pull up bar

pull up bar buyers guide – (2024)

A pull-up bar, also referred to as a chin-up bar, is a valuable addition to any home gym. It offers versatility for various exercises and is generally affordable. However, selecting the right one can be challenging due to the array of brands and types available.

In this blog, I aim to clarify the different varieties of pull-up bars and explore their respective advantages and disadvantages. By understanding these distinctions, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your fitness goals and preferences.

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What is a pull-up bar?

A pull-up bar, also known as a chin-up bar, is a fitness device used to strengthen the muscles of the back, shoulders, and arms.

It consists of a horizontal bar that can be attached to a frame or a door frame. The bar often has multiple grip points, allowing for various grip positions.

Pull-up bars are one of the most commonly used and efficient methods for training upper body muscles.

They are very easy to use and require no weights or other equipment. All you need is your own body weight, making them a popular choice for both home gyms and small fitness spaces.

What types of pull-up bars are there?

There are 3 types of pull-up bars to choose from. It’s important to understand their pros and cons before purchasing one.

The 3 types of pull-up bars are:
– Door-mounted pull-up bars
– Wall-mounted pull-up bars
– Pull-up stations, also known as Power Towers

A door-mounted pull-up bar is the most affordable option for training pull-ups at home. Additionally, this pull-up bar is easy to install and remove. This means you can easily take it down when you don’t need the bar and hang it back up when you’re ready to start your workout.

There are two types of pull-up bars that you can attach to or between your door frame. In the first type, you clamp the bar between the door frame. In the second type, you clamp the bar to the sides and top of the door frame.

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Why to choose for a doorway pull up bar?

The main reasons to choose this option are the price and convenience.

Since a door-mounted pull-up bar is much cheaper than the other options, it is more suitable for anyone looking to train at home on a smaller budget.

Additionally, this variant is ideal if you don’t have the space or ability to mount a pull-up bar on the wall. Not everyone is allowed to drill holes in their rental property.

You can easily hang the door frame pull-up bars when you need them, and store them away after your workout so they don’t cause any inconvenience.

Why not to choose for a doorway pull up bar?

When you hang a pull-up bar on your door frame, it is always less sturdy than when you screw one to the wall. If sturdiness is your top priority, I recommend opting for a wall-mounted pull-up bar or power station.

Learn more about doorway pull up bars

Securing a pull-up bar to your wall is an option that requires careful consideration. With this method, you screw the pull-up bar into the wall, making it less easily movable.

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The wall-mounted pull-up bar is an ideal solution if you’re looking for a bar that hangs securely and moves very little. This option provides more certainty than the door frame pull-up bar, for example.

Additionally, a wall-mounted pull-up bar offers several significant advantages. There are variants that provide enough space to train muscle-ups, which is not possible with most other bars.

Furthermore, you have the option to install the bar outdoors. This allows you to hang the bar at any desired height, giving you added flexibility.

Moreover, with a wall-mounted pull-up bar, you can generally hang more weight on the bar. This means you also have the option to train weighted pull-ups, which is less feasible with a door frame bar.

Learn more about wall mounted pull up bars

You’ve probably seen a pull-up station before. They’re commonly found in most gyms.

A pull-up station is also known as a power tower. The great advantage of a pull-up station is that you can train virtually all calisthenics exercises with it. You can train pull-ups and chin-ups with it, but also dips, L-sits, and many other exercises. Some pull-up stations are even sturdy enough to train muscle-ups on.

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Power towers are extremely versatile, robust, and built to last. However, they cost more than standalone pull-up bars and require space in your home/garden since you can’t easily dismantle a pull-up station.

Want to know more about pull up stations?

What to consider when buying a pull-up bar?

There are many different types of pull-up bars and chin-up bars available. Therefore, it’s important to first determine your specific needs before making a purchase. Below are some points to consider when choosing a pull-up bar or pull-up bar:

Material

Pull-up bars / chin-up bars are made of different materials, such as steel or aluminum. Steel is sturdy and durable but can be heavy and prone to rust if not coated. Aluminum is lightweight and rust-resistant but is less strong than steel.

 

Weight

The weight of a pull-up bar or pull-up bar is important if you plan to hang it on the ceiling or wall. A lighter bar is easier to move but may be less sturdy, while a heavier bar is often more stable.

Weight capacity

Most pull-up bars have a weight limit ranging from 220 to 440 pounds. This provides enough leeway to also train weighted pull-ups.

However, it’s important to align the weight limit with your training goals. If you aim to do many (heavy) pull-ups, a pull-up bar that clamps between the door frame may be less practical than a power tower or a wall-mounted pull-up bar.

Additionally, consider the load-bearing capacity of the wall or door frame. Therefore, it’s advisable to cautiously test a bar before putting your full weight on it.

Height

Additionally, it’s important to consider the height you think you’ll need. For tall individuals, it may be more convenient to mount a bar on the wall, as this provides more flexibility in height compared to a door frame or power tower.

Pull up bar installation

Setting up the pull-up bar can be quite a task, varying depending on the type of pull-up bar.

To assemble the wall-mounted pull-up bar, you’ll need to drill holes into a sturdy wall. It’s advisable to have at least two people for this task, but preferably three, as someone will need to hold the bar in place.

Most door-mounted pull-up bars are easy to set up and typically take less than 10 minutes, even when done alone. This makes them ideal for those less inclined towards technical tasks.

Setting up a pull-up station or power tower is also manageable. Most models come as DIY kits, similar to IKEA furniture, and can be assembled on your own. However, it’s crucial to allocate enough time to ensure stability, as a wobbly pull-up bar can be quite bothersome.

Additional exercise possibilities

Do you want to train not only pull-ups but also, for example, dips? Then it’s wise to opt for a pull-up station that also includes a dip bar. With one device, you have a wide range of exercises covered.

Space

How much space do you have to hang the pull-up bar, and where do you want to hang it? Check if your walls / door frames are strong enough to hang a pull-up bar on. Or see if you have enough space for a pull-up station.

Training with your pull up bar

Do you want to train at home but have no idea where to start? Download our calisthenics workout plan below and get started right away!

Frequently asked questionns

What are pull-ups good for?

By training pull-ups, you increase strength and stimulate muscle growth primarily in your back muscles, forearms, and biceps. However, the pull-up is a compound exercise, meaning that you engage a large number of muscles. In addition to the back, forearms, and biceps, other muscles such as the shoulders, abdomen, and triceps are also trained to a lesser extent during the pull-up.

What exercises can you train with a pull-up bar?

You can train a variety of exercises with a pull-up bar, making it a versatile piece of fitness equipment. Below are some examples of the most popular exercises:

  1. Pull-ups: Hanging from the bar with a pronated grip (palms facing away from you), pull your body up until your chin is above the bar. This exercise is excellent for training the back and arm muscles.

  2. Chin-ups: Similar to pull-ups but with a supinated grip (palms facing towards you), targeting the biceps more than pull-ups.

  3. Leg raises: Hang from the bar with a pronated grip and lift your legs until they are parallel to the ground or, for advanced practitioners, until your toes touch the bar. This exercise primarily targets the abdominal muscles.

  4. Knee raises: Hang from the bar with a pronated grip and bring your knees towards your chest. This is an easier variation of leg raises.

  5. Front lever: This is an isometric exercise where you bring your body parallel to the ground with your face towards the bar.

  6. Back lever: Another isometric exercise where you position your body horizontally under the bar, facing the ground.

For all these exercises, it’s important to use proper technique and perform the correct number of sets and reps. Failing to do so can increase the risk of injury. If you’re just starting out, consider seeking guidance from an (online) coach or fitness trainer.

How many pull ups to train every day?

If you plan to train pull-ups every day, it’s important not to train your maximum number of reps every day as you can quickly become overstrained. A good guideline is to aim for sets of about 50-60% of your maximum number of reps per set as a baseline. You can then perform this number several times throughout the day.

What is the ideal height of a pull-up bar?

The minimum height for a pull-up bar is the height at which you don’t touch the floor when hanging under the bar with your knees bent. The ideal height is when you can hang from the bar with your legs extended and just not touch the ground. With this height, you can also effectively use resistance bands for your pull-ups.

Additional calisthenics equipment

A pull-up bar or chin-up bar is a fantastic addition to your home gym, but it’s not the only tool you need for a complete home workout.

Below are some other materials that make excellent additions to your home gym:

  • Gymnastic rings: Rings are an ideal complement to your pull-up bar, allowing you to intensify your workout easily. They also offer the opportunity to train push exercises like dips, which may not be possible with just a pull-up bar.

  • Weight belt + weights: When pull-ups become easy, it’s important to make your training more challenging. Easily do this by adding weights using a weight belt.

  • Weighted vest: Another way to increase the difficulty of your training is by wearing a weighted vest.

  • Resistance bands: If you’re still mastering pull-ups, resistance bands are perfect for assisting you with those initial reps. They make the workout lighter, allowing your body to gradually adjust to the new exercises.

  • Push-up bars / parallettes: Want more variety in your push-up routine? You can easily achieve this by purchasing a set of push-up bars or parallettes.

  • Dip station: Do you want to train weighted dips at home? Then I recommend purchasing a dip station.

It’s not necessary to buy all these items at once. Start your calisthenics home gym with the materials you think will benefit you the most and gradually expand from there.

Conclusion

A home pull-up bar is the best investment you can make for your health. There’s a good option available for every budget, so what are you waiting for? Get one and start training.

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