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Squat stands are the smaller brother of the full power rack. But does smaller mean shorter and better suited for low ceilings? Let’s find out.
On average, squat racks are 79” (200 cm) tall. There is a big difference between fixed and adjustable stands. Fixed stands range from 72” to 111” (182.8 to 281.9 cm) tall with the majority being 80” – 93” . The adjustable stands range from 55.1” to 70.1”. For squats, shoulder height stands are fine.
To see all the numbers and find out more details about squat stands, keep reading.
Squat stand heights
First off: This post is about Squat stands. If you’re looking for power rack heights, click here.
Naming of gym equipment can get a bit confusing so first let’s clear up the difference to make sure what piece of equipment we’re talking about here. There are two main types we have to differentiate;
- Power rack/Power cage/Squat rack/squat cage: Four upright posts all connected and braced together.
- Squat stands/barbell rack: Two uprights posts. Can be connected together at the bottom or stand alone. A few a connected by a pull up bar at the top.
What we’re talking about here is the second (right in the picture) one. That means with two upright posts.
Squat stands come in quite a few different heights. There is actually a really wide range of heights that squat racks come in. Take a look at the chart below.
|Brand||Model||Type||Height (Max)||Load limit|
As you can see, squat racks are a little bit more than 79” tall on average. Averages don’t paint the whole picture though. There are stands that are as tall as 111” and as short as 55.1”.
One interesting aspect is the difference in heights between the two different types of stand.
Types of squat stands
Roughly, there are two types of squat stand;
- Fixed height
- Adjustable height
Fixed stands have two upright posts that are of a fixed height. The upright posts are just a single piece which helps with rigidity. You adjust the height of the barbell by changing the position of the hooks on the posts.
The fixed versions often come with pull up bars as standard or optional.
The adjustable version has upright posts that can change in height. The top part of the post is smaller than the bottom part so they can slide inside of each other. Both parts have holes in them so you can fix them in place with a pin.
On the adjustable version, the barbell hooks are on top of the posts. They also have hooks that attach to the posts like the fixed version but these can be mounted much lower so they’re more suitable for bench pressing.
Since the barbell rests on top of the stand, there is no pull up bar on the adjustable version.
Now if we split up the list in those two types, the numbers look quite different. Take a look;
Fixed squat stand heights
|Brand||Model||Height (Max)||Load limit|
Adjustable squat stand heights
|Brand||Model||Height (min)||Height (Max)||Load limit|
Now suddenly the average height for the fixed type is almost 87” while the average for adjustable stands is 64”. The average for the adjustable type isn’t at the lowest setting either, it’s the highest. On the lowest setting, adjustable stands are only 41.6” tall.
The fixed squat stands range from 72” to 111” tall with many being 80” – 93”.
The adjustable stands range from 55.1” to 70.1”. 55” is an outlier since most of the racks are 63” or up.
Which barbell rack is right for you?
Which type is best for you and how tall should your squat stand be? What are some things you should keep in mind when shopping for a squat stand? That’s what you might be wondering if you got this far. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Keep reading to find out more.
How tall should my squat stand be?
With such a wide range of heights, what should you be getting for your home gym?
How high up does the barbell need to be for the lifts you want to do? The exercises where the barbell has to be racked high is the squat and overhead press. For those two lifts, the bar has to be racked around shoulder height.
That height is roughly your total height minus 14”. Of course everyone is different so if you want to be sure, just measure. Of course it’s a good idea to get a rack that’s a little taller than that to have some extra room to be sure.
If you want to do pull ups, the consideration becomes a bit different. For more information about that, check “features” below.
Another consideration is the load limit of a squat rack. Here there is a clear difference between fixed and adjustable stands. Adjustable stands have a load limit of at most 550 lbs. and some less. Fixed stands can handle at least 500 lbs. and many are rated for 1000 lbs. or more.
You don’t have to lift 500 lbs. to benefit from a higher load limit. It’s often a maximum load limit. That means when you get close to that number, it’ll probably start feeling a little shaky. Now if you have to quickly re rack that amount of weight, it could possibly fail.
It’s a good idea to get a squat stand that can handle significantly more weight than you want to lift. Brand also plays into this. A 500 lbs. rating from Rogue means something completely different than a 500 lbs. rating from a random nameless stand. The former is easily going to take that 500 lbs. while the later might complain.
Squat stands have fewer features than full power racks. That doesn’t mean they don’t have any however. The most important feature for many home gym owners is the pull up bar. If you need a pull up bar, go for a fixed squat stand. Those are the only ones that have that option.
If you need a pull up bar, the height requirements change quite dramatically. To do a pull up with correct form, you want to be able to hang with straight arms without touching the floor with your feet. The average arm length for humans is about 25”. So to get to the right height pull up bar you can add your shoulder height +25” to get a good number. Of course you can also measure more carefully.
For an average 5’9 person that means the pull up bar should be at least around 80” high.
Can you use a short barbell in a squat rack? Most squat stands are just as wide as power racks (at most 49”). That means some 6’ barbell will fit but not all. There are a few squat stands that are adjustable in width. These can be used with 6’ or even 5’ barbells.
Do you need a squat stand in a home gym? If the home gym is intended to use free weights, it either needs a squat stand or power rack to allow the user to do all the basic free weight lifts. A squat rack will do this although a power rack is safer and stronger but is more expensive and takes up more space.