10 Best Pull Up Bars to Tone Your Muscles

The best pull up bar bridges both bodyweight exercises and resistance training. It’s simple yet very versatile equipment that will tone your upper body muscles. The biggest challenge here is finding the right pull up bar for you. Since it comes in different types and the market is saturated with tons of bars, you have to sieve through dozens of options.

To save you from the hassle, we conducted the selecting process from over 50 pull up bar models. We also spent 30+ flexing our guns to review our 10 personal picks below. First, let’s discuss what you need to consider when purchasing a pull-up bar: 

Pull Up Bar Buying Guide

Types of Pull Up Bars

There are 6 different types of pull up bars. Each serves a specific workout purpose. You should choose one that suits your routine and area of installation. Below are the different types: 

Leverage-Mounted Pull Up Bar

Leverage-mounted pull up bars are portable since one of the bars sits on your door frame. You will leverage your body weight to keep it in place. After your pull ups, you can remove it from the door. 

There’s no drilling or bolting needed for this type of pull up bar. It’s also a flexible choice since you can use it anywhere as long as there’s an elevated frame where you can leverage it. 

Most leverage-mounted pull up bars come with another bar so you can perform a variety of exercises. Some units can be used on the floor for crunches, push-ups, and dips. 

Doorway/Telescopic Pull Up Bar

Doorway or telescopic pull up bars have a straight construction. This is mounted inside the doorway. It’s an excellent option for those who don’t want the bells and whistles of large pull up bars.

However, telescopic pull bars tend to support less weight, plus it can leave black marks on your door frame. Weak door frames stand the chance of sustaining damages, especially if the user is on the heavy side. 

Another challenge with a doorway pull up bar is you need to ensure that its length fits your doorway. 

Wall-Mounted Pull Up Bar

A wall-mounted pull up bar is bolted directly into the wall. The pull up should extend at least 15 inches away from the wall to give the user more room during pull ups or chin ups. 

This type of pull up bar is ideal if you have a concrete wall or anything that can hold at least 300 pounds. 

Ceiling-Mounted Pull Up Bar

This type of pull up bar is bolted into the ceiling. The vertical bars extend from the ceiling where the user will perform pull ups. Most of these pull up bars can fit on standard stud spacing.

Some workout buffs prefer this if they have minimal floor space. Also, it prevents the user from hitting the wall. 

However, you have to ensure that your ceiling is strong enough to support your weight.

Joist-Mounted Pull Up Bar

This type has protruding mounting hardware that should be screwed to an exposed joist. When mounted, this has the same functionality as a ceiling-mounted bar. 

Free-Standing Pull Up Bar

For those who don’t have any durable door frame, joist, or wall to mount a pull up bar, the free-standing version is the ideal choice. This comes with a standing frame with the pull up bar secured on top. 

The only problem with a free-standing pull up bar is it will consume floor space. If you have a large home gym, this wouldn’t be a big issue. 

Aside from pull ups, most free-standing models come with accessories that let you perform other exercises. 

What to consider

After choosing the type that suits your workout, make sure that you look into the following aspects:

Weight capacity

Pull up bars can support user weight between 200 to 600 pounds. The rule of thumb is that it should be 50% more than your overall body weight.

Mid-range pull up bars can support 300 pounds while more expensive models can endure up to 600 pounds. 

The weight limit is dependent on the material and construction of the pull up bar. Thicker bars will usually carry more weight. 

Grip positions

Ask yourself first: what grip positions do you want to achieve? Pull up bars come in different grip positions to suit various types of bodyweight exercises. 

Aside from the basic vertical bar, some models have a monkey bar style grip that lets you perform 5 different grip positions. Just note that the more grip bars there are, the more expensive the bar gets. Still, it’s worth the splurge if it meets your workout requirements. 

Area of installation

A significant consideration when purchasing a pull up bar is the area where you’re planning to install it. Besides, you don’t have any use for a ceiling-mounted pull up bar if your ceiling can’t support your body weight.

Simply choose on the types we’ve mentioned earlier. There’s a type that suits door frames, doorways, walls, ceilings, and joists. If you want, a free-standing might be the better option. 

Bar length and diameter

Pull up bars come in varying lengths. Usually, it will range somewhere from 24 inches to 48 inches. Just make sure that whatever length you choose will suit the area of installation. This is very crucial for telescoping models.

The rule of thumb is to get a bar that’s at least 32 inches long. This should be enough for most grip styles without limiting your hand movement.

Aside from the length, you should also check the diameter of the bar. The thickness of the material will dictate the weight it can support together with its strength.

Pull up bars can have ¾”, to 1 ½” of diameter. All these measurements are good as long as the steel is durable. Still, we recommend that you opt for 1 ¼” or 1 ½” bars since these are sturdier. If you prefer bars that are less than an inch thick, make sure that it comes with a foam grip. 

Removable vs. permanent

Aside from the leverage-mounted and free-standing pull up bars, all the other types require some type of installation. It’s up to you to choose which one you find more convenient for your workout. 

Accessories 

Most pull up bars come as a single product. Still, others will have accessories included in the package. You can still purchase these extras separately if it’s not included in your initial purchase. The following are some of the useful pull-up bar accessories:

– Stamina rotating pull up handles. These are portable handles that help train major muscles and stabilize the arm muscles, chest, back, and shoulders. 

– Gymnastic rings. Doing pull ups on gymnastic rings using straps will let you keep pull up exercises accurate. It also helps in injury prevention.

– Weighted vest. By wearing a weighted vest, you’re increasing the weight your upper body muscles have to carry. This is a great way to boost your bodyweight exercises as long as your pull up bar can support the additional weight. 

– Weightlifting dip belt. This accessory is a great addition, especially if basic pull ups are already comfortable for your upper body, especially your wrist. The weightlifting dip belt adds more weight for your upper body to lift. 

Other accessories include gloves, bar grips, resistance bands, and assistance bands for added support.

Safety level

Safety should always be your priority. For this, check the weight limit of the bar, how well it mounts on the installation area, and how strong your installation surface is.

If you have wrist problems, slatted bars are more comfortable. Adjust the angles appropriately so the pull up bar will be comfy to use.

Price 

Price is a common purchasing factor. Most entry-level pull up bars will cost around 20 to 30 bucks, but these could also be short in quality. Investing more means getting better equipment.

OUR TOP PICK: Stamina Power Towers

Our top recommendation for a pull-up bar is the Stamina Power Tower. It’s a free-standing model that can be used for pull ups, sit-ups, chin-ups, knee raises, and more. 

This can support users of up to 250 pounds. Its frame is made of durable steel plus there are non-slip end-caps to protect your floor. Overall, this pull up bar frame stands 81 inches tall and has a footprint of 49” (L) x 42.5” (W).

The pull up bar has padded grips for a comfortable workout. Below, there’s a push up station as well as a sit up station. This makes the Stamina Power Tower a powerhouse piece of equipment. 

If you have limited space at home, this free-standing pull up bar is an ideal choice. The only thing we noticed is it’s not the best pick for very tall users. Make sure that you check the overhead requirements before purchasing this pull up bar tower. 

Take note, too, that this unit requires assembly. You can avail the expert assembly or just put it together by yourself. You’re going to save lots of dollars in the process.

Pros

  • No mounting needed
  • Comes with sit up and push up stations
  • Perfect for homes with limited space

Cons

  • Ideal only for users that weigh less than 250 pounds

RUNNERS-UP

Ultimate Body Press Doorway Pull Up Bar w/ Elevated Bar

Looking for a leverage-mounted pull up bar? The Ultimate Body Press offers a full gym experience this pull up bar with elevated bar. It sets an inch above your door trim and 10 inches away from the wall. 

This premium pull up bar can support up to 300 pounds of user weight. It’s made with durable steel, exclusive ABS couplers, and high-density foam grips to reduce excessive hand strain. 

What we really love about this pull up bar is its 10-year warranty coverage. For such a competitive price, it’s an irresistible guarantee.

This has a straight forward assembly which will allow more headroom for your pull ups and chin ups. Just add a little more padding on the part that comes in contact with the door and you’re golden. 

We love its versatility and quality of this pull up bar. And since this is leverage-mounted, you can use it on any door of your home. You can also have it in tow if you’re traveling.

Pros

  • Support up to 300 pounds of user weight
  • Assembled with exclusive ABS couplers
  • Padded grip and more headroom 
  • 10-year warranty coverage 

Cons 

  • Make sure that you add more padding to the bar that’s in contact with the door frame

Iron Gym Total Body Workout Bar

If you’re on a budget, the Iron Gym Total Body Workout Bar is a total steal. It’s a leverage-mounted piece that fits all door frames that are 35.4 inches wide. 

This pull bar has three grip positions – narrow, wide, and neutral. It also has foam grips to make you comfortable during your workout. 

Aside from using it as a pull up bar, this equipment also works for dips and crunches when used on the floor. Overall, it holds weight perfectly and it’s a solid bar for workout buffs.

Overall, this is a great pull up bar for its price. You can have a piece or two lying around. It’s also great for home gyms and when you have high energy kids. To check the durability, we asked the heaviest guy on our team to put his weight on it. The bar holds up well and we have no major complaints whatsoever. 

Lastly, this is very easy to assemble. Bolt a few screws in and you’re done. This can endure up to 300 pounds, which is more than we can ask for.

Pros

  • Can support 300 pounds of user weight
  • Three grip positions
  • Can be used for sit-ups, crunches, and push-ups
  • Fits door frames that are 35.4 inches wide

Cons

  • Not going to last a lifetime but worth it for the price

Garren Fitness Maximiza Pull Up Bar

The Garren Fitness Maximiza Pull Up Bar is a telescoping type that lets you tone your abs, arms, back, and shoulders without the bells and whistles.

This is made of heavy-duty chrome steel that you can mount on your door. Just make sure that you use the screw-in door brackets included in the package for a safe installation. You can adjust this bar to suit any doorway between 26 to 39 inches wide. 

The Garren Pull Up Bar comes with non-slip and extra-long foam grips for added comfort. It reduces hand fatigue while doing pull ups, chin ups, leg raises, and even floor exercises like crunches and sit ups.

Take note that this will come with two sets of heavy-duty mounts that can support 300 pounds of user weight. There’s also a set of medium-duty door mounts that can hold 150 pounds. It’s added flexibility for your workouts. 

Overall, it performed well during our test. Still, we recommend that you cautiously apply weight to it during your first pull up. This is to ensure that the bar is secured. 

Pros

  • Can support up to 300 pounds of user weight
  • Adjustable length to suit doorways
  • Comes with mounting hardware

 Cons 

  • The foam grip doesn’t last long (tape it with cloth hockey tape and it will work perfectly)

Stud Bar Ceiling/Wall Mountable Pull Up Bar

If you prefer a ceiling or wall mounted pull up bar, you’ll never go wrong with the Stud Bar model. This is available in 3 different sizes to suit your ceiling and wall height. Aside from that, its 48” width suits existing studs for easy mounting.

This pull up bar uses gym-quality welded hammertone, 14-gauge steel that can support up to 600 pounds of user weight. Most of all, it comes with a lifetime warranty, which makes the splurge really worth it.

You can choose from 10-foot, 9-foot, and 8-foot ceiling height models. All of these are made with 1 ¼” diameter bars for a comfy and safe grip. 

This pull up bar comes with Grade 8 mounting hardware so you can put it in place securely. The mounting bars are 32 inches long which is more than enough to give you sufficient headroom. 

If you can access the top of the mounting beam, you can actually place this in a certain angle. 

Pros

  • Can support up to 600 pounds of user weight
  • Gym-quality construction
  • 1 1.4” bar diameter
  • Comes with mounting hardware 

Cons

  • The bar is a bit slippery (the fix: sand it a bit)

Ultimate Body Press Ceiling Mounted Pull Up Bar

Another ceiling mounted pull up bar that we love is the one from Ultimate Body Press. It has a patented dual position risers flip. You can mount this below 16 inches from the floor joists or below 24 inches from the ceiling joists. 

This 4-grip pull up bar lets you diversify your workouts. It comes with installation hardware and manual so setting this up should be a piece of cake.

The Ultimate Body Press pull up bar has a 20” neutral grip spacing on its stable and rigid construction. We know for sure that this can support 300 pounds based on our tests. 

Before ordering this bar, make sure that your ceiling will give you enough room for decent pull ups. Very low ceilings might sabotage this bar’s efficiency. 

Just take note that the foam grips of this bar don’t rotate. Other than that, we don’t have complaints. Besides, it comes with a 10-year limited warranty to protect your purchase. 

Pros

  • Can support up to 300 pounds of user weight
  • Can be used on 4 grip positions
  • Solid build 
  • Patented risers are included 

Cons

  • Foam grips don’t rotate

Sagler Pull Up Bar

If you’re looking for a leverage-mounted pull up bar with the best possible price, the Sagler model might be the one you’re looking for. It has a multi-function build that you can use for pull ups, chin ups, crunches, sit ups, and more.

The Sagler model has six non-slip grip positions with foam cushions that prevent too much strain. Based on our tests, this supports at least 250 pounds of user weight. 

If you want to skip complicated installation and the hassle of bolting screws, this is a great choice. It’s portable and ideal if you don’t want to bore holes on your wall, ceiling, or door frame. Just take note that you still need to do a little assembly to put the pieces together.

For the price, we’re satisfied with how this pull up bar is performing. It will not last a lifetime, but we can say that this is going to work for a couple of years. This has a simple design that you can use for a variety of exercises. 

Overall, this fits doorframes that are 29 to 30 inches wide. 

Pros

  • Can support up to 300 pounds
  • Solid construction for a low price
  • Six non-slip grip positions

Cons

  • It’s not a good idea to run and grab this pull up bar. The bar may not endure the excessive force. 

Power Systems Premium Pull Up Bar

The Power Systems Premium Pull Up Bar is made of a 48-inch solid steel bar with a sleek chrome finish. It’s made to suit all cable systems and even separate installation.

This bar has 14 inches of distance between the handgrips. Also, it has a bar diameter of 1.25 inches and a swiveled hinge that provides a more natural range of motion.

Overall, we’re impressed with the study and smooth construction of this pull up bar. It has a more angled “W” shape which adds more versatility on the grip.

Based on our observation, guys taller than 5’10 may not do well on this bar. Still, we consider that it can be a matter of installation. Overall, this is great for curls, cable, tricep pull downs, and pull ups. It will not disappoint, even serious workout buffs. 

It’s a solid piece that weighs 6 pounds. This can carry at least 300 pounds but we’re certain that it can support more. It’s like holding a sledgehammer or a thick pipe wrench when doing pull ups with this bar. 

Pros

  • 48-inch solid steel bar
  • Bar diameter of 1.25 inches
  • Can carry at least 300 pounds

Cons 

  • The color looks like brushed nickel than actual chrome 

Perfect Fitness Doorway Pull Up Bar

With its 300-pound capacity, the Perfect Fitness Doorway Pull Up Bar is a must-have for every home gym. It has a wide grip curved for more comfort paired with a padded handle. You can use this for push ups, dips, sit ups, pull ups, and more.

This Perfect Fitness leverage-mounted unit has a patented door frame guard to keep your door frame safe while doing pull ups. Also, it has an adjustable design that lets you fit it on frames with a maximum width of 33 inches and a depth of 6 inches. 

This pull up bar is solid and weighs 8 pounds for consistent mounting. Also, assembly is a breeze. You only need to put together 4 screws using an Allen wrench. 

Also, we like the different positioning of the foam grip pads. It’s also sweat absorbent plus the soft texture prevents callous buildup. 

If you have thick moldings on your door, this pull up bar will fit perfectly. It’s one of the most solid pieces we’ve tested and we can say that the purchase is worth it. 

Pros

  • Patented door frame guard
  • Adjustable build
  • Soft and sweat-absorbent pads that prevent callous buildup
  • Easy assembly, just 4 screws to tighten 

Cons

  • Assembly instructions are confusing (just use common sense instead)

Ikonfitness Pull Up Bar 

The 2019 upgrade of the Ikonfitness Pull Up Bar is ready to use straight from the box. It comes fully assembled so you no longer have to deal with screws and keys. 

This suits most standard doorframes plus it comes with a raised bar to accommodate tall users. It also sports a robust build that can support up to 440 pounds of user weight. 

The cushion pads of the bar will prevent callous buildup and chafing. It’s also redesigned with larger hooks to increase the stability of the bar while you’re leveraging it on your doorframe.

Using this pull up bar, you can target your arms, abs, back, chest, obliques, and legs. For a low price, you will get versatile equipment that doesn’t eat up too much space on your home. 

What we like the most here is its foldable design. You can stash it to your closet or cabinet after each use. 

Pros

  • Made with larger hooks
  • Fully assembled
  • Can support up to 440 pounds of user weight
  • Foldable design for easy storage 

Cons

  • Put a microfiber towel on between the door contacts to prevent chipping

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much weight can pull up bars hold?

A: Door-mounted pull up bars can hold as much as 300 to 600 pounds of user weight. Telescoping types tend to endure less. 

Q: Which muscles do pull ups work?

A: Pull ups work your lats more than any exercise does. It also targets your forearms, upper back, and biceps. Depending on your routine, you can also work on your pecs and traps.

Q: Do pull up bars damage doors?

A: Many modern pull up bar models don’t need special or permanent supports. This removes the possible damage to your walls or door frame.

Q: How many pull ups should you do?

A: About 25 to 50 pull up repetitions per workout is ideal. Still, you should rotate your pull up routines between a few days to prevent excessive muscle soreness. 

Final words 

The best pull up bar will help you tone your muscles. What do you think of our top picks here? Let us know by dropping a comment below!

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