Best Pendulum Squat Machine

Best pendulum squat reviewed

The deep range of motion of a pendulum squat makes it a top choice for elite commercial gyms. If you're trying to find out what's the best pendulum squat for your own workout space, we've got you covered.

David // Barbells Abroad

Pendulum Squats - The What & The Which

TLDR: In this guide we look at a range of pendulum squat machines, discussing the best for a range of needs and of course, talking a little bit about what’s the point of them too. We have been paid by no-one and (stupidly) received no payment for our recommendations. 

Key Takeaways

  • Pendulum Squats are plate loaded
  • They allow for a deeper range of motion than a traditional squat
  • They are known to reduce torque on the knee joints

Quick Answer

Our top all-round pick for the best pendulum squat, is the Atlantis Pendulum Squat  – click to read.

A pendulum squat machine is a specialized piece of gym equipment designed to target the lower body muscles. Named for the pendulum-like motion of the weight, this machine provides a safe and effective alternative to traditional barbell squats.

The pendulum squat machine offers the following benefits:

  • Consistent resistance throughout the exercise, ensuring your muscles are engaged from the start to the end of your squat

  • Reduced strain on the lower back and knees compared to barbell squats

  • Adjustable weight and range of motion to accommodate different fitness levels and goals

Incorporating the pendulum squat machine into your workout routine can help you build strength and muscle in your lower body while minimizing the risk of injury.

Pendulum squats shine in their ability to isolate and target specific leg muscles, making them a great alternative to the leg press. By prioritizing the engagement of the quadriceps, glutes, and adductors, they provide a comprehensive workout for the lower body. The consistent tension maintained during the exercise promotes muscle growth, leading to increased strength and size.

Also, pendulum squats offer a workout option that is gentle on the back. By minimizing stress on the spine, they effectively engage lower body muscles while safeguarding the lower back. This makes them particularly advantageous for individuals who have concerns about their lower back during workouts.

While pendulum squats might seem similar to other lower body exercises, they have several distinct features. For one, they offer a unique muscle activation pattern. While primarily targeting the quadriceps, gluteal muscles, adductors, and calves, pendulum squats also engage the hamstrings and calves, albeit to a lesser degree. This differentiates them from barbell squats, leg presses, and pivot squats, which have different muscle activation patterns.

Furthermore, pendulum squats provide a unique training effect. The pendulum motion of the weight provides consistent resistance throughout the exercise, ensuring your muscles remain engaged from start to finish. This results in a more thorough and effective workout, setting pendulum squats apart from other lower-body exercises.

Picking the right pendulum squat machine involves careful consideration of various factors, including:

  • Budget

  • Size

  • Resale value

  • Floor fixing ease

  • Customizable surface material

  • Durability

  • Aftercare options

Given the multitude of choices available, it’s vital to carefully consider your individual requirements and preferences.

When choosing a pendulum squat machine, there are several factors to consider:

  • Budget: Identify a solution that effectively combines cost with the necessary features.

  • Size: Ensure that the machine will fit comfortably in your available space.

  • Resale value: Consider the machine’s potential resale value.

  • Floor fixing: Check if the machine can be easily fixed to the floor.

  • Surface material: Look for options to customize the surface material.

  • Durability: Consider the machine’s durability and longevity.

  • Aftercare options: Check for warranty and maintenance services.

Considering these factors will help you make an informed decision when choosing a pendulum squat machine.

what is a pendulum squat
A pendulum squat at Stackhouse Rayleigh Essex.

Why you can trust our leg machine review

Barbells Abroad is run by two PT trained fitness nerds and supported by another writer who is also an active PT.  (She’s a savage spin master too)

Our reviews are grounded in comprehensive research, expert views, and user feedback, offering trustworthy and impartial suggestions. We are owned by no one and so we can write independently. If we don’t love something, we can AND WILL say it. We haven’t been paid to make shout-outs for this pendulum squat guide – even if we wish we were!

Our review process involves:

  • Finding out what specifically users are looking for in a machine.

  • Evaluating crucial factors such as build quality, weight capacity, and performance indicators to effectively compare and assess the quality of the machines

  • Getting feedback from others and of course; USING THEM! Yes we aren’t just bloggers, we are about this life, which is why we often appear in our photos.

What makes a good Pendulum Squat (To us)?

Not all pendulum squat machines are of the same quality. A good pendulum squat machine needs to be durable, adjustable, and suitable for various user heights and fitness levels. After all, a machine that can’t withstand regular use or accommodate the users’ needs won’t be of much benefit in the long run.

Durability takes precedence. A pendulum squat machine should be made of robust and sturdy materials, with reinforced joints and a reliable movement mechanism that minimizes wear and tear.

Next, adjustability is crucial. A good machine should offer adjustable features such as platform angle and shoulder pad height or depth, ensuring users of different heights and leg lengths can achieve optimal alignment and range of motion.

Finally, we look at factors such as aesthetics, price and the bits which are a bit more ‘weird’. I (David) have issues with hip mobility, so I want a wider base to allow myself to get greater depth. A narrow unit, means a narrow footplate and with that, an impaired experience. 

And that’s about it. Time for the winners.

Winners - The Best Pendulum Squat Machines

Each with their own win, these are our top choices for the best pendulum squat machine. So, if you want to build out a world star leg section in your gym, or just all star legs from home, these are the pendulums for you. If you want to know how to put their use into action and grow a solid set of stumps – check out my Quad workout for mass guide.

Quick Links...

1/5 Best Pendulum Squat Overall

When it came to picking the best pendulum squat overall, we wanted a model made by an eponymous global bodybuilding brand, which meant it would have obvious resale appeal. It needed to come with a broad range of customisation options, be adjustable, have floor fixings, look good and be able to handle a lot of weight. Our winner – the Atlantis Pendulum Pro.

Atlantis Pendulum Squat Pro

Online Brand Score (10)
10/10
Best Pendulum Squat Overall - Atlantis
Atlantis Strength

Probably one of the longest established names in the resistance game – Atlantis is a highly credible brand and make products that any respectable gym would want to take on. We’ve given them the award for best overall pendulum squat, as an homage to their brand and global appeal. They aren’t cheap, but you’ll never struggle to find a home for it.

Pros:
  • A premier name in bodybuilding, a classic piece to own if you’re lucky enough.  
  • Holds value well
Cons:
  • New, this puppy is in the five figure range, that’s a bit rich for most people’s liking.
  • Probably could take a bit more weight – although if you can pendulum squat 160kg I’d be surprised.
Specifications:
  • Width : 97 cm
  • Height : 181 cm
  • Length : 241 cm
  • Weight : 317 kg
  • Starting resistance : 21 kg
  • Max load : 164 kg
Rating: 
  • Brand Appeal – 5/5
  • Resale Value – 4/5
  • Durability – 4/5
  • Cost – 1/5
Verdict:

While the cost of the Atlantis Pendulum Squat might be a deterrent for some, its high resale value makes it a worthwhile investment. Its exceptional performance and reputation as one of the top leg machines on the market make it highly sought after in the resale market.

2/5 Best Pendulum Squat For Durability

If you’re investing in fitting out a commercial gym space, you want a brand that can take a lot of wear and tear, is not overly loaded with flashy fixings that break, and has been welded by some of the best in the trade. For this pendulum squat award, we even went down to the factory to see for ourselves how much attention goes into each model made. 

Too many working parts mean more things to go wrong and poor paint jobs mean more visible dilapidation. This winner can even produce their equipment in a highly durable clear glaze that looks mustard. But for now, let’s talk about this pendulum squat more specifically.

Watson Strength Pendulum Squat

Online Brand Score (9.8)
9.8/10
Best Pendulum Squat For Durability - Watson Gym
Watson Gym

The Watson Pendulum Squat gets our nod as the most durable in the gang, as it nicely balances price and aftercare, with their lifetime guarantee. The machine looks nicely finished too, with their chrome counterweight on the opposing end of the unit. The footplate adjustment system is made with the minimum of working parts, which serves two purposes. 

  1. Less to go wrong
  2. Enables more pressure/force

Watson Gym Equipment keep a tight control on QA in their workshops, the same team that calibrate their dumbbells to 0.05% deviation. This is a business with traditional high quality values, and to be fair, given the price of competing models; it’s really well positioned.

Pros:
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • UK Made
  • Nice counterbalance system
  • Adjustable footplate
  • Stable footplate
  • Lots of customisation options 
Cons:
  • Hard to source second hand (Which is probably not a con!)
Specifications:
  • Width : 86 cm
  • Height : 155 cm
  • Length : 240 cm
Rating: 
  • Brand Appeal – 4.5/5
  • Resale Value – 4.5/5
  • Durability – 5/5
  • Cost – 4/5
Verdict:

A ton of customisation options including leathers made to match high performance car marques. Their kit is built for battle and used by some of the biggest lifters in the world. Easy pick here.

3/5 Best Pendulum Squat For Looks

The best pendulum squat for aesthetics, is a close run choice. But to give one particular name some rightful attention, we opted for a brand that had a ton of customisation options, loads of adjustability, and a logo that carries a lot of kudos. You will see this  brand in a number of IFBB pro run gyms and while part of that is due to the ‘Made in US’ high quality build; the other part, is that it looks a bit naughty too. 

Arsenal Strength Pendulum Squat

Online Brand Score (9.4)
9.4/10
Arsenal Strength Pendulum Squat
Arsenal Strength

Bigger in the US than they are in the UK, Europe and Australia, so you’d be forgiven for not seeing their fineries just yet, but Arsenal Strength is a rapidly growing brand in the strength training world. Their equipment is built for elite trainers, and with that they offer a ton of adjustments on many of their machines. More importantly they have a look about them, which is partially ‘classic gym’ and a logo that says ‘I’m here to destroy’. 

Their pendulum squat comes in a range of colours, as any brand tends to, but there is something meaty about their design style which from the side looks like a hammer of Thor. Whatever the case, I think they look awesome and would make a fantastic addition to any commercial gym space. 

Pros:

A premier name in bodybuilding, a classic piece to own if you’re lucky enough. They add cachet to your gym space and can handle as much weight as the some of the greats could throw at it. 

Cons:
  • Bigger than other similar pendulum squats.
  • Shoulder pads are a little hard
Specifications:
  • Width : 142 cm
  • Height : 208.5 cm
  • Length : 254 cm
  • Starting Weight : 40kg
Rating: 
  • Brand Appeal – 5/5
  • Resale Value – 4/5
  • Durability – 4/5
  • Cost – 1/5
Verdict:

A great looking pendulum squat with it’s classic 90s era aesthetic, but still built like it’s able to handle anything.

4/5 Best Pendulum Squat For Home Gym

Unless you are cake-o, (UK for made of money) you are probably going to be leaning toward ‘semi-commercial’ gym equipment, for budgetry reasons. When it comes to us picking a best pendulum squat for home gyms we thought about what is likely to be at the bottom end of the budget scale, but could also find itself in a gym sometimes too. There are some low cost ‘almost pendulums’ but they tend to be leverage squat machines instead. 

After weighing up a few options, we discarded one, as they seem to appear in all ‘best pendulum squat’ guides and part of me thinks that may be because they pay out the best commission rate. Not a reason to appear in one of our guides therefore, and with that, I present to you our pick.

Primal Strength Performance Series Pendulum Squat

Online Brand Score (9)
9/10
Best Pendulum Squat for home
Arsenal Strength

I hate being harsh as they make some nice looking kit, but Primal Strength is not the most elite gym kit brand in the world. I’m sure they will protest…but, if they were up there – the best bodybuilding gyms in Las Vegas would be showing it off. Now, that all being said, Primal make equipment that is reasonably priced and offers the opportunity for a home gym owner (with a few quid) to have an almost commercial-like experience in their garden room.

If I had Primal in my home gym, I’d be pleased as punch, no cap. The Primal Pendulum Squat has a solid fixed footplate with decent width to help those with more difficult hip mobility, and points to affix it to a solid floor to stop it tipping over while you have full ATG mode on. 

Pros:

A premier name in bodybuilding, a classic piece to own if you’re lucky enough. They add cachet to your gym space and can handle as much weight as the some of the greats could throw at it. 

Cons:
  • Doesn’t hold resale value as well as other commercial brands.
  • Shorter warranties
  • Doesn’t feel as stable based.
  • Not as aesthetically strong.
Specifications:
  • Width : 112 cm
  • Height : 162 cm
  • Length : 186 cm
Rating: 
  • Brand Appeal – 2/5
  • Resale Value – 2.5/5
  • Durability – 3/5
  • Cost – 4.5/5
Verdict:

Very well priced and if you find them second hand you’re looking around the grand mark which is possibly the best out there. As home gym pendulum squats go, this is by far the best option. If you’ve got the space for a pendulum (as well as a rack – obviously), you’ll have a serious home leg setup.

5/5 Best Pendulum Squat For Athletes

When it comes to picking a pendulum squat for athletes, I wanted to present a marque you may not have come across before. The key factor in picking this category winner was who has their machinery fitted in elite level sports facilities and can take the world’s most explosive people clanging into them every single day, every single week, month and season. 

I think I know just the brand.

Rogers Athletic Pendulum Power Squat

Online Brand Score (8.6)
8.6/10
Rogers Strength Pendulum Squats
Rogers Strength

This may not be a brand you’ve heard of unless you hang around the athletics departments of the D1 US colleges, or professional sports teams in America, but Rogers Strength, makes supreme impact absorbing resistance equipment. Plus their models look angry too.

Pros:
  • I’ve read this can take a full load of up to 1500 lbs. That seems insane.
  • Smaller in height than most pendulums
  • Adjustable for different height users
  • Increased tension across the ROM.
  • Favoured by College Football weights rooms. 
Cons:
  • Not a conventional pendulum squat.
  • Wider than other units
  • Pricey
Specifications:
  • Width : 180 cm
  • Height : 142 cm
  • Length : 145 cm
Rating: 
  • Brand Appeal – 3/5
  • Resale Value – 3.5/5
  • Durability – 5/5
  • Cost – 5/5
Verdict:

When it comes to equipping athletes, Rogers are a top brand, and while this pendulum squat does not look like a conventional model, the movement feels the same. The adaptability to different size users makes it a stand out unit for some of the biggest beasts on the field and in the gym.

Outro

And that’s a wrap, the best pendulum squat machines for all eventualities. From the best for home use, to the most durable, to one that you’d want for your defensive tackles.

If there is anything we have not explained properly or a bit of kit you think we are mad to dismiss, follow us on IG @barbellsabroad and tell us what to add. Thanks for reading and share us your workout photos if you use the plan above.

Your Pendulum Squat Brand Could Be Here

If we missed your product or brand and think you deserve a mention we are always open to trialling equipment or learning more about what you do. Feel free to get in touch and if you are extra sweet we may even let you ask us about featured spots in the future.

Drop us a message to contact at barbellsabroad.com and tell us what we’re missing.

Author / Editor
What to read next?
Save To My Phone pendulum squat

Want Bigger Legs?

Get our FREE Monster Leg Workout plan