Home gyms are often built in places with a lower ceiling like the garage or basement. Those low ceilings limit which squat rack you can use. In this article, we’ve selected power racks that are very short so they can be used under low ceilings.
The shortest power rack on the market is the Titan T-2 at 71.5″/182 cm. The CAP Barbell 6′ Power Cage and Titan X3 are also relatively short. A pair of squat stands can be a good alternative if both height and space are very limited.
Below you can find the best short squat cages, what to look out for, and how to select the right height power cage for your home gym. You can also find a list of heights of common power racks.
- 1 Best Short Power Racks For Low Ceilings
- 2 Titan Fitness T-2 Short Rack
- 3 Titan X-3 Bolt Down Short Power Rack
- 4 Titan Fitness X-3 Series Flat Foot Power Rack
- 5 Fitness Reality 810XLT
- 6 Valor Fitness BD-17 Squat Rack
- 7 Signature Fitness Wall Mounted Fold-in Power Cage
- 8 Maximum Squat Rack Height For Your Home Gym
- 9 Short Squat Rack Shopping Guide
- 10 Is There a Minimum Squat Cage Height?
- 11 FAQ
Best Short Power Racks For Low Ceilings
Compact power racks are popular for home gyms due to space limitations, but it’s not just about floor space; ceiling height matters too. In low-ceilinged areas like basements and garages, it can be difficult to use a standard-height squat cage.
Here is a list of the heights of popular power cages so you can figure out which one is right for your situation.
TIP: You can sort the list by clicking the arrows.
|Pro Series Cage
|Power Cage 6’
|Power Cage 7’
So let’s take a look at the best options if you are looking for a power cage that isn’t too tall.
1. The Shortest Power Rack: Titan T-2 Short
Probably the best overall power rack you can get for a home gym, especially if you look at the price. The short model tops out at only 71″ which means it will fit pretty much anywhere you can stand up (as long as you’re under 6′ tall).
It’s also just a good rack for the money. It takes up very little floor space and has a 850 lbs. load limit. which means pretty much everyone can load up their barbell to the max they can handle. The finish is not the greatest but you’re getting a very good deal.
2. Cheap & Short: Cap Barbell 6′ Power Cage
If you’re looking for cheap, this is the way to go. This CAP rack is available in 6′ and 7′ tall versions. It can handle 500 lbs. which is not the highest-rated rack on this list but enough for most people.
It’s the most cost-effective power rack you can get that still works properly. This is not a very high quality rack and you’ll notice some fit and finish issues but it’s very cheap and only 72″ tall. If you are lifting less than 400 lbs. ( I never like to push the weight limits of power racks), this rack will do perfectly fine.
The biggest drawback is that the hole spacing for the J-cups and safety pins is 4″. Those are pretty big steps and most other power cages have 2″ spacing and the X3 mentioned below even has 1″ spacing for most of the range. This is not the end of the world but it means you might have to start from a height that’s not optimal.
3a. Best Rack For 7′ Ceilings: Titan X3 Bolt Down Short
The Titan X3 offers a couple of variations: the bolt-down and flat-foot versions. The bolt-down variant is slightly shorter than its flat-foot counterpart. Notably, the flat-foot version doesn’t require floor bolting, making it a more convenient choice for home gyms.
Standing at 80 inches in height, this rack provides ample clearance for most individuals, ensuring they won’t bump their heads on the barbell, and it easily fits under 7-foot tall ceilings. Its construction is exceptionally robust, featuring 3-inch by 3-inch, 11-gauge steel upright posts, with a rackable weight capacity of 1650 lbs., sufficient for the needs of most users. Additionally, the fit and finish are commendable, offering great value for the price. When compared to similar Rogue racks, the Titan X3 stands out as a budget-friendly alternative.
However, it’s worth noting that it occupies more floor space compared to the other racks on this list, measuring 48 inches in width, and requiring the use of a full-sized barbell.
3b. Best Flat Foot Short Rack: Titan X3 Flat Foot
If you don’t want to anchor your rack to the floor, this flat-foot version of the X3 is a great choice. It’s just as strong and solid but the bottom braces are extended to make it more stable. It’s 2″ taller at 82″ which means it’s a tight fit under 7′ tall ceilings but it’s a great choice for the same reasons as mentioned for the bolt-down version above.
4. Best Cheap & Short Flat Foot Rack: Fitness Reality 810XLT
If you need a rack that is cheap and ‘just’ fits under 7′ ceilings, take a look at the 810XLT. It’s 83″ tall so it’s a tight squeeze but might just work for you.
It has an 800-pound load limit which is plenty for most people. It’s not as strong as the X3 but less than half the price. This is a great cheap rack in general. No, it’s not as sturdy as the more expensive counterparts but it does a great job for people that don’t lift too heavy.
5. Alternative: Valor BD-17 Squat Stands
If all of the racks above are too tall, you should take a look at this alternative. These are squat stands but they’re connected by a brace at the bottom and have (small) safety catches. You can adjust them from 53″ height all the way up to 83″ height so you can always find a position that will fit you and your ceiling.
They aren’t as strong or safe as a full rack but that’s inherent to their design. A big thing to keep in mind is that squat stands provide a lot fewer safety features than a full rack. However, if a full rack just doesn’t fit, this is the best way to still be able to squat, bench, etc.
6. Wall Mounted Short Rack: Signature Fitness SR-WMR-1
Another interesting option is a wall-mounted rack. They aren’t necessarily shorter but they are very compact. Most of them fold up after use so they barely take up any space when they are stored away. They come in different heights just like normal racks.
The Signature Fitness SR-WMR-1 is the shortest you can find at 78.5″ tall. That’s not the shortest rack but would be number 2 on this list if it was a full rack.
It’s really solid with 3″ x 3″ upright posts made from 11 gauge steel. That’s the territory of the strongest power racks out there. It has ‘Westside’ spacing on the lower half of the uprights for very precise adjustability. This is actually a really good choice not only for low ceilings but in general.
Maximum Squat Rack Height For Your Home Gym
When setting up your home gym, one crucial aspect to consider is the maximum height of your squat rack. There are a few other things to keep in mind though. Below we’ll walk through the process of figuring out the maximum height of your rack.
1. Ceiling Height
The most critical factor to consider is the height of your gym’s ceiling. The critical first step is measuring the ceiling height from floor to ceiling in the location where the rack is supposed to go. Measure twice to make extra sure you got it right. If not, it could be an expensive mistake.
2. Gym Flooring
If you’re going to place your rack on top of a gym floor or weightlifting platform, take that into account when measuring. Gym flooring can easily be an inch thick which might just be enough to make your rack not fit.
If you measured the ceiling height without flooring, make sure to subtract any flooring you’re still going to add.
If you want to do pull-ups on the rack, you have to keep some headspace free above it.
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.
If you have low ceilings, you’ll have to make choices. Having enough space for pull-ups might mean the rest of your rack has to be lower. At some point that’s not practical/possible. In that case, it’s better to get a taller rack (that still fits), and getting a separate pull-up bar that fits in the doorway.
4. Rack Height
Check the total height of the rack you want to buy. Make sure there aren’t any higher points sticking out and if that’s counted in the overall height. Sometimes power racks have different pull-up bar options that have different heights.
Also, you want to keep about an inch of free space between the top of the rack and the ceiling. If there is no free space at all, you can’t get it into place, it’ll rub on the ceiling and you can’t grab the pull-up bar.
Short Squat Rack Shopping Guide
When you’re in the market for a short squat rack, it’s essential to consider various factors to make an informed decision. Here’s a comprehensive shopping guide to help you navigate your options effectively:
Is There a Minimum Squat Cage Height?
Are there any drawbacks to opting for the shortest power rack available? Is there a minimum height a rack should have to be practical? There are a few things to keep in mind:
Take the Titan T-2 short, for instance, standing at just 71 inches (180 cm) tall. While it suits many users, it’s also low enough for many to accidentally bonk their heads when not paying attention. To safeguard your noggin, it’s advisable to choose a power rack that’s slightly taller than you.
And keep in mind, the pull-up bar is often a little lower than the total height of the rack. Make sure the pull-up bar is a bit higher than you are tall.
The second issue with a short rack is overhead exercises, especially the overhead press. You’ll hit the upper braces before you extend your elbows. If your ceilings are really low, you might not be able to do them standing up anyway. The way around this is to do them outside the rack or sitting down.
What’s The Shortest Squat Cage?
The shortest power cage on the market is the Titan Fitness T-2 Short which has a total height of 71.5″ which makes it suitable for use under 6′ ceilings.
Can Power Cages Be Too Tall?
A squat rack is too tall if it doesn’t fit under your ceiling or you can’t easily reach the pull-up bar. A rack much taller than you need will be more expensive than necessary.