Pull-ups are one of the best exercises for the back and shoulders. It may seem old fashioned, but it is a tough exercise that is a great addition to any workout routine. Many gyms don’t have a pull-up bar, and there isn’t really a good equivalent you can do without one. Getting a pull-up bar for your home is a simple, inexpensive way to improve your fitness routine.
The Top Ten
|Champion Rotating Straight Bar (20-Inch)||4.8||$|
|The Stud Bar Pull up Bar||4.7||$$$$$|
|Ape Strength Heavy Duty Doorway Pull-Up Bar||4.5||$$|
|Joist Mounted Pull Up Bar with Neutral Grip Handles||4.6||$$|
|CFF Wall/Ceiling Mounted Pull Up Bar with 300-Pound Capacity||4.6||$$$$$|
|Ultimate Body Press Wall Mounted Pull Up Bar||4.4||$$|
|Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar||4.1||$$|
|Ultimate Body Press Joist Mounted Pull Up Bar||4.3||$$$|
|Big Mike's Fitness Deluxe Doorway Pull-Up Bar||4.2||$|
|JFit Deluxe Doorway Pull-Up Bar||4.2||$|
It may not seem like there is a big difference between the different pull-up bars. Some, though, are more secure and can be used for a variety of exercises. These are best, most versatile, pull up bars available.
Different Types of Pull-Up Bar
It may seem like you don’t need much to do some pull ups. Basically, all the exercise requires is a bar to hang on to. However, it is important to consider that your whole body weight will be suspended from this bar. It needs to be securely supported, or you could injure yourself or damage your home. There are a few different types of pull bar, each secured in a different way.
- Door Frame Leverage Bar. These bars use your own body weight to hold them in place. Your weight levers them down, one part pressing against the inside of the door, another part pressing against the outside of the door. They can be removed and stored somewhere else when not in use. Many can also be placed on the floor and used to do dips and other exercises.
- Telescopic Door Frame Bars. These bars extended outward and push against either side of the doorframe. They might use friction to stay in place, or suction cups and they usually have lowest weight rating. They can also be taken down when not in use and stored elsewhere.
- Wall or Ceiling Mounted Bars. These bars are mounted to the wall or ceiling, and through to the studs in the wall. They are permanently fixed, and can’t be moved when not in use.
- Free Standing Pull-Up Bar. This is a stand, usually made of steel, which has handles to allow pull-ups. It might also have other handles to allow different exercises, including dips, sit-ups, and pushups.
Advantages of a Good Pull-Up Bar
Pull-ups are notorious for being a difficult exercise. But, it is the difficulty that makes them such a great workout. There are few upper body exercises that can match them in terms of the number of muscles used, and the workout they get. Pull-ups are a compound exercise, which means they work multiple muscle groups at once. Pull ups work your arms, back, and chest. Pull-ups are not an exercise that focuses on toning. It does a great job of increasing functional strength, however. Functional strength is less about toning and building muscle mass. Instead, it creates the kind of strength that is useful in everyday life, and which also can improve your health. Pull-ups, for example, will strengthen your back muscles and reduce back pain.
There are a couple different variations on the pull-up, which will work different muscle groups. Even doing a simple pull-up, with palms outward, can be changed slightly to focus the exercise. Keeping your hands close together will tend to focus on working your arms, while a wider grip will give your back a better workout. Other tips include adding resistance bands and doing “forced reps“, where a training partner supports you and allows you to get a few extra reps in.
A pull-up workout might include a neutral grip pull-up, with your palms facing each other, a regular pull-up with the palms facing out, and a chin-up with the palms facing in. Each works focuses on a few different muscle groups.
Common Problems of Bad Pull-Up Bars
There are a few common problems that arise when using the different types of pull-up bar.
- Door Damage. This is most likely with the doorframe lever bar. It uses your bodyweight to pinch the doorframe, transferring your weight to it. If the walls of your home are thin, or the molding around the door is insubstantial, it can crack the drywall or cause other damage. This is relatively unlikely, but it is something to look out for. Telescoping bars sometimes require hardware that is screwed into the doorframe, as well.
- Odd Door Size. For a telescoping pull-up bar or lever bar, the door has to be the right size for the bar to work. Doorframes can come in a variety of sizes, depending on your home. If the doorframe is the wrong size, the pull-up bar will not work.
- Limited Range of Exercises. There are a number of types of exercises that can be done with a door mounted pull-up bar. There are a wide variety of exercises that should not be, or cannot be, done with a door mounted pull up bar. Pull-ups with kips (as opposed to dead haul pull-ups) are a bad idea, as they can put a strain on the bar much higher than they are rated for due to the somewhat jerky momentum. Muscles ups usually require more room than a door mounted pull-up bar. Wall and ceiling mounted bars may or not be able to be suitable for kips and muscle ups.
Pull-Up Bar Prices
Pull-up bars are a comparatively inexpensive piece of exercise equipment. Telescoping bars are usually the cheapest, at around $30 or so. Levering bars are the next most expensive. These can be a little pricier, but they are usually still under $50. Ceiling or wall mounted bars are more expensive. Pull-up bar stands are the most expensive option. They can be a little over $100 though there are some options that are a little less expensive.
Pull-ups are a tough exercise, and most people are, at best, able to do only a couple. This can be discouraging, and lead people to give up quickly. An assistance band might be worth investing in. These loop over the bar, and take some of the weight. The pull up is still a worthwhile exercise, and the band allows you to do quite a bit more. They are usually between $20 and $40, depending on the resistance you get.
What Do Our Reviews Have To Say?
The Total Gym Upper Body Workout Bar is a doorframe lever bar. It is made of steel and is rated to support up to 300 lbs. It works on doors between 25 and 32 inches wide. The bar is straightforward to assemble, and it is important to be sure everything is tightened sufficiently. The bar can also be placed on the floor and used for a couple different types of pushups. It can also be used for dips though it is a little low for that. Placing it on a chair or low stool makes things a little easier.
The Stud Bar is ceiling mounted pull up bar. It comes in three sizes, to fit the studs in your ceiling. It is important that this be mounted on studs to adequately support the user’s weight. The grip is powder coated and lacks any knurling or another aid to gripping; so a little tape might be a good addition. Also, the bolts that come with the bar are not as sturdy as they could be. Going to your local hardware store and getting something stronger might be a good idea. The bar is rated to support up to 600 lbs.
This is a wall mounted pull up bar. It includes a couple different grips for different types of pull-ups. All the grips are foam covered for an easy and comfortable grip. It is made of steel and is a solid construction. It is straightforward to assemble though the instructions can be a bit confusing. It might also be a good idea to replace the mounting bolts that come with it with larger bolts.
The joist mounted pull up bar is intended specifically for mounting in unfinished basements of garages, where joists are exposed. This is probably the most secure way to mount a pull-up bar in your home. Mounting it to a joist is even more secure than mounting to a stud. If the joists are placed closely together, however, you might end up banging your head on the next one over when doing pull ups. The bar is of steel construction, and like the wall-mounted version, the grips are covered with foam.
Pull-up bars are a great addition to any home gym. It is an inexpensive way to add an amazing exercise to your workout routine.