What is the difference between Squat Racks, Power Racks, Half Racks, and Squat Stands?

So, this is a question that we get asked a lot and so I thought I would throw up a quick and simple post about the differences between these types of racks.

Squat Rack/Power Rack – 4 posts

So, a squat rack and a power rack are basically the exact same thing. It all my research I at least have never come across anything saying differently. As far as I know they're interchangeable and we will use the names interchangeably on this site.

Squat racks and power racks have four posts and safety bars of some kind for dropping heavy weights safely. They are the safest type of rack to lift heavy weights and but they also take up the largest amount of space and are the least portable.

Luckily, for whatever reason it's easier to find affordable 4 post squat racks then it is to find half racks.

Hack Rack – 2 connected Posts with or without Safety Arms

Half Rack without safeties
Half Rack with safeties

So this is a bit of an opinion thing but we consider half racks to have:

  • Two Post that are connected via a bottom cross bar for stability
  • May or may not have safety arms

Some people call these squat stands but we like to differentiate these from unconnected squat stands that cannot have safety arms.

Squat Stands

Notice that the posts are not connected because there is no bottom Cross bar.

So, this is what we consider to be a squat stand. The posts are not connected in anyway and are totally independent. Now this makes the rack much lighter and much more mobile but it also makes it a lot less stable.

You could easily miss calculate when re-racking the bar and knock over the entire rack.

On the other hand though these squat stands are highly mobile and take up a little to no space.

This is all just our opinion in the end


That's basically it for this post. You have to keep in mind that a lot of this is just our opinion as there is no strength equipment naming committee that gets together and agrees upon names for all this equipment.