Looking for a free standing pull-up bar but not sure what to choose?

This EasyBuyPal Free Standing Pull Up Bar Guide takes you through everything you’ll need to know about different types of free standing bars, so you can choose the one that best meets your needs.

Table of Contents

What is a free standing pull up bar?

A free standing pull up bar is a tower, frame or rack that will stand alone to allow you to perform pull ups, chin ups and various other body weight exercises.

Different Names For Pull Up Bars

A free-standing pull-up bar can be known by many other names.

Here are some common names often used to refer to the same thing

  • Free standing chin up bar
  • Stand alone pull up bar
  • Floor mounted pull up bar
  • Stand alone chin up bar
  • Trapeze pull up bar
  • Power tower
  • Free standing pull up tower
  • Pull up tower
  • Chin up tower

This guide covers all of these plus more, so keep reading..

Understanding what to look for in a good Standalone Pull Up Rig

Finding the best piece of equipment is very subjective and what’s best for you really just depends on what you need from it. All stand alone bars will be designed to support pull-ups and chin-ups; however there are so many more things you can and should be looking for if you want to get the most out of your new work out investment.

Here are some of the most common workouts you might want to do and features to look out for when selecting your bar

Types of workouts

Dips

dips exercise

Dips work on your triceps and shoulders. If you want to do dips you’ll need a system with parallel dips bars.

Knee Raises

knee

Knee / leg raises work on your abs and core muscles. Look out for “knee raise” or “leg raise” bars and particularly padded support for your arms.

Push-Ups

push up exercise

Push ups work your arms, chest and core, using a tower with push up bars raises your hands higher off the ground than normal push up, sallowing you to go deeper than standard floor pushups, giving you full range of movement and maximum effect.

Sit-ups

sit-ups exercise

Situps work you abs and core, if you want a tower that supports situps look out for the padded rollers at the bottom.

TRX Suspension Training

TRX Excerise

Total Resistance eXercise (TRX) suspection training uses webbing bands to perform resistance based body weight exercises working your whole body. For TRX support look for a system that is very solid and heavy.

Muscle-Up:

muscle up exercise

Muscle ups work you arms, shoulders and core, you transition from a pull up into a dip and then back down again. You’ll need a heavy weight free standing pull up bar that’s not going to wobble too much.

CrossFit/Kipping

Cross Fit Kipping Pull Up Exercise

Kipping is a swinging pull up, typical of cross fit workouts, they work your arms and core but create a lot of side ways forces. Make you you get the heaviest most stable bar you can find. See CrossFit & Kipping for more information.

Features of the bar

Padded Foam Grips

padded grips

Grip type is really a question of preference, most power towers will have padded grips. Some will have knurled grips, some even have padded with knurled underneath and some just plain bar.

If you want maximum friction the knurled grips are best, if you want soft grips then the padding is good, however this can sometimes twist.

Wide Grip Support

wide grip support

Other pull-up bars offer only neutral and narrow pull-ups; however, there are those that feature wide grip support which is great if you are looking for more variety of pull-ups that target a wider array of muscle areas, including the lat.

Portable

portable pull up bar

Free standing pull up bars are expected to be sturdy, and for this reason not all of its models may be easy to move or transfer from one place to another. A free standing pull-up bar may weigh up to hundreds of pounds, thus, may require re-assembly when moving from one place to another.

Adjustable Size

adjustable pull up bar

Pull-up racks may be adjustable to increments of 3” inches, more or less, making sure that it fits your height and your ceiling’s clearance. It will be best to measure your ceiling clearance against your preferred pull-up rack to make the most out of it; otherwise, you may not perform muscle-ups or chin-ups with it or your head could hit the ceiling.

Compact

compact pull up bar

Not all pull-up bars are compact, especially the power towers which comes in three dimensions: height, width, and length. These power towers require more space compared with the more compact trapeze style stand-alone pull-up bar.

Suitable for Outdoors

outdoor pull up bar

Free Standing Pull Up Bars suitable for outdoors need to have been designed specifically for use outdoors. They should not contain perishable material such as foam handles and they need to be made of material such as aluminium or painted to protect it.

Pull Up Towers / Power Towers / Pull Up & Dip Stations

A “Pull up Tower” or “Power Tower” or “pull up dip station” refers to something like one of these:

Power towers are tubular towers, made from either metal or composite plastic, which you receive in pieces and assemble yourself.

The name “Power Tower” comes from the wide array of exercises and other features they support, allowing you to develop your all round power.

Most power towers will allow you to do exercises such as:

  • push ups
  • sit ups
  • leg raises
  • dips

Depending on the model you chose some are suitable for indoor use and others for outdoor. (See the section below on outdoor free standing pull up bars for more details)

In general assembly is fairly easy and should take most people less than an hour. All power towers will come with assembly instructions similar to these for the stamina 1690

While power towers obviously come in difference styles and sizes, once assembled it will be somewhere in the range of:

  • 40″ – 60″ from front to back
  • 40″ – 50″ from side to side
  • 70″ – 90″ high

The maximum supported weight of a power tower will generally be either 250lbs or 300lbs

Some common characteristics of power towers are:

  • High bar over head height for performing chin ups and pull ups
  • Dip station for performing dips
  • Low bars for performing deep pushups
  • Padded arm rest for use while doing leg raises
  • Padded rollers for tucking you legs into while doing situps

Trapeze Style Pull Up Bars

Two of the most popular free standing bars are the trapeze from trapezerigging.com.

Started by Trevor Boswell, who used to be a trapeze artist in the circus. Trapeze Rigging took their knowledge of building circus style rigging systems and started making and selling systems people could use in their own back yards.

They are made from aluminum tubular bars which slot together, making them very light weight and portable yet strong and also suitable for outdoor usage.

The trapeze bars can be used for pull ups, chin ups and variations such as muscle ups.

The key difference between the Elite Trapeze and the All in one Trapeze is the Elite Trapeze comes with the built in stabilizer bar which makes this model much more stable and less prone to wobbling. Even with the stabilizer bar though, neither of these bars are suitable for kipping pull ups.

Assembly is very easy as can be seen here:

  • The All in one bar is : 42″ long by 42″ wide by 76″ to 84″ high
  • The Elite bar is 54.5″ long by 48″ wide by 77″ to 92″ high

The height can be adjusted in 3″ increments and both bars convert to lower dip stations.

Neight of the trapeze bars have any padding or foam grips, which means there is nothing in the bars that will be damaged by the elements, meaning either bar is suitable for outdoor use.

The trapeze bars have one of the highest rating for maximum user weight of any off the shelf free standing pull up bar at 350lbs.

Yet the weight of the bars themselves is still very light at only 23lbs for the All in one and 36lbs for the Elite. This low weight combined with the easy of assembly and disassembly makes the trapeze bars very portable.

Free Standing Pull Up Bar And Squat Stand

A free standing pull up bar and squat stand will look something like one of these:

Squat stand pull up bars give you a stand for your dumbbell workouts such as weighted squats or for using with a bench, they also provide a tall sturdy pull up bar for your calisthenics workouts.

As the squat stands are much heavier that many other free standing pull up bars the’re well suited using for muscle ups, kipping pull ups or TRX Suspension training, particularly as you can weight them down even more by putting weight plates on the storage pegs.

Squat stand pull up bars vary in size, but generally will be:

  • 48″ to 50″ from front to back
  • 46″ to 28″ from side to side
  • 85″ to 90″ tall

Power Cage / Power Rack with Pull Up Bar

A power cage or power rack with a pull up bar will look something like this.

Power Racks (also known as power cages, squat of power cages) provide a safe environment for you to rack free weights and spot you should your lifts fail.

They will have four vertical posts and several horizontal bars forming a cage. The horizontal bars running front to back can be re-positioned and are known as spotter bars, there to help you rack up and catch your weights when you fail. The horizontal bars running from side to side will often have grips for performing pull ups.

Workouts can include, weighted squats, bench presses, lat pull downs (often with additional attachments), pull ups (including muscle ups and kipping), dips, TRX suspension training and many more.

The strongest power cages are able to support upwards of 1000 lbs on the spotters bars.

Power racks come flat pack and you will assemble them yourself. The size will vary depending on the model, but are typically around 45″ wide by 45″ deep by 85″ tall.

For a more in-depth look at how to buy a power rack see the Power Rack Guide

Free Standing Pull Up Bar With Punch Bag Stand

If you’re looking to combine your boxing / martial arts work out with some pull ups these are a great idea.

Most stand alone punch bags don’t have pull up bars attached but you can find the odd one like this XMark power tower with punch bag stand, combine it with this Everlast punch bag for a great martial arts workout. The frame and bag are sold separately and you’d probably want to also get a water bag to anchor the bag in place.

How to build a DIY Homemade  Free Standing Pull Up Bar

homemade free standing pull up bar

Building your own free standing pull-up bar means having one that fits your own custom design and specifications. You can decide on your design and features, depending on your workout requirements.

homemade free standing pull up bar

Tools You Need to Build Your Own Pull Up Bar

  • Pressure Treated Posts (3’ of post in the ground)
  • Galvanized Steel Pipes
  • Bolts and Nuts
  • Washers
  • Plastic hole plugs (optional)
  • Quickrete
  • Power tools (drill, drill bits)
  • Hole saw
  • Router and router bits
  • Spade
  • Level
  • Tape Measure
  • String and Push Tacks (optional)
  • Socket Set

Overview of Steps to Build Your Own Pull Up Bar

  1. Design and plan your pull-up bar rigs
  2. Drill hole in the posts for the pull-up bars
  3. Drill hole for bolt to Secure pull-up bars
  4. Route bolt holes in Posts
  5. Measure and set out your Posts
  6. Dig holes for the Upright Posts
  7. Put the Posts in the Ground
  8. Leave the Posts holes with Quickrete
  9. Drill Bolt Holes in the Pull Up Bar
  10. Secure Pull Up Bar with Bolts and Finish

For a more detailed explanation with step by step guide see how to build a homemade outdoor free standing pull up bar.

Cheap Free Standing Pull up Bars

Looking for your first power tower?

You can spend many hundreds of dollars, but if this is your first purchase or you’re on a limited budget this section has some of the best bars for you.

Each of these free standing bars below are very popular and the cheapest free standing pull up bars you’ll find

Weider Power Tower

Weider Power Tower

The Weider 200 Power tower is one of the cheapest yet heavy weight towers available – hence it’s popularity.

It’s 57″ front to back 41″ wide and 84″ tall with a maximum user weight of 300lbs.

It has padded narrow and wide grip pull-up bars and also comes with push-up bars, knee raise bars, and dip bars.

While not quite as stable as some of the more expensive stations; if you’re on a limited budget, the Weider Power Tower is great value.

Stamina 1690 Power Tower

Stamina 1690 Power Tower

The Stamina 1690 Power Tower is one of the few cheap power towers with a sit-up bar, boasting great customer satisfaction. With its cheaper price though, it comes with less stability because of it’s lighter weight (62 lbs) and with no knee raise station.

The stamina 1690 is 41.5″ from front to back, 50″ wide and 81.5″ tall and has a maximum supported user weight of 250 lbs.

It’s not suitable if you’re looking for a heavy weight tower, but as a starter or budget pull up tower the Stamina 1690 is ideal.

Body Vision PT 600 Power Tower

Body Vision PT 600 Power Tower

The Body Vision PT600 Power Tower is a cheap yet fairly stable power tower that you can use for dips, knee raises, pull-ups, and push-ups. It’s 42″ from front to back 43″ wide and 85″ tall and has a weight limit of 250 lbs.

It may shake when doing dips as it’s 71 lbs weight is relatively light and if you’re over 6’ you may find the pull-up bar gets in your way a bit while doing dips.

Despite the light weight design the Body Vision PT600 remains a great cheap entry level power tower with great customer feedback.

Using A Stand Alone Pull Up Bar With Your Exercise Program

P90X

P90X

P90X, or Power 90 Extreme, is a home exercise regimen that is designed to take 90 days, consisting of a training program that uses cross-training and periodization techniques, combined with a nutrition and dietary supplement plan.

P90X uses “muscle confusion”, believed to prevent the body from adapting to exercises over time, resulting in continual improvement without plateau.

This workout system requires a pull-up bar, and all of the free-standing pull-up bars can be used for P90X.

CrossFit

CrossFit

CrossFit is a fitness company which promotes physical exercise philosophy and also a competitive fitness sport. It incorporates elements from high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, girevoy sport, calisthenics, strongman, and other exercises.

Part of CrossFit training is the kipping pull-up. This variation of pull-up is faster than the strict pull-up; thus, it elicits more power from the athlete. It makes a contribution to workouts of super-high average power than the other pull-ups cannot.

The kip is performed by pushing your hips and shoulders forward while hanging and then relax, push forward and then relax, until a swing develops. You the move from “arched to hollow”, forming a “C” and alternating between belly forward, shoulder open (arched), and belly retreating, shoulder closing (hollow). As the swing is developed, you will find the kip by giving a sharp tug upward at the back of the swing while leaning back slightly, heaving you toward the bar in a beautiful arch.

As kipping pull-ups involve greater sideways force, no standard free standing pull up bar is suitable for kipping as they are all liable to fall over given the extreme sideways forces – either use a heavy weight power cage or build your own free standing bar in your back yard.

TRX Suspension Training

TRX Suspension Training

Suspension training is an approach to strength training that uses a system of ropes and webbing called a “suspension trainer”, allowing you to work against your body weight.

This is a form of resistance training which includes bodyweight exercise, in which a variety of multi-planar, compound exercise movements can be performed. Suspension training is done with the aim of developing strength, balance, joint stability, and flexibility simultaneously. It develops physical strength while using dynamic positions and functional movements.

TRX is a type of suspension training. The only free standing pull-up bar that supports this workout is the BowFlex Body Tower, unless you build your own.

Performing Muscle Ups on a Free Standing Pull Up Bar

Muscle-ups are one of the most advanced pull-up techniques. It is essentially a pull up that is followed by a dip, requiring practice, power, and muscle strength to execute.

It is done by pulling your chest up to the bar then quickly rotating your grip so your wrists are now above the bar, then you push up until you straighten your arms, pushing your whole upper body up over the bar so your weight is in line with the bar.

Proceed with lowering your back into the normal pull up position with your chest up near the bar and finally lower back down again.

Any of the free standing pull-up bars can be used for a muscle up as long as you don’t swing too much—if this turns into a kip, bar risks falling over.

Using Rings with a Free Standing Pull Up Bar



Rings (gymnastic/olympic rings), and the exercises that can be performed with it exceed the benefits of barbells or pulley machines.

The inherent instability of rings requires you to concentrate every second on it in order to keep it from swaying. While it is difficult enough to pull and press your weight on a fixed bar.

This challenge translates into building more muscle and strength in your core and upper body.

Transitioning your body around the rings to form variety of positions require a lot control and upper body strength. It demands coordination in a way that is much harder to achieve and not so much required in the execution of workouts with other equipment. Rings require only few movements while equaling the impact of dozen other regular exercises at the gym.

Rings should be hang on places where you have enough clearance and space to execute all exercises that involve being above the rings while maintaining the height where you can do a pull-up with a straight body.

Free standing pull-up bars that support rings are the All in One Trapeze and the Elite Trapeze.

free standing pull up bar dip station

dip-station-exercise

The dip is an exercise used in strength training, primarily training the triceps, anterior deltoid, pectoralis muscles, and the rhomboid muscle at the back. To perform a dip exercise, you should hand from a dip bar or from a set of rings with arms straight down and shoulders over your hands, then lower your body until your arms are bent to a 90 degree angle on the elbows, then lift your body up returning to the starting position.

Owing to the natural flexibility of shoulder joints, it is important to try and lock them as much as possible during the dips; or your supporting rotating cuffs may be strained.

Free standing pull up bars that support dips are those that come with dip bars, or allows for rings to dip on it.

Choosing a Pull Up Bar Based on Height Requirements

tall-short-pull-up-bar

Tall free standing pull up bar

For those with high ceilings and ample overhead clearance, tall free standing pull-up bar options include the Body Vision PT600, Elite Trapeze, and the XMark XM-4434.

Body Vision Pt600

tall free standing pull up bar pt600

Body Vision PT600 is a very popular, fairly stable cheap Power Tower which you can use for dips, knee raises, push-ups, and pull-ups; however, it may share a bit when doing dips. Nevertheless, the PT600 is a great entry level power tower that’s cheap yet with great customer feedback.

XMark XM-4434

tall free standing pull up bar XM 4434

XMark XM-4434 is cheap and light yet still fairly stable. The downside to this though is that you don’t get the sit-up roller pad or some of the extra weight capacity and stability of the more expensive XMark. However, this is still a the best cheap free standing pull-up bars around, supporting pull-ups, push-ups, knee raises, and dips.

Elite Trapeze

tall free standing pull up bar Elite Trapeze

The Elite Trapeze is a lightweight portable bar that is easy to assemble and disassemble. You can adjust the height of the bar as you need to. While it is less stable than the heavier options, this is still a good choice for its portability.

Free standing pull up bar for low ceiling

If you have a low ceiling, perhaps the best free standing pull up bar for you would be the Bowflex Body Tower. Smallest at 70” in height, this equipment can fit in spaces with low ceiling clearance while not compromising the variety of exercises you can do with it apart from your pull-ups.

The Bowflex is the heaviest and most stable stand-alone pull up bar with support straps. Its compact design is ideal for low ceilings; and has reported to deliver excellent customer satisfaction. This pull up rack is also averagely price but you get equipment that is far above average quality.

Collapsible / foldable and portable free standing pull up bar

Collapsible, portable free standing pull-up bar make for an excellent choice for those who move around a lot and intends to have a bar they can carry along and re-assemble as they go. Some great options include the All in One Trapeze, the Elite Trapeze and the HotGym pull up bar.

collapsible pull up bar

Both the All in One and the Elite trapezes, collapse in a similar way. A bag is also available for both trapezes via the makers site trapezrigging.com

All in One Trapeze

collapsible pull up bar

The All in One Trapeze bar is a simple, straight-to-the-point pull up bar. It boasts an adjustable height and is suitable for outdoor use. This is the cheapest portable pull-up bar that supports weight up to 350lbs. While its crossbar is adjustable though, its height bar is not.

Elite Trapeze

collapsible pull up bar

The Elite Trapeze is lightweight and portable, easy to assemble and disassemble. The bar is adjustable to fit your height and is suitable for outdoor use. This is sturdy yet less stable than the heavier non-portable pull-up bars. Still, this is most stable portable standalone pull-up bar.

Hot Gym

collapsible pull up bar

HoyGym (as featured in the Iron Man film) is a very compact and portable free standing pull up bar. The rig collapses down into a single unit with an convient carrying handle. A carry bag is also available directly from the HotGym site.

Outdoor Free Standing Pull Up Bars

Free Standing Pull Up Bars suitable for outdoors are those that are designed for the outside, with no perishable material and need to be painted so it can withstand the elements.

Some outdoor free standing pull-up bars are made with stainless steel material, allowing it to withstand conditions and not rust, corrode, and chip easy. There are also those that are painted with UV resistant material, added protection to the bar itself while maintaining the bar’s vibrant color.

Notable free standing pull-up bars suitable for the outdoors include the All In One Trapeze, Elite Trapeze, and the Stamina Outdoor Fitness Power Tower.

Stamina Outdoor Fitness Power Tower

stamina outdoor fitness power tower pull up bar

The Stamina 65-1460 Outdoor Power Tower is built from heavy gauge steel specifically designed to withstand the outdoor elements.

The green paint is weather resistant, corrosion resistant and has UV protection. When assembled it is 49″ front to back, 50% wide and 81″ high. It weighs 88lbs and has a max user weight rating for 350lbs

All in One Trapeze

collapsible pull up bar

The All in One Trapeze bar is a simple, straight-to-the-point pull up bar. It boasts an adjustable height and is suitable for outdoor use. This is the cheapest portable pull-up bar that supports weight up to 350lbs. While its crossbar is adjustable though, its height bar is not.

Elite Trapeze

collapsible pull up bar

The Elite Trapeze is lightweight and portable, easy to assemble and disassemble. The bar is adjustable to fit your height and is suitable for outdoor use. This is sturdy yet less stable than the heavier non-portable pull-up bars. Still, this is most stable portable standalone pull-up bar.

UK Free Standing Pull Up Bars

Most pull up bars featured above are only available in the US market. If you’re looking for a free standing pull up bar for the UK, these are some of your best bets.