Choosing The Best Squat Stands For Your Gym

When it comes to outfitting your gym, squat stands can be a fantastic option. They offer almost all the functionality of a power rack, but they come with a few caveats that are important to consider. In this article, I’ll walk you through what to look for when choosing adjustable squat stands to ensure you make a safe and effective addition to your gym setup.

The Versatility of Squat Stands

Model posing on the ATX Portable Squat Stands

Squat stands are incredibly versatile. You can practically do everything on them that you can do on a power rack. This makes them a great choice for many lifters, especially those with limited space. However, the main concern with squat stands is safety.

Safety Considerations

Squat stands are perfectly safe for experienced lifters like Olympic weightlifters who know how to handle a barbell and bail out of a lift safely. However they can pose a risk for inexperienced lifters. If you’re new to lifting or pushing yourself to the limit, you need to be extra cautious. Not all squat stands are created equally, and buying a cheap set can lead to serious safety issues.

weightlifter squatting on squat stands

Avoiding Cheap Squat Stands

ATX-SQS-510 height adjustment

My first piece of advice is to avoid cheap squat stands. At our store, we don’t sell cheap ones because they simply aren’t safe. Our entry-level model, the ATX-SQS-510 squat stands, are certified by European standards, ensuring it’s well-designed and of great quality. But even with these, if you’re lifting heavy and not handling the barbell properly, they might not provide the stability you need.

Top of the Line: ATX 800 Series

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the ATX 800 series commercial squat stands (code ATX-DICO-SQS). These are next level. They are built to take a huge amount of weight. You can add a brace that you can adjust to different heights, making them just as stable and safe as a half rack. These are suitable even for advanced lifters, providing the same level of safety.

Bodybuilding Incline Shoulder Press

Middle Ground Options

Man squatting on ATX-SQS-650 squat stands

If you’re looking for something in between, the ATX-SQS-650s offer a great middle ground. They have many of the same features as the higher-end models, including the ability to add a brace and spotters that, while shorter, are still a decent length. These stands are safe and offer a good balance between cost and functionality.

Understanding Your Motivation

The key to choosing the best squat stands is understanding your motivation. If you’re looking to save money, I get that, but you don’t want to do so at the risk of injuring yourself. If you don’t know how to bail on a squat or plan to do super heavy bench presses, I wouldn’t recommend them. Gym equipment is one area where you can’t skimp on quality and safety. Cheap stands often lead to issues with usability and safety.

ATX SQS 650 home gym with optional accessories