Developing upper body strength is the primary focus of most of us who work out, whether it’s at home or the gym. Most people prefer working out in the gym over exercising at home simply because there’s more equipment that they can use than what they can manage at home. However, in truth, this is a bit of a misconception; you don’t need all those weights and expensive machinery to work up some muscle. In this page, we’ll help you pick out the best pull up bar that can help you in achieving the same results at home, using your body weight.
Pull up bars are just about as simple as it can get; they don’t require you to mount any weights on them, besides your own and you don’t need a home gym to store them either. These bars are usually straight with curved edges and can do wonders for your arms, shoulders and back muscles. In this roundup, we’ll be looking at five kinds of pull up bars: free standing pull up bars, doorway pull up bars, wall mounted, portable and ones you can make yourself. These are the kinds of pull-up bars that you find in the markets; although, you can always make your own pull-up bars as well, which we’ll talk a little more about towards the end of this article. Now without further ado, here’s a list of some of the best pull up bars of this year, which we’ve tested out for you.
Table of Contents
- Best Free Standing Pull Up Bar
- Best Doorway Pull Up Bar
- Best Wall Mounted Pull Up Bar
- Best Portable Pull Up Bar
- Iron Gym Pull Up Bar
- Homemade DIY Pull Up Bar
- Pull Up Bar Workouts
Best Free Standing Pull Up Bar
A free standing pull up bar consists of a stand-alone frame and allows you to perform a number of body weight exercises including chin ups, pull ups and bicep curls. Free standing pull up bars are also known as pull up stations and pull up towers; these are great multi-function workout tools that require no drilling or screwing. All you need is a place with good overhead clearance to start using a free standing pull up bar. Additionally, most of these pull-up bars also have handles that you can use to perform dips – a function that you don’t find on other kinds of pull up bars.
Stamina 1690 Power Tower
The Stamina 1690 Power Tower is, in our opinion, the best pull up bar from the free standing category. This super versatile bodyweight exercise stand has a sturdy steel frame that can support up to 250 lbs of user weight, despite its relatively small footprint.
The reason why 1690 was our pick of the year is because of the versatility it offers; you can exercise most major muscle groups using this single piece of equipment. Some of the exercises you can do with Stamina’s 1690 Power Tower include pull ups, chin ups, leg raises, push ups, sit ups, bicep curls, and triceps dips. If you’re creative enough, you could probably figure out much more than what we’ve listed. Overall, the Stamina 1690 Power Tower is a one stop solution that will help you in your quest for fitness by using your body weight in a number of ways.
Best Doorway Pull Up Bar
Doorway Pull Up bars are small, inexpensive but very useful workout tools that facilitate many kinds of pull up exercises. These pull-up bars are designed so that anyone can use them without having to worry about where to place them, as the name implies, all you need is the arch of your doorway to mount and use them.
Sunny Health & Fitness Door Way Chin Up
The Sunny Health and Fitness Doorway Chin Up Bar is the hottest pull-up bar of its kind for two main reasons: It is very durable, and it offers excellent value for money.
The bar features a sleek chrome coated, cold-rolled steel build which makes it both sturdy as well as not half bad looking; you could leave it mounted in your doorway without having to worry about it looking unsightly. The bar can be secured in any doorway by screwing it into place with the right amount of tension and can support a weight of up to 220 lbs.
The Sunny doorway bar also comes with two sets of wall mounting brackets for added support, though you don’t need them but we believe that these were included for the user’s peace of mind. What we like best about this bar is how it allows you to perform exercises beyond just the pull ups that it promises; since this is a doorway bar, you can mount it at any height and use it to perform push-ups, dips, crunches or whatever you can think of.
Best Wall Mounted Pull Up Bar
Unlike the pull-up bars we’ve talked about thus far, wall mounted pull up bars are more of a permanent thing. These bars consist of a small frame and need to be secured to your wall with screws, so there are a few things you might want to consider before drilling up a hole or two. Before you install a wall mounted pull up bar, you should pick out a model that can both support your weight and have a sturdy enough build so that you can work out with it daily without having to worry about structural failure.
Ultimate Body Press Wall Mount Pull Up Bar with Four Grip Positions
The Ultimate Body Press pull up bar features a very modest yet solid design with three different grip options on the same bar.
The bar is well padded with foam grips and comfortable to use. You can use the middle grip section to perform bicep curls; leg raises, and simple pull-ups, the angled grips at the end of the bar can help you work out your back muscles and finally, the parallel grips can assist you in strengthening your shoulders. The Ultimate Body Press pull up bar is very efficient, and you won’t have to worry about it breaking anytime soon either. However, we do recommend using powerful, deeply drilled screws so that you can workout without ever having to worry about your bar getting loose on the wall. Overall, we think that this is just about the best wall mounted bar that you can buy if a wall’s your only option for your exercising space.
Best Portable Pull Up Bar
Portable pull up bars are perhaps the best choice for those of us who like a change of scenery while working out. These bars are more than just pull up frames like the other models we’ve talked about till now; these pull-up bars can be fixed into your doorway in addition to functioning as a push up stand. In this regard, they aren’t too different than the doorway pull up bars we just talked about earlier.
Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Doorway Pull Up Bar and Portable Gym System
The best portable pull up bar that we saw this year is the Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Doorway Pull Up Bar and Portable Gym System, which we think is pretty self-explanatory and does justice to its name.
This bar costs a handful of bucks more than a doorway bar but offers a few neat features that make up for the difference. This ‘’portable gym’’ can be mounted in a doorway for sit ups, dips and pushups and has a remarkable weight threshold of 300 lbs. The three grip width options let you perform wide, narrow and hammer grip pull ups, and when you place the frame down, you can use it as a push-up tool as well. The frame itself is reasonably sturdy and rather comfortable to use; we wouldn’t include this pull-up bar on our list if it wasn’t convenient for all sorts of users. Overall, the Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Doorway Pull Up Bar and Portable Gym System is a small tool that can do a lot for the user. It is ideal for those of us who want to move places to work out.
Iron Gym Pull Up Bar
The Iron Gym Pull Up Bar is another bar that you can fit in your doorway and use to strengthen your upper body. This particular bar is more than just a pull-up exercise tool; it serves as a multi-function training bar that can assist you in every exercise that you could need to increase your upper body strength and improve your posture.
It fits residential doorways ranging from 24’’ to 32’’ in width and can support user weight of up to 300 lbs. The idea of having a 300 lbs person hanging in a doorway can seem a bit daunting, but we can assure you that the Iron Gym Pull-up Bar can hold out under such a weight despite its lightweight yet sturdy build. The Iron Gym bar grants its users three grip options which they can use to perform various back strengthening exercises, bicep curls, and chin ups. You can also remove the iron gym bar and place it on the floor to use as a stand for performing dips, push ups and sit ups. This makes the iron gym bar the perfect solution for those of us who are looking for an effective way to work out at home that doesn’t involve them having to move in heavy exercising equipment that’s both hard to use and manage. The iron gym pull up bar is durable and practical, and offers great value for money, which is why we chose to add this to our list as well.
Homemade DIY Pull Up Bar
The mechanism behind a pull-up bar is very, very simple; you need a bar that can hold your weight above the ground. Because of this simple mechanism, it is also easy to make your own DIY bar at home. We’ve talked about some of the best bars you can buy so now let’s go over how you can do body weight exercises at home, using homemade equipment and then see what’s the better option: building your own bar or buying a ready-made bar?
DIY projects are a bit time consuming, and because of that, most people would rather go and buy whatever they need. However, some of us genuinely enjoy building things themselves; it’s more gratifying to use things that you spent time making with your hands. Now without further ado, here’s a few ways you can make your own pull-up bar.
One of the most commonly used alternatives for a pull-up bar is the garden pull up bar; a metal arch that you find in some ‘outdoor gyms’ in public parks. The idea is to get morning joggers to use these ‘gyms’ to spice up their morning work-out routines. If you’ve gone for a morning run, you might have seen some people trying to do chin ups with these. To a layman, these don’t sound like a half bad idea, but there’s a catch. The grip of the cold iron rod is too thick to support your body weight properly, if you use these on a regular basis, you might just hurt your hands. Besides, it’s very uncomfortable, and comfort is important for a healthy workout. You can get a custom rod installed in your garden and then use exercise gloves to protect your hands; this way you can do leg raises, chin ups and regular pull ups quite nicely.
Another makeshift pull-up bar is a wooden perch that you can hang from a tree branch using rope. This makes it closer to a swing than a useful workout tool, but if you have good balance, you could get some decent exercise from this alternative as well. This bar can help you in building your strength, but it may not be the best thing to target specific muscle groups and get you in form. The instability of the bar you’re hanging to can ruin your posture rather than improving it, so this might not be the best DIY option. But don’t worry, there are still a few more that we haven’t talked about yet.
You can also attach a pull-up bar right into your ceiling but to work out like this, you either need to be very tall or your roof needs to be low. Here’s what you need: a set of pipes and a sturdy plank of wood. The idea is to attach the wooden plank into your ceiling very securely and then you can screw your pipes directly into the wood to make a U-shaped arch that you can hang on to. This can support a lot of weight, which is why it’s a very popular DIY bar that you might even find in some gyms. The only downside is that you’ll need to wear gloves to work out comfortably. That and the fact that you don’t have defined grip options so you’re going to have to know your grips to be able to work out effectively with this.
You can make your own free standing pull up bar using an assembly of metal pipes with rubber footing for added support. This kind of a bar, you can move anywhere and work your muscles efficiently. Since you’re making your own DIY free standing bar, you can make it according to your height. You can look up the dimensions and blueprints for this bar online very easily too.
Now that we’ve talked about a few ways by which you can make your own pull-up bar at home, we can come to the real question here: is building your own bar worth it? Well, as we said earlier, it may be more gratifying to make your own workout equipment, but there are quite a few things that the bars we mentioned earlier have that you could miss out on by building your own. For starters, the bars that you can buy are all designed by experts to maximize workout results; there are more grip options, and some bars have angled grips that allow you to target your back muscles even better. DIY bars require drilling and assembly, which are a hassle that you can avoid with doorway bars that you can prepare at whatever height you want in just a few screws. To conclude, you can build your own pull-up bars but if you look at it in terms of what gives better results and what’s easier, ready-made pull up bars come out on top.
Pull Up Bar Workouts
The reason why pull up bars have always been so popular with fitness freaks all over the world is because, unlike the weights you lift at the gym, these bars can do you no harm; many people injure themselves at the gym by lifting more weight than their body can manage. Incidentally, every muscle in the human body is designed in such a way that it can support body weight; basically, you can use your body weight to strengthen your muscles without overworking and putting yourself at the risk of injuries such as ruptured muscles.
Another reason why pull up bars are so popular is because of the level of convenience they offer. With one proper pull-up bar, you can perform so many different kinds of exercises that can both strengthen your muscles and improve your posture. Up till now, we’ve talked about the various types of pull-up bars that you can get your hands on or build yourself so now, let’s talk about some of the workouts you can do with a pull-up bar to gain that excellent fit form that you’re after.
Pull ups are the most basic and most obvious exercise that you can do with a pull-up bar, however, there are more than one kind of pull ups; if you do a shoulder wide grip with your palms facing towards you, you can perform a pull-up exercise that will engage your bicep muscles. Three sets of ten reps each of this exercise can significantly improve the strength and form of your biceps, but if you’re a total beginner, then you might want to start with fewer repetitions or try using dumbbells to increase your bicep’s strength till the point that they can lift your entire body better. But then again, since you’re using your own body weight, fewer reps of the same exercise will do wonders for you anyways.
Another pull up exercise that you can do which can significantly improve your back muscles. For this exercise, you need a wide grip which you can get by holding on to the outermost padded grip areas of your bar with your palms facing away from you. Hoist yourself up till the bar is at the nape of your neck and repeat to target your back muscles. If you do the same exercise with a narrower grip and raise yourself till your chin is parallel to the bar, you’re performing a chin up which targets your arms and back.
You can also work out your abs using a pull-up bar, to do this you only need to grab on to the bar and just hang there; raise your knees all the way to your torso and repeat, you are now engaging your core muscles by lifting the weight of your legs. A variation of this is the parallel leg raise where you raise your legs till they’re parallel to the ground, without curling them. You may also do lower body twists to help tone your waistline even better.
If your pull up bar has lower grips, you can also perform dips; simply grab the handles and then hoist yourself up in between them, proceed to lower your entire body and raise it up again, in doing so you are engaging your triceps group.
There are only so many exercises that you can do with a pull-up bar using just your own body weight; this is why we believe that pull up bars are the best workout tool for anyone who wants to get fit without having to go to the gym and spend so much time and money there. This concludes our list of reviews for pull up bars; now that you know your options, see what sounds best to you and get yourself one. May the gains be with you.
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