When buying a half rack for your home gym, figuring out the best rack and some features that are a must can be pretty challenging. In this guide, we take a look at some of the best half-racks for your home gym.
A half rack is a piece of gym equipment that is less wide and box-like than a full rack. Despite this, they consist of a solid base and usually have two metal bars that extend quite high, allowing you to use it however you want. A full rack, in most cases, would have four metal bars extending upwards, hence the name “half-rack”.
Why choose a half-rack instead of a full rack?
Many people find choosing between a half rack and a full rack quite tricky, but every person in this situation will have a different reason for choosing one or the other. In most cases, full racks are often twice the size and bulkier when compared to half racks.
As we mentioned above, a half-rack, compared to a full rack, is a lot less wide. Full racks feature four posts (or more) that tower to the top and therefore need to be wider to fit them all into one base. Because of this, many people opt for a half-rack if they don’t quite have the space for a full-sized rack unit. If you are pushed for space, then buying a half rack can be beneficial for space-saving.
Some other pros to having a half rack in your home can be quite vast. As we’ve already mentioned the space, you’re also saving money. Half racks are considerably cheaper than full racks as there is less metal and less production needed to create them.
Because of these half racks’ simple and sturdy designs, you’re also not limited by what exercise you can do. Many full rack or full cages are limited to whatever can fit in or in-between the rack. This allows you to exercise both in and outside of your half-rack, where you might not be able to with a full rack.
- Less Space for your Home Gym
- Usually less expensive compared to full rack units.
- Exercises are not limited and allow for more flexibility within the rack.
- Security Bars are usually not included with half racks.
- Exercises are limited by weight (or supported weight that a full rack could deal with)
- Build Quality and Stability can sometimes be affected due to more stress on the metal joints.
Our Picks & Detailed Reviews
Below are some of our best picks for half racks for your home gym. Please take a look at our brief yet detailed reviews for each of them below!
Rogue SML-2C Monster Lite Squat Stand
- The 2C is one of the best-selling units from Rogue, with 5-star reviews all around.
- Unlike other companies that still use punches, every hole is laser cut, causing metal damage and uneven holes.
- Due to the size, the 2C can handle the vast majority of Rogue’s other products, which is an extensive list compared to other brands.
- By standard, there is a fat/skinny pull-up bar included which is already coated for use.
- There is no complicated/permanent installation needed; you can move the 2C as much as you want to, without needing it to be bolted into the ground like other half racks are.
- The 2C has a lifetime warranty and is made from very high-grade US/CA metals for durability and longevity.
- If not weighted down, kipping pull-ups do rock the unit and can become unsafe.
- The 2C does not come with any spotter’s arms. You can buy some as additional, but without them, the unit does become slightly unsafe. It would be best if you always used a spotter or spotter arms.
Although the Rogue Monster collection has several fantastic half racks that you can use for your home gym, many of them have the same features apart from the 2C, which is our choice of the five listed on Rogue’s website.
With the Rogue Monster Lite, you have a compact yet cost-effective squat machine that will revolutionize your home gym and your workouts. Not only is the Rogue Monster Lite made to last with the best US or Canadian steel, but you also get functionality out of the metal. The Rogue Monster has the option of pre-laser-cut numbered uprights so you can see the height and weight of the unit. The unit’s total size is 92” high, with only a 49” x 48” base, which is excellent for people who don’t have much room.
The Rogue Monster lite squat unit allows you to perform a wide range of exercises should you want to. These include squats, bench, pull-ups, clean pulls, floor press, and many more, all with the base unit. This unit is made from premium quality steel, so you can feel comfortable doing any of these exercises with ease. If you’re someone who loves to choose their colors for their gym equipment, don’t stress – the Rogue Monster 2C has 11 unique colors for you to choose from, making your gym even more special. Here are some of the Pros and Cons of the unit.
Overall, the Rogue Monster Lite is a very versatile and long-lasting squat half rack that will make your home gym workouts unique every time.
Sunny Health & Fitness Power Zone Squat Stand Model SF-XF9931
- Includes its spotter arms, meaning you don’t have to buy them separately, like with other units.
- The pull-up bar can be reversed and re-positioned for your liking to ensure you can grab it easier or make it harder to make your workout more enjoyable and consuming.
- The powder-coated frame is one of the best on the market and doesn’t allow the pain to rust or be chipped very easily.
- This unit is very affordable for its features.
- Holes within the power cage are smaller than average, meaning standard third-party tools and accessories may not fit as expected. Make sure to check the size as it seems to vary.
- The pull-up bar is not knurled, meaning it can get slippery if you have sweaty palms.
The Sunny Health & Fitness Power Zone squat stand is another amazing squat rack that you can use for your home gym that will make your workouts great. The Sunny Health Power Zone squat stand has an amazingly rigid and heavy-duty frame that allows you to carry up to 805lbs of weight.
Not only this, but the Sunny Health comes with a fantastic pull-up bar that is adjustable and reversible with up to 8 different positions for both wide and narrow pull-ups, meaning no matter how you use your pull-ups, you will be sure to get the most out of the unit.
Something else that is a great feature is the Sunny Health unit has a spotter built-in, with the amazing safety lock latches when squatting with heavier weights, meaning you won’t ever be hurt while using the rack. Here are some more pros and cons of the Sunny Health & Fitness Power zone squat stand.
In conclusion, Sunny Health and Fitness is another excellent rack; however, it does lack the support and warranty that others on this list can do flawlessly.
Fitness Reality Multi-Function Squat Stand
- High weight capacity of 800lbs
- Solid and durable steel frame
- 19 different height levels
- Post available for resistance bands
- The unit can become unsteady with high weights added.
The fitness reality multi-function squat stand is another amazing half rack that you can use in your home gym that will truly make your workouts unique.
The fitness reality multi-function squat stand features some of the best, heavy-duty steel in a 2×2” tubular design that really gives the unit a fantastic built quality. Because of this amazing build quality, it also means it can handle a lot of weight. The 77 x 13 x 9” design can handle up to 800lbs of weight.
The stand is also kitted out with two dual-mounted bars with a total of 19 height adjustment levels, with 19.5” spotter arms that have been fixed to the unit to save you from dropping the bar on yourself. Not only this, but the fitness reality comes with a landmine attachment, allowing you to perform many strength workouts such as a single-arm dumbbell row or quat press to crunch those metabolic calories. Now for some of the pros and cons of the Fitness Reality Multi-function squat rack.
Overall, the Fitness Reality Multi-function squat stand is a fantastic squat half-rack you can have in your home gym, and due to the high weight capacity and excellent build quality, you won’t be disappointed with this rack.
Titan Fitness T-3 Series Squat Stand
Unlike other brands, welds are clean and crisp, creating a neat, well-designed, and durable unit. (Coated to prevent rusting).
- Commercial-Level quality
- 1000 lbs. weight capacity
- Westside hole pattern for extra safety and comfortability
- Welds are coated to prevent rusting
- No option for anchoring
- No storage pegs
- Commercial-Level equipment for a very affordable price
- It can be moved and disassembled for easy movement and transportation.
- 1000 lbs. weight capacity, making it suitable for beginners and advanced level users.
- Westside hole pattern for extra safety and comfortability.
- Unlike other brands, welds are clean and crisp, creating a neat, well-designed, and durable unit. (Coated to prevent rusting).
- One year Warranty
- No option for anchoring, should you want to exceed the weight limit or try a new exercise.
- Holes are not numbered by default, which helps to eliminate guesswork.
- No storage pegs, meaning you can’t easily and neatly organize your weight plates.
The T-3 Series short squat stand is another impressive squat stand (half rack) that you can affordably put in your home gym today. The Titan fitness brand has many amazing fitness equipment brands under one roof, and this T-3 short squat stand is nothing short of amazing.
The T-3 squat rack is one of the most affordable on this list and has free shipping, unlike many other units. With this being said, the short-squat stand is shorter than your average half-rack stand. The T-3 measures around 72” tall, so it may not be perfectly suitable for pull-ups or chin-ups if you’re taller than 5.6”.
Even with the above being said and the price is considered, the T-3 Series short squat stand is a fantastic piece of equipment for anyone who lacks space to build up towards their fitness goals. This unit can support many exercises, such as weight lighting, squats, bench exercises (bench not included, however), and even pull-ups if you’re small enough for it.
Overall, the T-3 Series short squat stand is a perfect and very affordable half rack that you can use in your home gym that will revolutionize how you complete your workouts. For the price and all the features you get – this is a very good rack for beginners and some intermediate gym users.
HulkFit Multi-Function Adjustable Half Rack
- Easy Assembly with detailed instructions
- 800 lbs. weight capacity
- Amazing value for the features
- Any real/major use may need the unit to be weighted down due to wobble.
- 800 lbs. It is the very top end for its usage before issues occur.
The HulkFit multi-function adjustable power rack is a flawless power rack that is worth every penny.
This very cost-effective half rack can be found on Amazon with free shipping and features that make this a tremendous entry-level half rack. Some of these features include a good overall build design featuring high-quality steel, anti-wobble features, and even a free bar with the unit.
Not only this, but the unit comes with some very sturdy J-cups for when you need to secure a bar. Some people have recommended replacing these when able as they are sometimes unreliable. Please keep this in mind when buying the HulkFit Multi-function.
Overall, the HulkFit Multi-function adjustable power rack is good quality and reliable rack for anyone who wants to start with a power/half rack. Coming in affordably, we recommend this as an entry-level device!
Features to Consider before buying a Half Rack
When buying a half rack, some of the best half racks all have some of the same features crucial to your workout and the unit itself. Some of the features you need to consider when buying a half-rack are below.
Many brands have come along and made some great (and some poor) quality half racks that you can buy. Usually, buying the cheapest racks is not the best option as you may be compromising on quality, however in some cases sticking to the middle ground of the high-end of your budget will be a good idea, as this will be an investment that will last if you put your money to good use, with a good brand.
Although half racks are essentially half the size of a full rack hence the name, making sure you have enough space for one is crucial. Unfortunately, half racks are all very similar sizes, and if you are pushed for space, you may want to opt for a wall-mounted rack instead.
Many half-racks have different purposes or accessories that will serve other goals for your exercise or routines. When buying a power rack/half-rack, you need to buy a rack that will benefit your routine. Do you need the rack for powerlifting or bench work? These are all questions you need to consider when purchasing and using a half rack.
Difference between Power Racks, Squat Racks, Squat Stands, and Smith Machines
Some of the obvious differences between the racks and machines noted above are not so visible to people who have never used them before or have only just started. Here’s a quick way to understand the difference between the four different machines.
- Power Racks – A power rack is a piece of weight training equipment that has many functionalities. These usually have a mechanical spotter or free-weight barbell exercise without movement restrictions.
- Squat Racks – A squat rack is usually a type of power rack that isn’t as big or wide and doesn’t have four-pillar posts like the power racks above. Squat racks are generally easier to use to squat than a full power rack would be.
- Squat Stands – Squat stands are similar to squat racks, however are there purposely for squats. Usually, you cannot adapt and add to a squat stand, and they are made to serve the purpose of helping you with your squatting routine.
- Smith Machines – A smith machine, when compared to the others, is very different. A smith machine is a weight machine with a fixed steel rail allowing only vertical or near-vertical movement. Although this can be used for many exercises, you usually only do “Smith Machine Squats” with them.
Overall, if you’re looking for a fantastic half-rack, one of the ones we’ve reviewed and guided you on will help you find what you’re looking for. Whether you need one that’s affordable or has many features, we’re sure that one of the above reviewed half racks will amazingly suit you and your home gym.
The article has been researched & compiled by the Editorial F5F Team, a group of experienced fitness & health writers.