wide columns that has enough space for you to do different things. Assembly the rack is easy enough. Just screw the four bolts once everything is in place and you are done. Compared to this to the assembly for the under 100o home gyms and you can see the difference in the efforts needed.
For tall folks, do note that this squat rack maximum extension can only accommodates up to 6″ feet. After which, you will need to bend your knees to do the weights. Speaking of which, the rack doesn’t come with weights as they are a separate purchase.
Another minor drawback is that the rack is pretty light and as such, tends to move around easily. This will usually not be an usual if you are not a heavy weight trainer. If you are, you will need to adjust your usual way of approaching the rack so you might surprised at certain ways the rack can move or make you lose your grip.
Overall, the powerline squat rack is great for home use. It has a small foot print but solid quality.
Best wall mounted squat racks review
Another way to avoid any footprint is to use a wall mounted squat rack. While these racks are not as configurable as the ones highlighted above, they are definitely compact and wouldn’t take any space from your floor area.
Titan fitness wall mounted squat rack review
Titan Fitness T3 foldable squat rack is a thing of quality and functionality. Being a wall mounted rack, my initial expectation is that you can only a couple of workouts such as pullup or squats. Well, after trying it on, it exceed my expectations as it is a useful piece of gear that can do a lot of what home gyms that cost a lot more can do.
The material is heavy duty steel with very strong stability. Doing pull ups on it wouldn’t shake like I imagine it would be. Even if you load 500 lbs onto it, it still wouldn’t wobble.
Space efficiency wise, it is very compact when stored away. All you need to do is to remove the pull up bar and swing the 2 columns either to the left or right. They will then lay flat along the wall and wouldn’t take up any floor space at all. This is as space saving as you can get.
The big drawback is the assembly. It comes with very vague instructions which is likely to confuse the non experienced folks. Since this rack requires wall mounting, it can be a bit troublesome for those who not familiar with DIY projects. If that is the case, I suggest getting some professional help to save you headaches down the road.
Finding the most compact squat rack for home gym that is space saving is not easy. I have picked 3 models that do exactly that. They are also highly rated racks that have quality finishing, performs up to expectations and are rather affordable.