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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 dimensions and I’ll share it here with you so you can easily see how much space you need. Keep in mind, you’ll need a bit more space than the raw dimensions state but we’ll explain all of that in this article.
In the rest of this article, we’ll dive into the details of power cage widths, why it matters, and how much extra space you need around your power rack to actually use it. You can also find a list of popular squat racks and their exact dimensions.
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.
Measurements 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|
Here is a short summary of the three different measurements:
The opening width can be important for grip width. If you like to grab your bar wide, 40″ can be a little narrow. For reference The rings on an Olympic barbell are 36″ apart.
The outside post width is important for fitment. You have to match the dimensions of the power rack to your gym but also match the rack dimensions to the barbell you use. Standard Olympic barbells always fit but shorter 6′ bars can have shafts that are shorter than 49″. So if you want to use a shorter bar, match it to this width.
The total width is important for fitment as well. Just look if anything sticks out you need extra space for. Sometimes it’s just an extra stability brace at the bottom or the plate pegs sticking out.
Does Squat Rack Width Matter?
Does it matter how wide a squat rack is? Absolutely, and here’s why it matters. First and foremost, the width of the rack should align with the available space in your gym. Usually, this isn’t a problem since the barbell is wider than the rack anyway. But in a situation, where you’ve got angled walls or roofs in the mix, make sure the rack you pick fits.
It’s not just about fitting the rack itself but also making sure that you have ample space around it for safe and effective workouts. And a bigger rack might leave less space for movement in the rest of the gym.
However, there’s another crucial reason why the size of the rack is significant: your barbell. The barbell needs to rest on the rack’s hooks, and this is where the measurement from the outside of one post to the outside of the opposite post comes into play. These hooks must securely hold the barbell on the shaft, which is the section between the sleeves.
For a standard full-sized barbell, the shaft typically measures 51.6 inches. Since achieving precise re-racking within millimeters can be challenging, especially with heavy weights, you’ll want the squat rack to be notably narrower than 51 inches. That’s why you’ll commonly find squat cages with a maximum width of 49 inches.
Now, where things get interesting is with shorter than standard barbells. When dealing with 6′ or shorter barbells, manufacturers can reduce the shaft length, sleeve length, or both to make them shorter. As a result, these barbells often have less than 51 inches of shaft length, making them less compatible with the largest racks.
Many 6′ barbells have a 47-49″ long shaft although longer and shorter are possible. If you have a barbell with a 49″ shaft, it’s crucial to have a squat cage with a maximum width (outside posts) of less than 47 inches to comfortably fit it.
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. Full-sized barbells are 7’2 long. So, that means you need at least a total of 7’2 available width in your gym. But to actually use the bar, at least 8′ of width is necessary while 9′ would be more comfortable. Of course, if you use a shorter bar, you need a little less width.
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 deadlift 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 minimum 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?
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.