Something that you’ll rarely see discussed online is safe ways to mount or install a squat rack at home. For heavy-duty power racks, bolting them down is a good option, but with the growth and rising popularity in folding squat racks – which are real space savers – an important consideration is how to correctly mount them.
If you’re new to building a home/garage gym, a term you might not be familiar with is a squat rack stringer. This is an essential component when it comes to mounting a squat rack and in this article, we’ll be covering the basic question of – what is a squat rack stringer?
What Is A Squat Rack Stringer?
A squat rack stringer is a wooden beam or board which you mount over drywall directly into the studs of the wall. The stringer’s purpose is to perform as a mounting surface with weight distribution across 2-4 wall studs.
Home gym enthusiasts use it as an alternative to mounting equipment directly to the drywall to avoid damaging the structural integrity of your garage or basement home gym.
Weight lifters borrow the concept from building construction. Stringers are an essential step to install and support load-bearing surfaces like stairs or tubs. It is used for other engineering purposes as well.
Your stringer board shouldn’t be a cheap piece of stick wood for the safest and worry-free workout. Instead, a good stringer should be made with a closed-grain, dense wood such as birch, cherry, or maple. These woods are much stronger and also resistant to rot.
Do You Need A Stringer Board For A Squat Rack?
If you have a wall mount-style squat rack, the answer is definitely yes. In fact, you’ll need two; one for the top and one for the base.
You could technically get away with using your squat rack without a stringer board for a while, but you would almost certainly pay for it in the long run (unless you bolt down the squat rack instead). The mounts of your squat rack will slowly deteriorate the wood, concrete, or masonry of your home if you choose to go boardless.
The damage caused by improper mounting could easily spell disaster for you, your home’s structural integrity, or both. Don’t risk an injury caused by mounting your workout gear the wrong way. Take some quick measurements so you know how long your stringer boards need to be, and pick up a couple of boards!
As you can see by this installation video below for mounting a squat rack, the key step is to get your stringer in place before even assembling your squat rack.
What Size Stringer Board Do You Need For Your Squat Rack?
You’ll need some basic measurements from your home gym area to determine what size stringer boards you should use for your wall-mounted squat rack.
For starters, there is no reason to both measuring your squat rack. The average squat rack width is between 44” and 49”. Squat racks over 49” do not exist because the shaft of the barbell you use in your workouts would not be possible to rack up if the cage frame were any wider.
So instead, you will locate the studs in the wall that you are mounting the home gym equipment to and measure the distance between them. In most modern builds, the wall studs will be at standardized 16” or 24” intervals. However, older construction and DIY add-ons to the home may have non-standard spacing between studs. So it’s always good to check.
You want to anchor the stringer boards into at least three studs each if possible. So, depending on stud placement and if you have the wall space, a pair of 2’ x 4’ or 2’ x 6’ stringer boards (even Amazon have 2’ x 6’ maple boards which you can check out here) will work perfectly. If your stud spacing is 24” intervals, you’ll need the longer board to reach a third anchor stud.
Besides a standard board, there is also a specialist piece of equipment that Rogue has brought out for mounting squat racks. The Rogue R-3W is a specialist stringer board specifically made for mounting squat racks (in particular foldable racks) though it definitely comes in a bit pricier than some boards from the hardware store!
This was a relatively straightforward and short article because it’s a very simple step when it comes to installing a squat rack. Squat rack stringers give structural support to both your wall and rack to ensure proper weight/load distribution for safe lifting.
Stringers don’t need to be overly complicated. Just take a measurement for your walls studs and mount two stringer boards (if you have the basic DIY skills to do so). Once mounted, you can then safely mount your squat rack without worry for the structural integrity of the wall behind whilst also being relatively confident that your rack won’t collapse during the re-racking of a heavy weight.