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Not all power racks, also known as squat racks or cages, are the same height. And it’s actually important to check the height of a rack to make sure it can fit in your gym. If it’s too tall, there’s no way to make it fit except by cutting things. But too short isn’t great either. In this article, we’ll find out how tall the average squat rack is and what the right height is.
There are a lot more details about the sizes of squat racks. Keep reading to find out the exact heights of many popular power racks for home use.
Power Rack Dimensions
First, let’s take a look at a lot of popular racks for home gyms and their dimensions. Then we can say something about which height you can expect.
Here is a chart of the dimensions of many popular power racks. The dimensions listed in the chart are the outside dimensions in inches. Only 4 post full cages are included in this list.
|Brand||Model||Height (in)||Width (in)||Depth (in)|
|Titan Fitness||T-2 Short||71,5||58||48|
|Titan Fitness||T-3 Short||82,25||53,25||44,75|
|Titan Fitness||X3 Short||82||48||50|
|REP Fitness||PR-4000 Short||80||50,8||29,9-49,9|
|REP Fitness||PR-4000 Tall||93||50,8||29,9-49,10|
|HulkFit||Pro Series Cage||85||44||47|
|Cap Barbell||Power Cage 6’||72||43,6||47,5|
|Cap Barbell||Power Cage 7’||84||43,6||47,5|
Here are a few observations we can make about the height of power cages from this list;
How Tall Should a Squat Rack Be?
So how high should a squat cage be? It depends on you and your situation.
In short, it comes down to how tall your ceiling is, how tall you are, and which exercises you want to be able to do.
The first thing to worry about is your own height before you do any exercise. Simply because you don’t want to hit your head on the top brace when walking into the rack or when coming up from a squat. If you’re 6’1 and the pull-up bar on your rack is at exactly 6’, you will hit your head at some point no matter how careful you are. (Guess how I know…)
How High Is Your Ceiling?
The next thing to do is check how high your ceilings are. Obviously, the rack should be shorter than your ceilings otherwise it’s just not going to fit. Be aware that if you place the rack on gym flooring, you’ll have to take the thickness of that flooring into account.
There are two popular exercises that can be problematic if you have the wrong height rack:
On the overhead press, you extend your arms above your head. The rack has to be tall enough so you don’t hit the top brace when extending. The best way to figure out how much height you need is to assume the position and have someone measure the distance from your hands to the floor. Take footwear into account.
Keep in mind, this is the height you need under the top brace so don’t just look at the total height of the rack. However, if you don’t mind overhead pressing in front of the rack, this is not a big deal.
For the pull-up, you want about 12″(if you pull to under your chin) to 18″ (if you pull to your sternum) of free space above the pull-up bar so you’ve got space for your head. At the same time, you want to be able to extend your arms without touching the floor although bending your knees is a solution.
Even if you have tons of headroom, the pull-up bar shouldn’t be too high to grab. So going too tall can also be an issue.
Power Racks for Low Ceilings
If you care about the height of a squat cage, you likely have to deal with low ceilings. So which racks are suitable for you if you’ve got low ceilings?
Squat Racks For 6’ High Ceilings
Ceilings ranging from 6 to 6.5 feet may not be the most common find, but they are not unheard of – especially if your home gym incorporates gym flooring that adds to the overall height clearance.
Unfortunately, with such a ceiling height, your options become quite limited. The Titan T-2 and Cap 6′ squat racks stand out as the only options short enough to fit within these constraints. And even with those, you have to measure very carefully.
Among these two options, the Titan Fitness T-2 Short is the superior pick. It offers higher quality, higher load limit, better stability, is wider and deeper, and has a wide range of available add-ons – all at a reasonable price point.
For those grappling with the challenges of limited vertical space, the Titan T-2 Short stands as the top-tier solution. You won’t be able to do pull-ups or overhead pressing but that’s just not possible with ceilings this low.
Squat Racks For 7’ High Ceilings
Many home gyms are built in the garage or basement. Especially the basement often has lower ceilings than optimal. 7’ ceilings are not uncommon for spaces that are often used for home gyms. 7’ translates to 84” which is, probably not incidentally, very close to the average height of a squat rack.
For people dealing with 7’ tall ceilings, a squat cage that is under 84”. It’s not advisable to get a rack that is exactly the same height as your ceilings since you still have to be able to move it around. It’s not supposed to become an integral part of your house.
The best suitable power racks for 7’ ceilings are;
- Titan T-2 (83”)
- X3 Short (82”)
- Body Solid GPR378 (82”)
- TDS Full Rack (82.5”)
- Fitness Reality 810XLT (83.5”)
- REP Fitness PR4000 Short (80″)
Make sure to measure the height of your ceilings very carefully. All houses are a little different so don’t assume it’ll be ok. You don’t want to buy a rack and then after discover that you’re missing half an inch of headroom.
Also, when measuring and shopping for a power cage, keep in mind that you might still put gym flooring down. Gym flooring can take up from ½ to 1 inch of height depending on the type.
Out of the choices above, the Titan T-2 or X3 Short are the best options. They provide great value for money and maybe even more importantly, there are tons of add-ons available like dip handles, pulleys, extra hooks, etc. The REP Fitness rack is amazing but also quite expensive. If you need a budget option, the 810XLT is a good choice.
You’ll still not be able to do pull-ups, but overhead pressing inside the cage should be doable if you’re not too tall (Under +-5’10)
You could also opt for a Titan T-2 Short. Then you’ll have some headroom to do pull-ups. You won’t be able to do overhead presses inside the cage, unless you’re quite short but you can always do those in front.
Squat Cages For 8′ Tall Ceilings
With 8′ ceilings, you’ve got a few more inches to play with. 96 inches to be exact. There are a lot of racks that fit under ceilings this tall quite easily so you can be a bit more picky.
If you want to do pull-ups, you can choose a rack that’s around 85″ tall. That way you’ll be able to overhead press inside the rack and have enough headroom for pull-ups.
Any cage from Rogue or REP will be great but if that doesn’t fit in the budget, a Titan X-3 is a great option. On the budget end, the HulkFit Pro Series provides really good value for money.
Pros and Cons of Short Power Cages
How Much Headroom Do You Need For Pull-Ups?
To do pull-ups properly, (bar to chest) you need about 18” of headroom above the pull-up bar. To just get your chin above the bar 12” would be enough. This is a little more than you strictly need but, you don’t want the top of your head to touch the ceiling at the top of a pull-up.
How Tall Does a Squat Cage Need To Be To Do Overhead Presses?
a 6′ tall person will need about 85″ of height under the top brace of a cage to overhead press without hitting anything. However, with the OHP, lifting outside the cage isn’t that big a deal.