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Looking to get a Smith machine but aren’t sure how much space you need for one? Here’s what you want to know.
Most Smith machines are 79”-84” wide, on average about 58.2” deep and 84.9” tall. To properly use a Smith machine, two feet of free space on both sides is necessary to load/unload weight plates. 4’-5’ of free space is necessary in front of the machine to be able to do all exercises.
Of course the exact dimensions depend on the model. Below you can find a list of popular Smith machines and their dimensions as well as how much space you need around the machine to use if properly.
Smith Machine Dimensions List
Below you can see a list of Smith machine dimensions. These are popular Smith machines for home gyms of all price ranges.
The average width of a Smith machine is 79.6” although widths range from 70” to 91”. The widest part of a smith machine are the sleeves of the barbell. Most barbells are around 79” – 84” long which is therefore the most common width of Smith machines.
The average depth of a Smith machine is 58.2” with depths ranging from 45” to 74”. There is a much wider range of depths than widths in Smith machines.
Smith machines are 85” tall on average. The height might be more important than you think. I’ve written a separate article on that topic you can find by clicking here.
How Much Space Does a Smith Machine Need?
The dimensions in the list above are including the barbell sleeves that stick out from the rack. So you don’t have to think about which size barbell you put on the rack because that’s fixed on a Smith machine. But what free space do you need?
Suggested: What is a Smith machine exactly?
Free Space Next To a Smith Machine
You do need some space next to both sides of the barbell though. That’s because you have to be able to load and unload the plates. Especially for heavier plates, that requires some breathing room.
About 2 feet of free space on both sides of the smith machine is enough to be able to stand between the sleeves and wall while loading the plates. If you only have one foot of free space, you can still load the plates but you can’t stand between the sleeves and wall which means loading heavier plates becomes a whole lot more difficult.
Is that too big? Here are 3 Smith machine alternatives
Free Space Behind a Smith Machine
Behind the machine you don’t need much space at all. Just make sure it doesn’t rub on the wall. Even rubbing isn’t the end of the world but will wear the paint off your machine and wall. If there are storage pegs on the back upright post, you might need some extra space to make sure the weight plates fit on.
As long as you can get the largest plates on the pegs, you’re good.
If you decide to get a Smith machine, here is how you can maintain it properly.
Free Space In Front Of a Smith Machine
The most important is how much space you have in front of the machine. That’s where you have to do your exercises after all.
For most exercises, you need very little space, As long as you can get in front of the machine and stand under the bar, it’s OK. Since the barbell can’t move forwards or backwards, it can’t really go anywhere. 2 feet is enough for standing exercises.
For exercises where you lay down on a bench, you need a bit more. About 4-5 feet of free space in front of the barbell is a good idea. Any shorter than that and you might not be able to fit yourself or even the bench in the proper position.