A home gym will never be complete without a proper squat rack.
With so many options available, picking one out can be a daunting task.
If you are looking for a squat rack that comes with a pull up bar, you are at the right place. If you are instead looking for a power rack with a pull up bar, you are also at the right place! This article will explain the difference and point you in the right direction. It will provide everything you need to make a safe and confident purchase.
Let’s first take a look at the top reviewed squat racks and power racks with pull up bars. After that, we will explain the difference between the two, the benefits of squatting, and what you should look for in a good squat rack.
In a rush? Here are our top pics!
Best Squat Racks With Pull Up Bars!
The CAP Barbell Power Rack is without a doubt one of the best squat racks with pull up bars. While marketed as a power rack, it is actually a squat rack/stand. It is nicely constructed and is the best priced rack on our list.
This squat rack is best for beginners on a budget. It comes in orange (as shown to the right) and grey.
Build Quality: The build quality of this stand is superb. It stands 85 inches high, 50 inches wide, and 46 inches deep. The steel construction is comprised of 12 and 14 gauge thickness and is 3 step powder coated.
This makes the steel very durable fairly scratch proof. All open ends are capped to prevent oxidation (a common issue with other stands).
The most important thing I look for in a stand is that it doesn’t wobble. Wobbling is prevented in the CAP Rack because structure uprights are double gusseted and all tube seams are nicely welded.
Weight Capacity: One downside I found is that the stand can only support up to 300 lbs. This shouldn’t be an issue for bench pressing. But as for squatting, most serious lifters are able to break the 315 lb mark. The issue with weight capacity really depends on the type of lifter you are.
NOTE: This is only what the company suggests. Most customers were able to exceed this capacity and claimed that it wasn’t an issue so long as you don’t slam the weight on the barbel catch.
Rack Weight: At 65.00 lbs, this is one of the lightest racks on our list and moving it around will not be an issue.
The CAP Power Rack is very versatile. In addition to barbell exercises, it can be used as a body weight station or as a resistance training tool.
Adjustable Levels: The barbell catch can be adjusted to many levels to allow for different barbell presses such as a military and bench press.
Pull-up bar: The overhead workout bar is reinforced and great for doing a variety of pull-ups.
Folding: This stand has no fordable parts.
This rack is the most affordable on our list. In my opinion, its amazing price negates allot of the downsides you will find. Click below for an updated price.
- Construction: Very solid build quality. Weighs only 65 lbs making it very easy to move around.
- Price: This is the best priced rack available. Most customers purchased this stand simply for its unbeatable price tag.
- Solid pull up bar: Comes with a reinforced overhead workout bar that is great for doing a variety of pull-ups and bodyweight exercises. For swinging movements, plates can be used to weigh down the rack.
- Easy to assemble: Customers enjoyed the ease of assembly. It takes about an hour and a half to assemble and all tools are available.
- Versatility: Great for doing squats, bench pressing, military pressing, pull-ups, and free weight body exercises.
- Weight Capacity: Can be a major con depending on the type of lifter you are. The official weight capacity is 300 lbs. Allot of customers claimed to exceed this capacity with zero issues so long as they didn’t slam the weight on the barbell catch.
- Feels Shaky: This stand is not good for doing kipping pull-ups and other swinging movements. Wobbling can be alleviated by weighing the stand down but this turned off a lot of customers
If you are a serious lifter seeking a squat rack with no limitation, look no further than the HulkFit Multi-Function Adjustable Power Rack. Unlike the CAP Power Rack, it has a high weight capacity and can support up to 800 lbs!
Even more impressive is its ability to support a safety bar. This is a feature that is typically only found in power racks.
For a squat stand to include this is simply amazing. Its comes in a cool yellow and black finish as shown to the right.
Build Quality: The build quality is, of course, exceptional. What else can you expect from a machine that can support this much weight? The heavy duty square steel frame construction, along with the wide H-base, results in amazing stability. Two plate holders are provided if extra stability is needed.
Weight Capacity: This rack can support up to 800 lbs.
Rack Weight: It stands 81 inches tall, 44 inches wide, 46 inches deep and weighs 110 pounds. It’s about twice as heavy as the CAP although no customers complained that it was to heavy.
Adjustable Levels: The pull up bars are adjustable with 7 different positions. Lifters as short as 5 feet tall should have no problem reaching it. The barbel catch and the safety bars can also be adjusted at any position along the structure uprights.
Pull-up Bars: Unlike with the CAP, this rack comes with two pull-up bars at different diameters.
Folding: This stand has no foldable parts.
Additional features: Bar dips are included and can be attached to the outside of the safety bar. The safety bar itself is unusually long for a squat stand (which is great for safety) and customers really emphasized its effectiveness and stability. It also comes with 2 heavy duty J-cups.
Even at more than twice the price of the CAP stand, this is still an excellent value. As a matter of fact, almost all customers claimed that they expected far less and where blown away by the quality. Click below for an updated price.
- Weight Capacity: This rack can easily support up to 800 lbs.
- Extremely effective safety bars with dip handles.
- Two pull-up bars (different diameters) and dip handles. Customers experienced zero wobble even when doing swinging movements such as kipping/Crossfit pull-ups.
- Easy installation: One customer was able to set it up in less than 15 minutes!
- Great value: Many customers claimed that they expected allot less for what they paid. Don’t let the price fool you. You are getting a professional grade stand!
- Aesthetics: One of the best looking racks available. Customers really appreciated the yellow and black finish.
- A few customers complained about the condition that the shipping box came in.
The T-3 Series Tall Folding Power Rack is an excellent option if you are tight on space. It is designed to fold upright against the wall to conserve as much room as possible.
A foldable option is usually not ideal for squat racks. While collapsible/foldable features seem like a great addition, they compromise safety. However, The T-3 series is a big exception as it constructed properly and is bolted into the wall.
Titan is one of my favorite gym equipment companies and will make a few appearances when we discuss power racks (AKA squat cages). The difference between a power rack and a squat rack will be discussed below.
The Titan T-3 Series is the single best foldable squat rack on the market. It is a durable machine that can support up to 1,100 lbs! Not only is it durable but also nicely designed and has a minimalistic feel.
It is however relatively tricky to install but you can find a bunch of videos on YouTube to guide you through. Most customers experienced no major issues but it’s worth mentioning. Again, the instillation is only complicated as compared to the other racks. Overall you should have no problems.
Build Quality: This rack stands 91” high, 50” wide, and 21.5” deep. When folded it lies completely flat on the wall. 11 gauge 2″ x 3″ steel tubes are used throughout the rack. While not as thick as the steel used in the previous racks, stability is not compromised as it is nicely bolted in the walls.
All the parts are laser cut so won’t experience an issue with excess steel shavings. Laser cutting, as opposed to plasma cutting, has the advantage of hardening the outer edges of the material and produces a smooth finish. The parts also have a heavy powder coat making them scratch resistant and long lasting.
Weight Capacity: Unbelievable! The weight capacity of this machine is 1,100 lbs. It is safe to assume that you will never be restricted in this category. Unless of course you are Brian Shaw.
Rack Weight: Not really relevant as the rack is meant to stay in place. But if you are wondering, it weighs only 150 lbs.
Adjustable Levels: More than enough adjustable positions are available. They are also closely spaced so you can find the optimal height. To the side of the structure uprights you will find 6″ side hole spacing to add T-3 accessories and versatility to your rack!
Pull-up Bar: The pull up bar is 2″ in diameter. The pin system allows you to quickly remove it to fold the rack.
Folding: This is the only rack I found that is both foldable and safe to us. The folding mechanism is top class and takes nothing away from stability.
Extra features: Included 4 J-Hooks! Most racks come with two at most.
Allot of customers mentioned the price as its best feature. You are paying half the price of a high end stands and missing out on absolutely nothing. Makes me wonder why people even purchase the “high end” stands in the first place. Click the button to below for an updated price (and look out for free shipping!)
- The only foldable squat rack with a pull up bar that is actually stable and safe to use
- Excellent build quality: Uses 11 gauge steel that is laser cut and powder coated.
- Comes with 4 J-Hooks (most racks comes with two at most)
- Stable and will not wobble as it is nicely bolted in the wall.
- Highest weight capacity on out list: Can support up to 1,100 pounds!
- More than half the price of the “high end” stands.
- Relatively tricky to install: You can find allot of resourced on YouTube to guide you through. The instructions manual isn’t that great and confused a few customers. The brackets have no play so you have to take your time and make sure the arms are perfectly leveled.
- Although the steel is powder coated, it still scratches up easily.
- DOES NOT COME WITH MOUNTING HARDWARE. You need to purchase your own 2x8s, bolts, drill bits, and washers.
The Valor Fitness Pro is an absolute beast of a machine. It originally didn’t make the list as it was just too expensive. With some additional research, it became evident that it is perfect for a specific audience— those looking to make an investment into a squat rack that will last a very, very long time.
As opposed to the other squat racks, this one is built upon four durable structure uprights. This will, at the very least, double its lifetime and make it as stable as a stand can get.
Other things that set it apart is a more advanced pull-up bar, the inclusion of plate holders and a barbell holder, and an extra long safety support bar.
It also comes with a 5-year warranty that is actually valid even when used in a light-commercial environment. This tells us a lot. If the company feels safe insuring it for 5 years in a commercial environment, it will surely last a lifetime in a home-gym environment.
If it wasn’t for this list’s high priority on affordability, this rack would have made it to the top. If price is not a limiting factor for you, this is certainly the best squat rack (with pull up bars) for 2019!
Build Quality: The frame of Valor Fitness PRO is built from 11 gauge steel and sits upon the widest and H-base support (50.25″ wide by 53.5″ deep) of any stand on this list. The main structure uprights are further supported by two additional uprights which contain 6 storage pegs.
This results a hybrid of sorts. As Valor Fitness puts it, “ [it] provides the rugged feel of a RIG, with the functionality of a Power Rack station”.
Weight Capacity: This rack is rated for 1,000 lbs. More than enough for even the strongest powerlifters.
Rack Weight: This rack weighs 270 lbs and has dimensions of 85″ x 72″ x 53″ (including the plate pegs on the side).
Pull-up Bars: At the top rack you will find an excellent multi-grip pull up station with 6 different grips to allow for a wide variety of pull-ups. This is the best pull-up station of any squat rack available and is something only seen in expensive power cages.
Folding: No foldable parts.
Extra features: The safety bar is extra long at 23” yet very stable. Four band pegs allow you to attach resistance bands to make your workouts a little more challenging. Another excellent feature is the storage capacity. It comes with 6 long storage pegs for weights and two barbell holders to make for a safe and clean home-gym environment.
The rack will set you back about twice as much as others but is guaranteed to outlast them. This is a true investment for your home-gym and will never need replacing. Click below for an updated price.
- Best build quality of any squat rack on the market. The main structure uprights are reinforced with two additional and sits upon a very wide H-Base, resulting in power cage level stability and safety.
- Extra long support bars. Resistance bands can be attached to them to make you workouts even more challenging.
- 1,000 lb weight capacity
- 6 storage pegs and two Olympic barbell holders.
- 5 year warranty.
- Comes at a hefty, yet completely justifiable price.
Let’s say you really like the CAP Barbell Power Rack Exercise Stand. You appreciate its simplicity and the price tag fits your budget.
But you are put off by the stability issue and want something constructed better. You would like to do swinging body-weight exercises without feeling like that stand is going to fall apart and are willing to pay a little extra for this.
Enter the Body Champ PBC530 Power Rack System. A rack that is almost identical to the CAP stand but has a little more features. It is rated slightly higher by customers and is priced about $30 more. T
he main difference is that it has an additional support bars to hold the uprights in place and comes with two pairs of adjustable bar holders. All other specs are identical to that of the CAP. Click the button below for more information and to check for the best price.
What Is a Squat?
A squat racks, as implied by its name, is primarily used for squats. But what is a squat anyways?
A squat is a full body exercise used in strength training and bodybuilding. It is often labeled as a lower body exercise and places emphasis on the muscles of the buttocks, hips, thighs, quadriceps, calves, and lower back. To perform a squat, start by standing up straight with feet shoulder width apart. Keep your back straight, contract your abs, and bend your legs. Lower your position until your thighs are approximately parallel with the ground.
What Are the Benefits of a Squat?
If I had to pick one exercise to do for the rest of my life, it would be the squat! The squat is beneficial for so many reasons. Firstly, it simultaneously activities almost every major muscle group in the body. More importantly, it is an excellent functional exercise. Meaning that it will train your muscles to work in unison and help with everyday tasks and in all sports.
Squats are the single best exercise to help build athletic performance. It will increase your explosiveness by developing your hip extension strength. What other exercise do you see nearly all athletes from bodybuilders, to Olympic sprinters, to tennis players, performing?
This is because squats not only increase your ability to produce power but they also increase your ability to absorb it. If you are a bodybuilder or a power-lifter, you may have noticed the effect squatting has on other lifts. The squat is a excellent exercise for developing core strength which translates to improvements in other lifts.
Squats target the core muscles in a unique way in that they force your core to work extra hard to support your upper body. Finally, squatting can induce growth hormone and testosterone release (Craig, B., Brown, R., & Everhart, J. ,1989). While this is true for all exercises, the effect is proportional to the level of stress induced which is greatest with squats.
One of the best tips I can provide for improving your squats (along with almost every other lift) is to use a proper pair of weightlifting shoes. Picking out a pair can be difficult. You might not know what to look for and the amount of options can be overwhelming. I have done all the hard work for you and compiled a list of the best weightlifting shoes for 2019. Please click here to check out the guide.
What Is the Difference Between a Power Rack and a Squat Rack?
First, an important distinction should be made. Allot of lifters use the the two terms interchangeably but there is a big difference between a squat rack and a power rack/cage. In general, a squat rack (otherwise known as a squat stand) is specific for squatting.
Although doing other exercises (such as the bench press and military press) is still possible, it is not suggested as there is no safety/support bar to catch the weight. But there are some exceptional squat racks that come safety bars. Squat racks provide a single barbell catch (the position where the barbell rests before a lift) and sometimes a safety bar and a pull up bar. They typically have only two uprights which stand upon an H-base. Here is a typical example of a squat stand, the CAP Barbell Power Rack Exercise Stand:
As you can see, it comes with a single barbell catch, a pull up bar, and no support racks. Here is a typical power rack (Popsport Power Rack);
Power Racks, on the other hand, are designed with maximum safety and stability in mind. Instead of two structure uprights connected to an H-base, they are built with four vertical uprights which are connected both to each other and to the base.
Two adjustable safety bars are connected to the uprights and make squatting, bench pressing, military pressing, and any other barbell exercise safe to do alone and in comfort of your home. Some squat stands come with a safety bars (see HulkFit Multi-Function Adjustable Power Rack above) but they are connected to only one upright and will never be as safe as when connected to two uprights.
Power cages almost always include a pull-up bar, multiple barbell catches, and plate holders.
- Inexpensive: Relative to power racks, squat stands are much cheaper. You cant expect to pay about half the price of a power rack.
- Save space: If you are working with little space, a squat stand is a better option. They are less bulky and can fit into tight corners of your gym.
- Lightweight: Squat stands are very light and mobile. You can move them around easily when rearranging your gym. Or you can store them somewhere and take them out when needed.
- Less Safe: Most squat stands come with no safety bars. If they do, they will be connected to only one upright and will never be as safe as when connected to two uprights (as seen in power cages).
- Less versatile: With a power rack, you can perform a whole range of exercises safely. For instance, you can adjust the level of the barbell catch, position a bench inside the cage, and perform a bench press.
Why should I purchase a Squat Rack/Power Rack?
Power Racks are designed with maximum safety and stability in mind. Instead of two structure uprights connected to an H-base, they are built with four vertical uprights which are connected both to each other and to the base. Two adjustable safety bars are connected to the uprights and make squatting, bench pressing, military pressing, and any other barbell exercise safe to do alone and in comfort of your home.
Some squat stands come with a safety bars (see HulkFit Multi-Function Adjustable Power Rack above) but they are connected to only one upright and will never be as safe as when connected to two uprights. Power cages almost always include a pull-up bar, multiple barbell catches, and plate holders.
A squat rack is simply a brilliant piece of equipment to own. Think of it as a mechanical spotter for all your free weight barbell exercises. If I had to pick a single piece of equipment for my at-home gym, it would certainly be a squat/power rack. It will allow you to safely target every single muscle group in the body.
The key here is safety. Let’s say you are alone in your home gym and going for a military press PR. What happens if you get stuck half way into the lift? Sure, you can drop the barbell. But that will absolutely destroy your floor. Depending on the type of rack you choose to purchase, you can set up a safety support bar at a comfortable level and re-rack the weight.
The same goes for all other exercises. If you you want to squat heavy weight and without a spotter, simply set up a support bar so that when you squat all the way down the barbell hovers an inch or two over it. Can’t complete the lift? Just go back down slowly and rack the weight. But make sure the support bar isn’t too low so you don’t hurt your back!
You don’t need a dedicated machine for every workout. A traditional bench press machine is unnecessary when you have a squat rack. All you need is is a sturdy bench (preferably one with adjustable positions) and voila, you can now do flat and incline barbell presses! A
s a matter of fact, I prefer to bench press inside a squat rack so that I can drop the weight on a safety support bar during a failed rep. Another great thing you can do is the Bulldozer Bench Press where you rest the bar for a few seconds before pressing again. If you don’t already own a bench, check out the Fitness Reality 1000 Super Max Weight Bench. It is one of the highest rated and best selling benches presses around.
What Should I Look For In A Squat Rack?
Lets define the metrics I use to rate both squat racks and power racks. This is what you should look for in a squat rack:
- Construction. With safety being the primary function of a squat rack, a big emphasis will be placed on how it is constructed.
- Build Quality: A good squat rack should be built from strong solid materials and should have very little wobble.
- Weight Capacity. A good squat rack should have a relativity high weight capacity (anything around 700 lbs is good)
- Rack Weight: Most squat racks and designed to be movable and thus weight is important. This is less irrelevant for power racks as they are not meant to be moved.
- Adjustable Levels: It should have plenty of adjustable levels for the safety bars and barbel catch. The safety bars must have some sort of locking mechanism.
- Pull-up Bars: For the purposes of this guide, a good squat rack should come with at least one pull up bar. Ideally the pull up bar should allow for different variations such as wide and neutral grip pull ups.
- Folding: While collapsible/fordable features seem like a great addition, they compromise safety and therefore will drop a racks rating.
- Extra features: Additional features such as a support bar, dip handles, and plate holders.
Price: With cost being a big incentive for purchasing a squat rack, it will receive more emphasis than for power racks.
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