Finding the best pull up bar is essential for unlocking back training at home, so if you're just getting started or you're a seasoned calisthenics pro, we've got a few selections we think you should check out on your search.
Pull-ups are arguably one of the most challenging exercises around, and when done correctly can transform your back, biceps and ab development.
Even for beginners with some creative positioning and the use of bands of blocks, pull-up bars can be your ticket to strength gains in what is arguably one of the most important muscle groups in the body.
Whether you're looking for the best bar to fit between your door frame, like this Flybird Pullup bar, or you're searching for a top pull up bar on a budget, like this Iron Gym Pull-up bar, we've got you covered right here.
Let's get into it.
Best Pull Up Bar
- Flybird Pullup bar
- Iron Gym Pull-up bar
- ProsourceFit Multi-Use Doorway Chin-Up/Pull-Up Bar
- Jay Flex CrossGrips Door Pull-up Bar Handles
- CAP Barbell Power Rack
Best In-Door Pull Up Bar - Flybird Pullup Bar
Brand: Flybird | Max Weight: 660 lbs | Extendable Range: Up to 36.2" |
Unlike some other in-door pullup bars, this type has stainless steel locks to fix it at a certain length, ensuring the resistance that's pushing against the door frame is constant.
This makes for an added level of confidence that can make all the difference when doing pull-ups at home.
You can also use this at different heights in the door frame to allow for more exercises, such as horizontal bodyweight rows and even assisted pull-ups - both complete game-changers when it comes to strength progression.
A solid all-rounder if we ever saw one and a great choice for most levels of fitness.
Best Budget Pull Up bar - Iron Gym Pullup Bar
Brand: Iron Gym | Max Weight: Up to 300lbs | Size: Fits up to 35.4" door frames
Arguably one of the most popular picks out there, this simple door frame pullup bar from Iron Gym combines stability, versatility, and wallet-friendly pricing all in one.
Some people feel more comfortable with pullups bars that hook onto the top of a door frame, both for sturdiness and for allowing more room for you beneath the bar.
The only downside of this is that you can kiss goodbye to any horizontal rows since the handles will be at a fixed height.
That being said, this Iron Gym pullup bar offers a wider grip that extends beyond the confines of the door frame...which is great if you're someone with broader shoulders or if you want to enjoy some of the benefits and challenges of wide-grip pull-ups.
Overall, we'd say this is a great pick, but make sure it fits with your door frame.
Best Pull Up Bar For Variety - ProsourceFit Multi-Use Pull-Up Bar
Brand: ProsourceFit | Max Weight: Up to 300lbs | Size: Fits standard doorways (24" to 36")
Everyone's body is structured differently, which means that we all find certain movements comfortable or uncomfortable.
Generally speaking, the more comfortable you are, the more powerful the move is, which is why exercise form is rarely a 'one size fits all' situation.
Pull up bars like this one from ProsourceFit take this into account, offering you up to 12 different hand positions so you can find the best position to generate power and introduce some variety into the mix too.
It's worth checking out if you're one of the many people out there who sometimes find straight bar pullups a little uncomfortable.
Best Portable Pull-Up Handles - Jayflex Cross Grips
Brand: Cross Grips | Max Weight: Up to 250lbs | Door Requirements: 2"-4" high, wall + trim thickness 4.5"-7.5"
They're a unique solution to training your back on the go and fit nicely into any small bag compared to some of the bigger pull-up bars on the list.
And when it comes to other workouts they're quite handly too, as they double up as push up handles which should help alleviate any discomfort on the wrists that can be common from pressing from the floor.
A bit of a wild card, but worth looking into. Again, just make sure the door frame is up to the task!
Best Free Standing Pull Up Bar - CAP Barbell Power Rack Exercise Stand
Brand: CAP Barbell | Max Weight: Catches 500lbs / Pullup Bar 750lbs | Dimensions: 46" wide x 50" deep x 85" high
What you're getting here is a basic, sturdy rack where you can squat, shoulder press, bench press, and do pull-ups.
This is the sort of equipment you'll want to go for if you plan on building out a home gym and lifting pretty heavy too.
As much as we love the look of a great exercise rack...they do look a little weird when they're in your living room, so this is really more for garage and outdoor gym setups.
So if you're taking your training to the next level and want something that'll cater to some serious progression, then check this one out.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pull Up Bars
When it comes to picking the best pull up bar, there are a few things you'll want to factor in when making your decision.
We've enlisted the help of a fully qualified personal trainer to give you the low-down - here's what he had to say.
Are you a beginner or advanced?
Pullups, when done correctly, are super hard so it's important you use proper form when you're progressing.
One massive advantage of in-door pull up bars (that work by pressing out against the door frame) is that you can lower them to perform assisted pullups.
These are amazing for progression and are, personally speaking, better than attaching a million bands around you a slingshotting your way up over the bar, as is seen in many gyms today.
For advanced trainers, it's a good move to go for over-door pull-up bars, but make sure they've got loads of different handles.
After years of training it's important to listen to your body and not force positions that feel uncomfortable, so having the option for a more neutral or wider grip could be a complete gamechanger.
Plus, pull-ups no matter how much you love them can get a little boring, so having variety can keep you engaged for longer.
How wide should pull up grip be and which pull up bar should you get?
Since everyone is different there is no standardised width that you should have your grip, and depending on the movement or type of pull up you do, your hand placement will change each time.
From experience, pull-ups in a doorway feel quite closed in and a little restrictive if you're broader or have fairly long arms - if that sounds like you, head more towards the pull-up bars that extend out past the width of the doorway for more room to manoeuvre.
What else can you use a pull up bar for?
Once you've got that anchor above your head you can unlock other movements by using gymnastic rings.
Tie gymnastic rings to your pull up bar to perform anything from dips all the way to bodyweight tricep extensions.
Possibilities are literally endless here, and it all starts with getting a secure, sturdy pull up bar.
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