best pull up bar review

Best Pull-Up Bar Review In 2020 [Review and Buying Guide]

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Pull-Up bars are one of the most efficient pieces of home equipment to work out your upper body, build muscle, and improve your grip strength. After researching over 50 different pull-up bars, the Garren Fitness Telescopic Doorway Pull Up Bar stands out as my top choice for its simple yet efficient design.

The chrome steel bar comes with screw-in door brackets that support up to 300 pounds and provide stability and safety. Its foam padding gives you a comfortable grip while the design allows you to close the door without problems. At $49.98, it is ideal for experienced users looking for a minimalistic tool or beginners looking to get started without much investment.

The Top Pull-Up Bars Reviewed

Product NameInstallationGripsWeight limitBest for
Garren Fitness Maximiza Doorway Pull-Up BarEasy installation, tools includedStandard grip300 lbsBest doorway telescopic pull-up bar
Perfect Fitness Doorway Pull-Up BarNo installation requiredStandard, wide and parallel grip300 lbsBest Doorway slip-in, removable pull-up bar
Relife Rebuild Your Life Pull-Up Bar StandAssembly requiredStandard, wide and parallel grip300 lbsBest pull-up bar stand/ free standing
Ultimate Body Press Ceiling Mounted Pull-Up BarEasy installation, tools includedStandard, wide and parallel grip300 lbs (anecdotal, not specified)Best ceiling mounted pull-up bar
Rogue P-4 Pull-Up SystemEasy Installation. No tools IncludedStandard and wide grip500 lbsBest wall mounted pul-up bar
Cross Grips Portable Pull-Up HandlesNo installation requiredStandard, wide and parallel grip250 lbsBest portable pull-up bar

Find the right Pull-Up Bar for You

1- Garren Fitness Maximiza Doorway Pull-Up Bar

Best Pull-Up Bar Review In 2020 [Review and Buying Guide] 1

This telescopic doorway pull-up bar is made of long-lasting chrome steel and covered with 5mm thick foam grips. It comes with 3 sets of screw-in door brackets that support up to 300 pounds.

The bar length adjusts to fit doorways between 26 and 39 inches wide and has lock-in screws to secure it in place once you have fitted it to the right width.

This is a stable and efficient option If you have a sturdy door frame to support it and you are ok with drilling it. But, depending on your door height, you should be careful not to hit your head on the ceiling and avoid kipping pull-ups for the same reason.

While you can remove the pull-up bar can out of the brackets, that is not necessary to close the door. It is also worth mentioning that they provide a no-question money-back guarantee if you are not 100% satisfied.

Pros

  • Securely installed
  • Non- slip foam grips
  • Adjustable size
  • Solid built
  • Max weight: 300 lbs

Cons

  • Requires drilling
  • Foam might wear off with time
  • Doesn’t allow for a wide grip

2- Perfect Fitness Doorway Pull-Up Bar 

Best Pull-Up Bar Review In 2020 [Review and Buying Guide] 2

The Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym is a doorway pull up bar that uses leverage around the door frame to hold you up. It requires assembly but it comes with clear instructions and the necessary tools included in the package.

This pull-up bar has a clever design with flat support pads that rest against the doorframe and are less likely to damage the woodwork. It has a weight limit of 300 lbs and offers three grip positions, including wide-grip since the grips extend to the outsides of your doorframe.

The product securely fits door frames up to 33 inches wide and up to 6 inches deep. It can also accommodate smaller ones as long as the surrounding wall fits the 38-inch crossbar.

The only downside I found is that it doesn’t have foam grips on the ‘regular’ pull-up grip position. If your hands get sweaty, this could cause you to slip and affect your workout.

Despite that, this is a good option if you are looking for a sturdy slip-in pull-up bar that will not damage your doorway or walls.

Pros

  • Stable
  • Good value for money
  • Flat padding protects door frame from damage
  • Wide, close and perpendicular grips
  • Max weight: 300 lbs

Cons

  • Requires some assembly
  • No foam grips for regular pull-ups
  • Doesn’t fit all door frames
  • Wide grip may be too wide for some

3- Relife Rebuild Your Life Pull-Up Bar Stand

Best Pull-Up Bar Review In 2020 [Review and Buying Guide] 3

This free-standing pull-up tower is made of high-quality steel and holds up to 330lbs. The padded bar at the top allows for a narrow and wide grip and it also has grips for tricep dips and a knee raise station.

You can adjust the height at 9 different levels between 58.5” and 89” depending on how tall you are. In the same way, the back cushion also offers 4 different levels.

The product has suction cups at the bottom that adjust to the ground to make sure the tower is completely stable. They also grip on the floor providing extra safety and making sure it doesn’t move when you work out.

If neither space nor money are an issue, this is a good option to consider. Additionally, you’ll be avoiding any screws on ceilings or walls.

Pros

  • Multi-purpose
  • Stable and sturdy
  • Adjustable for all heights
  • Max weight: 330 lbs
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Requires assembly
  • Hard to transport
  • Higher price than other types

 

4- Ultimate Body Press Ceiling Mounted Pull-Up Bar

Best Pull-Up Bar Review In 2020 [Review and Buying Guide] 4

This ceiling-mounted pull-up bar offers foam-padded grips for standard, wide, and parallel pull-ups. You can install it below 16-inch floor joists or below 24-inch ceiling joists. It comes with installation instructions and mounting hardware.

By moving your pull-up bar out of the wall, you get a wider range of motion and won’t need to worry about hitting your head. The product doesn’t show a weight limit but users in the 300lbs range mentioned to have used it without any issues.

The bar is not welded to the mounting structure which could create some durability issues in the long term. But, they offer a 10-year guarantee and USA customer service and tech support which could solve future problems.

If you are looking for a pull-up bar with a variety of grips and don’t want to use your doorframe, I recommend considering this alternative.

Pros

  • Variety of grips
  • Range of motion
  • Includes mounting hardware
  • 10 year guarantee and support

Cons

  • Some concerns about quality
  • Not clear information on weight limit

 

5- Rogue P-4 Pull-Up System

Best Pull-Up Bar Review In 2020 [Review and Buying Guide] 5

This pull-up system is made with Rogue’s standard 11-gauge steel and supports up to 500 lbs which gives you the option to do weighted pull-ups.

You can mount it in the wall or ceiling and set it 30” away from the mounting point, which gives you adequate room for kipping movements. If you’re considering this for ceiling mounting, your ceiling should be at least 9’6”.

Due to the simple design, the installation is simple and the solid screws and brackets ensure that the bars stay in place for good. The mountain hardware is not included though so you would need to buy that separately.

If you are looking for premium quality and don’t mind the cost that comes with it, this pull-up bar is a proper option.

Pros

  • Reputable brand
  • Great materials
  • 500lbs weight limit

Cons

  • No mounting hardware included
  • On the pricier side.

6- Cross Grips Portable Pull-Up Handles

Best Pull-Up Bar Review In 2020 [Review and Buying Guide] 6

These pull-pp handles are a portable alternative for those looking for a travel-friendly tool. The set up requires no tools or screws and can take less than a minute.

The handles offer neutral and parallel grip and, naturally, you can set them up for narrow or wide pull-ups. As an added feature, you can use them for push-ups and as accessories in other exercises.

They are made of a sturdy stainless steel frame and hold up to 250 lbs. They fit a variety of doors as long as the molding is between 2″-4″ high and the wall plus trim thickness is 4.5″-7.5″.

While they don’t have a lot of padding and could create some damage, they are a good alternative if you are looking for a way to do pull-ups on the go.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Easy set up
  • Multi-grip and multi-use
  • Fits a big range of doors

Cons

  • Not enough padding

Why Should You Get A Pull-Up Bar?

Getting a pull-up at home is a great way to stay motivated and on track with your workouts. Even if you don’t have other gym equipment, you can use your pull-up bar for a variety of exercises that work out most of your upper body.

Here are some of the exercises you can perform with a pull-up bar:

Classic Pull-Ups

There is nothing basic about regular pull-ups. They do not only work out your back but also your arms and core. As with any exercise, the form is the most important factor. Check out the following video on how to perform a pull-up correctly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGo4IYlbE5g

Assisted Pull-Ups

If you are a beginner working on your pull-ups, using resistance bands is a great way to build strength.

Depending on the bands you are using, you can hook your knee or foot into the band and perform your pull-ups as normal. As you progress, move to a band with less resistance until you can complete a full pull up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHllQTJf7eA

 

Chin-Ups

Chin-ups focus on your biceps while also targeting your back muscles. In this sense, they help you build up your back strength with some help from your arms.

As with pull-ups, you can practice variations like assisted and negative chin-ups if you’re still working on getting your first one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd_A0kDAyK4

Wide Grip Pull-Ups

This type of pull-ups, targets your lats helping you widen your upper back and develop the sought-after V-shape back.

For most people, wide grip pull-ups are more challenging than classic pull-ups. If you are trying them for the first time make sure to focus one your form to avoid injuries.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iywjqUo5nmU&t=22s

Pull-Up Shrugs

Pull up shrugs are a great exercise to build up strength on your upper and middle back which will also help you perfect your pull-up form.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9Xp1V4agd0

Knee Raises

You can also use a pull-up bar to perform knee raises which target your abs and improve your core strength.

If you use a doorway pull-up bar or a bar that is placed a bit too low for your you might not be able to clear your feet off the ground but you can still perform them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhPTiWP6lB4

Grip Hangs

Grip hangs are great for targeting your forearms and help you improve your grip strength. They will help you progress in your overall training program as well as your pull-ups.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JXIVJSsBHU

Why should pull-ups be an essential part of your training?

pull up workout

Pull-ups are one of the most complete and challenging upper body exercises. They don’t only help strengthen your back muscles but also your arms and shoulders.

Adding pull-ups to your training routine can also improve your grip strength which is important for weight-lifting as well as daily activities and other sports.

Moreover, studies have proven that a strength training routine helps promote bone development and enhance cardiovascular health. Research also shows it may help reduce visceral fat, reduce resting blood pressure and back pain associated with arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Check out our article to learn more about the many benefits of pull-ups.

Pull-Up Bar Buying Guide

Some key factors to keep in mind when choosing the right pull-up bar include making sure it can hold your weight and fit the space where you want to use it. The type of installation it needs and the different grips it offers are other elements to keep in mind.

Types of Pullup-Bar

Doorway Pull-Up Bar

Also known as “Door Frame Pull-Up Bars”, these are the most common type and you can actually find them in two variations.

The telescopic doorway pull-up bar as the Garren Fitness Maximiza Doorway Pull-Up Bar uses braces to attach to the sides and doesn’t interfere with the door closing. They don’t allow for a wide grip but they are one of the most affordable types and a solid option if you have a sturdy door frame and don’t mind some drilling.

The second kind is the slip-in doorway pull-up bar like the Perfect Fitness Doorway Pull-Up Bar. It attaches to the upper frame of the door and mounts over and to the sides of the door frame. It uses the leverage of your own weight to attach to the door frame so it doesn’t need installation and you can remove it when you are done using it. This type allows for a variety of grips and is one of your best options if you don’t want to make any permanent installations.

Wall or Ceiling Mounted Pull-Up Bar

Attached to your wall or ceiling, this type is the most stable and comes in a big range of qualities and prices. They hold the most weight and are a good option if you don’t have a door frame that can support your pull-up bar. The Ultimate Body Press Ceiling Mounted Pull-Up Bar and the 5- Rogue P-4 Pull-Up System are some good alternatives if this is what you are looking for.

Pull-Up Bar Stand – Free Standing Pull-Up Bar

As the name suggests, this type of pull up bar has a stable and usually large base and doesn’t need any installation. This variety usually includes a dip station and a knee raise station to work out your triceps and abs. It tends to be on the pricier side but if you have the proper space for it, consider investing in one like the Relife Rebuild Your Life Pull-Up Bar Stand.

Portable Pull-Up Bar

This type of pull-up bar is new in the market and responds to the demand travelers and fitness enthusiasts who don’t want to miss a workout. The main goal is that you can set them up easily and pack them in your carry on without issues. If this sounds like something that could fit your lifestyle, check out the Cross Grips Portable Pull-Up Handles.

Measurements

After determining the type of pull-up bar you want, you want to make sure that it will fit the place where you want to put it. If you’re trying to mount your bar in a tight space, it’s best to pick a simpler design since the extra grips will get in the way.

For pull up bars that attach to the sides of your doorframe, measure the width of your doorway and compare it with the product measurements. Most telescopic bars will extend/contract to fit a range of measurements.

If you decide on a slip-in doorway pull-up bar, make sure there is space on the sides since the handlebars exceed the width of the doorway. Also, pay attention to your bar’s clearances since being too close to the doorframe can cause you to hit your head.

For free-standing and mounted pull-up bars, you have more freedom to play around with so just make sure you have the right designated space for them.

Weight Limit

Doorway pull-up bars have a lower weight limit versus mounted and self-standing ones. But, regardless of the type of pull up bar you choose, it is important to consider how much weight it can hold. Exceeding the weight limit can cause you to fall and injure yourself.

Installations and safety

Each type of bar will need different conditions to ensure safety. If you choose a slip-in design you need to make sure the door frame is sturdy enough to support it by checking that it is nailed and not glued. You can also try to pull the door frame with your hand to see if it softens or cracks.

For a telescopic doorway pull-up bar, press the surface where you will attach both ends of the bar. It should be made from sturdy wood and the surface shouldn’t crack or soften when pressed.

If you don’t have a doorway with raised trim and a hefty frame, you might need to choose a mounted or free-standing pull-up bar.

Grip Positions

When choosing your pull-up bar, consider the grip or grips you’d prefer. The most basic pull-up bars have a horizontal bar for wide and close-grip pull-ups while other models have added handles for parallel grip.

If you want to target as many different muscle groups as possible, look for a variety of grips and switch up your workouts regularly.

When checking the grip positions available, make sure they have foam padding. While you can place your hands in unpadded spots, it will be less comfortable and can end up hindering your performance.

FAQs for Pull-Up Bars

Do pull-up bars damage door frames?

This is a common concern for pull-up buyers but nowadays, most pull-up bars for doorways come with enough padding to prevent damage over time.

More importantly, most damage happens due to improper installation. If the bar is not secure enough, it will move during your workout and create the potential for it to mark the wall.

Before doing any exercise with a doorway pull-up bar, make sure it’s stable and that it won’t move when you place your weight on it. You can also place a rag or towel where the equipment touches and try not to swing when doing pull-ups since that causes the bar to rub and increases damage.

How much weight can a home pull-up bar hold?

Most pull-up bars have a weight limit of 300lbs. It can vary from brand to brand so always make sure to check the details on the product and don’t exceed the recommended weight limit to avoid any injuries.

Are telescopic pull-up bars safe?

While some telescopic pull-up bars don’t need installation, I recommend choosing one that uses screwed-in-brackets. This will make it safe and stable.

Is it worth buying a pull-up bar?

If you are looking to work out your upper body at home with the less equipment possible, a pull-up bar is a great investment. For less than 50 dollars, you can find some good quality ones and hit not only your back but also your arms and core with a few minutes per day.

Conclusion

Buying the right pull-up bar for your needs can be a challenging task due to the many factors to consider. But, after 30 hours of research, I can say that the Garren Fitness Telescopic Doorway Pull Up Bar is a solid choice for its stability, safety, and ease of installation. Its runner up, the Perfect Fitness Doorway Pull Up Bar offers more grip options but also takes up more space while in use and is not as stable. Finally, the Rogue P-4 Pull-Up System is a high-end contender for those willing to invest in a brand with more trajectory.

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