A pull up bar is the ideal fitness equipment to jump start your home or garage gym.
Whether you work from home, are tired of wasting gas and cash on a gym membership, or want a home gym to work out in on your schedule, a home or garage gym is always a great investment and it starts with a solid pull up bar.
I have searched extensively for the best pull up bars, gone through each style and brand personally and came up with this list of the 17 best pull up bars of 2021, organized by style.
I also included pull up bar exercises, pull up bar installation tips, a buying guide, and a pull up bar FAQs so you can get all your questions answered.
- TOP 17 Best Pull Up Bars of 2021
- IkonFitness Doorway Pull Up Bar
- Ultimate Body Press XL Doorway Pull Up Bar
- Garren Fitness Maximiza Pull Up Bar
- ProsourceFit Multi-Grip Lite Pull Up Bar
- OneTwoFit Pull Up Doorway Bar
- Rogue P-4 Pull Up System
- Ultimate Body Press Wall Mount XL Pull Up Bar
- CFF Wall Mounted Pull Up Bar
- Titan Wall Mounted Pull Up Bar
- Yes4All Wall Mount Chin Up Bar
- KT Khanh Trinh Workout Gymnastics Bar
- Marcy Olympic Cage Home Gym System
- Marcy Power Tower Pull Up & Dip Station
- Stamina Free Standing Pull Up Bar
- Rogue P-5V Garage Pull Up System
- Ultimate Body Press Ceiling Mount Pull Up Bar
- Gronk Fitness Ceiling Mounted Chin Up Bar
- Pros and Cons of Each Type of Pull Up Bar
- Pull Up Bar Exercises You May Be Missing Out On
- How to Work Up to a Pull Up – a Guide for Women
- Pull Up Bar FAQs
TOP 17 Best Pull Up Bars of 2021
5 Best Doorway Pull Up Bars 2021
If you’ve decided to go with a doorway pull up bar, you may think they all look the same. Think again. There are tons of different designs, weight capacities, and grip configurations.
Plus there are some doorway pull up bars that require NO drilling, and others that require you to drill and install mounts in the door frame, so choose carefully!
You’ll need to find the one that will work for your home.
5 Best Wall Mounted Pull Up Bars 2021
If stability and security are important to you, a wall-mounted pull up bar might be best for you. But, you have a few things to research.
They come in different lengths, weights, and clearances. So you need to consider what type of wall and what you will use the bar for.
If you want more info on wall mounted pull up bars specifically, check out this guide to the best wall mounted pull up bars I put together.
4 Best Free Standing Pull Up Bars 2021
Free standing pull up bars are for folks who want a pull up bar that will not cause any damage to the wall or door frame. Some free standing pull up bars fold up and are somewhat portable and can be stowed away when not in use, another nice benefit.
If you want to see my complete list of the best free-standing pull up bars, take a look here.
A power tower is a style of free standing pull up bar that often includes a roman chair, push up bars and a dip station.
Power towers are an economical choice for those who do not plan to get a barbell and cage, but want the ability to do all the exercises I just listed, including pull ups.
If you like the versatility and increased options a power tower gives you, check out this list of the best power towers available.
3 Best Ceiling Mounted Pull Up Bars 2021
Pros and Cons of Each Type of Pull Up Bar
Consider how and where you intend to work out before you decide which one you need. Let’s start by looking at the 4 different pull up bar types.
Wall Mounted Pull Up Bars
Wall Mounted Pull Up Bar Pros
Wall mounted pull put bars are an entirely different beast from doorway and free standing pull up bars. They’re sturdier and more stable than doorway pull up bars, and they’re ideal for folks who are committed to building a dedicated home gym space.
You can jump from one workout to another without having to set anything up because the pull up bar is permanently installed.
That makes permanently installed pull up bars great for CrossFit, or high-intensity interval training because they are always ready to go.
That’s why I believe no CrossFit home gym would be complete without a wall or ceiling mounted pull up bar.
Wall Mounted Pull Up Bar Cons
The drawback of wall mounted pull up bars is that they take up more space. They’re difficult to install because you MUST know where the wood studs are, and if the stud spacing in your house is not standard, that presents a challenge.
They are permanently mounted, so it isn’t feasible to move them around. Once they’re up, they’re up. You need to make sure you can put them in one spot and keep them there.
Ceiling Mount or Joist Mount Pull Up Bars
Ceiling or Joist Mount Pull Up Bar Pros
Ceiling mounted pull up bars are usually the least expensive style of pull up bar, next to the doorway pull up bar because they do not need supports like a wall mounted pull up bar, so they use less material to make.
They can hold quite a bit of weight, and are often used in garage gyms that are in a basement or unfinished garage where the joists are exposed.
They are also usually fairly easy to install because you do not need to guess where the wood stud is, and since they hang from the ceiling vs being mounted to a wall, they are generally more stable than pull up bars mounted perpendicular to a wall.
Ceiling or Joist Mount Pull Up Bar Cons
You really need a good solid, exposed joist to hang a joist mounted ceiling pull up bar. Normally joists are found in a garage or basement in a residential home.
It’s not often you see exposed joists inside the house, and if there are joists or beams inside the house, they are usually a part of the interior design of the home and therefore not ideal spots to hang pull up bars.
Free Standing Pull Up Bars
Free Standing Pull Up Bar Pros
Free standing pull up bars do not damage the ceiling, walls or doorway since they are not hung or mounted anywhere.
Generally, free standing pull up bars include features for other exercises in addition to what you can do with a pull up bar alone, since some free standing pull up bars are power towers or squat racks.
Some free standing pull up bars, like the KT Khanh Trinh pull up bar can be folded up and put away when you are done, so that is a pro too.
Free Standing Pull Up Bar Cons
Free standing pull up bars are generally the most expensive type of pull up bar because they use a lot of material to make the pull up bar, upright supports and base.
Free standing pull up bars may wobble much more than a ceiling or wall mounted pull up bar because their stability depends on how good the base is.
Free standing pull up bars tend to take up the most space because they sit on the floor and need a decent size footprint for the base, in order to be steady as you do pull ups.
Doorway Pull Up Bars
Doorway Pull Up Bar Pros
Doorway pull up bars generally don’t require any major installation or drilling, although there are a few exceptions. You just stick them in your doorway when you want to use them, and take them down when you’re done.
These are great for people who don’t have a place to mount a pull up bar, since they can be stored away when they’re not in use.
Doorway Pull Up Bar Cons
The biggest downside to doorway pull up bars is that you can’t use them if your door frame is an irregular size.
You’re also running the risk of damaging your door frame with rigorous use.
They are subject to coming loose and falling, and are not great for dynamic movements like swinging, kipping or using suspension trainers.
Plus, most doorway pull up bars need to be removed in order to shut the door. That gets annoying fast.
Pull Up Bar Exercises You May Be Missing Out On
Aside from the basic pull ups and chin ups, what other exercises can you do with a pull up bar?
We here at Garage Gym Power hear this question lot.
Some of our readers want to know if it is even worth it to invest in a pull up bar, because they can only imagine a few exercises to use it for.
The Truth is…
There are a ton of exercises you can do on a pull up bar. Here are 5 of them.
Hanging Knee Raises
This is a basic ab move that even beginners may be able to do. Simply hang from the bar and lift knees chest height in a controlled motion.
This simple move can be performed using only the best door frame pull up bar.
Knees to Elbows
This dynamic kipping move works abdominals.
You start by hanging from the bar, swing, kipping style as you pull yourself up behind the bar as you simultaneously raise your knees until they touch your elbows.
L-sits Pull Up (or Chin Up)
This advanced pull up works both arms and abs at the same time. It is a simple, yet killer exercise.
You start by hanging from the bar and extending your legs parallel to the ground. Then as you keep your legs raised, pull your chin up over the bar.
Toes to Bar
This classic CrossFit move can be done using a home or garage gym pull up bar.
It REALLY works the core.
It starts with hanging from the bar, arms extended, lifting the knees, rolling upwards (the really hard part) then extending the toes until they tap the bar, and reversing this sequence in a controlled manner on the way back down.
A muscle up is one of the most difficult moves you can do on the pull up bar and uses a wide range of arm and back muscles.
It can be thought of as a combination of a pull up and push up done in one motion.
To perform a muscle up, hang, arms extended, from the bar, swing and kip up and back into a pull up, transitioning into pushing your chest up past the bar.
This move relies on a strong, dynamic and powerful kipping movement to keep momentum through the transition.
Doorway and ceiling mount pull up bars are not suitable for this exercise. Only the best free standing pull up bar will work.
How to Work Up to a Pull Up – a Guide for Women
Some of our readers let us know they are unable to do even one pull up, and indeed, many people purchase a pull up bar in hopes of learning to do a pull up, or working up strength to do a pull up.
Buying a pull up bar can be a great motivation to work towards your first pull up.
It can be a great place to hang your laundry.
Since we want to see you succeed with your fitness, we have a few resources to help you with your first pull up.
Pull up assist bands. We put together a list of the best pull up assist bands to ease you into your first pull up.
Seasoned athletes will benefit from these bands as well because they can be used as an assist for more difficult moves after you master the basic pull up.
We have a short guide: How women can build up to a pull up, a super short 5 step guide that walks you through each step to achieve your goal.
If you cannot do a proper pull up and are working your way up to one, try some of these pull up alternatives to strengthen your arm and back muscles and prepare for your first pull up.
Pull Up Bar FAQs
What is the Best Home Pull Up Bar?
I prefer wall mounted or ceiling mounted pull up bars best. They are the most stable, safe and secure. Mounted pull up bars hold the most weight and are versatile because they can be used with a suspension trainer, gym rings and resistance bands.
For the wall mounted pull up bar style, my favorite is Rogue P-4 Pull Up System because it is built as tough as the Rogue rigs and I love the attractive, grippy black matte finish.
For a ceiling mounted pull up bar I prefer the Gronk Fitness Ceiling Mounted Multi-Grip Chin Up Bar because it has so many different grip positions, a powder-coated grippy finish, it has a tank-like build and it looks badass.
Do Pull Up Bars Damage Doors?
It depends. Some do, some claim not to.
If a doorway pull up bar was the only option I had, I would choose the IkonFitness Pull Up Bar which will not damage the door frame or door, provided you do not slam the door shut on it!
Other doorway pull up bars may damage the word, the door frame or the trim, or they may require you to drill holes to mount the pull up bar, which causes damage.
Doorway mounted pull up bars are known for falling or failing during use. A properly mounted quality pull up bar will not do that, even if you swing on it or use it with a suspension trainer.
Wall and ceiling mounted pull up bars, when properly installed, are much safer and it is much easier to fill a few holes in a wall than replace a door frame or the trim around the door.
How Do You do Pull Ups at Home without a Bar?
No bar at home? No problem. Check out these pull up bar alternatives you can do from home. You can even use these pull up bar alternative exercises to get a head start on your fitness and strength training bodyweight routine as you wait for your pull up bar to be delivered.
What is the Optimal or Ideal Height for Your Pull Up Bar?
Your height determines the ideal height to hang your pull up bar.
The height should be one where if you are standing on the ground the middle joint of your fingers (but not palms) are able to touch the bar.
This height is perfect because:
- It allows you to reach the bar without a step or jumping up.
- It is high enough to allow a stretch once you are gripping the bar.
- You can dismount the bar without dropping or falling off (especially important if you are performing weighted exercises).
I hope by now you realize that choosing the best pull up bar is an important part of creating your ideal home gym.
I highly recommend you choose the most sturdy and secure pull up bar you can afford. I prefer ceiling or wall mounted pull up bars because they are safe, stable and secure if you have it correctly installed.
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