When constructing a home gym, finding the right equipment to allow you to squat is of high priority. There are multiple options for building a home gym that allows you to squat. Some of them are stand alone squat stands, squat racks, multi press squat racks, and simply dumbbells. You can also use resistance bands to squat.
The main pieces of equipment for squatting are squat racks (with barbells), dumbbells, and resistance bands. All of these pieces of equipment can each let you perform a squat variation using them. Using a squat rack is going to be the best way to squat but due to limitations in budget and space available, the other two pieces of equipment can also get the job done.
There are other forms of squatting that are machine-assisted but this is only going to cover mechanical squatting with weight.
The first obvious piece of equipment to buy for a home gym for squatting is a squat rack.
A squat rack is a metal frame with safety’s (bars that stop you from dying if you can’t get the weight back up) and hooks (metal hooks that attach to the rack and hold the bar).
A squat rack is going to be the best option for making a home gym if you want to squat using a barbell. You can buy squat racks and squat stands but since racks are safer and come with safety’s, I recommend to buy squat racks.
Setting up a squat rack will likely take a little engineering but there are hundreds of YouTube tutorials as well as included instructions to ensure that you know what you’re doing. Most squat racks are 7-8 feet tall which will typically require the home gym to be set up in a garage or backyard.
There are also additional functions to squat racks beyond just squatting. Squat racks can be used for overhead shoulder presses as well as many other compound movements like rack pulls and rows.
The best squat rack available right now for home gyms is the powerline multipress rack by Fitness Factory. This rack is the best for three reasons. These are price, quality, and durability.
A squat rack that lasts a while is important and this one is going to make sure you have a multifunctional rack to use for years if not decades. It also can function as a bench press, weight stand and deadlifting station due to how it’s set up.
An alternative to squatting with a barbell is to use dumbbells. Dumbbells can be used to do goblet squats which are done by holding the weight vertically in front of your body like a front squat than squatting down and back up.
This squat variation is useful if you do not have the space for a squat rack or if you only have access to dumbbells.
Dumbbells are also multifunctional and can be used for many different exercises. Some of the exercises that can be done with barbells for legs are lunges, stiff leg deadlifts, hip thrusts, calf raises, reverse lunges, and split squats. All of these movements can be done only with a set of dumbbells.
For the best dumbbells, I recommend the adjustable dumbbells set by MOVTOTOP. These are cheaper than buying a full set and can be adjusted to weights heavy enough for good workouts.
A third way to do squats in addition to with barbells and dumbbells is by using resistance bands.
Squats can be done with resistance bands by holding the handles at shoulder length and squatting. Resistance bands can also be used for many other exercises and could be added to the other two squat variations already mentioned for added resistance.
Resistance bands are also very portable and can be taken with you when traveling and to add variation to hotel workouts. They can be used at different weights by holding them either closer to or further away from their handle.
The best resistance bands to buy are the body-solid tools resistance tubes by Fitness Factory. They are cheap, effective, and durable. These resistance bands also come with handles making them easy to use for bicep curls, triceps extensions and other exercises that require a handle to be gripped for proper execution of the movement.
The best squat equipment for home gyms are going to be either squat racks, dumbbells, or resistance bands. Squat racks will allow you to do barbell squats which recruit the highest number of muscle fibers, dumbbells will enable you to squat by doing goblet squats which also stimulate the leg muscles and back well, and resistance bands will provide extra resistance when doing bodyweight squats, getting more out of the movement.
The best sources for buying all of these pieces of equipment have been linked in their respective sections.