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If you’re trying to build a home gym, one of the most important pieces of equipment to consider is a squat rack. But not everyone has the space for a full rig or power cage.
So what is the best squat rack for small spaces? The best squat rack for small spaces is the Rogue SML-1 70” Monster Lite Squat Stand. It has a small footprint, can fit in garages or basements with low ceilings, and it has a 1,000lb weight capacity. It’s also reasonably priced for a squat rack of its caliber.
In this article, I’ll discuss:
- What you need to consider when buying a squat rack for a small space
- The 7 best compact squat racks
- The features you should look for in a squat rack
Things to Consider When Buying a Squat Rack for a Small Space
Before you purchase a squat rack for a small space, you should consider:
- How much room you have
- What exercises you will use it for
- Your budget
How Much Room You Have
It may sound obvious, but before you start shopping for a squat rack, you should measure your space to ensure you have enough room for it. This will save you some headaches later on if you get a rack that doesn’t fit where you want to put it.
Check out my guide on Can You Put A Squat Rack In An Apartment.
What Exercises You Will Use It For
If you’ll only use your squat rack for squats and bench presses, you can get a simpler squat stand.
If you want to use it for other exercises such as pull-ups, dips, lat pulldowns, tricep pushdowns, or cable rows, you should look for a squat rack that you can add a pull-up bar, matador, or cables or pulley systems to.
A squat rack is one piece of equipment that I don’t recommend getting for the cheapest price.
Inexpensive squat racks are made from low-quality materials and aren’t very sturdy. You’ll outgrow them and have to replace them within a short amount of time.
As I've mentioned elsewhere, there are many pieces of equipment that are unnecessarily expensive, like dip bars and TRX straps, and I recommend many cheaper alternatives. But the squat rack is too fundamental to your workouts that it needs to be built right, and that comes with a price.
Top 7 Squat Racks for Small Spaces
The 7 best squat racks for small spaces are:
- Rogue SML-1 70” Monster Lite Squat Stand – Best Overall Squat Rack for Small Spaces
- PRx Performance Profile Squat Rack – Best Folding Squat Rack
- Rogue RML-90SLIM Door Mount Squat Rack – Best Door Mounted Squat Rack
- Rogue RML-90SLIM Rack – Best Wall-Mounted Squat Rack for Small Spaces
- Rugged Commercial Half Rack – Best Half Rack for Small Spaces
- Fringe Sport One Fit Wonder Power Cage Squat Rack – Best Power Cage for Small Spaces
- Rogue S-1 Squat Stand 2.0 – Best Squat Stand for Low Ceilings
1. Rogue SML-1 70” Monster Lite Squat Stand – Best Overall Squat Rack for Small Spaces
The Rogue SML-1 70” Monster Lite Squat Stand is the best overall squat stand for small spaces because it’s durable, doesn’t require a lot of space, and it fits in rooms with low ceilings. It stands at just 6’ tall and has a 49”x48” footprint.
The SML-1 70” Monster Lite Squat Stand is made from 11-gauge steel, which is considered some of the highest quality steel for squat racks for home gyms. It’s sturdy and can hold more weight than squat racks made with thinner steel.
This squat stand can be bolted to the ground for additional stability, but the mounting feet are sold separately. However, if you aren’t able to or don’t want to drill holes in your floor, the rack is sturdy enough to stand on its own without tipping when you rack or unrack the bar.
A great feature of this squat stand is the Westside hole spacing. There is 1” of hole space in the bench and clean pull zone and 2” of space above and below that zone.
With the Westside hole spacing, you can get more precise placements of the J-cups and safety spotter arms, if you use them. This means you can place the safety arms at exactly the right height to catch a bailed squat or bench press, and you can place the J-cups at the proper height for a bench lift-off.
This squat stand can be moved on its own with some assistance, but you can buy a wheel bracket separately to make it more portable. This would come in handy if you want to tuck the squat stand away when you’re not working out.
- Westside hole spacing for more precise placement of J-cups and spotter arms
- Easy to assemble
- Easy to move to another area or a different room, if needed
- Can’t be used with other accessories such as a matador or plate storage posts
- Other accessories such as spotter arms or mounting feet are sold separately
2. PRx Performance Profile Squat Rack – Best Folding Squat Rack
Folding squat racks are ideal for small spaces because you can fold them away when you’re not using them. The PRx Performance Profile Squat Rack is the best folding squat rack because it only requires 4 inches of space when it’s not in use and it’s easy to fold up or down.
The squat rack has 2×3 11-gauge steel uprights, plastic foot plugs, and four 100lb gas shocks. One of the only major drawbacks of this squat rack is that you need a high ceiling to accommodate it. They recommend at least 108”, but you can install a modified version that only requires 95”.
With the PRx Performance Profile Squat Rack, you can choose between a kipping bar, a multi-grip bar, or a straight pull-up bar.
The kipping bar extends out further from the wall so you have room to do toes-to-bar, muscle-ups, and butterfly pull ups without hitting your head on the wall. I’d recommend this option for anyone who wants to do CrossFit WODs at home.
The multi-grip bar has six different bars that allow you to vary your pull-up grip. You can use a narrow grip, wide grip, or neutral grip (with your hands facing each other). It costs more than the kipping bar and straight pull-up bar, though.
If you’re a recreational lifter, the multi-grip bar probably isn’t necessary, but I’d recommend it if you usually experience elbow pain when doing pull-ups.
A nice feature of all three pull-up bar options is that they all have a powder-coated grip texture. You won’t have to tape the bar or use a lot of chalk to keep your hands from slipping.
For an extra layer of protection on your hands when doing pull-ups, check out the article 7 Best Pull-Up Gloves (Prevent Calluses).
- Heavy-duty gas shocks make it easy to fold and unfold
- Can choose between three different pull-up bar options
- Pull-up bars have a powder-coated grip texture
- Need a ceiling height of at least 108” (but you can install a modified version that only needs 95” of height)
- Only has a weight capacity of 500lbs if you don’t use the pull-up bar
Related Article: 20 Home Fitness Equipment Brands (That We Trust)
3. Rogue RML-90SLIMDM Door Mount Squat Rack – Best Door-Mounted Squat Rack
For individuals with small home gyms who want to use every inch of space efficiently, the Rogue RML-90SLIMDM Door Mount Squat Rack is for you. It fits around most doorways that are 28” – 36” wide and takes up just 5” of space when it’s folded.
The rack comes with four 11-gauge steel stringers that secure it to the door frame. The bottoms are outfitted with UHMW plastic to protect your floors from damage.
What’s nice about this squat rack is you can also use it for incline bench presses by putting the bench partially through the doorway, if needed. Other wall-mounted squat racks don’t always offer enough space to accommodate the angle of the bench.
This squat rack is recommended for use in a doorway where the door opens away from the rack. It can still be used if the door opens towards the rack, but you won’t be able to put a bench in the open doorway. This is also the case if you install the rack in a doorway with stairs on the other side.
When it’s fully extended, the rack sits 13” away from the wall. According to Rogue, you can do kipping movements on the pull-up bar, but I’d advise testing it first to ensure you won’t hit your head on the wall.
If you want to make the rack more versatile, you can also purchase other accessories such as a matador from Rogue’s Monster Lite series.
This squat rack can hold up to 1,000lbs, but depending on how strong the studs on your walls are, you may not want to load the bar with that much weight. It’s recommended to check with a contractor before using it if you’re not sure how much weight your walls can handle.
- Can fit door widths of 28” – 36”
- Westside hole spacing
- Can be used with other accessories from Rogue’s Monster Lite series
- Easy assembly
- Folding and unfolding the rack takes some effort
4. Rogue RML-90SLIM Rack – Best Wall-Mounted Squat Rack for Small Spaces
The Rogue RML-90SLIM Rack is similar to the door-mounted rack, except it is mounted to open wall space instead of around a door frame.
Once it’s installed, the rack extends just 15” from the wall. This model isn’t foldable, but since it doesn’t take up too much space, you can still fit it into tight spaces.
The rack consists of two 3×3” uprights with 11-gauge American and Canadian steel. Like the other Rogue squat stands on this list, it has UHMW plastic on the bottom to protect your floors. The J-cups it comes with are lined with the same material to prevent damage to the knurling on your barbell.
With this rack, you can choose either a bracket mount or a crossmember mount. The crossmember mount allows you to add accessories to the rack, such as a bar holder or plate storage post.
The crossmember mount costs more, but it’s a small price difference. I’d recommend getting it so you have additional storage options that can save you even more space.
This rack also comes with an optional pull-up bar and stringers. You have to pay extra for them, but if you have the budget, I recommend getting these add-ons for more versatility and stability.
One of the only major drawbacks to this rack is that you can’t do incline bench presses because there isn’t enough space from the back of the wall to accommodate an adjustable bench.
- Slim profile that only extends 15” from the wall
- Westside hole spacing
- Can be used with other products from Rogue’s Monster Lite series
- Crossmember mount installation allows you to add extra storage solutions
- Pull-up bar and additional stringers aren’t included in the base price
- Can’t use an adjustable bench
5. Rugged Commercial Half Rack – Best Half Rack for Small Spaces
With a footprint of only 50” x 52”, the Rugged Commercial Half Rack is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a more advanced squat stand but doesn’t have the space for a full power cage.
This half rack is comparable to some of the more widely recognized brand names with its 1,000lb capacity, black powdercoat finish, and Westside hole spacing.
The Rugged Commercial Half Rack comes with spotter arms, which is a nice feature if you’re budget-conscious and don’t want to spend extra money on additional equipment.
If you’re really tight on space, you can purchase weight horns that attach to the rack and keep your plates out of the way. They’re inexpensive, so I’d recommend picking up a pair if you need a storage solution for your plates.
- Westside hole spacing
- Spotter arms are included
- Comes with a lifetime in-home warranty
- Delivery can take up to two weeks
- Need two people for assembly
6. Fringe Sport One Fit Wonder Power Cage Squat Rack – Best Power Cage for Small Spaces
Although power cages take up more space than squat stands, cages such as the Fringe Sport One Fit Wonder Power Cage Squat Rack work well for small spaces.
The power cage has a 47”x51.5” footprint and stands at 91” tall. It comes with safety pins that you can adjust to the proper height for catching failed squats or bench presses. You can also use them for rack pulls.
This power cage comes with two pairs of J-cups. I can’t think of a reason why you’d use two sets of J-cups at the same time, but it’s nice to have an extra pair in case you need them. The J-cups are lined with UHMW to protect the knurling of your barbell.
Fringe Sport recommends bolting the rack to the floor for additional stability. If that’s not an option for you, you can weigh it down with 50-lb sandbags.
- Comes with two sets of J-cups
- Has a small footprint
- Safety pins are included
- Needs to be bolted to the floor or secured with sandbags
7. Rogue S-1 Squat Stand 2.0 – Best Squat Stand for Low Ceilings
Standing at just over 70” tall, the Rogue S-1 Squat Stand 2.0 is the best squat stand for rooms with low ceilings.
Weighing just 95lbs, this squat stand weighs significantly less than Rogue’s other squat racks. It only has a 500lb weight capacity, so it can be limiting if your squat is higher than that.
But it’s still sturdy enough for at-home use, and the weight capacity is more than enough for beginners and most recreational lifters.
The Echo Squat Stand 2.0 is Rogue’s most barebones squat stand. You can’t add accessories such as a matador or pull-up bar to it. But if you need a small squat stand just for squats and bench presses, it will perform well and will last for years.
It also has plastic feet that not only protect your floors but make it easy to slide around if you need to move it when you’re not using it.
This is Rogue’s most cost-effective squat stand, so it’s also an excellent option for anyone on a budget. However, due to the low height, it might not be ideal for tall lifters.
- Reasonably priced
- Easy assembly
- Has a small footprint
- Only has a 500lb weight capacity
- Not ideal for tall lifters
- Not compatible with other accessories
Related Article: Squat Rack vs Power Rack: Differences, Pros, Cons
Choosing a Squat Rack for a Small Space: Buyers Guide
The features you should look for when buying a space saving squat rack are:
- Weight capacity
- Safety mechanisms
Even if you’re just starting out or have no plans to compete in powerlifting or weightlifting, choosing a squat rack with a high weight capacity will pay off in the long run.
I recommend getting a squat rack with a weight capacity of at least 500lbs for beginners or recreational lifters and 1,000lbs for competitive lifters.
A squat rack should be able to handle heavy weight without tipping over or breaking, which can cause injuries or damage your living space.
Many squat racks can be bolted to the floor, which makes them more secure and keeps them upright when racking and unracking the bar.
If you can’t bolt the rack to the floor, you may be able to get plate storage posts or extended feet to help make it more stable. You can also secure the rack in place with sandbags.
If you decide to get a squat stand instead of a power cage, I recommend getting one that you can attach spotter arms to, especially if you train alone.
Spotter arms not only protect you from injuries if you have to bail a lift, they also give you a boost of confidence. It can help you overcome any mental blocks you may get when going for a new PR or doing sets of max reps.
Some heavy-duty racks are made from 7-gauge steel, but this isn’t necessary for most home gyms. Squat racks that are made from 11-gauge steel are durable enough for a home gym, whether you’re a competitive or recreational lifter.
Squat racks with anything thinner than 12-gauge steel (the higher the number, the thinner the steel) aren’t worth it, since they can’t handle as much weight and are more likely to break.
Related Article: Best Gym Clocks & Timers (Bought & Tested 7 Different Types)
The Rogue SML-1 70” Monster Lite Squat Stand is the best squat stand for small spaces due to its durability, high weight capacity, small footprint, and reasonable price. It’s also easy to move if you ever need to transition it to a different area.
Both of these squat racks can accommodate small spaces and offer the added benefit of being able to do additional exercises such as pull-ups, toes-to-bar, and muscle-ups.
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About The Author
Amanda is a writer and editor in the fitness and nutrition industries. Growing up in a family that loved sports, she learned the importance of staying active from a young age. She started CrossFit in 2015, which led to her interest in powerlifting and weightlifting. She's passionate about helping women overcome their fear of lifting weights and teaching them how to fuel their bodies properly. When she's not training in her garage gym or working, you can find her drinking coffee, walking her dog, or indulging in one too many pieces of chocolate.