The pull up is the king of bodyweight exercises.
No other movement will build your strength as quickly, while helping you to create that much sought after V-shaped upper body. It also do wonders for your biceps, shoulders and forearms.
To benefit from this awesome exercise in the comfort of your own home – all you need is a pull up bar! A very simple and inexpensive piece of equipment. We’d go as far to say it’s one of the best value home workout tools you can buy.
In this article, we go in depth to review the best pull-up bars for home use on today’s market.
Best Home Pull Up Bars: Our top picks!
The first decision you need to make when deciding on your new pull up bar (also called a chin up bar), is whether you want a bar that is permanently mounted to the wall, one that can be affixed in your door frame and then removed when you’re not using it or a free standing pull up bar that will also allow you to do other exercises such as dips and hanging leg raises.
Once you have made that decision, think about the types of pull ups you intend to be doing. Some bars will limit you to just standard width pullups and close grip chin ups. However, for the most versatility, look for a bar with multiple grips so that you can change your hand positions to work your muscles differently.
If you decide to go with a door pull up bar, be sure to check it doesn’t leave markings or scratches on your door frame. It should also be extremely secure when mounted. Ideally you want a unit that does not have to be screwed into the door frame, especially if you are living in rented premises!
Most doorway pull up bars feature a telescopic bar that allows you to fit it to most doorframe widths. However, you should always check to make sure that it will fit the width of your door. For a more durable option, consider a wall mounted pull up bar that you can use in your dedicated gym space or garage. These types of pull-up bars are stronger than the door mounted variety and will last longer. You need to ensure, though, that the beam on which you mount the bar is sturdy enough to take your body weight and to hold the bolts securely.
Before investing in a pull-up bar, make sure that the space in which you intend to use it has enough headroom to allow you to come up to chin level. If it is your goal to progress to doing muscle ups, you will need enough room above for your entire upper body. You also need to ensure that when you hang from the bar your feet are off the ground.
Another consideration is the thickness of the grip on the bar. The thicker the grip, the harder it will be to do continuous pullups. Your grip will be the weak link when you are performing this exercise, so you need to ensure that the design of the bar is not going to compromise this factor.
Be sure to check the weight recommendations of the pull up bar that you are considering. The best bars will have a weight limit of between 120 and 200 KG.
Our Reviews: Best Home Pull Up Bars
JX FITNESS Power Tower (Best Freestanding Pull Up Bar!)
The JX Fitness Pullup/Dip Station is a freestanding unit that allows you to do pull ups, dips, push-ups, hanging leg raises and reverse dips.
This is a sturdily designed unit that features load-bearing vertical rods to make it even stronger. The H shaped base is fitted with an extra anti-sway gasket to provide an extremely solid and secure base to work from.
The backrest and armrests of this unit are fitted with 5 cm thick padding to ensure that your forearms and back are both secure and comfortable while doing exercises like hanging leg raises.
Note that the maximum user weight on this station is only 100 KG, which is a little light. It will still be okay for most people, but if you’re around the 90+ kg mark, you might want to opt for a sturdier unit (don’t worry, we’ve suggested several below!)
The pull-up bar itself is angled at the ends to allow for an ergonomically advanced grip and features laser engraving anti-slip grips. Unlike the foam grips that many pull-up bars come with, these will not slip around when they encounter your sweaty palms. The base of the unit features parallel push-up bars to allow you to do elevated push-ups and reverse dips.
This station is adjustable to five heights, making it ideal for all members of the family to use. The heights range from 195 to 216 cm.
The JX Fitness pullup/dip station is the sturdiest, most durable combination pull up station that we have come across. It provides a great way to get in your upper body workout – and looks pretty great too. Will be a nice addition to any fitness junkie’s home!
- Sturdy Design
- 100 KG Max User Weight
- 5 Height Adjustments
- Ergonomic pull up bar
- Anti-sway gasket
YOLEO Adjustable Power Tower
The YOLEO Adjustable Power Tower is another combination pull-up/dip bar . This unit features six levels of height adjustment. The armrest and back pad on this machine are covered in sweat resistant material but are not as generously padded as the ones on the JX Fitness Power Tower.
The pull-up bar on this power tower features angled ends and has a generous amount of padding. This may provide extra grip comfort but can also give you a too thick grip on some hand placements.
Nonetheless the YOLEO Adjustable Power Tower is an extremely solid and stable piece of equipment. It features suction caps on the base to ensure that it remains securely grounded when you are up in the air, and is made from premium quality steel pipe and plating. The base design is curved to prevent any accidental rollover. In addition, a multi-stable centre design ensures that the unit will never wobble while you are exercising.
The maximum user weight on the the YOLEO Adjustable Power Tower is 100kg, again a little light for our liking, but still should be fine for most people. The unit will arrive on your doorstep as a flat pack but is relatively easy to put together.
While this unit is great, it will cost a little bit more than the JX Fitness Power Tower while providing very similar features but a less comfortable grip. Still if you prefer this style, it’s a fine piece of equipment.
- 6 Levels of height adjustment
- 100 KG max user weight
- Very solid
- Well padded bar
- Angled bar ends
ONETWOFIT Multifunctional Pull Up Bar (Best Wall Mounted Bar!)
The ONETWOFIT Multifunctional Wall Mounted Pull Up Bar is a heavy duty bar that is designed to be permanently affixed to the wall. It can be mounted on concrete or brick but should not be used on drywall or plaster walls, so make sure your wall is suitable before purchasing.
The bar is made of heavy duty steel, making it extremely durable and hard wearing. It can support a maximum use of weight of 200 kg which is excellent.
Unlike many wall mounted pull up bars, this ONETWOFIT Bar provides you with more than just the pullup bar. You also get arm rests and dip bars that extend down from the main frame. You will be able to perform dips, hanging leg raises other core movements. These effectively turn your wall mounted pull up bar into a power tower, just with a stronger weight limit and should take up less space as well.
The armrests feature comfortable, durable cushioning that is tear and sweat resistant. This unit is easy to put together and relatively simple to mount on the wall. However, you will need to supply your own hammer, drill and 12 mm bit to complete the job. Of course there’s nothing like a good DIY job for a solid workout, so get on it!
- Very solid
- Comfortable arm rests
- Includes dip bars
- Armrests included
- Supports up to 200 KG
OneTwoFit Wall Mounted Pull Up Bar with More Stable 6-hole Design
Our second ONETWOFIT wall mounted pull up bar features a renewed design to make the bar even more stable. This version has six bolt holes to secure the bar to the wall. This compares to 4 holes on the original model. The maximum weight of this bar is 200kg. It provides you with a range of grips including the conventional wide and angled bar grip with palms facing away from you and a close in neutral grip in which your palms are facing toward each other. This allows you to more effectively work the muscles of your back and biceps.
This bar is made from durable, high-quality steel as is the original ONETWOFIT wall mounted pull up bar. However, this bar does not come with the arm padding and dip bar that you get with the original model. It is purely a pull-up bar. However, one added bonus is it’s strong enough to act as a hanging rig for a boxing/punching bag. If that’s on your list for your home gym, this could be a great versatile piece of equipment for you.
- Max weight 200 KG
- Six bolt holes
- Range of grips
- High quality steel
- Includes neutral grip bar
BeMaxx Pull Up Bar Door Frame Bar
The BeMaxx Pull Up Bar is a doorway fitted portable pull-up bar. It will work with doors that range in width between 70 and 92 cm. The required door frame depth is between 12 and 21 cm and the height of the door beam must be a maximum of 9 cm. It is vital that you check the specs on your door in order for it to work.
The BeMaxx Pull Up Bar Door Frame Bar does not require any screws for it to be attached to your door. Instead it cleverly uses physics to balance the push-pull forces and sit sturdily in your door frame. It is also designed to leave no marks on your walls or door frame, which has been true for us and we couldn’t find any reviews that stated otherwise either.
We also love that its maximum user weight is 130kg – signs of a solidly made bar that you can rely on. That is actually higher than almost all of the home power towers we have reviewed.
When you hang from this bar you feel extremely secure – it’s not shaky and won’t budge when you’re working out on it. The bar features comfortable handgrips that are sweat resistant. Your purchase will arrive fully assembled and ready to hang. You should be up and performing pull ups within a minute of un-boxing it!
- Works with doors from 70-92 cm
- No screwing in required
- Premium steel construction
- Max user weight 130 KG
- Hand grips
Indoor & Outdoor Pull Up Dip Bar
The Indoor & Outdoor Pull Up Dip Bar markets itself as the world’s first truly portable pull-up bar. It has a unique design that allows it to be mounted to the wall but also to be secured on a tree limb or a post. This unit comes with two adapters for indoor and outdoor use that ensure that the bar is extremely secure whereever it is attached. The unique and compact design of this unit allows you to carry it with you in your backpack so you can get a great chin up workout even when you’re camping in the woods or at the holiday house by the beach.
It features a unique design that allows you to easily transition between exercises. You simply rotate the bar for different exercises so that you can smoothly go from one move to the next. The setup also allows you to attach a resistance band if you desire. The bar is constructed from premium quality rustproof steel, allowing you to leave it out on a tree limb overnight.
You can do more than 35 exercises on this versatile bar. A comprehensive workout guide is included.
The bar itself features multiple handgrips. Your purchase comes with a drilling template and mounting screws. Pretty unique piece of equipment, a little pricey, but we think it could be a cool purchase for the right person.
- Can be attached to tree limbs and poles
- Multiple hand grips
- Dips bar included
- Over 35 exercises can be done
- Workout guide included
AMAZEFAN Doorway Pullup Bar
The AmazeFan Doorway Pullup Bar is a telescopic doorway pullup bar. It works with standard doorways between 70 and 100 cm in width. The bar features extra thick weight-bearing rubber brackets and rubber feet for secure and safe mounting to the door frame. Also included are a number of foam grips for comfort and grip security. The foam grip material consists of three layers of water repellent, tear proof and water resistant materials.
The actual pull-up bar itself is constructed from heavy duty iron. The bar has a diameter of 3 cm and an iron thickness of 1.5 mm. The maximum user weight on this bar is an impressive 130kg. As a bonus, your purchase comes with a pair of professional quality wrist wraps. You also get a free downloadable workout e-book.
We love these style of bars because they can work in almost any household. All you need is a wooden door frame – no screws, mounting, drilling or any thing else. You can literally be doing pull ups within a minute of unboxing. For a low-cost piece of kit that allows you to get your pull ups in every day, these doorway bars are as good as it gets!
- Telescopic bar
- Very secure
- No screw-in required
- Scratch free
- Fits 70-100 cm width door
HAKENO Pull Up Doorway Bar (Best Doorway Bar!)
The Hakeno Doorway Pullup Bar features a unique antiskid design to make it stronger and more secure. The heavier you are, the greater the friction that is created and the more secure the bar becomes. This bar simply fits between your doorframe and does not require any screwing or other insertion. It will work with doors that are between 71 and 142 cm in width.
With a maximum user weight of 300 kg, this is the most robust bar that we have reviewed including wall mounted and power tower versions. The bar features a locking mechanism to ensure that the bar never loosens or spins. The bar itself is constructed from chrome plated stainless steel pipe. The steel is 3 mm thick.
The ends of the bar feature larger silicone pads that are extremely slip resistant to provide maximum stability. They also allow for screwless installation. We were extremely impressed with the rigid and secure hold that this bar provides. If you’re after a doorway bar, you won’t find anything better than this.
Armageddon Sports Premium Ab Slings Straps
The Armageddon Sports Premium Ab Sling Straps are an accessory item for your pull-up bar. They slip over the bar to allow you to put your arms through them and have an anchor as you perform bar based abdominal work. The slings for your arms are attached to the bar via solid steel hooks. These hooks are amazingly strong. The actual arm slings have a maximum carrying capacity of 400 kg. They also feature extremely strong clinches.
The arm straps are made from extremely durable and comfortable nylon. The inside of the straps feature extra padding for increased comfort. These straps will work with all bar sizes. This is an extremely useful addition to your home gym that will enhance the versatility of your pull-up bar, allowing you to define and sculpt those six-pack abs.
- 400 KG arm sling capacity
- Very strong carabiners
- Sturdy nylon design
- Extra padding
- Works with all bar sizes
6 Pull Up Variations
Your new pull-up bar is a versatile device that can allow you to do a number of different variations of the standard pull up. Here are six different types of pullups that will allow you to get the most benefit from your pull-up bar:
Often seen in conjunction with CrossFit workouts, kipping pull-ups make use of momentum to get you to the top of the bar. This makes the exercise a little easier than the traditional pull-up, but is effective when you are performing a timed work out. To perform a kipping pull-up, create a slight backward momentum by swinging your legs. Then, use momentum to bring your legs forward as you bring your body up to the bar.
Around the World Pull-ups
The around the world pull-up involves pulling your body directly up and then moving your chin across to your left hand. When it touches, immediately move across to touch the right hand. This is a more challenging version than the standard pull-up and will provide an intense workout for your lats, trapezius and rhomboids.
Weighted pullups bring a whole new level of intensity to your workout. They allow you to use a resistance greater than your body weight. You should only consider performing weighted pullups when you are able to do a minimum of 15 quality standard pull-ups. There are a number of ways to add weight to your body when doing pullups, including putting on a weighted vest, using a weight belt that has a chain attached that you can hook weight plates onto and holding a dumbbell between your feet. Perform the exercise just as you would a standard pull-up. However, you may prefer to do multiple lower rep sets than you normally would.
Chin ups are performed with a hands facing grip. Your hands should be about 6 inches apart. The focus is on working the biceps. As you bring your chin up to the bar, forcefully contract the biceps and hold the top position for a second or two. Lower to full arm extension and repeat.
Wide Grip Pullups
The wide grip pull up will put more emphasis on the lats. In this version of the exercise your hands should be about 10 inches wider than shoulder width. One result of this is that you will not have to travel so far to get to the top of the bar. However, it is still a very challenging exercise because it isolates the outer part of your back.
The muscle up version of the pull-up involves creating some momentum so that your entire torso clears the bar and you are able to raise up to an extended arm position. This exercise requires quite a lot of strength and the technique takes some time to master.
Pull up tips and FAQ
Why do pull ups?
The pull-up is without doubt the most challenging body weight exercise that exists. It is a compound movement that, while primarily working your back muscles, also hits your shoulders, biceps, forearms, and core. This makes it an awesome all around upper body strengthener and muscle builder. In fact, many people refer to the pull-up as the upper body squat.
The pull up also allows you to make use of progressive resistance, which is the key to strength and muscle gain. When you can get 15 pullups in a row, you are able to add resistance by strapping a weight plate to your body. Another benefit of doing pullups is that there is a lot of variety as to the types that you can perform. We’ve given you six of the best versions above but if you go online you can find as many as 50 different types of pullups that you can do at home.
Another benefit of performing pullups is that it is a great way to increase the strength of your grip and forearms. This will allow you to perform better on free weight exercises like deadlifts.
How do you perform a proper pull up?
Stand under the pull-up bar and reach up to grab it at about 6 inches wider than shoulder width. Hold the bar with an overhand grip and now hang loosely on the bar. Open your chest and retract your shoulder blades. Think about pulling from your mid back and your lats. You do not want your arms to be involved in the movement; they are simply the levers that attached your back to the bar. Do not bend your knees but keep your legs straight and at a slight angle in front of you. As you pull-up, avoid swinging your legs to create momentum.
Now bring your body up to the bar, leading with your chest and coming all the way up until your chin goes over the bar. Lower completely and repeat.
Can pull ups help me lose weight?
Yes, pull ups definitely help you to lose weight. Being a compound exercise, it burns a ton of calories. It will also help you to build lean muscle mass, and the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be to burn more calories all day long.
Summary: Our Top Picks
To help you get the most out of your home workouts, we’ve considered the best pull up bars across all categories.
For us the best power tower is the JX Fitness Power Tower. It provides you with a very secure base, comfortable back and arm rests and an ergonomically designed angled bar. The one downside is it has a weight limit of 100kg, so for you bigger guys and gals, you might need something sturdier.
The ONETWOFIT Wall Mount Pull Up Bar is our favorite wall mounted bar, featuring a max weight of 200kg. Unlike most wall mounted bars, this one comes with arms rests and a dip station, making it a very versatile tool that you can get a serious upper body workout on.
Finally, the best door frame pullup bar on the market right now is the Hakeno Pullup Bar. Not only is it the cheapest, and the easiest to install, it has a massive 300kg maximum user weight, making it suitable for everybody. If you’re just starting out with your pull up routine and need something affordable and easy, this is where we recommend you start. In fact, we these are so useful and non-invasive, we think every home should have one!
Last update on 2020-10-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API