The Best Pull Up Bars Compared & Tested
There are not many exercises that will activate many muscles in your upper body to increase muscles in your arms, shoulders, and back. Luckily, pull-ups are one of the most effective exercises to activate your upper body and they don’t require much time or advanced equipment. In fact, pull up bars are pretty affordable and doing pull-ups on a daily basis will increase the strength in your upper body and it will change your body shape to help you increase strength for your other athletic pursuits. Because pull-ups activate numerous muscles at once, your heart must pump blood more intensively in order for the whole body to be properly supplied. By doing so, your breathing accelerates, which increases your body’s metabolism. This is a great combination. Not only do you increase body strength, but you also build body mass. In order to get you started on your pull up workout regiment, we have put together the following list of pull up bars to get you started on your search for your new equipment.
- Maximiza Doorway Pull Up Bar
- Great support
- Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Pro
- Different grips
- Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar
- Height adjustable
10 Best Pull Up Bars
Maximiza Doorway Pull Up Bar
This pull up bar provides the user a great support and it holds up to 300 lbs. However, if you weigh anywhere close 300 lbs, it is recommended that you use the screw in brackets that will support your weight. Nevertheless, the maximum weight amount will depend on the quality of the door frame. If your frame is a medium duty, then the maximum weight it can endure is 200 lbs. It is also recommended that you don’t apply all the weight and pressure at once. Instead, try doing some light exercises first and be ready to lend on your feet. In conclusion, this is a perfectly safe pull up bar that can hold up to the promoted and tested amount, but only if you are using the screws. Without them, safety is not guaranteed and it might not support much weight.
In telescope pull up bars, the biggest issue is that they tend to spin if the screws are not well attached to the bar. With the Maximiza pull up bar you wouldn’t have such issues as long as you are standing on the right side of the bar. It does tend to spin on the one side, but the other side is completely fixed. This would also be different depending on the type of pull up that you are doing; an underhand or an overhand grip.
The grip that is attached to the bar is made from soft foam so it is highly likely that they will wear off over time or if you are not careful enough. Even though the foam is soft and supportive enough, if you wish, you could add some other material as well.
If you are planning on securing the pull up bar into a metal frame instead of a wooden door frame, or perhaps a steel door frame, it can be done. The bar has a rubber safety pieces attached to the ends of the bars. When it comes to touch with steel or metal, the friction would be even higher, so the bar would be even more stable than a wood one. However, if you want to screw the support pieces and reinforce the bar, with steel and metal door frames would be even more difficult and you might require special equipment.
- Suitable for steel door frames
- Offers great support
- Not convenient for swinging
Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Pro
The Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Pro can hold up to 300 pounds safely. Due to the foam's compression upon first-grip, there might be a slight sag feel.
This bar has narrow, neutral, and wide grip options. The great part with this particular bar is that the widest grips are placed in front of the door frame, which should erase any kind of discomfort with the doorway getting in the way of your elbows.
When it comes to setup, the Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Pro keeps it simple and straightforward, and this is a huge bonus for many who wish to get straight to their workout without too much muss or fuss. The instructions are straightforward compared to many other pull-up bars'. It can be fitted to a number of doorways with a maximum of 33 inches wide.
- Various installation settings for different woodwork
- Different grips
- Wide grip allows non-obstructed work out
- Some found that it needed extra padding to fit doorway
Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar
This bar can hold up to 300 pounds. The bar is also expandable and can fit doorways from 24"-34" wide.
Like we talked about above, this bar is a great option for those that want a lightweight, small piece of equipment that has plenty of functionality. On the door frame, it acts like a typical pull up bar where you can do pull ups, chin ups, and abdominal exercises.
Placing it on the floor, however, allows you to work in a different set of muscles while you perform dips for your triceps, pushups for your chest and biceps, and sit ups to even further target your abs.
- Various grips
Ultimate Body Press Elevated Doorway Pull-Up Bar
This bar can hold up to 300 pounds. The bar is also expandable and can fit doorways from 24"-36" wide.
With this bar, you will get a full range of motion workout that isn't offered in the same way from the other pull-up stations. The ABS couplers ensure that the doorway fit is snug and secure, and you can feel at ease with high-density foam that allows a comfortable grip.
Furthermore, the upward curvature of this bar sets it apart from the others and allows a larger vertical incline for pull-ups. According to a tester of about 220 pounds, the Ultimate Body Press Elevated Doorway Pull-Up Bar fit the bill for comfort and a solid, sturdy feeling.
- Fits larger door frames and people
- Some find it expensive
Gold's Gym XR 10.9 Power Tower
This bar can hold up to 300 pounds.
Because this is a self-standing piece of equipment, it is going to take up much more room than your typical bar that you find on most of this list. Becuase of that, you have added stability and versatility, but also size and price.
For those serious home-gymers, this might just be the addition you're looking for. But, if you're just looking to get started, there might be better, less bulky and expensive options on our list.
If you do find yourself drawn to a power tower, the Gold's Gym XR 10.9 is a great option. It is easy to use, at the lower end of the price range for similar items, and allows you to work out a variety of muscle groups with one piece of equipment.
- Easy to assemble
- Dip bars might be too wide for some
- Large frame
Sunny Health & Fitness Doorway Pull Up Bar
This bar can hold up to 220 pounds. The bar is also expandable and can fit doorways from 24.5"-36" wide.
Assembly is very easy with the Sunny Health & Fitness Doorway Pull Up Bar. It can be installed almost instantly by applying tension through a twisting motion while the bar is in the doorway.
To give you an added sense of security, the bar comes with two sets of mounting brackets. These brackets can easily be installed with the provided screws in just a few minutes. It is suggested to use them.
- Non-slip grip
- Fits larger door frames and people
- Not very versatile
Stamina Doorway Trainer Plus
The Stamina Doorway Trainer Plus is made of sturdy steel and holds up to 250 pounds.
There are multiple grip options so that you can tone yourself in any way that feels most comfortable. This bar is considered to be professional quality and will hold up well in a tough work out. The padding is ample and thick, while the grips are non-slip and comfortable. Overall, this bar is a fantastic price for the quality you get. And it fits standard doorways so that you can jump straight on for pull-ups, sit-ups, and of course, dips.
- Compact size
- Various grip locations
- It's weight limit is 250, which is less than others
Body Vision PT600 Power Tower
This multi-workout station is very stable and it is the perfect equipment for exercising your upper and lower body. Other than pull ups, this tower has the possibility of multiple exercises which is convenient and makes it a great price deal. There are also multiple grip positions that will definitely make you more consistent in your training.
Considering the utility of the workout station and the number of exercises you could do with it, the price offered is not only decent but a great bargain. It is can also be assembled and put aside when you are not using it. This is particularly useful if you don’t have a specific room for all your workout gear. It is also positive that it is designed to be placed against a wall so it wouldn’t take you too much space. The only downside is that it is not recommended for people with extremely narrow shoulders since the working out might be more difficult. However, the width itself is standard and the only way to avoid this width is to buy yourself an adjustable pull up bar. The adjustable ones on the other side have a much higher price.
- Multiple exercises
- Takes up space
- Not made in USA
Core Unit by Gorilla Gym
Considering the fact that even swinging and aerial yoga is allowed by using this pull up bar, it is clear that the safety is a priority. It is certified for up to 300 lbs and it can indeed hold up to that weight. The certificate is issued by ASTM, a world’s famous trusted organ. The construction is very solid and the assembling process is very easy. However, besides the stability, it is also important that a bar doesn’t move around while you are using it. This gives you a sense of safety and you are able to perform your exercises better. This pull up bar doesn’t move at all while using it, unless you are swinging in which case it might insignificantly rotate.
As for a wider door frame, there are bar extensions that you could additionally order which will fit better.
The grips it has are patented and it enables the user to get a better grip, therefore increasing your exercise effectiveness by 30%. As for its functionality, the height of its placement is considered as one of its features. It is especially important for taller people to be able to place the bar as high as possible. However, this pull up bar goes a bit lower than competitive models, so if you are keen on this feature, look through our other suggestions.
Even though it is perfect for regular pull ups, if you want to do wide grip pull ups you will need to purchase an extra part, the bar insert which is placed pretty low. With the bar insert in order to do pull ups, you will need to bend your knees a bit. If this is not an issue for you, then the Gorilla gym pull up bar is the perfect choice for you. Also, the grip bars which are considered neutral are placed at a pretty narrow distance. Considering all these factors, it is safe to assume that this pull up bar is perfect for people who weight up to 200 lbs. If you weigh above that weight, the bar might not have a problem holding up your weight, but you will have the issues mentioned above. However, if you are in the weight limit, you will find this pull up bar very useful.
- Height adjustable
- Low placed
- Narrow neutral grip
Ultimate Body Press
There are additional parallel grips at a perfect spacing of 20 inches, but there are also grips all over the bar in case you are more comfortable with a different spacing. The bar itself has three grip positions if we count out the additional ones. This feature lets you target a wider muscle group and add strength to your upper body. The foam grips are with high-density material which is letting you exercise more intensively and increase your reps. This makes this pull up bar perfect for competitive people. The ends of the bar are a bit angled in order to prevent over articulation of your shoulders and prevent injuries. The weight support is 300 lbs and up to that limit you can work out and have no problem with it.
The manufacturer also offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so if you are not satisfied with it for any reason, you will be able to get your money back. The distance from the ceiling implies that it is suitable for use by taller people. The maximum distance is 16 inches.
However, there is one specific requirement for using this pull up bar and that is that the ceiling has to be solid. If you are thinking about placing it on a wooden ceiling, you would have an issue. Even though there are users who have mounted it on a wooden ceiling and using it safely, this is not recommended.
If you have decided on purchasing this ceiling pull up bar, or another one of this type, it is always recommended that you mount it closer to the wall. This way you would avoid drywall cracks that are a common problem for mounted ceilings. Even though if you manage to install it successfully the drywall cracks may not appear at first, over time they tend to do so.
The advantage with this pull up bar and in general with all mountable bars is that they are usually more stable than the door frame ones. You wouldn’t have to worry about your bar slipping off and you wouldn’t want to miss a chance to try it out. Even though there are some door frame models that are perfectly stable and secure, people tend to believe that they would fall off. This makes them exercise with precaution, therefore making the exercises less effective.
- Ergonomically designed
- Very stable
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Possibility of a drywall crack
Criteria for Evaluation
If you are already convinced that getting a pull-up bar will be good for your muscles, the next step is deciding which type of pull up bar do you prefer. In addition, we will explain what each and every pull up bar is good for and how it can be attached to your home. Even though this might not seem important right now, it makes a great difference since this is also connected with its durability. It also makes a great difference if you are only going to attach the bar on the inside of the door or you will need to demolish your house and put large holes in your doorway.
Over the door bars
This type of pull up bars is also called door frame leverage bars and they are usually placed over the frame so they are not damaging the door frame. They come in pieces and the hardest part of their attachment is assembling them. A spanner should be provided in the package as well as a guide on how to do the assembling process. If it comes with a guide it is pretty easy to do and it shouldn’t take you much time. After this, you should only hook the bar on the door frame and you are done and ready to start your workout. Some over the door pull up bars have the option of reinforcing them by attaching them to the wall above the door frame. However, this also means damaging the wall a bit.
What is extremely convenient for this type of pull up bars is that they can be hooked on the door frame while you are using them and you can store them somewhere else when you are not. You could decide to store it as one piece or you could also disassemble it to some extent and put it under the bed.
Telescope pull up bars
Telescope pull up bars are also known by the name doorway chin-up bars. They are attaching on the door frame very nicely by wedging under the top of the frame. It is an advantage here that you can wedge your telescope pull up bar as high or as low as you want. This is the perfect choice for the whole family to work out together, regardless of the height of every member. There are two options which are keeping the bar in place. One is with cups on both ends in order to make it more stable and the other one is keeping it in place simply by friction.
Needless to say, the former one is the better option for heavier people. However, if you are looking for a pull-up bar for your child, the no cup version will be just fine. Otherwise, the cupped version is recommended, even though manufacturers are promoting it as quite safe and stable. The telescope pull up bar has multiple uses and it is used for all sorts of exercises. If you place it low enough, you can do sit-ups on your doorway or some variation of pushups. You could even choose to do dips, but most of all it is great for pull-ups.
How do the cups reinforce the bar?
The cups are reinforcing the bar by being attached on both ends of the bar. After doing so, you should attach the cups on the door frame. This is usually done by screwing them on the door frame sides. If you choose to do this, make sure you measure that the holes in the door frame are the same height. In order to ensure this, if you don’t have the right gear for leveling, make sure you double check the height on each side. Make sure you also measure the distances from the holes to the upper door frame edges.
Wall mounted pull up bars
The above-mentioned types of pull up bars were doorway bars that are meant to be the “portable” type that you can either store or replace it. However, if you wish a more stable pull up bar that is able to endure more weight we recommend the alternative to doorway bar – wall mounted pull up bars.
As you might already assume, the wall mounted bars are heavy constructions that are manufactured specifically for being attached directly to the wall. In the meanwhile, the bar should always be parallel to the ground. This is an option which is recommended if you have enough space to mount the pull-up bar and yourself.
Ceiling mounted pull up bars
Ceiling mounted pull up bars is the ideal choice if you don’t have enough space for the previous two types of bars. The ceiling bars also allow you to use the space under the bar while you are not using it; so it is a bit of a space saver.
Contrary to the popular belief of the group of people who haven’t use the ceiling pull up bars before, they are not to be placed directly on the ceiling, but to the studs only. Having this in mind, the mounting part reveals two subcategories of the ceiling bars; ones that are mounted on the side of the ceiling step or stud and ones that are mounted onto the bottom of it. They are both equally stable and the only way you could decide between them is by following your own preferences.
There are also pull up bars that are free standing but we are not going to cover them in this buying guide since they take too much space in the home and for this reason, only a small group of people uses them. They don’t need fixing or mounting or attaching. They come with a heavy construction that is able to support your weight. They are also multifunctional and can be used for multiple exercises.
Q: Will a pull-up bar damage my door frames?
If this is something that doesn’t matter to you, and you only want a stable and safe pull up bar that will last you a long time and will be able to sustain a great amount of weight, then go for the wall mounted type. The telescopic one is also a great solution if you are looking to minimize the damage. It will leave marks on your door frame, but there will be no holes afterward when you decide you don’t want to use it anymore. However, keep in mind that there aren’t any pull up bars that won’t mark your doorway or your walls. And if you happen to find any, it won’t be able to hold up a lot of weight.
Another thing to do is the measure of the thickness of the trim as well as the door frame width. Even though this seems like a trivial advice, you would be surprised to hear how many people have bought a pull-up bar thinking the dimension of it is universal.
However, you should also consider your favorite exercises that you would want to do with the bar. If you want something other than pull-ups you should take a multifunctional pull-up bar that will allow you to do so. If you want to also make push up, for instance, you should take a bar that can be placed pretty low. If you want to make abs exercises on the other side, you could choose a fixed pull-up bar as well.
Q: Are these pull up bars safe?
First of all, it is important to ensure you about the stability of the doorway pull-up bars. The best way to do so is by explaining the safety method on every type of pull up bar.
The leverage doorway bar, for instance, works by forming a rectangular with the door frame. The two edges on the imaginative rectangular are pushing towards the door frame; therefore they are keeping the bar in place even though your weight pulls it down. The top of the bar pushes it against the wall and the bottom part pivots and pushes against the other side of the door frame. As long as these two attachments are good, the bar will safely hold your weight.
The telescoping pull up bars on the other side, are placed parallel on the required height. After this, they are being wedged by expanding the bar. The bar expands to that amount, that there is so much friction between the ends of the bar and the frame door sides, that it is impossible for it to move. However, if you don’t feel safe, or if you have had a bad experience with a telescopic pull-up bar, there are always safety caps to the rescue.
Q: What is the weight limit?
Manufacturers and distributors are always promoting a certain amount of limit weight up to which you can safely use the pull-up bar without any issues. However, it is never a wise idea to come close to the limit weight. If however, you are close to it, make sure you get another alternative that supports at least 50 lbs above your weight.
Keeping this in mind, it is important to mention that telescopic bars usually have a limit weight of around 200 to 250 lbs. Nevertheless, your doorframe plays a big part in all of this. If your door frame is narrower than the usual wideness, you can come close to the limit weight and still be safe. However, if your doorframe is wider, it is very likely that it won’t hold up as much as promoted. In this case, add 50 lbs to your weight and you are ready to start your workout routine.
Even though it seems that over the doorway bars are more fragile than the telescopic ones, the physics wins in this case. With their fixed structure, they actually rely on your weight to keep them in place. So their weight limit is a bit higher than the telescoping ones. They usually weigh around 300 lbs. It is also an interesting fact to share that your door trim is not holding all the weight as it might seem.
Q: What if you prefer a doorway pull up bar but you have thin walls or door frame?
If you are worried that you will cause damage to your doorway or to your walls there are small tricks you can do in order to avoid this. However, this doesn’t happen frequently. In fact, in order for it to happen, you have to have extremely thin walls and door frame that has visibly low quality. In this case, there is nothing you can do. However, for most of you, there is a solution to your problem.
The trick with the leverage pull up bar is to relieve the pressure on the pressure points somehow. The two pressure points are the one on the top of the bar that comes in contact with your door trim and the one on the other side of the door that holds the bar in place. If you put a small piece of wood in both pressure points you will manage to avoid the damage to your doorway by lowering the pressure. The pressure is lowered because by placing a piece of wood between the bar and the door frame, it reliefs the pressure by absorbing part of it and by changing the whole structure by a couple of millimeters.
In telescopic pull-up bars, however, decreasing the damage to your home is not possible. The good news is that there is not much damage done with this type of a pull-up bar. If you decide to lower the pressure on the sides, you will be lowering the quality of the entire structure; therefore it will not be stable anymore. And if you decide to use caps, the two holes on each side of the doorway will remain there even after you decide that you are not going to use it for a while.
If you haven’t had a pull-up bar before it is important to know that each type will cause damage in your home. However, the benefits are numerous and it will definitely put you in good shape. Even though it is intimidating to get past the chin area it will certainly give you the greatest satisfaction. What’s convenient with pull up bars is that you are not only buying a product but a whole platform that will transform your body. The suggested bars are carefully reviewed and tested and they have proved as the perfect bars that could help you in delivering the wanted results. Nevertheless, a proper nutrition and hydration are always the top things you should focus on.
Have you ever owned a home pull up bar before? If you have any questions regarding any of our product suggestions or pull up bars in general, contact us through the comment section