How Big Is A Power Rack And How Much Space Does it Need?

If you’re into weightlifting with barbells, a power cage cannot be absent from your home gym. But how big are they and how much space you need to actually use it? Here’s what you want to know.

The average outside dimensions of a power rack for a home gym are: 51.1” (W), 46.5” (D) and 83.4” (H) (129.8 x 118.1 x 211.8 cm).  To use a power rack to its full potential, keep 3’ free on each side and 4.5’’ in front. Having 16” of headroom above the pull up bar allows for full range pull ups.

Keep reading below to find out how to interpret those dimensions and why you need that amount of free space around the rack.

Power Rack Dimensions

Here are the dimensions of many popular power racks. These are simple racks with four upright posts for a home gym. For commercial gyms there are bigger ones available but for in a home gym those are often too big and unnecessary.

Your heightEye heightTreadmill deckTV mounting height

How wide is a power rack?

The average power cage is 51.1” wide. (129.8 cm) This is the total width so this includes the stabilizer feet or tabs that are bolted to the floor.

The outside width of the upright posts can be a little bit narrower than that although the difference is usually minimal but really depends on the model. The width between the outsides of both upright posts is generally 49” or less. That’s because full length barbells have 51.5” of shaft length between the collars which has to fit on the rack.

The upright posts themselves are 2” or 3” wide depending on the model so the opening is usually between 42” and 45” wide although there are some narrower exceptions.

How deep is a power rack?

The total outside depth of the average power rack is 46.5” (118.1 cm). However, just as with the width, this includes braces and stabilizing feet. The upright posts are usually a little closer together. However, for the necessary floor space, the outside depth is what counts.

The depth inside the rack –between the front and back upright posts – is usually 24” o 36” although of course you can find plenty of exceptions here too.

How tall is a power rack?

There is a wide range of heights of power racks available. The average height is 83.4” (211.8 cm) but can range from 70” to 90.3” (177.8 to 229.4 cm)

The height is important to look at since you want it to fit under your ceiling but at the same time you want enough headroom above the pull up bar to do pull ups without hitting your head; more on that later. The pull up bar is on the top at the front of the rack so if you have low ceilings, getting one that’s tall enough so you don’t hit your head on the bar is more important than having the headroom for pull ups.

How Much Space Does a Squat Rack Need To Be Used?

If you just want to place a power cage in your home gym and look at it, the dimensions above are all the space you need. However, power racks aren’t all that pretty so it’s unlikely you’ll just use it as a piece of art. So do you need any extra space to actually use it?

Image of a woman squatting in front of a power rack.

A power rack does need space around it to be used to its full potential and here’s what you need:

1.) The back of the power rack can go close to the wall as long as it doesn’t touch. If it touches the wall it’ll just damage the wall and scratch the power rack.

2.) The width of space you need is more about barbell length than the width of the rack. A full sized barbell (86.75”) will stick out about 1.5’ on each side of a standard power rack. It needs space to move and even move from side to side a little. You also need room to load and unload the plates from the bar. To load and unload heavy plates you want to stand perpendicular to the barbell which means between the ends of the bar and the wall for most people about 1.5’ is enough to do this comfortably.

That means you need about 10’ of total width or roughly 3’ on both sides of the power rack to use it and comfortably load and unload the barbell. If you’re using a shorter (79”) barbell, 9.5’ of total width is enough. There are 72” long barbells but often these don’t fit on a power rack.

3.) It’s also necessary to have some free space in front of the rack. In the first place to be able to actually reach it and do some exercises in front of it but also to place a bench for things like bench presses. The bench sticks out a little and your legs probably stick out even more.

Since the average rack is a little less than 4’ deep, the total depth of your power rack floor space should be 8’ to 9’. Keep in mind this is a minimum so more space is always better. A spot to put your bench while you’re not using it is also very useful.

The minimum amount of floor space I recommend to have a power rack and properly use it is 10’ by 8’. (304.8 by 243.8 cm). This is for use with an average sized rack and full sized barbell. This is enough space to do every exercise you need to.

4.) The height requirements for a power cage depend on what you want to do with it. The two exercises where it matters are overhead presses and pull ups. On overhead presses, you extend your arms as far up as possible but you’re also holding a barbell with weight plates on it.  The weight plates stick out about 8.5” above your fist so if you can raise your arms above your head and there is still some distance to the ceiling, you can probably overhead press without problems but go easy the first time to prevent punching a hole in it.

The overhead press can also be done sitting down though so if you don’t have enough height, that’s the best solution. The actual height of the rack doesn’t have much to do with overhead presses but it’s something many people will want to do if they get a power rack.

For pull ups, the actual height of the rack is more important. The pull up bar is usually the highest part of a power rack and the goal of a pull up is to get your chest to the bar. To do this without bumping your head, you need about 16” of headroom above the pull up bar. This can be a reason to go for a shorter rack even though you could fit a taller one under your ceiling.

Summary of Power Rack Space Needs

To use a power rack to its full potential, a significant amount of space around it is necessary. A space of 10’ by 8’ (304.8 by 243.8 cm) is appropriate to use a standard power rack with a full sized barbell. This allows space for all common exercises in comfort. For pull ups, keep 16″ of headroom above the top.

Image of a man using a power cage

Space requirements to use a power rack to its full potential.

  • Back of the power rack against the wall
  • Keep 3’ (91.4 cm) of space free on both sides of the rack
  • Keep 4.5’-5’ (137.2 to 152.4 cm) of space free in front of the power rack. This space should also be at least as wide as the space besides the rack.  
  • Have 16” (40.6 cm) of headroom above the pull up bar.

This allows you to every exercise you could possibly want with a power cage.


Hey, I'm Matt. Welcome to After working out in many different gyms for almost 20 years and helping people build their own home gyms, i've learned a few things i'd like to share with you.

Recent Posts