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5 Best Independent Squat Stands for Home Gyms- 40+ Reviewed by PT

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What music do squat stands listen to?

Heavy metal!

Hi there,

My name is Steve Hoyles, and I suck at one-liners.

I do…I accept that…

However, I don’t suck at choosing squat stands…of any type, with any budget.

I’ve owned a gym and worked as a personal trainer for over 20 years now.

Two. Zero. Years.

That’s long!!

Don’t trust me, trust the data

The team here at Strong Home Gym takes pride in making recommendations based on testing, first-hand experiences, and data…lots of data.

That’s what we did for this guide.

  • We compiled a database of 400+ stands, racks, and cages.
  • We filtered it down to just over 40 of the best independent squat stands, and compared them in 18 quality aspects – from the basics like steel profile and thickness to the finer aspects like welds and coating.
  • We’ve narrowed it down to 5 top picks that represent all types and cover all budgets.

These are their stories…

Budget Option

41dOVBIri0L. SL500ir?t=shgindependentsquatrack 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B018XDH17K

F2C Adjustable

Best Overall

Bells of Steel Squat Stands 3.0

Bells of Steel 3.0

Premium Option


Rogue S-4 2.0

But first, if you want to see our best squat rack picks you find the full guide here.

3 best independent squat stands (and 2 connected)

Top 3 independent stands
Name of the standsBest in categoryRating*
(out of 100)
PriceDefining feature/characteristic
1. Bells of Steel 3.0Best overall (top value)71.7$$$Good value, easy to move (wheels)
2. Rogue S-4 2.0Money-no-object (upgrade pick)69.4$$$$High-end build, finishes and attention to detail
3. F2C AdjustableBudget57$Cheap
Top 2 connected stands
Name of the standsBest in categoryRating
(out of 100)
PriceDefining feature/characteristic
4. ROGUE SML-2CBest connected stand overall80.1$$$$Well-rounded – solid in all key aspects.
5. Titan X-3 tall standBudget pick69$$$Solid for the price.

*note: ratings of independent and connected stands are not directly comparable because they’re based on different sets of criteria.

1 – Best independent squat stand overall (top value pick)Bells of Steel 3.0

Rating: 71.7 out of 100

Bells of Steel Squat Stands 3.0

Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a robust, 11-gauge squat stand on a budget.


  • Wheels on the base make it easier to move. (Something I’ve never seen before!)
  • Costs less than Rogue, Titan, and REP stands.
  • Better finishes and higher weight capacity compared to the 2.0 version.
  • Best warranty in this price range.


  • Lower weight capacity than most squat stands in the price range (600 lbs).
  • No bar catches (the 2.0 had them).


Bells of Steel 3.0 is the best independent squat stand for you if these 3 points are true:

  1. You’re so tight on space that you need to move the stand. (check out the best folding squat racks if space is your main concern)
  2. You don’t like the idea of carrying a bulky piece of steel.
  3. You’re a hard-hat buyer and every dollar matters.

A hybrid between the 2.0 and their commercial stand

Let me unpack that.

The 2.0 is the previous version of this rack.

Compared to it, 3.0 has seen some significant improvements.

BOS (Bells of Steel) used thicker steel; and got rid of those ghastly cheap chrome uprights.

The commercial stand – not made anymore

BOS used to make a commercial-grade squat stand.

In many ways, it was similar to the 3.0.

In others, it wasn’t – it was thicker, had a higher weight capacity (1,000 vs. 600), and you could bolt it to the floor.

It also cost more.

In theory, bolting the stand to the floor allowed for the use of attachments like dip bars.

In practice, few people use short stands like that.

The smart guys over at BOS recognized all that, went back to the drawing board, and brought us the 3.0 stand.

Kudos for that!

It’s better than the 2.0 and cheaper than the commercial-grade unit.

You can see the three stands side-by-side below.

Bells of Steel squat stand versions compared - 3.0 vs 2.0 vs commercial

Bottom line

The wheels are the most significant advantage of this stand. If you plan on moving it, it’s a no-brainer.


Footprint per stand (square feet)4.83 (29 x 24 inches)
Profile dimensions (inches) and gauge2.36 x 2.36, 12 gauge
Weight capacity (lbs)600
Height of the uprights (inches)72.4

2 – Best squat stand overall (independent) – Rogue S-4 2.0

Rating: 69.4 out of 100


Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a superior squat stand and is OK with spending more to get it.


  • The beefiest base I’ve seen in a squat stand (7 gauge).
  • Westside spacing allows for precise J-hooks placement (1-inch spacing in the benching area).
  • First-class hardware, connections, and included attachments.


  • No caps on the uprights (shouldn’t be a problem unless your home gym is outside)
  • No wheels on the base.
  • Costs more than your average stand.


The second version of the Rogue S4 squat stand is the best Indy* rack overall because it’s the most well-rounded.

“Well-rounded” means a few things – these 3 above all:

  1. Superior build – both structural and connections.
  2. Precise tolerances and finishes.
  3. Better hardware and attachments.

*Indy – short for independent.

Steel thickness is second to none

The S-4 is one of only two squat pieces in our 400-strong database that uses 7-gauge steel.

That includes racks and cages.

The other is a commercial-grade rack from EliteFTS that costs 11 times more than the Rogue S-4.

You read that right…..11 times…1100%.

Is 7 gauge overkill?

That’s a good question.

In terms of durability and handling weight, yes.

In terms of stability, no.

In other words, having a beefier base makes sense for squat stands. It stabilizes the whole unit and lowers the center of gravity.

What it means for you

For you, it means a stand that feels (almost) as stable as a rack….and that’s rare.

Tolerances and finishes – what we’ve come to expect from Rogue

The rigidity of the connections matters more in squat stands than in racks.


Because you’re not attaching the stands to the wall or another set of uprights.

What I’ve seen on the S-4 are near-perfect connections.

Everything just lines up.

In the short term, that means easy assembly.

In the long term, that means less wobble.

Hardware and attachments – as good as it gets

If the quality of the nuts, bolts, and washers is vital in ANY one piece of home gym equipment, it’s an indy squat stand.

The ones that come with the S-4 are as good as it gets.

The bolts are 15/16 and fit the 1-inch holes snugly.

The washers are machined precisely, and don’t scratch the coating (just make sure the flush side is facing inward). You can find a great video on how to install it here.

Long story short – paired with the triangle gusset and the thick steel, they make for a rock-solid stand.

Bottom line

The S-4 is simply better than the competition in many small ways that add up. If price isn’t a key factor, it’s THE stand to get.


Footprint per stand (square feet)3.97 (26 x 22 inches)
Profile dimensions (inches) and gauge2 x 3
Weight capacity (lbs)1,000
Height of the uprights (inches)72

3 – Best cheap squat stand – F2C Adjustable

Rating: 57 out of 100

41dOVBIri0L. SL500ir?t=shgindependentsquatrack 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B018XDH17K

Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a dirt-cheap stand that ticks the basic quality boxes.


  • Cheap.
  • Small footprint.
  • Adjustable height of uprights.


  • Basic build.
  • Not as stable as top-tier stands.


This list wouldn’t be complete without a cheap squat stand from Amazon.

Let’s call a spade a spade…

This is not a great squat stand; it’s decent and mind-bogglingly cheap.

It also has no critical flaws, which is often the case with stands in this price range.


This might be a better way to put it – it’s the least bad squat stand in the dirt-cheap category.

What (not) to expect

Don’t expect stability.

This thing is small, light, and will move. It’s not going to work for you if you’re moving big numbers, but for most people, it’ll do somewhat of a job.

Bottom line

F2C is not for advanced lifters and perfectionists. It will do the job for beginners and intermediate lifters on a shoestring budget.


Footprint per stand (square feet)2.47 (20.1 x 17.7 inches)
Profile dimensions (inches) and gaugeapproximately 2 x 2, 16 gauge
Weight capacity (lbs)550
Height of the uprights (inches)66.5

Check out the best budget power racks if you want to find more budget options.

4 – Best squat stand with a connected base and a pull-up bar – Rogue SML-2C

Rating: 80.1 out of 100

The Rogue SML-2C Squat Stand

Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a stable stand with a great pull-up bar.


  • Safer than independent stands.
  • Compatible with Rogue’s half-rack conversion kit.
  • Diverse pool of attachments (including wheels and floor mounting plates).
  • 11 color choices.


  • Pricey – with shipping and tax, it costs 15-30% more than main competitors.


The creatively named SML-2C from Rogue is the best connected squat stand overall because it’s the most well-rounded.

It’s one of the most popular stands ever made, with good reasons.

To name a few:

  1. Burly build – 11-gauge steel, 2×3 base, and 3×3 uprights.

    It’s also available in 11 cool colors.

    (No yellow, though…which is my favorite, as you can tell if you’ve been reading my stuff or coming to my gym).
  2. Westside spacing.
  3. Great pull-up bar (also available with a fat and skinny bar).
  4. Premium finishes – laser-cut edges, clean welds, “satin” powder coat.
  5. Easy to convert to a half-rack.

Number 5 is a biggie if you still have dilemmas about the type of rack/stand you need. Converting this to a half rack is simple and will cost you about 300 extra bucks.

All this praise might sound generic, but that happens when no one thing stands out.

Is it worth the extra buck?

The trade-off is the price….well, kinda…

Note 3 points here:

  1. This stand costs about 30% more than similar Titan stands (the T-3 specifically).
  2. It costs 30-40% less than taller stands from Rogue (like the SM-2 Monster).
  3. It also costs 20-30% less than the direct competitor from REP (the SR-4000).

That puts the price thing into perspective.

Bottom line

With all that said, the value scales tip in favor of this Rogue head-turner. The superior J-cups alone justify the price difference.

If you asked me how to improve this stand, I’d struggle to answer and probably talk about yellow uprights.


Footprint (square feet)16.33 (49 x 48 inches)
Profile dimensions (inches) and gauge3 x 3, 11 gauge
Weight capacity (lbs)1,000
Height of the uprights (inches)92.25

5 – Best short squat stand (connected), budget pick – Titan X-3 Series

Rating: 69 out of 100

Titan Fitness X-3 Series Short Squat Stand

Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a stable stand, and has no use for a pull-up bar on it.


  • 10-30% cheaper than similar stands from Rogue and REP.
  • Weight capacity is on par with the costlier stands.
  • Stable – gusset welded to the base.
  • Heavy and stable (weighs 130 lbs).


  • Included J-hooks not as good as Rogue’s.
  • 1-year warranty.


“Top-rated” label in the short connected category goes to the Titan X-3 Series.

The main reason here is value for money – both in terms of the initial investment and the money you’d (you’ll) spend on attachments.

Let’s do some quick math…

  • If you wanted a Rogue rack with the same profile and steel thickness, you’d go for the Monster SM-1.

    You’d pay a whopping 70% more for that.
  • If you don’t go crazy with attachments and just get the spotter arms, you’d cough up more than double for Rogue than Titan.

Draw a line underneath, and you get a neat sum of 300-400 bucks.

That’s a lot!

If you wanted Rogue in the same price Range

If you wanted to get the Rogue without spending more, you’d have to settle for a lesser 2×3 profile of the S-1 or the SML-1 Monster Lite (and you’d still pay 10% more).

Bottom line

Titan’s X-3 Series is the best value for money among the short connected squat stands…and it’s not even close.


Footprint (square feet)16 (48 x 48 inches)
Profile dimensions (inches) and gauge3 x 3, 11 gauge
Weight capacity (lbs)1,000
Height of the uprights (inches)71.25

Check out the best short power racks if you have low ceilings and want to find more options.

Buyer’s guide to squat stands

Below is a tell-all guide on buying a good squat stand in the 2023/24 season.

I’ll make it CCP – Comprehensive, Concise, and Practical.

For simplicity, I’ve boiled it all down to 7 factors.

7 primary factors to look for in a squat stand

Buyer's guide to squat stands

1 – Type of squat stand – independent vs. connected

(no specific number of points in our ratings)

If you’ve been researching a bit, there’s a good chance you’re dazed, confused, and getting angry.

It’s not your fault…

It’s a messy space, and people throw names around willy-nilly….even the brands.

Let’s cut through that clutter!

I’ve adopted two simple rules to use in all my guides:

  1. If it has two uprights, it’s a stand.
  2. If you can move one at a time, it’s independent.
  3. If it has four uprights, it’s a rack.
Type of squat stands - independent, tall connected with a pull-up bar, short connected


The connection can be a bottom stabilizer, a pull-up bar, or both.

Bottom line – the main benefit of an independent stand is how easy it is to move. It’s also great for when space is limited, because it’s easy to move and store, leaving room for other things.

That’s it…

If they’re not crucial for you, go with a connected squat stand or a rack.

Folding rack vs Squat rack vs Half rack vs Power rack

Check out the best squat racks if you think you may want one of these instead.

Prices of independent vs. linked stands

If I was writing this 10 years ago, I’d probably also talk about prices here.

I’m not gonna.

Here’s why…

The average price of the top 5 independent stands is only 10-15% lower than the connected stands.

It should not be a decision point.

If you wanna save money, skimp on the brand name, not the type of stand.

One final note – the distance argument

You might find guys talking about the perfect distance between the uprights as a plus for independent stands.

That’s an old spiel and only relevant for (maybe) 10% of people.

When is it relevant?

If you wanna use it for standing curls with a short bar or squats with an extra-long bar.

Outside those 2, it’s a moot point.

The trade-offs (like stepping over frames and sub-par safety) aren’t worth it.

2 – Size – footprint, height, and weight of a squat stand

(no specific number of points in our ratings)

There are 4 main reasons people go for a squat stand (instead of a full-on rack):

  1. It’s smaller.
  2. You can move it (some of them at least).
  3. It’s cheaper.
  4. It’s simpler and minimal.

Just how small are we talking

Size of independent squat stands

One column of an independent squat rack has a footprint of 2.3-5 square feet, and weighs 40-70 lbs.

If space is really tight, that’s a massive plus.

It means you can move it to the middle of the room, use it, and move it out of the way.

If it stays in place

If you’re not moving it, an independent stand has no real advantage in terms of space.

Below are two graphs:

  1. The first compares the footprints of the top 10 independent squat stands (per one upright).
  2. The second compares the footprints of the Top 10 connected stands.
Footprint of the top-rated independent squat stands
Footprint comparison of top 10 connected squat stands

3 – Mobility of the squat stand – weight and wheels

(no specific number of points in our ratings)

If you need to move the stand, weight does matter.

The weight per upright ranges from 40 to 70+ lbs (graph below).

Naturally, the weight is closely related to stability.

The heavier stands typically have a bigger frame and are made of thicker steel.

So, it’s about priorities – balancing between mobility and stability.

That brings me to my next point…

If you’re buying an independent stand to move it around, get one with wheels.

It’s a no-brainer, really…

To be specific – if this sounds like you, go with the Bells of Steel 3.0 stand.

It’s fat but has wheels.

(This is also the excuse my high-school girlfriend gave her parents for dating me.)

Lastly, the weight of the linked stands only matters as an indicator of the steel thickness (when it’s not listed).

4 – Structural build – tubes, connections, and weight capacity

(0 to 44.8 points across 5 categories)

If you’re getting a squat stand instead of a rack, you better make sure it can take the abuse and remain safe.

Look at 5 things:

  1. Profile dimensions of the steel.
  2. Gauge of the tubing used for the base.
  3. Gauge of the tubing used for the uprights.
  4. The connection between the two (base and uprights).
  5. Weight capacity.

Let’s unpack that…

Profile dimensions

Profiles are typically 2×2 or 2×3 on the independent stands.

You won’t see a 3×3 here because the whole point is keeping them light enough to move.

The linked stands range from 2×2 on the lower (read: cheaper) end to 3×3 on the better ones.

Gauge of the frame and the uprights

The gauge describes the thickness of the stand’s steel.

It ranges from 7 to 16.

A top-of-the-range independent stand like the Rogue S-4, has a 7-gauge base and 11-gauge uprights.

Some cheap Chinese stands from Amazon, like the F2C Adjustable stands, are made from 16-gauge steel.

For a serious lifter, I draw the red line at 14-gauge.

All but one of our top 5 are thicker.

The connection – look for the triangle

The part where the uprights connect to the frame is crucial for stability.

Here’s the gist…

In my experience, a triangular design of the connecting plate is superior to regular nuts and bolts.

Note that I said “stability.”

That doesn’t mean the non-triangles will fail or break.

It means they’re more likely to rattle, wobble, and need tightening.

Of the top 5 best independent stands, 4 feature the triangle stabilizer.

Welded plate – almost there but not quite

The one stand in our top 5 that doesn’t feature a triangle (Titan T-3 Series) has a bottom plate that’s welded onto the base.

In terms of durability, that’s just as good.

In terms of stability and wobble, it’s sub-par.

Triangle vs rectangular plate connection on independent squat stands

Weight capacity of a squat stand – take it with a grain of salt

I know this will raise some eyebrows, but here it goes – weight capacity is a secondary indicator for me.


Because it’s a number defined by the people trying to sell the stands.

I’m looking at our database right now.

If you filter it for stands listed at 1,000 lbs, you get all sorts.

You get 2x2s with 11-gauge steel…you get 2x3s with 12 gauge…you see 7-gauge…

It’s all over the place.

Things get crazier as you go lower in the price ranges, and look at the Chinese stuff.

You see 14 and 16 gauge listed at the same capacities.

Are they the same?

Of course not.

Bottom line – in terms of build quality, weight capacity is secondary to profile size, gauge, and connections.

5 – Stand’s compatibility with attachments

(no specific number of points in our ratings)

Find the best squat rack attachments here.

Independent stands and compatibility

Most people getting an independent stand are looking to squat and bench.

To do that, you need a good pair of J-hooks and spotter arms.

That’s about it.

Nobody’s attaching cables, dip bars, or lever arms onto a humble little stand.

Tall connected stands and attachments

Tall connected stands are big and stable enough to be used with attachments, especially if they’re bolted to the floor.

Compatibility with attachments comes down to 3 things:

  1. Profile size.
  2. Hole diameter.
  3. Hole spacing (when attachment has more than one mounting peg).

A caveat about cross-brand compatibility

Even if you get all 3 points above right on paper, the attachment still might not fit if it’s from a different brand.

We have a massive separate guide on rack-attachment compatibility – you can see it here.

For the purposes of this guide – this simple tip will do:

Plan ahead.

If you plan to add attachments, go with one of the top brands (Rogue, REP, or Titan) and get their attachments.

It’s the easiest way to avoid the what-fits-what.

6 – Price of squat stands

(0 to 53.7 points in our ratings)

Independent stands

A pair of independent squat stands will set you back anywhere from 50 to 400 bucks.

In my experience, the best ones are in the $250-400 range.

Connected stands

Connected stands are costlier – they start at $100 for cheap Chinese stuff and go up to $800 for top-tier stands like Rogue SM-2 Monster or REP SR-4000.

You can see those ranges represented in greater detail in the graphs below.

Price comparison of the best independent squat stands
Price comparison of the top-rated connected squat stands

7 – Warranty of squat stands

(0 to 25.8 points in our ratings)

All the top brands (except for Titan) offer a Lifetime warranty on the frame.

Titan’s 1-year warranty is outdated, and it’s hurting them.

An average buyer will look at their stand and be like “There must be something wrong with this thing…”

There isn’t.

It’s a silly remnant of the old days when Titan’s stuff was just plain bad.

It’s not anymore.

My point is this – stands are welded steel, and if basic specs like gauge and profile are listed, the warranty is a secondary factor.

My rule of thumb is this – if you’re a serious lifter, stay away from stands that only have a money-back guarantee and don’t specify how thick the steel is. Nine times out of ten, these are 16 gauge or thinner.

Methodology – how we assess and rate squat stands

Our ratings of squat stands are driven by first-hand experiences and data.

Below is a step-by-step outline of the process:

  1. We created a database of 400+ racks and stands from 30+ online sources.
  2. We filtered the data to only choose the top stands for this guide – 40 of them.
  3. We talked to first-hand users and industry experts about what they’re looking for in a stand.
  4. We merged that with our in-house expertise (our team includes personal trainers, fitness teachers, and gym owners).
  5. Based on #3 and 4, we defined the criteria for rating the stands – 18 rated factors for the independent and 16 for the connected stands.
  6. We awarded gravity to each criterion/factor – a % of the total rating it carries.
  7. We decided on the number of total picks to present.
    The goal here is to be concise but still cover all types of squat stands and different budgets.
    We ended up with 5 top recommendations.
  8. We keep up with new stand arrivals or changes in quality and update this guide regularly.

Bottom line – the stands listed here are actually the best at any given moment.

Other squat stands – close-but-no-cigar

We aim for simplicity and value in our guide. Simplifying meant cutting out stands that deserve a mention.

We’ll do that here.

Below is a list of squat stands that were close but didn’t quite make it to the top.

Some of these might actually be a better fit for you than the top 5 recommendations.

Honorary mentions among independent squat stands

Honorary mentions among connected squat stands

Best independent squat stand – the bottom line

We’ve eaten the elephant one bite at a time.

We now have a lean but complete list of squat stands that are worth your hard-earned money.

Among the independent stands, we recommend the Bells of Steel 3.0 because of its unparalleled value for money.

Rogue’s SML-2C wins outright in the connected stands category.

It’s not cheap but it’s good enough to bridge the price gap. Our ratings are always top-heavy in favor of value, which says it all.

Where to from here

If you still have doubts, bookmark this page and come back later or skip back to one of the sections:

And take your time…never cut anything that can be untied.

(or eat yellow snow…)

Photo of author
Steve Hoyles is a certified personal trainer and gym owner. Since graduating with his Sports Science degree in 2004 he's worked in the fitness industry, helping thousands of people reach their health and fitness goals. His writing has been read by millions of people in over 200 countries as he inspires to help as many people as possible live a healthy lifestyle.

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