Anyone who has undertaken any kind of strength training at a gym will be well aware of the squat rack and the benefits it can provide. Despite its name, the squat rack is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment to be found at a gym and as such it can be a worthy investment in your home setup. In fact, a decent squat rack, a bench, a barbell and some weight plates is all you need to provide you with a full body workout.
There are a myriad of options available when it comes to buying a squat rack in the UK and with a variety of choices to make such as whether to buy a half rack, full rack, dip rack, pull up rack and the such like, it can be incredibly difficult to know which type to opt for, let alone which brand to choose.
And we haven’t even started talking about budget yet!
When it comes to costs, so long as you have a budget of £150 to £300 you are likely to be able to find a rack that is suitable to your needs. There are a few things you should consider when buying a squat rack and we will discuss these as part of our top 8 list. If you have further questions then be sure to check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this buyers guide.
Best Squat Racks In The UK
We are focusing predominantly on squat racks that can be found in the UK for our round up and we have tried to include a range of different types of racks. All of these racks are of good quality and should last for years to come. They are listed in order of preference with our favourites at the top of the list.
It is still worth looking through our entire list as some may be better suited to your exact needs.
Mirafit M1 Squat and Dip Rack (Adjustable)
Not only is the Mirafit M1 one of the most versatile squat racks that we tested, it is also one of the most robust. Add to that the fact that it is incredibly affordable and you have yourself a winning combination.
Mirafit are a UK based company with their head offices based in Norfolk. They have been around since 2014 and in that time they have gone from strength to strength and are now regarded as one of the best home fitness suppliers in the UK. The M1 Squat Rack that we tested was the adjustable spotter version (there is a fixed spotter model also available which is a little cheaper) and it is one of the most solid units we tested with some of the best adjustable features of all the models on this list.
The M1 Squat and Dip Rack as the name implies is ideal for squats and dips thanks to the dipping handles being located on the rear of the rack. Although this does give added functionality to the M1, most users will be more interested in the rack functionality and we are pleased to report that it is excellent. The Mirafit M1 can hold a maximum weight of 250kg which is going to be ample for most users, it is fully adjustable in terms of its width, rack height and spotter height and it can be used with standard as well as olympic sized bars.
Setting up the M1 Squat Rack is simple to do and will take minutes rather than hours. The striking black design is complemented by a stylish orange horizontal bar and this squat rack not only performs well but looks the part too. The rack itself is incredibly sturdy thanks to the 50mm strong steel tubular frame and you can make it even more sturdy by adding weight plates to the weight plate holders on the rear of the unit. This is not essential as this feature is mainly designed to improve the storage of your plates but it is useful to have incase of imbalances.
Adjusting the width and height of the rack is really simple and is as easy as removing and replacing the pins. There are 13 different heights for the bar to rest at with 5cms between each setting and there are 7 height settings to choose from for the spotter with the same 5cm gaps between them. The width is also useful to be able to change depending on what exercise you are performing and is especially useful for dips – there are 10 width settings which again have 5cm gaps.
The width of the M1 ranges from 78cm to 123cm whilst the bar height has an impressive range of 93cm to 151cm.
Overall, we found the M1 to be an excellent squat rack with plenty of versatility and loved the affordable price tag that came with it.back to menu ↑
Primal Strength HD Power Rack
Primal Strength make some of the finest commercial grade power racks available in the UK today and their HD Power Rack is no exception. To be fair, this is much more than a squat rack but given that it is available at only a fraction more than some of the outright squat racks that we have reviewed, we thought this Power Rack was worthy of inclusion.
Made from commercial grade, laser cut steel, the frame of the HD Power Rack is able to take a maximum load of at least 600kg, making it one of the most robust and highest weight bearing racks of all those we tested. As a full rack, it has multiple uses which include pull ups, chin ups, dips, squats, pressing and it even has a landmine attachment. There are also additional accessories available to give even greater versatility to this rack such as the lat pull down attachment – making this the ideal companion for a full body workout.
The frame is so impressive and is up to the usual standard found on Primal Strength racks. This is built for commercial use but is affordable enough to be bought for home use – and given it has a lifetime warranty on the frame it is an investment that should pay dividends over the years.
In terms of using it for squats, there are multiple points to place your J-hooks and each J-hook features a rubber inner which means your bars are protected from wear and tear. This rack is fully compatible with olympic and standard bars and it can of course be used with a bench for upper body as well as lower body exercises. For squats, there is plenty of room and you have 4 J-hooks in total so you can place them inside or outside the main rack. There are two spotter arms which can be moved in to an appropriate position and this makes working out alone safe even when lifting heavy weights.
We absolutely loved using the Primal Strength HD rack and so long as you have the space, this is probably the best option for squats in terms of stability and safety of all the models we tested. It measures up at 214.2cm (h) x 159cm (w) x 130cm (l) and should form the centre piece of your home gym.
As a squat rack, this is an excellent piece of equipment. The fact it offers so much more just makes it an even better buy. You won’t regret buying this rack so long as you have the space.back to menu ↑
Vital Gym Squat Rack
These standalone squat rack legs from Vital Gym make this a really easy to use rack for your barbell but also doubles up as a perfect rack for chest press too. Vital Gym are one of our preferred stockists here at Fitness Brain so we were over the moon when we managed to bag ourselves this squat rack for testing purposes. The two independent bases mean that this squat rack can be stored away neatly when not in use and then quickly moved in to the perfect position when needed for a workout.
The Vital Gym model is suitable for olympic barbells as well as standard bars and is completely height adjustable as you would expect. There are two sets of hooks, one that are ideal for squats and the other set that are perfect for bench pressing. The height of the bar rest is adjustable between 97cm and 147cm which is ample for most users and altering the height is quick and easy to do thanks to a simple but effective pin lock system.
We had reservations about the stability of this model from Vital Gym when we first took delivery but each base sits at just under 90cm in width and as such both bases are incredibly stable and provide a perfectly sturdy support for the bar to sit on. There is a maximum weight load of 150kg which should be good for most but if you need more weight for your squats then you may prefer to look at the Mirafit M1 model further down this page.
All in all, this is an excellent squat rack from Vital Gym that offers great versatility and is ideal for bench press, shoulder press and squats.back to menu ↑
GymGear Warrior Folding Wall Rack
The Warrior Folding Wall Rack is an ideal choice of rack for anyone who is limited on space but does have a dedicated position to place their squat rack. It features a unique space saving design which allows the entire rack to fold down and store pretty much completely flat against the wall – and the setup and fold away is a simple process that takes around 10-15 seconds to complete.
The Warrior wall rack is so much more than just a squat rack and offers incredible value for money as well as being big on versatility. The rack features a pull up/chin up bar that can also be used as an anchor point for suspension trainers and the rack supports both standard and olympic barbells with multiple J hook points allowing for a range of exercises including bench press, squats and shoulder press. Almost every aspect of this rack is adjustable with the pull up bar itself having 6 different positions and it can also be removed completely if you so wish.
Despite its design, the Warrior wall rack is extremely stable and features 3mm solid steel to create a 60mm tubular frame with two wall attachment supports and then the final piece of stability being provided by the front section which sits on the floor. You do not need to screw anything in to the floor, but you do need to attach the main frame to the wall and you will need at least 230cm of ceiling height to house the frame.
When folded, the Warrior folding wall rack is unbelievably compact with just an 11cm protrusion from the wall. The width of the frame sits at 128cm when folded which then folds out to create the main frame when you are ready for your workout.
This folding squat rack can be used in commercial settings as well as home settings and is ideal for anyone who needs a squat rack but is struggling for space.back to menu ↑
Jordan Olympic Squat Rack
The Jordan Olympic Squat Rack may look pretty simple but it is a high performer and one of the strongest squat racks we tested. It is a standalone unit and as such it doesn’t require screwing in to the ground which means it can be moved in to an appropriate position for optimum home workouts. If you are looking for a squat rack that you can also use with a bench for even greater versatility then that is possible with the Jordan model.
The strong steel tubing is available in a powder coated black or graphite matte finish with both colours having the same dimensions of 138cm (w) x 145cm (d) x 159.8cm (h) at its highest setting. The main rack hooks are adjustable in height and have a lowest height of 95cm and a maximum height of 159.8cm. The width can also be adjusted and both are easy to change.
We could not find an official maximum weight on the Jordan squat rack but it is fair to say that this model should at least equal The Mirafit M1, if not way surpass it – however, we would always recommend checking this with the manufacturer before using it with heavy weights.
Everything about this squat rack is exceptional. From the build quality to the sturdiness and it can be used with standard bars or olympic bars as the name suggests. It is not cheap, but it is incredibly heavy duty and would not look out of place in a commercial environment and as such is more than ideal for a home based setup.back to menu ↑
DTX Fitness Squat Rack
The DTX Squat Rack is one of the less imposing racks that we tested and although it won’t suit all users it does have its place. The main benefit of this rack is that it doesn’t dominate a space like a full rack but still allows you to perform pull ups and chin ups – making it a pretty versatile option considering the size of it.
This model can be used for squats, bench press, chin ups and pull ups and is surprisingly sturdy even when performing weighted pull ups. There are two storage bars to the rear of the base for weight plates and by adding weight here you are actually making the rack even sturdier.
The DTX Squat Rack measures up at 221cm (h) x 134cm (w) x 119cm (d) and has an impressive maximum weight of 200kg. The maximum recommended weight for pull ups is 120kg but this should still be ample for most users – even those who need to add additional weight to their pull ups.
There are a total of 28 different settings for placing the J-hooks and this makes the squat rack suitable for pretty much all users regardless of height. The J-hooks and rack itself are designed to be used with an olympic bar but a standard bar can also be used if you prefer.
All aspects of this rack are impressive. The only negative is that it unfortunately doesn’t have any spotting arms so you will need a spotter when performing heavy lifts. There is also no way of adjusting the width but to be fair the width of this rack is optimal anyway. The frame is made from heavy duty 50mm tubular steel and as we have mentioned – this is very strong and makes for a very stable construction. User feedback for the DTX rack is excellent and we found it a joy to use – so long as you are happy with a maximum weight of 200kg.back to menu ↑
K-Sport Squat Rack
The K-Sport Squat Rack is a nod back in time to traditional racks but manages to combine this with a modern design and and affordable price that means it is ideal for home use. The K-Sport brand is incredibly popular in Germany and this model in particular has been well received by users in the United Kingdom – which shows thanks to glowing online reviews. There is also a UK based distributor which means shipping is fast and customer service is excellent.
The frame is made from 3mm tubular steel and the triangular frame makes for a very sturdy base. There are 8 built in hooks for racking and these are well spaced out making this rack ideal for squats and pressing movements when combined with a bench. There are no spotter arms on this rack so you are advised to work with a spotter when working with heavy weights – which is something this rack can handle thanks to a maximum weight load of 300kg – more than enough for most users.
This rack is not as tall as some of the others we reviewed so if you are planning on using it in a garage this rack should work well (but always check your ceiling height before ordering). The dimensions of the K-Sport rack are 193.5cm (h) x 114cm (w) x 112cm (d).
Racking and un-racking is easy with this model and it can be used with standard and olympic bars alike. One thing to bear in mind is that when re-racking from a bench press position you should be careful not to do so with too much momentum as the rack can push back slightly if you do this. The easy way to overcome this is to place the rack against a wall or you can bolt it or weigh it down if you don’t want it against the wall.
Overall, the K-Sport rack is an ideal choice that is affordable and has a good maximum weight tolerance. For those with low ceilings it is an ideal choice.back to menu ↑
Hop-Sport Power Cage
The Hop-Sport Power Cage may have a lot more functionality than just allowing you to perform squats but considering the price is comparable to some standalone squat racks we thought it was well worth taking a look at – and considering the affordable price point it stacks up really well against the other models.
If you have space for a full power rack but have been put off by costlier models then this may well be of interest to you. It has multiple positions for the hooks, can be used for pull ups and chin ups, can be combined with a bench for pressing movements and also features spotting arms for added safety. There is a lot to like about this power cage.
The Hop-Sport Power Cage can hold an impressive maximum weight of 300kg and features a strong tubular steel design. The frame is very stable and well made and also has space for weight plates to be stacked to the rear as we see in many power racks. The only aspect of this rack that we were not particularly keen on is the way in which you rack the bar. It is more of a rod than the usual J-hook we are used to and although this works perfectly well it didn’t feel as secure as the J-hook approach.
There are 24 spaces for the racking rods to attach to and the spotting arms can also be moved as required. The range of height for racking is excellent and ranges from 47.5cm to 185.5cm.
All in all, the Hop-Sport rack is a good option for those who need the versatility of a full rack but have a lower budget to work with. A top effort all round!
Squat Rack FAQ’s
Let’s take a look at some of the commonly asked questions when buying a squat rack.
Do You Need A Squat Rack To Squat?
This really depends on your goals. Squatting helps to develop lower body muscles and is particularly useful for helping to develop the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and the glutes. Performing squats also helps to develop your core muscles and as such it is one of the best strength exercises you can undertake.
As we spend a lot of time on our feet, our lower body muscles are pretty well adapted to carrying a good amount of weight which is why we are often able to lift heavier weights with squats than we might be able to do with say a chest press. Lifting heavy does mean that we need to consider safety as an absolute priority and this is where a squat rack comes in.
It is possible to perform body weight squats or other variations such as goblet squats using dumbbells or kettlebells – however by lifting lighter weights you are going to limit the level of progression you can make.
It’s also worth remembering that squats are not just great for building muscle, they are also a great way to burn calories and as such they have a great deal of potential when it comes to burning calories and in turn burning fat long after the workout. Our lower body muscles are much larger than most of the upper body muscles and therefore require more replenishment and repair from our body which is why we would never recommend skipping leg day!
Is a squat rack essential? No. But it is certainly going to help you push those lower body and core muscles to the max.
Should I Buy A Squat Rack?
Buying a squat rack for home workouts really is a personal decision. Full power racks take up a fair amount of space and so you will need to consider your space – although if you are tight for room you could consider a half rack or even a folding rack.
A squat rack can be the ideal purchase for a home gym situation as it can form the focal point of your workout space. The versatility of a full rack can really provide the majority of your workout exercises and so for most the investment is well worth it – plus they are pretty cost effective when compared to more complex equipment such as multi-gyms.
How Much Is A Squat Rack?
Squat racks vary in price but generally can’t be purchased for anything under £100. Most people will opt for half or full racks that are somewhere between the £250 and £800 mark.
Can I Squat On A Smith Machine?
It is possible to squat on a Smith Machine but it isn’t advisable. The main reason we would not advise anyone to squat on a Smith Machine is that the bar path is dictated for you and is not ideally suited to squatting. When squatting you want to move the bar in as close to a vertical path as possible whereas a Smith Machine will take it in a path that is not completely vertical.
By using a Smith Machine you are also not going to be utilising stabiliser muscles to perform the exercise. This means you won’t need to use as much core strength which over time can lead to strength imbalances.