Pull ups are one of the most effective exercises that you can do for your upper body. However, if you are trying to perform them on sub par equipment or some type of device that may be dangerous, you will not get the full benefit. I know from experience, having spent my teenage years doing them on just about anything I could wrap my hands around in preparation for Marine boot camp.
I’ve used tree limbs, rafters in the attic, swing sets and other things along the way. However, none of these provided a solid place for me to exercise and also did not provide a comfortable grip that would allow me to do them for long periods of time.
Although there are many great options on the market for pull up bars, none are more sturdy than those that can either mount to your ceiling or wall. There are some great free standing pull up bars that I recommend but if you want to perform kipping pull ups or just prefer a more sturdy solution, a ceiling mounted bar is the choice for you.
Important features to look for in a pull up bar
A pull up bar is a pretty simple piece of equipment so there isn’t a lot to say about the features you’ll need to look for. However, there are a few things to watch out for and a few tips that will help you to find the perfect solution for your home gym.
First and foremost, you want a pull up bar that is sturdy enough to handle doing exercises without tipping over, falling off the door frame, wall or ceiling. Having cheap workout equipment is one thing but if you are using equipment that could get you hurt, the money saved won’t be worth it.
Look for a bar that has ample mounting hardware. If you purchase a bar that only comes with a couple of small screws, it’s likely to be one that falls off your wall or ceiling while using it. Most of the top quality bars on the market have large lag bolts that hold the device securely in place.
Also make sure the grip is a comfortable size and texture and will allow you to perform exercises the way you want. If you are going to be doing kipping pull ups, you will want a smooth surface that will be easier on your hands. If you will be doing Marine style dead hangs, you may opt for one with a little more texture or padding. The size of the bar should be about 1 1/4 inches in diameter for best performance.
Size may also be important if you intend to add variety to your workout. A wide bar will allow you to do a variety of pull ups such as wide grip, close grip, regular grip or pretty much any other one you can imagine. A 48 inch bar is perfect for the serious exerciser but if you are limited on space, a smaller one may be more ideal. Just keep in mind that wide grip pull ups are great for building strong lats and are more challenging than other types. You’ll definitely want to include these into your routines.
The Pull Up Bar I Suggest
The Stud Bar is by far the best pull up bar on the market. If you have ever been to Marine Boot camp, you’ll recognize the look and feel of this bar because it is very similar to those mounted in the training barracks. Not only does it look and feel like it but it is just as sturdy and built for years of use and abuse.
I use mine nearly every workout for something. If it’s not being used for pull ups, it’s being used for hanging leg raises or TRX work.