Who Uses Pull Up Bars
Pull up bars are only for competitive weight lifters and body builders, right? Wrong!
Pull up bars are for everyone who wants to improve their personal fitness! This includes:
- People who regularly lift weights,
- People who want to add strength training to a cardio regimen,
- People who are recovering from injuries, and
- People who are completely new to exercise!
In this article, we will tell you all you need to know about pull up bars and give you our recommendations for the best ones!
Types of Pull Up Bars
(And Our Top Picks for Each One)
There’s more than one type of pull up bar, and the best one for you depends on your goals and living situation.
Pros: Most people have an empty door frame that’s just waiting for a pull up bar! They are easy to install and you will likely be motivated to do pull ups every time you pass under it.
Cons: Door frame pull up bars are not great for very tall people. In addition, they can make it basically impossible to close a door. Some door frame pull up bars (though not all) also require drilling, so these are not ideal for renters.
Our Recommendation: The Chriffer brand door mounted pull up bar is both affordable and easy to install. It includes multiple grip options and is compatible with almost all door frames!
Pros: You can take your removable pull up bar with you when you are on the go! These are great for people who travel a lot or people who cannot drill into walls. They are also wonderful if multiple people will be using your pull up bar.
Cons: Removable pull up bars generally cannot hold as much weight as properly mounted pull up bars. They also rarely include features like forward facing handles.
Our Recommendation: The FEIERDUN removable pull up bar is our favorite because it can hold up to 440 pounds. It is easy to remove and install when you are on the go.
Pros: Wall mounted pull up bars are great for people who have wall space but not door frame space. If you already have a home gym in a basement or garage, it may be the perfect addition! These pull up bars can also be affixed to an outdoor wall like a basketball hoop.
Cons: If space is at a premium, you may not have space to put a wall-mounted pull up bar. Like other more permanent fixtures, they also work best when only one person uses them (or all users are about the same height).
Our Recommendation: Our favorite wall mounted pull up bar is from ONETWOFIT. This bar is extra stable for both indoor and outdoor use because it has multiple attachment points. It also includes both regular and hammer grip positions.
Pros: Free standing pull up bars can be installed both outdoors or indoors. They make a perfect addition to a home gym because they often include other workout equipment too. Many can also be taken down and set up quickly, making them reasonably portable. The height can also be adjusted for different users or different exercises.
Cons: Free standing pull up bars take up a lot of space and tend to be a little pricey compared to other types.
Our Recommendation: Homelpope’s free standing pull up bar is great for pull ups, chin ups, dips, push ups, and just about any other exercise you can think of. You can easily change the position for different exercises or users or take the whole thing apart for travel. It is also reasonably priced compared to many other free standing pull up bar stations.
The Different Grips on a Pull Up Bar
Technically, you are only doing a pull up if you have an overhand grip on a pull up bar. If you are using an underhand grip, you are actually doing a chin up. If your pull up bar has two handles that jut out towards you and you use these, you are doing a hammer grip pull up.
With pull ups and chin ups and hammer pull ups, you will work your lats (the muscles below your shoulder blades), your triceps, your biceps, your pecs (chest muscles), your teres major muscles (muscles below your armpits), and more! The focus will be on different muscles groups with each grip.
Despite the name, pull up bars are not just for pull ups. You can use them to get a full body work out.
In addition to the modifications mentioned above, you can use your pull up bar to do a wide variety of exercises!
New to pull ups? Try a dead hang!
As the name implies, you will just hold on to the pull up bar (using any of the grips). Though it seems simple, it is actually challenging! Try timing yourself and seeing how long you can hold the dead hang.
We recommend using compression socks while doing this, to keep blood from pooling in your legs.
Want to work your abs? Try an L-hang!
As the name implies, you will hang so that your legs and torso form an L shape. This will especially target your core muscles.
For an exercise where you can rack up high reps, consider leg raises or knee raises.
Want a big challenge? See if you can do toes-to-bar reps!
And if you are really fearless, try a hanging crunch!
What to Look for in a Pull Up Bar
First of all, figure out what kind of pull up bar you want. If you are looking for a permanent pull up bar, where do you want to put it? Do you have space for a free standing pull up bar? Refer to the pros and cons above to see what type is best for you.
Check with your landlord if you rent to see if you can install a permanent pull up bar. If not, you will have to get a free standing or portable one. If you can install one, make sure you have the right equipment and expertise. An improperly installed pull up bar can be dangerous and damaging.
Will multiple people of different heights be using your pull up bar? See if it can be adjusted!
Are you on the heavier side? Make sure your pull up bar will be able to accommodate your body shape!
Most importantly, no matter what, make sure you get a quality pull up bar. Trust us, you do not want to go out and buy a new one after a month.
Advantages of Having Your Own Pull Up Bar
Gym memberships are expensive, and going there is time consuming!
Get all the same benefits and more for a fraction of the price!
For example, if you do just two pull ups every time you go through your doorway, think how many pull ups you will do in one day or one week.
Think about how much you have to gain!
Can’t do a pull up?
Don’t worry! You are not alone!
In addition to practicing dead hangs and alternative grips, you can also try doing modified pull ups or kipping pull ups.
Modified pull ups only work with a low-hanging or adjustable pull up bar.
First, set the bar so it is just above knee height. Then, slide yourself underneath the pull up bar so that the bar is over your chest and you are looking up.
Now, pull up so that your shoulders and abdomen come off the group. Try to keep your body straight so that your buttocks and legs also rise. When your chest gets to the bar, your body should be at about a 45-degree angle with your heels on the ground.
If you can’t adjust the height of your pull up bar or want to try other variations, try a kipping pull up! Instead of keeping your body as still and straight as possible, you will swing yourself upwards. The momentum from kicking and swinging your legs will help you raise yourself up.
You can also modify your pull up by using a stool. Stand under the pull up bar so that your elbows for a 90-degree angle (or less). Now try to raise yourself from this point. If it is still difficult, try getting started with a jump.
Accessories to Pull Up Bars
Sure, you can get away with just a pull up bar. But, if you really want to get a full work out, these accessories are must-haves!
If you are a beginner, you can consider adding in resistance bands. They will give you some momentum to keep going.
While there are many exercises you can do with just a pull up bar, ab straps will allow you to rotate your body for even more of a workout.
Grip balls will help you improve your grip strength while you work on your pull up and chin up reps.
Pull up bars are not just for pro athletes! If you want to improve your health without paying an arm and a leg for a gym membership, get a home pull up bar. You’ll be happy you did!
In the meantime, we here at SmashGoods are working to develop our own pull up bar that’s guaranteed to be the best on the market. Keep checking back so you can get yours as soon as it’s available!