Are you wondering if you can fit a squat rack in your home gym? I made a list of popular home gym power racks and their sizes and I’ll share it here with you so you can easily see how much space you need.
The average outside width of a power rack is 47.4”. The vast majority of power racks is 46” to 49” wide. 49” is the widest a power rack should be since this allows you to rack a normal length barbell. There are narrower racks (44”) that can be used with shorter barbells.
To get all the details, a full list of different power cages dimensions and information about how much space you need for a rack, keep reading.
Power rack widths
Before getting into it, let’s clear up some confusion; you’ll see power rack/power cage/squat rack/squat cage used interchangeably. That’s because they are the same thing. Gym equipment naming can get a bit confusing. But what we’re talking about is the piece of equipment with four upright posts that are braced together. See the picture below.
If we’re talking about the width of a squat rack, there are still a few different measurements we can talk about.
- How wide is the opening
- How wide is the cage outside the front posts
- How wide is the cage in total
It’s important to understand the differences so the chart below will be a bit clearer. I could write a 1000 words explaining the different measurements but as you know, a picture is worth a 1000 words.
- Measurement 1 is the distance between INSIDES of the two front posts.
- Measurement 2 is the distance between the OUTSIDE of the front posts.
- Measurement 3 is the total width including feet, extra stabilizing braces but without pegs for weight plates.
Measurement 2 and 3 are important to know for fitment in your gym.
|Brand||Model||Opening Width (1)||Outside Post Width (2)||Total width (3)|
|Titan Fitness||T-2 Short||44||48||58|
|Titan Fitness||T-3 Short||42.125||46.125||53.25|
|Titan Fitness||X3 Short Flat Foot||42||48||50|
|Titan Fitness||X3 Flat Foot||42||48||50|
|CAP||Full Cage Rack 6'||39.62||43.62||43.62|
|CAP||Full Cage Rack 7'||39.62||43.62||43.62|
|All measurements are in Inches|
As you can see in this chart, the average outside width of a squat rack is 47.4”. The widest squat racks measure 49” on the outside. The vast majority of racks is 46”-49” wide. There are no racks wider than 49” because that would mean a normal length barbell won’t fit on the rack anymore.
The width between the front posts is almost 43” on average. The narrowest cage is just under 40” although the vast majority is 43” or 44” wide. This is plenty of space for even the widest people in this world.
The total width is wider at 51.6”. This measurement has a wider variance since this is where the design of the cage comes in. Some racks don’t have any parts that go outside the upright posts. Other racks have extra feet for mounting or extra stability. This is of course the most important measurement for fitment in your gym.
Although, the space you have available should be more than just the width of the cage if you actually want to use it.
How wide should your squat rack be?
Does it matter how wide a squat rack is? The width of a rack is actually pretty important. The first reason is that it should fit inside your gym. A smaller rack is better than no rack at all.
There is a second, possibly even more important reason why size matters. Your barbell has to comfortably fit on it. That’s why the measurement from outside to outside the posts matters. The hooks on the power cage have to hold the barbell on the shaft of the bar. The shaft is the part between the sleeves.
On a full sized barbell the shaft length is 51”-52”. And since you can’t re rack the bar within a millimeter of precision, especially when lifting heavy, you need the squat rack to be significantly narrower than 51”. That’s why you see a maximum squat cage width of 49”.
Now what about smaller barbells? If you’re using a 6’5 women’s Olympic barbell, you’re good. The total length is shorter but the shaft length is actually the same. Women’s barbells have shorter sleeves because in general women lift less total weight and therefore don’t need the same sleeve length.
What about 6’ barbells? To make a barbell shorter, you can do three things. Make the shaft shorter, make the sleeves shorter or both. To shrink a barbell down to 6’, most manufacturers will do a little of both. That means you have less than 51” of shaft length and it likely won’t fit on the biggest racks.
Many 6’ barbells have a 49” shaft length. To comfortably fit a 49” shaft on a squat cage, the maximum rack width (outside posts), should be less than 47”. However, not all 6’ barbells are the same so make sure to check how long the shaft length on your specific bar is.
How much space do you need to use a squat cage?
Just having the space to place a power cage doesn’t mean you can use it properly. The biggest purpose of a power rack is to hold a barbell and to be able to use that barbell to do certain lifts.
The barbell sticks out to the sides of the squat cage. Most full sized barbells are 7’2 long. So, that means you need at least a total of 7’2 available width in your gym. In reality it should be more like 8’ minimal. That’s because you need space to put weight plates on the bar and take them off. Also, during a lift, you won’t be completely stable. The bar will move a bit from side to side at some point during a lift. It’s necessary to have some extra space so you don’t bump into a wall.
Also, it’s necessary to have some space IN FRONT of the rack. Because you need to get in the rack in the first place but also to be able to dead lift and bench press. About 4 feet of space in front of the squat rack should be enough for both those lifts.
The average squat rack has a total depth of about 4’. That means you need a total space of 8’ by 8’ to place a squat rack and use it to its full potential. This won’t be spacious by any means but it can work.
Suggested post: How much space do you need for weightlifting at home?
Do you need a power rack to deadlift? To do a normal deadlift, there is no need for a power rack at all. The only things you need are a barbell and weight plates. However there are deadlift modifications that start from the top of the lift. For those lifts it’s useful to have a squat cage so you can take the bar from the safety pins.
Can you bench press in a power cage? If you’ve got a power cage with adjustable bar hooks and safety pins, it’s possible to use it for bench pressing. Just set up the hooks and safety pins at the correct height, rack the bar and slide your bench under it.