The Best Folding Squat Racks for Home Gyms, According to Professional Gym Designers

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Justifying the space for a full squat rack in a city apartment is a tall order. Folding squat racks are a new, unique addition to the pantheon of equipment that can transform any space into a functional gym in a few steps. “It is kind of like how the Murphy Bed is for a guest room slash office. You could be like, ‘now it’s an office, now it’s a guest room.’ With the folding racks you can now say: ‘now it’s a gym, now it’s an office,’” said Chris Howell, founder, and CEO of spxfit, a premium New York City-based luxury gym design group. 

What was once a garage, guestroom, or abandoned living room corner can become a multi-faceted gym thanks to a folding rack and the myriad of accessories available. 

An additional benefit beyond their compact designs is that, for the most part, folding racks are less expensive than their larger counterpart full racks, which leaves room in the budget for add-ons like J-hooks and specialty barbells. The precarious downside is that even when they’re set up correctly, folding squat racks are less stable and require extra care to make sure they’re safe to use.

What the Experts Say

Before purchasing a folding squat rack, it is extremely important that it’s set up and mounted correctly. “Make sure you get it mounted really well in the studs,” said Nathan Lewis, a doctor of physical therapy and owner of Rogue Physical Therapy. “Whether you are a good DIY-er or you have a handyman—get it done right. You can’t have it fail on you.” He also said that holding a loaded barbell in place before a lift or catching it after a release are not just the most common jobs for a rack, they also put a lot of stress on the machine, so it’s worth investing in high-quality equipment and making sure it can do the job. 

Rogue RML 3WC Fold Back Wall Mount Squat Rack against concrete wall


Rogue RML-3WC Fold Back Wall Mount Rack

After a great deal of research, Lewis chose this option from Rogue because he can’t afford to gamble with the safety of his equipment, and he finds more reputable brands more trustworthy. “The worst thing that could happen is a failure,” said Lewis. Failure is never pleasant, but in this instance it means a 400-pound barbell landing squarely on the neck, back, or shoulders, so we’d have to agree. 

On top of its reliability, this rack also folds down to take up just five inches of space on the wall., and the modular design makes it easy to implement accessories. “They are modular and being able to tie into a Land-Mine press is essential and the pull-up bar is fine. It is an efficient use of space,” Lewis said.

Howell has personally used and really likes folding racks from Rogue as well. “I like Rogue because you know what you are going to get with them,” Howell said. “Rogue really hit the folding rack market hard, which was nice, especially during the pandemic.” 

Titan X-3 Series Folding Power Squat Rack against white background

Titan X-3 Series Folding Power Pack

Made For: The savvy minimalist

The Heavy: Howell mentioned Titan’s folding racks as a high-quality, reasonably-priced option in the folding squat rack space. “It is a strong off-the-shelf direct-to-consumer company,” Howell said. The X-3 is SPY’s pick because it comes in at a price point just above the budget pick but boasts multiple depth options from the wall for different spaces and has a solid 1,100-pound weight capacity. 

The Hot Take: A simple, sturdy, and effective rack

PRX Profile One Folding Squat Rack against white background

PRX Profile One Folding Squat Rack with Multi-Grip Bar

Made For: Fast movers

The Heavy: “PRX really pioneered folding racks with their vertical push storage racks,” Howell said. The patented sliding system — as opposed to swinging out and using pins to affix the rack like the others on this list — saves the end user a few minutes with each use. “PRX is just faster. Now we are talking 0-60 between a fast car and a really fast car. It is not much of a difference, but there still is a difference. When it becomes an issue of convenience, that can make a difference in how much you use it.” 

The Hot Take: If someone is looking to avoid a lengthy setup before their workout, this is their best bet

Force USA MyRack Folding Power Squat Rack against white background


Force USA MyRack Folding Power Rack

Made For: Fitness enthusiasts who want it all

The Heavy: With ten attachment points and hundreds of possible configurations, Force’s MyRack delivers the highest number of gym setups of any of the options on this list. It’s able to handle a wide variety of exercises and accessories, and MyRack also has an impressive 2,000-lb capacity thanks to its burly 12 GA steel uprights.

The Hot Take: An extensive gym with a tiny footprint

Mikolo Folding Wall Mounted Squat Rack against white background


Mikolo Folding Wall-Mounted Squat Rack

Made For: Price-conscious lifters 

The Heavy: This sub-$350 option can get the job done and is compatible with an impressive number of accessories.. It doesn’t have a ton of premium features or quick folding technology, but its 800-pound weight limit is great for a beginner and it folds down smaller than a large TV console. 

The Hot Take: Money saver for beginners or lighter weightlifters

Frequently Asked Questions About Folding Squat Racks

How do folding squat racks work?

Two emerging technologies exist in the folding squat rack space. One is a rack that folds down from the wall vertically — think of the visual of Howell’s Murphy Bed analogy — and is patented by the company PRX which makes a wide variety of folding squat racks. The other technology, which all the other brands share more or less, swings out from the wall horizontally and is affixed by pins once deployed. The PRX vertical fold saves a few minutes on each deployment when compared to the horizontal fold.

What are the unique benefits of a folding squat rack over a traditional one?

“A folding rack is low-profile, but if you have the space you should get a stand-alone,” Lewis said. While Lewis loves his folding rack, he ultimately prefers something with a more stable spotting system than what is available in folding squat racks. “You can use four sides, you can get inside the rack, you can have support arms there. A standalone is burlier but it is a huge amount of space so for the average garage gym there is no way to do that,” he said. 

How long does it take to set up a folding squat rack?

Some manufacturers will claim extremely fast setup times, as fast as 30 minutes, but setting up a folding squat rack is not a task that should be rushed. Since the attachment to the wall provides a great deal of support for the entire system, poor attachment could be catastrophic. It would be wise to budget a few hours to do the job correctly or hire a professional to install it for those who aren’t handy.

How long does it take to assemble a folding squat rack once it’s installed?

The PRX models take seconds to assemble and disassemble once properly installed. The others take a few minutes to assemble and disassemble. A good rule of thumb is  adding about 15 minutes to a workout at the beginning and not to rush the process. According to Lewis, his timing is diminished by not folding it in after each use, which is not necessary depending on the space you’re working with. “It does take up less space than a typical free-standing squat rack. It swings in pretty easily but I almost never take it in.” 

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