A rack is one of the best purchases you could make for a home gym. It revolutionizes a barbell’s usefulness, and gives you access to heavy squatting, pressing, and variations.
The half-rack design is excellent for the combination of support and size. That’s why we’re looking at what makes the best half rack for a home gym and reviewing our favorites.
- Best Half Racks of 2021
- Best Overall Half Rack – Rogue HR-2 Half Rack
- Runner-Up – Titan T3 Squat Rack with half rack conversion kit
- Best Budget Half Rack – CAP Barbell FM-8000F Deluxe Power Rack
- Best Multi-Function Half Rack – HulkFit Multifunction Adjustable Power Rack
- Best Half Rack with Weight Storage – Valor Fitness BD 58
- Half Rack Buying Guide
- How to Choose the Best Half Rack For Your Home Gym
- Half Rack FAQs
Best Half Racks of 2021
- Best Overall Half Rack: ROGUE HR-2 HALF RACK
- Runner-Up: TITAN T3 SQUAT RACK WITH HALF RACK CONVERSION KIT
- Best Budget Half Rack: CAP BARBELL FM-8000F DELUXE POWER RACK
- Best Multi-Function Half Rack: HULKFIT MULTIFUNCTION ADJUSTABLE POWER RACK
- Best Half Rack with Weight Storage: VALOR FITNESS BD 58
Best Overall Half Rack – Rogue HR-2 Half Rack
The Rogue HR-2 is a classic half-rack design constructed out of higher-gauge steel, offering excellent stability and heavy-duty construction. This makes it a great choice based on the fundamentals alone.
The safety pins are strong and well-finished if you’re using the rack’s interior – while the stands and uprights themselves are stable and well-designed. The hardware and fixings are well-built and ensure that the rack’s lifespan is going to be longer.
The Rogue half rack’s footprint is around 4ft x 4ft, making a great compromise on the floor space without compromising stability. It’s also available as a conversion kit from
The J-hooks are good, not amazing, but solid and reliable. Rogue offers optional weight pegs to be attached to the rack. This is a great option to have, but there aren’t many other accessories, which means you’d have to go aftermarket if you wanted a landmine attachment, for example.
- Pros: Excellent stability, heavy-duty construction, with a modest footprint.
- Cons: Not a lot of accessories available.
Final Verdict: The Rogue HR-2 Half Rack is an excellent combination of value and quality – and it’s the best half rack for your home gym because it is so strong on the basics.
Runner-Up – Titan T3 Squat Rack with half rack conversion kit
This is a full half-rack made up of a T3 squat stand and a conversion kit that provides greater stability and internal space. This drastically increases the versatility of the rack. However, it does require that you buy the safety pins separately to get the most of the product.
This is an excellent product because it expands on the stands themselves and is rated for 1,000lbs. It also offers the option for weight pegs at a great price, which is a huge benefit for this relatively small rack.
It uses the westside spacings – just like the rogue rack – which is a great and versatile system that combines around more options for height where it is most important. This is definitely a great value option, bringing good stability at a great price point.
It’s our runner-up because the Rogue rack is a more solid, long-lasting piece of equipment. A rack should last you decades, so it’s good to play the long game – but Titan’s T3 Half Rack is a great way to set up your home gym if you’re on a strict budget.
- Pros: 1,000lbs weight capacity, westside spacings,
- Cons: Need to purchase safety pins separately.
Final Verdict: The Titan T3 half rack is an excellent combination of value and quality – and it’s the best half rack for your home gym because it is so strong on the basics.
Best Budget Half Rack – CAP Barbell FM-8000F Deluxe Power Rack
Speaking of budgets, the CAP FM-8000F Half Rack is our budget buy. It lacks some of the stability and features of the Rogue or Titan racks but comes in at a ridiculously low price, making it a great choice if you’re just starting out or working with a tight budget.
This is a lighter construction squat rack that lacks the secondary uprights we’d see with a larger product. It resembles a squat stand but also has the added stability of a larger footprint and some of the better features we see on more expensive products. Such as band pegs and weight storage pegs as standard.
The setup itself is a lot lighter weight, but that is on the basis of a lower weight rating, which caps out around 500lbs, so you’re not going to be squatting huge weights from this rack.
This is why it’s our budget recommendation: it offers the important functions in a cheap and small package. It’s perfect for beginners who want to build a home gym without the cost and don’t need a huge weight rating yet.
- Pros: Affordable, Includes band and storage pegs.
- Cons: Only 500lb capacity
Final Verdict: The CAP FM-8000F Half Rack is an affordable, entry-level rack that comes with some nice features.
Best Multi-Function Half Rack – HulkFit Multifunction Adjustable Power Rack
The HulkFit Adjustable Power Rack is a versatile piece of kit.
It includes a landmine attachment, multiple pull-up handles, band pegs, dip bars, and weight storage pegs as standard. It also features barbell holders and a T-bar row platform, and an optional cable pulley attachment.
This is a great design bonus, especially at the relatively low price. The result is a rack that offers a unique approach with a range of features without a huge price tag. It is also rated for 1,000 lbs, which means that the fundamentals – like steel quality and hooks/pins are solid.
The only real issue is that you don’t get an internal rack space like the Rogue or Titan products. It’s probably also not got as much “headroom” with the weight rating as Rogue.
However, HulkFit are clearly catering to the all-in-one workout space option. That’s why it’s our multi-function product of choice: you get a fantastic range of fundamentals and features at a great price. Excellent option.
- Pros: 1,000lbs weight capacity, a lot of features and accessories as standard.
- Cons: No internal rack space
Final Verdict: The HulkFit Adjustable Power Rack is perfect for those wanting an affordable, all-in-one workout option.
Best Half Rack with Weight Storage – Valor Fitness BD 58
Valor’s BD 58 Half Rack is a behemoth – easily the largest on this list.
It includes a set of support uprights with 3 sets of weight storage pegs as standard, offering a huge, heavy-duty, high-stability half rack.
There are some strong features on this product. Six weight pegs is amazing as standard. The pull-up handles are well varied for more options and the stability is serious with a large footprint and a significant weight to the product.
The safety pins on this product are also spring pin secured, which we love because it means better safety and an easier changing process.
The main issue is the lower weight rating than Rogue or HulkFit. This does change the fundamental appeal – the 750lbs rating isn’t quite as high, which is surprising for a product with such a heavy build and great safety pin design.
Overall, it’s a great product for solving your weight storage and squat rack problems at the same time!
- Pros: Heavy-duty, high-stability, great weight storage.
- Cons: 750lbs weight capacity.
Final Verdict: The Valor’s BD 58 Half Rack is the go-to option for those needing a rack with plenty of weight storage.
Half Rack Buying Guide
When you’re making a purchase of this size, it’s important to put your money into the right product and features. Every dollar counts, and it’s crucial to buy right when a half-rack should really be lasting you for years or decades to come.
Buying Considerations – Features
The material of a squat rack determines how strong and durable it’s going to be. Almost all of the best squat racks out there are made of powder-coated steel of various thicknesses (gauges).
A better gauge steel will usually be a better choice since it provides better long-term durability and is often more stable. This does tend to trade-off with the rack’s weight, however, so consider that if you’re moving a rack by yourself or placing it anywhere other than on a concrete floor!
Material choice is even more important in the quality and longevity of moving parts and fastening items. Things like screws and bolts are crucially important. If these are weak, the whole thing is unstable and susceptible to falling apart.
Stability is key when you’re using heavy weights, and you want the safety and peace of mind that comes with an unmoving rack. It’s not always essential – you can make do with a less stable rack – but it’s always a bonus.
Stability comes from 3 major factors that you need to consider:
- The size of the rack’s “footprint” – the area where it contacts the floor and its base of support
- The design of the base (e.g., cross-bracing or the balance of weight on the rack)
- The weight of the whole half rack
These will determine the stability of a rack – and it’s important to remember you need 3-dimensional stability. Sideways wobble is a real concern for safety, so be sure to look for possible weaknesses in these major areas.
J-Hooks: Design & Material
Your barbell should be the most “high-end” purchase in a home gym since it’s the main piece of equipment with a moving part (the rotating cuffs). The last thing you want is a squat rack that churns the knurling on the barbell.
Good j-hooks, the sections that hold the barbell, are crucial. Ideally, you want a rounded cup design with a high lip. On top of that, you also want to try and get a rubberized finish or similar, and with a material that is hard-wearing – so thick coatings will be best.
This prevents the barbell from grinding against the squat rack and metal, which degrades barbells rapidly.
Spotter Arms / Safety Bars
Safety bars or spotter arms are a great piece of kit for home gyms. They prevent the barbell from contacting the floor, and – if you’re not lifting on a platform with an Olympic-style high-bar squat – they might just save you on a missed lift.
Spotter arms need to be long enough to allow you the space to walk the bar out of the rack and stable enough to handle the weights you’re using. They should fit flush with the uprights of the half rack, and they should be rated for lots of weight – the more the better.
Racks should also never have a space between the uprights and the spotter arms.
We see this with some lower-quality squat stands and racks. It’s a real problem because it defeats the point of spotting arms – and there are plenty of examples of this design causing real injury or danger.
Hole spacing is a vote for versatility. The more holes a rack has, the better it can adapt to your height – and the better it will be for multiple exercises.
The only problem is that this increases the trade-off with stability and material quality. It’s not easy to drill many holes through steel and expect it to offer the same durability and stability. These areas become common sites for rust, bending, and they do destabilize the uprights very slightly.
Primarily, you should avoid huge gaps in spacing – you need to be within a few inches of the ideal height to squat. You shouldn’t have to tip-toe a weight out of a rack, but you also shouldn’t be quarter-squatting to get it out of the rack.
Even more importantly, this is why pre-set rack heights are absolutely horrible. They don’t fit many people and can be very fiddly to use, which isn’t great when you’ve got 100s of kilos on your back!
More versatility from a squat rack is usually a good thing.
Accessories range from landmine attachments to band pegs – but these are optional most of the time. If your squat rack offers accessories – especially ones that you know you would use – then that’s a huge plus.
It’s a great way to get the most out of the investment in the long run and save yourself the addition of buying them after the fact. If you can get a squat rack bundled with genuinely useful accessories, that’s a huge benefit for your home gym.
It’s important that a squat rack can carry a significant amount of weight. You’re not going to be lifting the same amount of weight in 5 years that you are now – and your rack should account for this upper range.
You want “headroom” – more weight capacity than you need. Better weight capacity speaks to the durability and stability of the product, the strength of the materials, and the ability for it to deal with momentum as well as weight.
A squat rack that can support 2000lbs isn’t just going to be better for holding weight than a rack rated for 1000lbs. It will handle smaller weights better. And is likely built to deal with the long-term use and wear resulting from a lifetime of squatting, pressing, benching, and other exercises.
Better racks can hold more weight and will – usually – age better.
If your rack offers weight pegs for plate storage, then it’s doing two things with one product. This is worth a significant bump in price, but it’s even better if it comes without a mark-up, of course.
This is a common way of improving your home gym organization and building up more stability in your squat rack. The additional weight – especially in lower pegs – helps keep the center of gravity low and reduces the upright stands’ movement.
Plate storage systems can be expensive on their own, so a squat rack with integrated pegs can be a fantastic choice.
How to Choose the Best Half Rack For Your Home Gym
How Much Space Do You Have?
You need to be realistic when balancing the size of a rack with the space in your home gym. Remember that the footprint alone doesn’t account for the extra clearance needed for a barbell and plates, too.
This is even more important when you’ve got weight pegs built into the rack, which may add a significant amount of size to the overall rack.
Your home gym should be built around the squat rack, and it’s going to be a centerpiece by virtue of the sheer size. Suppose you have a large, dedicated garage space.
In that case, you can go in for a larger rack which will, generally, be a better investment.
If you are really short on space, check out our guide to the Best Folding Wall Mounted Racks.
What is Your Budget?
You get what you pay for with a lot of gym equipment. Your budget is always going to dictate your options. Entry-level racks from white-label companies can be a real challenge for the new garage gym or home gym.
It’s important to use your budget well but to remember that your budget limits your choices. Focus on getting the best quality for your money on the absolute basics, if you’re on a hard-limit budget, and leave things like accessories for later on.
What Accessories/Functionality Do You Need?
You don’t need any accessories. The functionality you need is adjustable j-hooks and safety arms that work. These offer almost everything you need from a squat rack.
However, more accessories are usually better, as long as you’re not paying for those instead of quality fundamentals like steel construction and high-quality J-hooks.
If you can get weight pegs, those are always good. Landmine attachments, band pegs, and a secure pull-up bar are also excellent. Some expensive half racks come with multiple pull-up and chin-up options, which can also be helpful but shouldn’t be a real game-changer.
How Heavy Do You Lift?
The heavier you lift, the more you’re going to need to put time into researching weight ratings. These are more important when weights are heavier, and the forces acting on your rack are significantly higher.
A heavy-duty rack will be rated for 1000-2000lbs, which allows for a lot of weight, moving quickly, to be completely safe. If you’re lifting a lot now, you’re going to be lifting a lot more by the end of your half-rack’s life. So put this kind of fundamental statistic near the top of your priority list.
Half Rack FAQs
What is a Half Rack?
A half rack consists of two vertical bars connected at the top with one horizontal bar and at the bottom with a broad base to make the construction stable under load.
Half racks have adjustable J-hooks that hold the barbell in the right position so you can load it safely. And better models have adjustable safety catches that make sure you don’t injure yourself when lifting.
Even though half racks allow safer exercising, it has to be said that they are not as stable as full racks. To fix this to a degree, you can put weight plates on the half rack construction, which will prevent it from shaking or tipping over.
What Exercises Can You Perform with a Half Rack?
If you are creative, you can do basically any exercise even inside a half rack, but here are some of the most common ones most lifters do:
Overhead press (OHP) – half racks are an excellent choice for overhead presses. OHP is usually the weakest of all major barbell lifts, which means that using a full rack will never be an issue, as you will never get close to its limits when performing the OHP.
Plus, because there are no horizontal bars above you, you will be able to fully extend your arms above your head, no matter how tall you are. This means that half racks are an excellent choice for Olympic-style lifting too.
Bench press – you will be able to fit an adjustable bench inside most racks. Doing that will allow you to perform the bench press safely, even alone. Just remember to set safety bars above your chest level so they catch the bar before it smashes your chest if you fail the lift.
Pull-ups – half racks usually have a pull-up bar at the top, which is excellent as pull-ups and chin-ups are essential for back training.
Hanging leg raises – you can perform hanging leg raises while hanging from the pull-up bar too.
Rack pulls – rack pulls are excellent for building your back and traps. The only problem is that they allow you to lift a lot of weight, which is not a good idea since you start the lift with the bar resting on the safety catches, which might bend them.
Front and back squats – a half rack is ideal for squats, both front and back, as it lets you get into position easily and lift the bar safely.
What Are the Benefits of Half Racks Vs. Full Racks?
– Half racks are smaller than a full rack – takes up less space
– They offer a good variety of exercises, including OHP and Olympic lifts
– More affordable than a full rack
– Ideal for beginner and intermediate lifters
A great half rack is all about maximizing what you get out of the space. It’s about a high return on your cash in the form of durability, function, and longevity – features add up, but fundamentals are always king.
If you’re looking for a half-rack for your home gym, follow these buying guidelines.
We’ve included some of our favorites that demonstrate some of these important ideas. We hope all of this helps you in your search for the best half rack for your home gym!