When it comes to home fitness, few pieces of equipment are cheaper and more convenient than a pull-up/chin-up bar. It is possible to get into fantastic shape using just bodyweight exercises, and with one of these bars, you can enjoy a terrific upper body workout. Add in push-ups, lunges, and squats for a comprehensive yet simple home workout.
A pull-up/chin-up bar is attached to a door frame or wall mounted. Wall mounted bars are attached with screws; this means minor damage to the surface, but on the plus side, these products hold a lot of weight and are very sturdy. A door mounted pull up bar is twisted into place in your doorway. It should comfortably hold your weight but isn’t as durable or as reliable as a bar screwed into the wall. A big plus is the lack of damage to the door frame.
Comparison: Best Pull Up Bars: Doorway and Wall Mounted
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Why Would I Need A Pull Up Bar?
There is simply no better piece of home fitness equipment than a chin up bar. It enables you to work most of the muscles in your back. Chin-ups are performed with your palms facing you whereas pull-ups are completed with your palms facing forward. To work different muscles on your back, simply widen or shorten the gap between your hands. Mount the bar lower in the doorway for bodyweight rows.
Not everyone has the time or the cash for a gym membership. A chin up bar solves both problems; you can purchase one for as little as $10, and it allows you to perform a full body workout at home. The bar helps you work your shoulders, traps, lats, arms, chest and even your abdominal muscles. You can keep yourself fit in as little as three x 30-minute sessions a week.
Bodyweight exercises are awesome and not enough people spend time on them. Pull ups and chin ups can lead to astounding upper body development; especially in conjunction with a well-rounded exercise regime and cardio. There is little risk of injury as bodyweight exercises are kind on the joints and muscles and you can alter the level of difficulty to suit your current strength and fitness level.
Best Doorway Mounted Chin Up Bar
Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar
This is one of the most versatile bars of its kind on the market and is moderately priced. As well as allowing you to perform chin ups and pull ups, the Iron Gym enables you to use five grip positions: Wide, Narrow, Neutral and extra wide and side grips. Therefore, it is possible to work almost every muscle in the back with one piece of equipment. If this isn’t enough, you can place it on the floor and use it for abdominal crunches!
The bar itself is made with solid steel construction and is capable of catering for users who weigh up to 300 pounds. The comfortable foam grips are a pleasure to use, and it is easy to assemble with all the tools you need included. Perhaps the best feature of the Iron Gym is the fact you can place it in the doorway without screws. It uses leverage to wedge in between the two sides of the door so you can install it in seconds.
Please note; your doorway should be between 18 and 36 inches when using the Iron Gym; otherwise, it won’t fit. The vast majority of customer reviews confirm that this bar comfortably holds the average user with no fear of it falling from the doorway. Overall, it offers fantastic value for money and is well worth considering.
Sunny Health & Fitness Doorway Chin Up Bar
This offering from Sunny Health & Fitness falls into the cheap and cheerful category, but users believe it provides superb value for money. It is made from high-quality cold rolled steel and is chrome plated for an aesthetically pleasing appearance. It is designed to be installed using tension; this means you twist the bar against the door frame until it is secure. If you’re happy to leave marks in the doorway, you can use the two sets of mounting brackets.
The company claims its bar holds up to 220 pounds and users are satisfied with its performance. While it offers fewer training options than its more expensive counterparts, all you need is a little ingenuity and imagination to get the most out of this product. Simply grab onto the padded foam grips for chin-ups, pull-ups and abdominal exercises such as leg raises. Alternatively, install it lower down the door frame and perform bodyweight rows and crunches with your feet on the bar.
The main downside with the Sunny Health & Fitness doorway pull up bar is the lack of grip options. The foam grip only covers a small area so you can’t adjust your hand position for a more detailed back workout. Nonetheless, it is a fantastic ‘starter’ option for the budget minded.
Best Wall Mounted Pull Up Bars
Ultimate Body Press Wall Mount
This pull-up bar is near the top end of the price spectrum, but it provides users with a reliable and durable multi-functional piece of equipment. The three grip positions (wide, narrow and parallel) help you complete a comprehensive back, biceps and triceps workout. If you’re not yet confident in your upper body strength, only use the narrow grip option until you are strong enough to tackle a wider grip.
The Ultimate Body Press Wall Mounted Pull-Up bar is extremely well constructed with a steel frame and comfortable foam grips. It can hold up to 220 pounds and fits easily on 16-inch on-center wall studs. It comes with a full set of instructions which clearly outline how to assemble and attach the bar.
The company sells accessories such as Ab Straps which work with the bar to target your abdominal muscles. The bar is 42 inches wide so you can exercise the entire back. All you need is 14-21 inches of wall clearance to attach this item. Users were impressed with the durability of the Ultimate Body Press pull up bar; this is not a surprise as the firm upgraded its previous bar by making the steel on the bar thicker; the mounting plates are 30% thicker than before. Overall, it is relatively expensive but still much cheaper than a gym membership, and you’ll probably get a better workout!
Titan Fitness Wall Mounted Pull Up/Chin Up Bar
This is the most expensive pull-up/chin-up bar on our list but Titan Fitness’ wall mounted bar is a superbly constructed piece of equipment and good enough to feature in commercial gyms. It is capable of holding up to 500 pounds and can be set up horizontally or vertically.
You can mount it on 16-inch wooden studs for customized widths of 16, 36 or 52 inches. Alternatively, mount it on a concrete wall with a width of up to 48 inches. One of the best features of this bar is its adjustability; you can alter the height based on your height or the ceiling height. The bar is 53 inches long and weighs 35 pounds, so durability is not an issue.
It is a bit more difficult to install than other bars on the market, but the instructions are easy enough to follow. One downside is that the mounting hardware is not included with the purchase. You can transform it into a multi-person training station if you buy extra large brackets and a one-inch steel tube. Overall, the extra wide grip ensures you can target the entire back and the Titan Fitness pull up/chin up bar could last you a lifetime as it is arguably the toughest product in its niche.
How To Choose a Pull Up Bar
Type of Bar
- Wall Mounted: This pull up/chin up bar mounts directly to studs in a plaster board wall or a brick wall. The bar is parallel to the ground, and all you need is enough area to attach the bar and space to complete your pull ups and chin ups.
- Ceiling Mounted: As the name suggests, you attach the bar to the ceiling. You can purchase a product that fits on the bottom of the ceiling studs or one that attaches to the side of a ceiling step or exposed joist.
- Free Standing: This piece of equipment doesn’t need to be fixed to anything, but it does take up a lot of space and is rather expensive.
- Telescopic Door Frame: These doorway mounted bars are designed to twist and wedge between your door frame’s uprights. They remain in place due to friction or suction and are very inexpensive. They take seconds to attach, and you can put it them or take them down at your leisure.
- Over the Door: These doorway bars require assembly, but it shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes. They usually come with a disposable spanner and are more durable than their telescopic counterpart.
Are you happy to purchase a pull up/chin up bar that requires assembly? Wall mounted bars will hold more weight, but you need to attach it to a surface using screws. This is an issue if you only rent your property. Telescopic doorway mounted bars are incredibly easy to install and cause no surface damage. However, there is a possibility of it failing during exercise if you don’t tighten it enough. The result is an embarrassing and possibly painful fall!
There is no need to spend a small fortune on some allegedly hi-tech pull up/chin up bar. All you need is something that attaches to the surface correctly. It must be capable of holding more than your weight, and it shouldn’t move when you use it. The majority of bars on the market tick all of these boxes so don’t spend more than you need to.
Basic bars only allow you to perform chin ups and pull ups. You can vary the grip to work different muscles. There are multi-purpose bars with various handles for a complete back workout.
How much weight can the bar hold? High-quality wall mounted bars can hold up to 440 pounds.
Choose a pull up/chin up bar with a comfortable grip. Look for a product with removable foam covering.
- Cost: The majority of pull up/chin up bars cost less than $30; less than a month’s membership in some gyms!
- Versatility: You can perform a wide range of exercises including different variations of pull ups and chin ups, dips, doorway rows and hanging leg or knee raises.
- Little Space Required: All you need is a doorway frame or space on a wall/ceiling and enough room below.
- Ease of Use: There is no learning curve; watch a couple of videos to see how experts perform a chin up or pull up and start exercising!
- Simple Installation: Even wall mounted bars are easy to install and come with instructions. Telescopic doorway bars are attached and removed in seconds.
- Not a Complete Solution: Although a pull up/chin up bar does a fantastic job of working your back and core muscles, you still need to add in a few more exercises for a full body workout. We recommend bodyweight squats, lunges and push-ups to work almost every part of the body. Add in extra cardio, and you have a blueprint for fitness.
- Could Cause Damage: Unless it is a bar that is attached by suction, it will leave screw marks on the surface. If you rent your property, discuss installation with your landlord to make sure you’re allowed to leave marks.
- Wide Grip Problems: You won’t be able to perform wide grip pull ups if your doorway isn’t big enough.
If you live in a small house/apartment and are too busy to visit the gym regularly, a pull up/chin up bar is a fantastic investment in your fitness. These bars are incredibly easy to install and use and often cost less than a month’s membership at a health club. You can perform a large proportion of a full body workout using bodyweight exercises and one of these bars. Best of all, you can schedule your training sessions to suit you. No more driving to the gym and waiting in line for equipment, use a pull up/chin up bar to get fit and strong the ‘old school’ way.