Looking to add a pull-up bar to your home gym equipment? Pull-ups can be a great exercise to put into your workout rotation.
Been putting off pull-ups because they’re hard or you aren’t sure you’re doing them correctly? I’ll walk you through how to do them, why to do them, and what you’ll want in an your at-home piece of equipment. Plus we’ll look at the best pull-up bars around.
Why Do Pull Ups?
Pull-ups are a great exercise to add to your routine. They are a compound exercise that works many large and small muscles through your arms, core, and back.(1)
The equipment needed for pull-ups takes up minimal space, as you’re using your own body weight to drive the exercise. Virtually any home or apartment can accommodate a pull-up bar.
Pull-ups will help strengthen your back and core, giving you better posture. That better posture and stronger back helps offset and alleviate any pain you might have from a sedentary desk job. Nothing hurts your back faster than a day at the office hunched over your computer.
Not only will you have a more chiseled physique, you’ll have a healthier and stronger body. If that’s not an incentive for a new exercise, I don’t know what is.
Another perk to incorporating pull-ups? They’re convenient to do and you work multiple muscles with a single exercise. It’s a great exercise to do when you’re on the go. If you have a few minutes and a pull-up bar around, you can get a quick full body workout in.
Feel like you need something more from your pull-up workout? You can have it. A pull-up is an exercise that’s easy to vary. You can try different hand positioning and techniques to increase the intensity of your workout. You’ll also be working slightly different muscles in the process.
If you decide you need even more intensity, you can easily incorporate your pull-ups into a HIIT routine. Your muscles will never see it coming, and you’ll love the results.
It’s easy to fall into a routine. I know—they’re comfortable. We all like to know what to anticipate. That doesn’t mean it’s the best option for your body or your workout regimen, though. Shake it up and you’ll be a stronger, better athlete for it.
What Muscles Will I Work?
The pull-up works several different muscles, but most people think of it as targeting the lats. This is the large muscle across your back that gives you a defined triangle. You’ll also use your biceps, trapezius, deltoids, pectoral muscles, the teres major, abdominals and lower back.(2)
The pull-up may seem like a simple exercise. Perhaps you think of it as an exercise only an extreme athlete needs to do. But you don’t have to be a bodybuilder to benefit from pull-ups.
The truth is, it’s a really a great exercise that will hone and tighten your body. Whatever your health goals or how advanced as an athlete you are, you can see amazing results with pull-ups. Interested in seeing the muscles in action? You can see that here.
Using the proper technique when doing pull-ups is crucial. But don’t let that intimidate you. Just know you need to pay attention to how you’re using your body during a pull-up. Your back is especially vulnerable during this exercise, so keep it protected.(3)
First, you’ll start with your hands up on the bar. You don’t want to grip the bar from underneath for this exercise. Instead, set your hands on top for an overhand grip.
Pull your shoulder blades down and back. Imagine your spine is a bar you’re trying to grip between your shoulder blades. This will engage your lats, which are critical to the pull-up.
Next, pull your body up toward the pull-up bar. Your arms will bend. Keep your elbows pointed toward the ground. Now, your biceps and the supporting arm and back muscles are all involved in the movement.
Once your chin is above the bar, you’re going to go ahead and lower yourself back to the ground. For the return trip, your triceps and shoulders are doing the work.
Don’t swing your body or hollow your lower back during a pull-up. Throwing your body around to get above the pull-up bar doesn’t make it effective. If you can’t do a pull-up to the bar right away, just modify.
There’s never any shame in modifying an exercise. It enables you to build the muscles, strength, and skill to get to where you can do the exercise without modifications. Start small and before you know it, you’ll be knocking out pull-ups like a pro.
A modified pull-up looks like this: set a pull-up bar 30 inches off the ground. Slide beneath it and grip the bar as directed above. Toes are straight up and the back of your heels are against the floor. Engage the length of your body—abs in, back protected—and pull up on the bar as you would if you were standing.
You’ll work the same muscles, building up to a full pull-up, and lighten your body’s load by a third.
What to Look for in a Pull Up Bar
There are some key things you need to look for when you’re shopping for a pull-up bar. The first—and most important—is to know what kind of bar you want to bring home.
This will, most likely, be driven by the kind of space you have and where you’re planning on using your pull-up bar. You may need a moveable bar to use in a door-frame. That’s a great option if you have limited space. But, it’s not a great option if you’re very tall or if your door frames are very short.
If you have a dedicated gym space and have the wall for it, a wall mount can be a great option. These generally install directly into studs and give you a safe, stable, bar for pull-ups.
If you have more floor space than wall space, you may consider a pull-up bar stand. These are a great, sturdy option, but do have a large footprint.
Before you decide on anything else, figure out where you plan to do your pull-ups and what your long-term goals are. That might play a part in whether or not you’re willing to dedicate space to a more sophisticated option.
After you know what kind of bar you’re looking for, many of the qualities you want will be the same. You want something strong and sturdy. Look for something with a comfortable grip. If you have multiple people using the bar, make sure it’s mounted at a height that works for everyone.
Always look at reviews and ratings when you’re considering a piece of exercise equipment. Remember that safety is just as important as functionality. If you think a product seems to compromise safety in any way, go ahead and pass that one up.
Best Wall Mounted Pull Up Bar
Wall mounted bars are a great option for people who can spare the wall space. Installed directly into wall studs, you don’t need to worry about the bar going anywhere. You can easily find wall mounted bars for pull-ups that will accommodate weights from 200 to 600 pounds.
Below are some of my favorite wall mounted pull-up bars. If you’re in the market for one, consider one of these.
1. Titan Fitness Training Wall Mounted Pull Up Bar
This Titan Fitness pull-up bar can be installed directly to wooden studs or into concrete walls. Wall mounting hardware is included with the bar and installation is straightforward. You’ll just want to use a level to ensure everything is straight.
The wall mounted bar by Titan Fitness is convenient because you can adjust the height. This is perfect if you aren’t an average height or if you’re working with unusually low ceilings. You can easily customize your workout area to suit you and accommodate your space.
This unit is strong and sturdy. The bar can be adjusted to fit studs up to 50 inches apart. A second bar can be purchased to convert this into a pull-up station for multiple people.
It weighs in at 35 pounds but is rated to support 500 pounds of body weight. Wherever you are on your fitness journey, this bar can accommodate you.
- Can customize to available space.
- Powder coated, attractive, and hard finish.
- Easy to install.
- Welding could be neater.
- Hardware is sometimes missing from the packaging.
- Returns can be a hassle.
2. Ultimate Body Press Wall Mount Pull Up Bar With Four Grip Positions
Made to be mounted directly into wall studs set the standard 16 inches apart, the Ultimate Body Press arrives with all the needed hardware. Mounting templates, instructions, and tech support come standard as well.
What’s really great about the this pull-up bar is that you can choose from four different grip choices. Whether your grip is 10 inches, 14 inches, or 36 inches apart, you’ll get a quality workout. Changing up your grip will lead to better muscle development and can intensify your workout as things get easier.
If you’re ready to mix it up further, this bar has additional accessories that can be used with it. There’s no need to keep boring pull-ups in rotation. Keep it fun with variation.
The bar is 42 inches wide and has 14 to 21 inches of wall clearance. Weighing in at less than 13 pounds, it’s easy to install but will give you the workout—and physique—you crave.
- Fast and easy install.
- Heavy-duty and strong.
- Multi-workout options for customization.
- Will support over 200 pounds.
- All steel construction.
- Instructions are inaccurate.
- Foam grips wear easily.
- Interior welds could be better/stronger.
- Could have better lag bolts.
3. Titan Fitness HD Multi Grip Wall Mounted Pull Up Bar
This is another bar I have to love because of the multiple grip options. I just don’t want to be a slave to the same old fitness routine. I like to be able to try new things and to keep my body guessing. Not only does it make for a more effective workout for my body, it keeps my mind interested and engaged.
This pull-up bar is made of welded 10 gauge steel, and able to support 600 pounds—this bar is a powerhouse. Heavy duty construction and a non-slip finish make it a breeze to workout with.
The Titan bar mounts directly into wooden studs, but I would recommend mounting into concrete. This is especially true if the bar is used frequently, by multiple people, or is supporting heavier weights.
This is another bar you can easily use to anchor resistance bands for other exercises. Don’t be afraid to ask your equipment to multi-task. The more you can get out of a piece of equipment, the better.
The Titan Fitness HD Multi Grip is 48 inches wide and allows for both wide and narrow grips for pull-ups. This is a great piece of professional-quality equipment you can easily use in your own home.
- Solidly constructed.
- Professional grade.
- Multiple hand grips.
- Weighs 40 pounds—you should plan on having at least one other person help install.
- No mounting hardware included.
- No mounting instructions included.
4. Ecotric 50” Wall Mounted Heavy Duty Pull Up Bar
The Ecotric 50-inch heavy duty pull-up bar can be installed horizontally or vertically, depending on the amount of space you have. Made of 11-gauge steel, this piece is sturdy and can accommodate a maximum of 500 pounds.
This is a great, yet basic, piece that will deliver the workout you’re looking for. Since this bar is heavy and rated for more weight, I recommend installing into concrete over wood studs. All the hardware for mounting is included with the bar.
It clocks in at about 30 pounds, so you will probably want someone else available to help you install it. This bar requires a little more effort when it comes to the installation, but it’s worth it. You’ll definitely want to use a level when installing. It’s a little more work, but you need to have an even bar.
If you’re looking for a high-quality product that you’ll look forward to using, this is it. You’ll get a terrific workout and you will like the changes you see.
- Good quality construction.
- Adjustable height.
- Poor packaging—lost and damaged parts aren’t uncommon.
- Lag bolts could be better quality.
- Install is labor intensive and time consuming.
5. Titan Fitness Pull Up Bar Wall Mounted Ceiling Stud
This is a good option for people who want a mounted bar and can’t mount it to the wall. Ceiling mounts tend to be trickier than wall mounts—I’d recommend having a professional come and do the installation for you. No mounting hardware is included with this bar.
This is a professional gym-quality piece that can support 500 pounds. It’s easy to grip and has an attractive finish.
You can adjust the bar so it hangs 10 or 14 inches down from the ceiling. The Titan Fitness pull-up bar is made out of heavy duty 14-gauge steel. The bar is 50 inches wide and the whole thing is 17 inches deep.
I love that this bar can perform multiple functions. Finished your pull-ups for the day? There are spots for you to hang a punching bag and get in a few rounds. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again—equipment that offers you variety will be your best friend in a home gym. This piece is great to use with ropes and resistance bands as well.
I haven’t been disappointed by a Titan product, and this one won’t let you down either. It’s easy and comfortable to use, and, most importantly—it’s effective.
- Non-slip finish.
- Multiple functions for variety.
- No instructions.
- Poor packaging.
Best Pull Up Bar Stand
If you need something you can pack up and take with you, a pull-up bar stand can be a great option. These tend to have lower weight limits, so you’ll want to keep that in mind while shopping.
Many pull-up bar stands are travel-friendly—that does come with a trade-off. You may feel the pull-up bar move more readily when using a bar stand. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s less effective or safe—it’s just a function of its structure.
You might find you prefer to do more aggressive pull-up routines on a more stable pull-up bar that is mounted on the wall.
1. Gravity Fitness Portable Bodyweight and Pull Up Rack
This is a nice portable option when it comes to pull-up stands. It sets up and collapses in a matter of minutes, loads into its carrying bag, and you’re good to go.
You can use this pull-up stand for a variety of other exercises as well. The fact that it’s portable only furthers its flexibility. You can pack up for a weekend away or a business trip and not risk missing a workout.
This unit weighs just over 40 pounds and supports up to 240 pounds. There are no screws or bolts involved in assembly, making this a truly easy unit to set up and take down.
While it’s sturdy enough for most users, plan on it having a little bit of give. It won’t impact its usability at all, but it may catch you off guard at first. This is especially true if you’ve used sturdy mounted or professional pieces in the past. Don’t let the slight sway fool you though—you’re still getting a quality workout.
- Comes with a carrying case.
- Easy to set up and take down.
- Not as sturdy as other units.
- Has a lower weight limit than some other bars.
2. GoBeast Pull Up Bar
This is another portable pull-up unit. Whether you’re looking for something to bring to boot camp or on vacation, this pull-up stand fits the bill.
I love that this bar can be set up in different ways—even to accommodate modified pull-ups. I know it can be hard to find equipment that’s easy to modify pull-ups with. I appreciate that this unit not only allows for modification, but can also be used on the go.
Like other portable units, this does have a max user weight limit of 240 pounds. It doesn’t offer the kind of weight capacity the mounted bars do, but for many people that won’t be too much of an issue.
You can expect this unit to have some give and movement when it’s in use. This doesn’t compromise the safety of the product. It is, after all, designed and engineered to work in that capacity. It is also designed for quick take down and set up, though, and some movement comes with that.
It goes without saying that this equipment—like the majority of exercise equipment—should be used on a flat, hard surface. It’s not for use on mats, carpet, or anything else that might unbalance the unit and cause it to tip.
- For use with a variety of setup options and exercises.
- Limited return window.
- Return shipping costs are the sole responsibility of the buyer, regardless of return reason.
- Weight limit of 240 pounds.
- At 6-foot 3-inches, the unit may not be a good fit for tall users.
3. Crystal Fit Adjustable Height Power Tower
This is a great pull-up unit for use on a more permanent basis. While it’s not collapsible or easily portable, it does have a max weight limit of 550 pounds. I know not everyone needs equipment that can handle that kind of weight. I do believe it speaks of a certain amount of durability and quality, though.
A reinforced steel frame and sturdy construction make this just the kind of exercise equipment you will be happy to have in your home gym. The height is adjustable, which is great if you’re on either end of the height spectrum or if you share equipment.
At 60 pounds, this is a hefty unit. You’ll probably want another person on hand for assembly. While tools for the assembly are included, you’ll be better off using your own or borrowing a friend’s.
I’ve evaluated these units specifically for their ability as a pull-up platform. However, I do appreciate that other exercises can be done on the Crystal Fit.
This unit has a return window of 30 days. If there’s a manufacturer’s defect or a return needed because of shipping, returns and exchanges are free.
- Max weight limit of 550 pounds.
- Adjustable height.
- Heavy and labor-intensive to assemble.
- Included tools for assembly could be better.
4. Stamina Power Tower
The Stamina Power Tower is a great option for a more permanent pull-up bar set-up that doesn’t take up an exceptional amount of room. Though it’s a straightforward piece, it allows for several different bodyweight exercises in addition to the pull-ups.
The steel-frame construction is solid and sturdy. Comfortable foam hand grips make working out less of a chore and more enjoyable. This unit is equipped with non-slip end caps that help keep you in place regardless of the workout you’re putting in.
While this is a good unit for regular use, it does have a 250-pound weight limit. Again, this isn’t a deal-breaker, but I do like to see equipment with greater capacity.
I love that the design of this piece is compact, but it doesn’t come with any height adjustability. If you’re taller or shorter than average, you may have a more difficult time with this stand.
Wide set pull-ups are easily accommodated by this unit. However, the shape of the unit can leave you feeling a little crowded when doing pull-ups with a close-set grip.
As long as you are aware and know that you’ll never do anything but wide-set pull ups, it won’t matter at all. But if you have your heart set on working those close-set reps, you may want to choose a different product.
- Small footprint.
- Sturdy construction.
- Tools are included for assembly.
- 250-pound weight limit.
- The shape of the bar can make narrow grip pull-ups a little awkward.
5. Ainfox Power Tower
Another great option for an at-home gym, this unit has a generous weight capacity of 550 pounds. Non-slip handles make workouts comfortable. The Ainfox Power Tower has a reinforced steel frame and sturdy, quality construction.
This unit weighs in at over 60 pounds, so you’ll probably want help assembling it. Its adjustable height makes it a good option for people who share equipment. You’ll also appreciate that feature if you’re taller or shorter than average.
It’s easy to put together, but you’ll want to set aside a chunk of time to do it. Anticipate needing an hour to an hour and a half to get it up and running. You won’t regret it, though, once you’re using it.
This is a solid piece. You won’t feel any swaying or flexing like you can expect with the portable units.
The Ainfox is an all-round good unit. You’ll want to check this one out, especially if you’re looking for something with a small footprint. This tower does come with its own tools for assembly. I recommend having some of your own on hand, though, to speed the assembly process up.
- Adjustable height.
- Easy-to-follow instructions.
- Space saving.
- Rubber parts have a strong odor.
Best Doorway Pull Up Bar
For those who are truly limited by space, the doorway pull-up bar can be a game changer. These bars take virtually no room to store and you literally just need a door frame to have an effective workout.
1. Ikonfitness Pull Up Bar
This is a top unit that’s quick and easy to pop into a door frame. There’s no installation—it simply hooks into the door frame and uses that leverage to keep it in place.
I love that you can toss this in your trunk and take it with you wherever you go. Whether you’re headed for a friend’s or a hotel, this pull-up bar hardly takes up any space. It can be used virtually anywhere.
This unit is designed to expand in wider door frames. However, it’s adjustable and also works for smaller door widths, which can be great in an older home. The Ikonfitness pull-up bar can accommodate up to 440 pounds.
This bar slips into place without damaging your walls or door frame. The bars are even padded to help prevent pressure-related damage to your frame. The foam padding on the bar ensures your comfort while getting your pull-ups in.
Choosing exercise equipment is a big deal. You don’t want to get stuck with something you don’t like or doesn’t work for you. One of the things I can’t say enough about in regards to this product is the warranty. You have 60 days to try it out. If you don’t like it, you can return it for your full money back.
- No installation required.
- No damage done to walls.
- Adjustable to suit a variety of door widths.
- Great return policy.
- Can be hard to use in doorways with larger trim.
2. Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Doorway Pull Up Bar
The Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym is easy to snap in and out of a door frame. This bar is adjustable to fit doors from 27 to 35 inches wide. There’s no need to install, or damage your home. This just slides into place and uses pressure on both sides of the door frame to lock into place.
This unit weighs a mere 6 pounds, and is great for a portable option. Despite its lightweight and compact size, it will accommodate users up to 300 pounds. It comes with a one-year factory warranty, so there’s very little risk involved in ordering. Try it out. No doubt you’ll be happy with its performance—and your results.
A safety clip is included to help prevent any accidents when you’re using the bar. If you have light-colored door frames, you may want additional protection from the rubber sleeves. While they do prevent damage to the door frames, they can also leave behind dark smudges.
- Easy to use.
- No installation required.
- Damage-free and easy to remove as needed.
- Compact and space-saving design.
- Ornate door trim can prevent or hinder use.
- May need more than the included rubber guards to protect your door frame.
- Operating instructions could be clearer.
3. Garren Fitness Maximiza Pull Up Bar
This piece is a true space-saver. They don’t come any smaller than this.
A heavy-duty bar, this mounts into the door frame and can support 300 pounds of weight. Unlike the door mounts that snap into position and use pressure to stay in place, this is a true mount. Hardware is included with the bar.
Installation is fast and easy. This bar is designed to fit any doorway between 26 and 39 inches wide. Comfortable hand grips help minimize fatigue and discomfort during your workout.
Inner door mounts like this can be prone to spinning. That’s not the case with the Garren Fitness Maximiza. This bar is solid. It stays where it’s supposed to so you can enjoy your workout.
This bar has less than a 2-inch diameter at the ends. Even the most narrow door frame will provide enough depth for a successful mount.
This is another product with an exceptional warranty. Your satisfaction should be guaranteed. Don’t love it? You should be able to return it for a full money-back guarantee—no questions asked.
- Can be used in any doorway, regardless of trim style.
- Quick and simple to install.
- Comes with multiple sets of hardware to customize heights for different doorways.
- Padded hand grips.
- Great refund policy.
- Not a portable option.
- May need to be tightened more regularly than other bar styles.
4. ProSource Multi-Grip Chin-Up/Pull-Up Bar
This is a lovely little unit that can provide a ton of options. I like mixing up my workout. Anything this small that can offer this many different possibilities is definitely going to get attention from me.
With 12 different options for hand-grips, you can choose to do wide-grip, close-grip, and neutral position exercises. I find the best results with cycling through them so you have the opportunity to engage the muscles from slightly different angles.
This pull-up bar is easy to assemble and hooks into the doorway. No permanent damage or true installation required. Another great portable option, this piece is travel-friendly.
Able to support up to 300 pounds and made from durable steel, this pull-up bar comes with a lifetime limited warranty. Textured grips make this bar comfortable to use and prevent slippage.
Looking for something more permanent? This particular bar also comes with the appropriate hardware to mount to a doorway for long-term use. If you have the space and don’t need portability, you might like the performance that comes along with a permanent install.
- Easy to assemble.
- Multiple workout options.
- Supports 300 pounds.
- Comes with a lifetime limited warranty.
- Portable or can be installed.
- Only works in doorways 30.65 inches to 36 inches.
- Can leave marks on the door frame and walls.
- The foam padding may peel off with use.
5. Ultimate Body Press Wall Mounted Doorway Pull Up Bar
The Ultimate Body Press is designed to be installed directly over a doorway. It’s a permanent install, but takes up very little space. There’s no need for it to protrude out into the room—you use the open space of the doorway to perform the exercise movement.
This piece really combines the best of both worlds here. You have the space-saving aspect of the doorway bar, but the incredible stability of a wall-mounted unit. If you love the convenience of the door mount but have reservations, this may be a good option for you.
This bar is a universal fit designed to be mounted into the studs that run floor to ceiling along the edge of your door. These studs—king studs, as they’re called—provide the stability and strength you need for mounting a pull-up bar. Do not attempt to install into drywall alone—that’s a recipe for disaster.
The bar is angled to help relieve joint stress and encourage proper form. The textured bar helps prevent hand fatigue and increase comfort during longer workouts. The welded construction provides a sturdy piece of exercise equipment.
Mounting hardware and instructions are included. The accompanying “satisfaction guaranteed” warranty isn’t so bad either.
- Perfect for space constraints.
- Great guarantee.
- Unpadded bar can be slippery.
There’s no denying that pull-ups are an effective and powerful exercise. They’re also easy to achieve, even in an at-home gym. Equipment can be bulky, heavy, and difficult to get ahold of. That’s just not the case with pull-up bars.
You’ll find pull-up bars readily available in a variety of sizes and styles. As you’ve seen here, they can be portable or permanently installed. They can have large footprints or take up hardly any room at all. One of them will suit your needs. Decide where you plan to keep—and use—your bar and start the selection process.
You’ll love what pull-ups do for you. They’ll strengthen your body and chisel your muscles. Looking for something that will define your chest, abs, and arms? You really don’t need to look any further than this classic exercise. There’s a reason it’s a standard in the health and fitness industry.
So get to it. I love the portability and workout options that come with the ProSource Multi-Grip bar. I travel a lot and it’s the perfect solution for knowing I’ll get a great workout in even when I’m away from home.
If I was looking to add a stand to my collection I could bring to clients’ houses, I’d opt for the Gravity Fitness Portable Bodyweight Bar. For a long-term addition to my personal at-home gym I’d be interested in the Titan Fitness Pull-Up Bar. I just don’t think you can beat the versatility of the piece and love the extended weight-limit.
Whatever you decide your needs are, review the selections I’ve made here, find which bar suits you best, and bring it on home. You’ll be doing pull-ups with the best of us before you know it.