Best Folding Squat Rack
If you’re setting up a home gym and are wanting to take part in any serious kind of resistance training – be it for strength gains, hypertrophy or endurance – you will likely want some kind of rack.
I personally favor cages, as they bring a great deal of functionality to any training space. However, they also tend to have massive footprints, and most of us simply don’t have that kind of space.
The answer? Folding wall racks. They require only a stretch of empty wall (load bearing wall space, obviously!) and will give you nearly as many training options as a normal power rack. You will be able to get good quality loaded barbell squats and overhead presses in without taking up much more than a couple of feet of floor space.
There are plenty of good options out there when it comes to finding the best folding squat racks. There are also plenty of rubbish ones. Whilst there are a fair few companies that offer quality racks at affordable rates, I’ll be focusing in on four offerings from rogue in this article. They each offer something different; each deliver on fantastic quality, each give you a lot for not much money, and are each incredibly potent training tools.
Why Use A Folding Squat Rack?
I would always recommend a rack of some description, to everyone. If you want to perform any barbell exercises from a front rack or back loaded position, you will need one. It is simply impractical, bordering on impossible, to get the bar into position without one.
By front rack or back loaded positions, I’m talking about things like low- and high- bar squats, front squats, overhead presses, push presses, good mornings, and so on. Even going with some conservative numbers, an experienced lifter will be able to shift 50-60kg through an overhead press for reps. They will be able to low-bar squat upwards of 150kg.
It really isn’t feasible to get the bar into position at this kind of weight, especially whilst wanting to create and maintain a proper brace.
So, that’s the case for the rack. But what about the folding wall squat rack?
Well, as above, space. A cage will be several feet square. Even a modest free-standing squat rack will have this kind of footprint. A folding wall squat rack will be a few feet long and will come out from the wall by a half a foot or so (sometimes more, sometimes less – we have options for you on this below). They fold conveniently away after use, meaning that you needn’t dedicate your whole garage or basement to housing one.
The only potential issue here is the walkout – it can be hard to get fully braced, comfortably, under a barbell when loading from a really slim rack. However, this shouldn’t be too much the case with the items below, and a load with your nose pressed to the wall is better than no load at all.
Price is also often a prohibitive factor for many people setting up their home gyms with squat racks. They can cost thousands. Cheap ones will cost hundreds, even second hand. The best folding squat racks are generally a lot more reasonably priced (the ones on our list are all well-worth their money and won’t make you wince as you get your wallet out).
Our Four Best Folding Squat Racks
As above, these are all from Rogue.
Rogue are one of the best, reasonably priced fitness equipment manufacturers and suppliers on the planet. They offer good guarantees, good warranties, and are generally known for good customer and professional service.
As they say on their site, in their own words:
‘Every weld at Rogue is inspected individually at each step of the process for integrity and appearance. Each laser cut is inspected. Every part is again individually inspected for finish after the powder coat process. The entire package receives a final comprehensive quality assurance check before it’s shipped.’
These folding wall squat racks are all well-priced (incredibly well, for the standard and quality you get) and will open up all loaded barbell exercises for your training.
Rogue RML-3W Fold Back Wall Mount Rack
The RML-3W Fold Back is something of a basic model, here. It does everything well, with nothing to separate it from its brothers other than the fact that it is a solid base option for anybody with no special requirements.
It uses pretty heavy duty 3×3”, 11-gauge steel uprights with 0.625” diameter SAE grade 5 bolt hardware. This hard build combined with laser cut holes and precision assembly give you an incredible amount of strength and durability. If you buy this once, you buy it once – it will last you for years without degrading.
Though you get the basics and little else with the RML-3W, it is compatible with most of Rogue’s add-ons. You can use the RML-3W as the centerpiece, then add bits and pieces over time as your training requirements and wonts dictate.
You get a couple of depth choices with the RML-3W. It comes in 21.5” and 41.5”.
The smaller version’s sides will position flush against the wall whether you swing them inward towards one other, or outward. The larger, 41.5” model’s sides can still fold in or out. However, if both are brought inwards, there will be some overlap. It’s no bother, but you need to be a bit clever if you want to minimize floor space take-up.
Despite the awkwardness, I would still go with the larger version if you have the space for it. You will have more space for larger movement patterns like push presses and so forth.
The detent pins you get with the RML-3 lock the rack into either open or closed position really well, with great solidity, and ensure that it takes up minimal wall space. Rogue also offer some decent wall storage options to make life a little easier.
Installation is pretty easy and straightforward, too, which is quite a major thing with a large scale piece of fitness equipment like a squat rack. Each one comes with a Quick-Attach Pull-Up Bar (really useful – I loved it), mounting brackets that are very well sized and executed, so they go up easily, a set of J-cups and the detent pins mentioned above. You can also add optional fold back rack stringers, each made from 11-gauge steel and bale to be mounted to a standard wood stud wall. I would personally go with these – for a little extra money, your life will be far more straightforward.back to menu ↑
Monster RM-3W Fold Back Wall Mount Rack
Now we move on to the so called ‘Monster’ version of the RM-3W fold back squat rack. It is essentially a more space efficient, wall-mounted version of their standard Monster RM-3 Rack, which can be conveniently folded away when not in use.
The Monster series is designed to be tough as nails, for those looking to work with some serious weight. The fold back version features two 3×3”, 11-gauge steel uprights which are 90” tall, with 1” hardware, 2” hole spacing throughout, and keyholes on the outside of each upright. You can buy it once more in two depth options (41.5” and 21.25”). The deeper is better, as with the basic RM-3W, though, of course, the shallower option stays truer to the central goal of saving you space.
The Monster RM-3W has a really high-quality MG black finish, a quick-attach pull-up bar, Monster J-Cups, and optional stringers.
This all leads to the hardy strength and versatility of Rogue’s Monster series whilst using a fraction of the space of the regular version. In pursuit of this very worthy outcome, Rogue have developed a unique hinge-and-pin system that is both incredibly sturdy and very easy to install.
You get a pair of stringers with your order. Though these can be deselected in Rogue’s dropdown menu, I would suggest keeping them in there. They are very good, laser-cut, formed with the same hardcore 11-gauge steel and finished in the same MG black powder coat as the rest of the rack. They are 59” long x 10.125” high and extend 0.8125” when put together.
This is completely worth it. Your every training session will be far easier and more comfortable with the stringers involved.back to menu ↑
Monster Lite RML-390 FULLW Fold Back Wall Mount Power Rack
The Monster Lite version in Rogue’s range, the RML-3FULLW, is arguably the most admirable item on this list. Though far from offering the best utility, it fulfils a folding squat rack’s brief absolutely perfectly.
If you really are short on space and want something to work with that is completely unobtrusive, this is the one for you.
The Monster Lite boasts a 30” inside depth. Their new hinge and mini crossmember design also allows you to fold the rack’s moveable panels flush atop one another, which will save you a lot of space when you’re not using it. In fact, when both of these panels are folded, the Monster Lite will extend just 6.5” off the mounting surface.
Aside from being much smaller than the other items on this list, you can choose between over a dozen different colors, which is hardly ground-breaking, but is an option I really like on this model. If you’re trying to keep things subtle, you want a piece of kit that goes with your color scheme – it needs to tie into the space, rather than dominating it. This small touch goes a long way, for me.
There is a lot more to recommend the Monster Lite than simply its unobtrusiveness, however.
It’s made to the same standard as all of Rogue’s squat racks, using heavy duty, high gauge steel tubing for its structure. It also has protective UHMW feet, a set of Monster Lite J-Cups, and all required hardware for set-up. This all makes it tough as hell, able to withstand far more than most other folding squat racks of its size, and incredibly usable. The training experience is second to none for its scale.
You can also buy a ton of upgrades, including a single bar holder, single bar vertical hangar, and a plate storage post.back to menu ↑
Rogue RML-90 Slim Rack
Rogue’s 90” Slim Rack is another incredibly well-designed model, made specifically to offer maximum durability and stability without taking up too much space. To this end, Rogue make it using a very simple set up of two wall-mounted Monster Lite uprights, made from 3×3” 11-gauge steel.
It will look good in any garage gym, standing at 90.375” with a tiny footprint. The frontage extends just 15” from the wall (further than the Lite, but still not bad at all).
You get a texture black finish to the steel tubing, a pair of Monster Lite J-cups, and UHMW plastic feet to protect your flooring as standard, plus a few extra pieces to choose from, such as type of mount (bracket vs. crossmember) and whether to include Rogue Stringers and/or a 43” Single Pull-Up Bar.
The crossmember mount includes four 12” long steel crossmember attachments, designed to mount to the Monster Lite uprights on one side and a stringer on the other, giving you a good deal of versatility. From here, you can attach a lot of the Monster Lite range of accessories, including the single bar holder, single bar vertical hangar, and the plate storage post, all mentioned above.
You can include Rogue Stringers, the same 11-gauge, laser-cut steel models as you would use with any of the items on this list, and a pull up bar in the form of the 43” Single Monster Lite Pull-Up Bar.
If you’re a little more experienced and know exactly what you like and what you’re looking for, this is ideal. This is perhaps the option I would personally go with. Including a pull up bar and plate storage, with a slightly deeper footprint, it would give you a lot more versatility. You would be able to make the most out of your brace under the bar and walkout, and would be able to quickly sort your plates between sets.