It’s just a matter of physics, really. Power racks are big pieces of equipment while home gyms generally have limited space. As such, squeezing a cage into your workout space can sometimes be a challenge.
But what if I told you some power racks can transcend space and time to fit into just about any floor plan?
Well you’re right, I’d be lying about the transcending time part. However, there are power racks that are designed specifically to fit into small spaces.
In this article, I'll present several small power racks from various vendors. At the end, I'll recommended for the best space saving power rack of the group.
Comparison of power racks with small footprints
Before I get into the details about how these cages save you space, here is a quick comparison of the racks that I’ll be reviewing. Each rack's footprint (in square footage) is detailed along with my review rating.
You can click on any of the product links to quickly check that rack’s price, or click the Read Review link to jump to that product's detailed review below.
1.98 sq ft (folded)
(57" Width x 5" Depth)
18.6 sq ft (open)
(57" Width x 47" Depth)
14.06 sq ft
(44" Width x 46" Depth)
14.21 sq ft
(47.2" Width x 43.3" Depth)
14.69 sq ft
(46.5" Width x 45.5" Depth)
Finding a small rack that doesn't sacrifice quality
It’s a bit of a catch-22 that the most crucial piece of gym equipment for a home gym is frequently the most difficult to accommodate. This is of course because many power racks can take up lots of floor space.
And why do racks frequently take up so much gym real estate? Because they have to be sturdy enough to support very large weight loads when you are forced to ditch during lifting.
But the truth is you can find small, reputable power racks that don't sacrifice sturdiness, safety, or quality. Let's look at a couple of ways you can make the most of limited floor space when shopping for a power cage.
A folding power cage can make your floor space problem a non-issue
When researching space saving power racks for this article, I was honestly surprised to learn that some power racks can actually be collapsed to take up practically zero floor space. These racks are mounted to a wall, slide into position on rollers, and can stay folded until you need them.
Folding racks can be an awesome space-saving solution for any room of limited size. But they are especially practical for garage-based gyms where you may need to collapse the cage to park your car.
Power Rack vs Squat Rack
It's important to note there is a big difference between a power rack and a squat rack. A power rack is a fully-enclosed cage and has safety bars whereas a squat rack is not fully-enclosed and only has hooks for racking a bar (no safeties).
There are far fewer folding power racks on the market than there are folding squat racks.
Folding power racks are hard to come by. However, because this is a review about space saving power racks, you will not see squat racks discussed in this review.
A power cage with a small footprint can still be sturdy
There is no denying that part of a power rack’s stability comes from the size of its footprint (rack width multiplied by the rack depth). As such, it's logical to assume that as a rack’s footprint decreases, so does some of its sturdiness.
But this is not always the case.
A cage's design, construction, and manufacturing process can also have a measurable impact on a rack's stability. Some manufacturers add design components to their cage, such as anchor holes, that help to prevent the rack from moving during usage.
The racks I'll review below have some seriously small footprints, but are also well-designed and stable enough to handle the loads that are typical for home-based gyms.
The best power racks for small spaces
My list of the best four space-saving power racks includes one fold-able power rack and three standard racks. The vast majority of lifters seem to prefer traditional cages, but the folding cage concept is so cool that I though you had to see it.
I researched over 40 racks to find the top cages that meet the following criteria:
- 1Smallest footprints
- 2Highest customer satisfaction
- 3Proven capacity
- 4Reputation for stability under loads
Let's get right to it.
This folding power rack from TDS is a very impressive cage design. When I started doing the research for this article, I surely didn't believe I'd find a full-sized power cage that takes up less than 2 square foot of floor space!
As a matter of fact, the TDS Fold Back is the only full-size, folding power cage that I could find.
This power rack would obviously be a real space-saver for any gym configuration. If you park your car in a garage, or your workout space is simply too cramped to accommodate a full rack, this could be a sneaky solution as you would simply fold-up the rack when it isn't in use.
This rack comes with safety bars, a height-adjustable pull-up bar, and a set of 2 J-cups.
Deceptively sturdy construction
Pictured here is the TDS Fold Back Rack fully-folded against the wall. In this collapsed position it only extends five inches from the wall.
The rack sits on wheels which makes it easy to expand and fold. You would think this might sacrifice stability, but the rollers are actually made of high-density rubber. They are extraordinarily durable.
To keep the rack from moving, large 1" plugs secure the cage in place when folded or expanded. If you still doubt the stability of this rack, consider that it has an impressive capacity of 1000 lb. That's twice the capacity of two other racks in this review.
What I Like...
Not so much...
If you simply can't wrap your head around the concept of a folding power rack, this standard rack from PowerLine is the next best thing.
Of all the standard power racks I analyzed for this review, the PPR200X had the smallest footprint. At 14.06 square feet, you simply won't find a better cage if you're looking to maximize your gym floor plan.
On top of being a great power rack for small space, this cage is wildly popular among customers. It has earned the Amazon's Choice designation and can be purchased through the Amazon Prime program.
The specs on this cage are pretty standard for a basic cage: saber-style safety bars, 2 lift-offs, & a wide, knurled chinning bar. It also has an ample 600 lb capacity.
Customer reviews of the PPR200X
This rack has earned an impressive reputation among lifters and customers make their satisfaction known. Here are a few features that are regularly praised by owners:
What I Like...
Not so much...
This full size, 7 foot power rack from CAP Barbell isn't quite as small as the Powerline PPR200x, but it's pretty close. This rack comes in at roughly 14.21 square feet.
My favorite feature of this rack is the anchor holes that allow you to secure it to the floor, if desired. If you're concerned that a cage with a small footprint may not be stable, the option to anchor it to the floor should alleviate those fears.
If you like a rack with plenty of walk-space, you'll be happy to know that this is the widest standard cage in this review. The 47.2" width should be more than enough to get into and out of the cage with ease.
For the price, this rack could provide the best value of any cage in this review. It is very reasonably priced, a plus for those needing both a small and inexpensive rack.
What I Like...
Not so much...
This standard sized power rack from Best Fitness has very similar specifications to the CAP Barbell rack I just detailed. It has two bar catches, two sword-style safety bars, a 500 lb capacity, powder coated finish, and similar price point.
This rack has a slightly larger footprint than the CAP Barbell rack, but only by half a square foot. It also isn't quite as wide, but makes up for that in its increased depth. This can come in handy if you need extra space for performing squats.
The one advantage the CAP Barbell rack has over this cage is the anchor holes. However, if you read reviews of this cage you'll see the most customers haven't had any problems with this rack moving. Still, having those anchor holes as insurance is a nice perk
The place where this rack shines is when it comes to add-ons. I've found more add-on options for this rack than any other in this review. It supports bar catches, a lat attachment, and a dip attachment (among others).
What I Like...
Not so much...
My pick for the best space saving power rack
I don't see how you can argue against the TDS Folding Power Rack being the best space saving power rack on the market. It's an innovative design, has an extraordinary weight capacity for a rack on wheels, and when folded takes up almost zero floor space.
It's a shame that there aren't many customer reviews for this small power rack with big dreams. I think that maybe it takes a big leap of faith to shake the idea that a cage needs to be rigid and immobile to be stable.
If you can move past that mental barrier and decide to give this shape-shifting rack a try, tell me about it in the comments below.
For those of you that would rather stick with a full-sized rack, the PowerLine PPR200X is about as good as it gets. It literally has the smallest footprint of any rack I could find, but also has a stellar reputation and proven track record of happy customers.