Finding the Right Pull Up Bar for You
There are hundreds of different pull up bars available, they’re all relatively cheap but have different features.
This page will help you find the bar right for you.
We’ve selected what we believe to be the very best pull up bars and built the above filterable Product Attribute List (PAL) so you can find the one right for you.
Click the price details button on any of the bars to see their current price on Amazon.
They are all categorized relative as either Cheap, Average of Expensive, this is based on the type of pull up bar.
For example the free standing pull up bars are generally more expensive than the doorway bars, so you may see a free standing pull up bar classified as cheap when it’s more expensive than an average priced doorway bar – this is because it’s cheap when compared to other free standing bars.
Popularity & Customer Satisfaction
Popularity on it’s own is not that useful to you, what you really need to know if which bars are the most popular and have satisfied customers. All bars featured here are both popular and have good customer satisfaction levels.
Some are more popular than others so we’ve ranked them relative to each other, taking into account both the popularity and the customer satisfaction, we’re ranked them relative to each other as either Excellent, Very Good or Good.
Number of Grip Positions & Wide Grip Support
The number of grip positions determines how many different type of pull up movements you can do with the bar, the bars featured here have either 1, 3 or 5 grip positions.
There are 5 types of pull up bar, determined by how they are fixed in position:
- Door Frame Leverage – Sit in your door way, resting on the top of the door frame and don’t require any screws of fxings, when you hang on them they use your weight as leverage to keep the bar in place.
- Telescopic Doorway Bar – A single bar which fixes in your doorway between the frames, these twist to expand and either fix into safefty cups which are screwed onto the inside of the door frame or simply sit in place from tightening in position.
- Wall Hung – Bolt onto a wall, either external or internal, fixing bolts are positioned at the same standard width as wall studs so they can be fixed to dry walls.
- Ceiling Hung – Depending on the bar, bolt onto either to an exposed joist or a ceiling step or to ceiling studs.
- Free Standing – These are not attached to anything, but are heavy enough with a wide enough foot print to stand alone.
Door Opening Width
The most common problem people have when buying a doorway pull up bar is making sure it fits their door frame. For all door frame leverage bars, the requirements of the door trim width, trim thickness and wall thickness are roughly the same but the door opening width varies.
The width of the Single Doorway bar type also varies, so you can use the Door Opening Width filter above to find a bar that will fit in your doorway. For more information about door frame sizing look at the graphic on Will the doorway pull up bar fit my doorway?.
Supported User Weight
Depending on the type of pull up bar the user weight it will support is different, varying from 220 lbs (100 kg) to 600 lbs (272kg). Generally speaking the Telescopic Doorway bars have the lowest maximum user rating, the door way leverage are next, with the with the wall / ceiling mounted bars supporting the heaviest user weight.
Popular Pull up bar Videos
Here are some of the most popular pull up bar reviews and general videos from youtube:
How To Create A Pull Up Bar At Home – by Mike Chang
Iron Gym Total Review – by JimsReviewRoom
Doing Pull ups Without a bar – by Brett Koppe
How to use your P90X Pull up Bar – by Carey Potts
The Iron Gym Extreme almost identical to the P90X Bar but a fraction of the price
Power Tower vs Free Standing Pull up Bar
Above is a selection of the best free standing pull up bars, most of them are also power towers.
A power tower is a standalone piece of gym equipment which provides you with multiple exercise “stations”, each station allows you to perform a different type of exercise, with the most common being:
- Pull ups
- Knee Raises
- Push ups
- Sit ups
You’ll also see some stand alone pull up bars, which are not full power towers, like the Trapeze’s, these provide you with the pull up bar feature and dip bars, however they don’t have any further bars or pads for knee raises, pushups or sit ups.
Power Tower Workout Exercises
Using a power tower for Pull up Workouts
Each stand alone pull up bar can be used for pull up workouts, all of the power towers have foam padded grip handles and can be used for both narrow and wide grip pull ups.
The trapeze type portable pull up bars don’t have foam grips (which makes them great as an outdoor pull up bar, as there’s no material to get damaged), but the dip bars on both the trapezes as well as the Bowflex Power Tower can also be used for neutral grip pull up workouts.
Kipping on a Free Standing Pull up Bar
A kipping pull up is a very popular as part of CrossFit and involves swinging your hips and using the momentum to help lighten your weight and make it easier to pull up. While it is possible for those of a lighter weight to get away with kipping on the heavier power towers, it is not something that any of the manufacturers recommend.
The horizontal forces created during your swing in a kip pull up, can easily tip a tower and finish with you either on top or underneath it on the ground.
Using a Power Tower for Muscle Ups
A muscle up is the combination of a pull up and a dip into one motion, you pull yourself up so your chest is above the bar then continue in a dip motion pushing all your upper body up then reversing the motion back down.
As with kipping, a muscle up is not something supported by any of the manufactures because of the risk of tipping the tower. That said, if you can avoid swinging too much it is definitely possible with the heavy power towers – just remember what was said about kipping above and don’t swing too much.
Power Tower for Vertical Leg Raises – Great Ab workout
You can use a power tower for leg raises which isolates your core muscles giving you an excellent ab workout. Here’s how to perform vertical leg raises:
- Hold on to the padded arm rests
- Lift your legs by flexing your hips and knees until your thighs are parallel with the ground
- Lift your knees as high as you can towards your chest
- Slowly lower your knees back down so your thighs are parallel with the ground again
- Repeat your reps
If you want to target your obliques (muscles under the love handles) instead of raising your knees towards your chest rotate them left and right.