A squat stand is a valuable resource in any home gym. After all, squats are one of the best exercises you can do for total body strength.
But finding a quality squat stand for a reasonable price isn't always easy. In this review of the best squat stands for a home gym, I'll explain what makes a squat stand so valuable and reveal several models that would make a great addition to your workout space.
In closing, I'll declare the best squat stand of the group and why it stands out among the competition.
Comparison table of squat stands reviewed
I researched the best squat stands for a home gym and found four of the top stands on the market. These stands are shown in the comparison table below.
You can click on any of the product links to check their current price on Amazon, or click the Read Review link to jump to my detailed review of that particular stand.
Choosing the best stand for your gym setup
Before you jump into a squat stand purchase, it's important to understand the key features that differentiate one stand from another. Squat stand designs don't necessarily follow a specific standard. So it's important to know what makes one design better than another.
There is also some confusion in the industry about what a squat stand actually is (it's sometimes confused with a power rack). In the next few sections, I'll clear up some of the confusion regarding squat stands and reveal some interesting, non-standard squat stand features that you will find on some of the units in this review.
First, let's start with the basics.
What is a squat stand?
A squat stand is a piece of fitness equipment consisting of two vertical posts that support a weightlifting bar (or other type of accessories, as we'll discuss below). Lifters typically use a squat stand to rack and un-rack the bar when performing squats or similar exercises.
Typical squat stand design specifications
Squat stands are almost exclusively made of steel to support heavy loads. The steel frame that forms a stand is usually comprised of either 2"x2" or 2"x3" steel tubes. Weight capacities typically range from 300 lb to 1000 lb.
Some squat stands are one solid piece of equipment with the support stands connected by a base. Other models are comprised of two separate stands that are not connected.
Solid stands typically support heavier weight loads, but as you'll see in the review that's not a hard and fast rule. Stands comprised of dual supports can be more versatile as you can adjust the distance between the posts and store them more easily.
The difference between a squat stand & power rack
A power rack is a bulkier assembly than a squat stand and features four vertical posts that surround the lifter in every direction. This structure forms a sort of cage around the lifter.
Some people feel power racks are a safer option when lifting alone as the metal spotters create better support and provide stabilization in every direction. Power racks also feature more accessories and support more exercises.
But squat stands do not limit you to strictly squats. As you can see in the image below, the BD9 from Valor Fitness also easily support bench presses (with spotter arms to boot).
However, power racks can take up substantially more space than a squat stand (although space-saving power racks can be found if you look hard enough). So, if space is at a premium in your home gym, a squat stand might be more practical.
The value of adding squats to your workout routine
Many fitness coaches and trainers agree that, regardless of your overall fitness goals, squats are a very beneficial exercise (some consider them the king of exercises).
Whether you're trying to build muscle or shed fat, squats can help boost your metabolism and increase muscle mass (not only in the legs but the upper body as well).
An excellent squat routine can also help you develop balance and core strength (without ever having to do with single crunch or sit up). Picking a stable and reliable stand is the first step toward enjoying the benefits of squatting safely at home.
Typical squat stand accessories
Although many squat stands are sold as barebones units, some offer additional accessories that make the stand more versatile. If you look hard enough, you can find a quality stand that comes with several of these add-ons standard.
Here is a list of the most popular squat stand accessories. Every stand in this review includes at least one of these with no additional cost:
The best squat stands for a home gym
All squat stands are not created equal. But each of the stands reviewed below offer something appealing, whether that be price, value, features, or quality.
The best squat stand also doesn't have to be the most expensive. As you'll see below, you can buy a squat stand with lots of cool extras for a very reasonable price.
The Valor Fitness BD-9 squat stand (not to be confused with the BD 7 power rack reviewed here) features a unique free-standing design that makes it a bit more versatile. The individual, free-standing pylons give you more flexibility if you're working in a confined space as you can simply place them closer together.
When not in use, the individual pylons can be nested (stored on top of each other) for efficient storage, making them highly portable and ideal for someone who travels. The 500 lb capacity is about average for this type of stand, and more than adequate for most lifters.
The BD-9 also comes with spotter arms standard. These are a great help if you need to bench press alone as they add a layer of safety that the bar catches cannot.
Pull-ups can be a challenge
One downside of this stand is that, because of the independent pylons, there is no fixed pull-up bar. As a work-around, some customers have reported success increasing the height of the uprights and using the weight bar as a pull-up bar.
This is likely not recommended by the manufacturer though, so try this work-around at your own risk.
What I Like...
Not so much...
The Titan T3 squat stand is a high-end unit with features geared toward more advanced lifters. It features a 1000 lb capacity, 2"x3" steel tubes throughout, HD steel safety spotters, four weight storage pegs, and two pull-up bars of varying width.
That's quite a list of features!
But this is to be expected from a brand like Titan Fitness as they specialize in stable, commercial-grade workout equipment that is gym quality. Awesome customer reviews of the T3 at Amazon show that Titan is a highly reputable manufacturer.
Unique features make the Titan T3 a favorite
Another feature that makes this unit stand out (no pun intended) among the others is its west-side hole spacing pattern. This simply means there are more holes available to secure your spotter arms, thereby increasing your range of motion when using the spotter arms for extra safety.
The dual-pull-up bars are of varying width. The thicker of the bars (2 inch diameter) can really help you increase your grip strength, which can be useful for many different lifts.
Of course, all of these fancy features do come at a cost as this is a premium-priced stand. But if you're looking for a highly stable and versatile stand, and you're willing to pay a few extra bucks, you can't go wrong with the Titan T3.
What I Like...
Not so much...
The Cap Barbell squat stand is a deceptively simple design that offers an impressive array of features out of the box. It is one of the most popular stands on Amazon and offers great value for the price.
But what I like most about this stand is that, for a budget squat stand, it has useful features that most cheaper stands do not. This includes weight storage pegs, a pull-up bar, and anchor holes to secure it to your floor.
The one big drawback of this squat stand is that it only has a low weight capacity of only 300 lb. So if you lift more than that, you'll want to check out the other stands in this review.
If you don't lift heavy, and are looking at a cheaper squat stand for your home gym, this unit from Cap Barbell is a good choice with many, many great reviews.
What I Like...
Not so much...
The Super Open squat stand from TDS is a middle-tier unit that has many features of a high-end rack, but at a more reasonable price point.
For example, like the T3 stand from Titan Fitness, this stand can support a 1000 load capacity. Although, they do encourage you to use the storage pegs to weigh down the unit if you plan on lifting more than 500 lb.
This stand also comes with spotter arms out of the box. However, the spotter arms are not as long as those offered by the T3.
One unique feature of this stand is that has 8 pegs made specifically for attaching fitness bands to the bottom of the unit. These are very useful if you incorporate bands into your workout routine.
What I Like...
Not so much...
My pick for the best squat stand
With its compact size, adequate capacity, and reasonable price, my pick for the best squat stand is the Valor Fitness BD-9.
I love the fact that is comes with almost every feature you could want: weight storage pegs, safety spotter arms, flexible placement, and simple storage.
The ability to adjust the distance between the uprights makes this an ideal squat stand for a home gym.