Full Rack Vs Half Rack – Which One is Better?

Modern-day gyming equipment has come a long way when it comes to technological advancements and improving the user experience.

From the treadmill to the rower and the elliptical, each one has gone through significant changes and upgrades throughout all these years.

However, there are still some instruments that have stayed evergreen without going through any noticeable changes: the power racks being the most prominent among them.

Power Rack Comparison

Power Rack Comparison

And they have been steadily growing in popularity between home gym enthusiasts who want to make a private setup of their own. A lot of people today are adopting them for weight lifting, and different barbell workouts like lunges and bench presses.

However, the age-old question remains, which one among the two should you go for? A full rack or a half rack? And in our guide today, we will help you out with just that dilemma.

So sit back and read along.

Half Rack and Full Rack: The Basic Difference

Nothing scares the new gym goer more than the daunting site of a full rack and a half rack out on display. These leviathan-like metal contraptions closely resemble a cage and are specifically designed to serve as an all in one gymming tool.

The full rack or the power rack can be immediately identified with the two standing posts, safety bars and the four upright bars around the barbell.

While the half racks, on the other hand, consist of two standing posts along with an enforced base, which is designed to act as a stabilizer.

Both half racks and full racks are quite unique in their design and overall purpose, hence choosing between the two will depend more on your needs more than anything else.

So what are the major pros and cons of these two instruments?

When Should You Go for the Full Rack?

We would recommend that you go for the full rack if you’re entirely new to exercising with metal instruments or if this is the first time you’re setting up a home gymnasium. The full rack is all about providing you with the best safety measures while you’re working out.

May you be flipping forwards, backwards or not being able to get up during a squat cycle, the cage-like structure of the rack will not go spiraling down and cause damage or injuries.

The full rack’s build is what makes it so very stable. As it’s constructed out of steel, it’s given a heavier base thereby improving the stability and the overall safety measures.

Another fantastic aspect of the full rack is that you won’t need a training buddy to make full use of it. They come with very convenient catch adjustment mechanisms which catch the barbel at a comfortable height reducing the risk of slip injury.

The less you’re concerned about safety, the more are you free to workout to your heart’s content and achieve results faster.

Where Do the Full Racks Disappoint?

The most concerning aspect of the power racks is their price. They are very expensive, and more often than not, buying a single model will put a hole through your savings. But, perhaps what feels the worst, is when you invest so much into it and just use it for a few days and then giving up on exercises altogether.

Full racks should never be an impulse buy, they even take up a relatively huge space, and you will need a much bigger room to fit it.

Moreover, compared to half racks, full racks provide a more limited workout area, which can be quite inconvenient to a lot of people.

Why Go for Half Racks?

The half racks should be purchased by those who frequent the gym more often and have some experience with this instrument.

Though lacking in some safety measures, the half rack more than makes up for it with the various benefits that it provides each user. To start with, let’s just say that they are much smaller than the full racks and comes at almost half the price.

Half racks are just fantastic when it comes to providing barbell flexibility. As, unlike the full rack its workout area is not as restricted, and you can do certain exercises like Olympic lifts or even overhead presses with ease.

Additionally, the lightweight and compact design of the half rack makes it extremely easy to move and store, thereby making it perfect as a home gymming equipment.

What are the Cons of a Half Rack?

As we have mentioned before, the biggest concerns that customers have with High Racks is the lack of safety for the more amateur users. They do not have sufficient security bars, and even though they are designed to catch barbells, the catchers are not as sturdy and can break under considerable force.

Additionally, half racks are made with metal which is much thinner when compared to the heavy-duty steel counterparts of the power racks. So, the stability of the machine is quite questionable during accidents and slip-ups.

Half racks will not allow you to lock the bar as well; hence it’s almost impossible and absolutely unsafe to lift the barbell during certain workouts like the military and the bench press. Also, you will be needing a spotter every time, so working on a half rack all by yourself can get pretty inconvenient. 

This is exactly what makes half racks a bad choice for beginners who want to do low squat movements, but they lose balance very easily.

Final Thoughts

Hope you found our Full Rack vs. Half Rack comparison to be helpful when it came to choosing one between the two. While the half rack, on the one hand, is very flexible with work out routines and storage, the full rack on the other end is secure, safe, stable and just ideal for beginner users. It’s just a matter of deciding which instrument will work for you the best.

Till next time!

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