Hands down, one of the best exercises you should be including in your workout program is the pull-up. This highly efficient move works your entire back, your biceps, and will even work your core to some degree as well.
In order to properly perform a pull-up however, you need to have the right equipment to use. Fortunately, pull-up bars can be purchased for a relatively cost effective price and installed right in the comfort of your own home.
Too many to choose from? Not to worry. We’ve rounded up a handful of top picks and broken them down by category so you can choose the best bar for your own individual set-up.
When purchasing a pull-up bar, there are a few things that you’ll want to look for and consider. First, you need to be sure the weight the bar can support is going to be sufficient. If you are a heavier individual and plan on using the bar regularly, it needs to be able to support that continual stress being placed on it.
Second, you’ll want to look for a pull-up bar that provides enough length that you can do multiple variations of the pull-up while using it. This means wide grip pull-ups, reverse grip pull-ups, standard pull-ups, and narrow grip pull-ups. Any bar you buy should be able to fully support all these different exercises.
Finally, before you go shopping, be sure that you measure the area you plan to install the pull-up bar in. This will help ensure you buy one that will give you the best fit.
Now let’s walk you through the different types of bars and the best options for each.
A doorway pull-up bar is one of the most commonly used pull-up bars as it’s relatively easy to install and can support a good amount of weight (up to 300 pounds). Do keep in mind you need to have enough room around the doorway in order to set one of these up however, so they won’t work well in tight cornered rooms (such as a bedroom), in any rooms with a double door or a doorframe where there is no lip at the top for the bar to sit above the frame.
- Allows for 12 different grips, which will help combat a progress plateau
- Is relatively easy to assemble with a slip-in design
- Is 41 inches wide, proving to be much wider than most bars out there
- Allows for three different grip positions, narrow, wide, and neutral
- No screws required for assembly, making it less damaging to the wall
- Parts are very durable, so should stand up well to long-term use
If you have a designated room in your house to workout in or are certain you won’t be needing to move your pull-up bar anytime soon, a wall mounted pull-up bar might be the right choice for you. This pull-up bar is mounted directly into the studs of your wall and when mounted properly, will support a great load of weight.
One nice thing about this type of bar is because the wall is right in front nor behind you (depending on which way you face while you do the pull-up), this will prevent you from ever using momentum to carry you through the exercise.
- Has padded foam grips for maximum comfort
- Is heavy-duty steel for optimal durability
- Can be used to perform knee raise exercises as well
- Parallel grips are spaced 16 inches apart, which is a comfortable distance for most people
- Has a sleek and stylish design
- Offers angled ergonomic grips that give you the most comfortable position possible
- Mounts directly onto the door without excess bulky framework
- Has 30 mm diameter tubing for maximum comfort
Telescopic Pull-Up Bar
If you want a pull-up bar that can easily be put away when not in use, the telescopic pull-up bar is for you. This bar will attach to the two upright sides of a door frame either by using friction or with a set of cups (which you can screw into the door frame).
This bar is great for those who don’t have a designated area to workout in and may be using the doorway to a bedroom, living room, or other main area. Usually these models can support a weight of about 220-250 pounds.
- Expands from 26-40 inches so can fit any door frame perfectly
- Has a sturdy steel production that offers great durability and support
- Can hold up to 250 pounds of weight
- Can quickly be removed when not in use
- Provides hand grips to help minimize hand fatigue while doing the exercise
- Is adjustable to fit nearly every door frame
- Is a great cost-effective option
Free Standing Pull-Up Bar
If you are a heavier individual or there will be multiple people using the pull-up bar on a regular basis, you might want to consider a free standing bar. These are supported by a metal frame that will have enough stability to support just about any weight placed on it. They’re very durable and because they come with a full frame for support, you won’t have to worry about attaching anything to a door or wall. Often, these also allow for other exercises to be performed, so serve more as a complete gym all in one.
- Has a steel construction for maximum durability
- Can be used to perform pull-ups, squats, bench press, shoulder press, rows, or any other barbell based movement
- Is space efficient at 46 inches by 50 inches by 85 inches
- Reasonably priced and will allow you to work all the major muscle groups in the body in a single session
- Allows you to perform chin-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, dips, and many other exercises
- Has padded back and arm cushions for maximum comfort
- Has slip resistant footing, so can be used on any floor type
- Is adjustable in height to meet the needs of any user
So keep these bars in mind as you go shopping for your pull-up bar. Consider your needs, preferences, and the space you have available and you’ll be able to find the perfect bar for your workout program.