10 Best Pull-Up Bars in 2020 (Review)
Pull-ups are a great way to work your core, arms, and back. Pull-up bars generally rely on bodyweight for strengthening, though seasoned pros who want to up their workout level, can wear a weighted workout vest while doing pull-ups to add an extra challenge. However, whether you are simply using your own body weight or adding weights, a good quality pull-up bar is essential for this exercise.
Luckily, pull-up bars are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. If you’ve ever looked at pull-up bars online, you may have noticed that most of them are very similar—or at least they look very similar—but not all pull-up bars are created equal. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of what we consider the best pull-up bars in 2020. After reading, you’ll be able to make an educated choice about which types and brands best fit your needs.
We are also going to discuss the weight limits of different pull-up bars, and which types of pull-up bars are best to use in doorway frames (as these are the most popular).
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The Best Pull-Up Bars
1. Iron Gym Total Upper Body Pull Up Bar
If you’re looking for a heavy-duty, multi-use bar that’s simple to use, your best bet is the Iron Gym Total Upper Body Pull-Up Bar. This bar secures onto most standard door frames. It has multiple grip positions, so you can freely change between chin-ups, wide-grip pull-ups, or any other variation to test your upper body strength.
A nifty feature of the Iron Gym bar is that it doubles up as a dip bar. You can use it to assist with your push-ups and sit-ups as well, giving you a total body workout in the comfort of your own home. The bar is light and small enough to pack into a suitcase, so you can take it along wherever you go. The only drawback is that the bar isn’t adjustable and won’t fit non-standard doorframes.
2. Garren Fitness Maximiza Pull Up Bar
The Maximiza fits in doorways between 26″ and 39″, making it perfect for most home gyms. It is a breeze to install with squared mounting kits that prevent the bar from rolling while you complete your workout.
This doorway pull-up bar has an extended non-slip high-density foam grip. Having more space to grip allows you to change your grip without having to rely on uncomfortable Velcro fasteners.
The fact that you can place the Garren Fitness Maximiza Pull-Up Bar anywhere in the door frame allows you to do more exercises than just simple pull-ups. You can use it for elevated push-ups or as a foot holder for sit-ups and crunches. If you have a tall doorway, you can even do hanging leg raises, allowing you to train most of your major muscle groups with one simple bar.
3. Stamina Door Gyms Doorway Pull Up Bar
The Stamina full-body workout bar uses leverage to anchor itself in most standard doorways. It has a relatively low maximum weight of 250 pounds. However, the non-slip grips on the mounting mechanism will ensure that you feel safe and secure using this bar, even if you’re near the max weight.
The Stamina Door Gyms Doorway Pull-up Bar has five different positions for grip, including two positions for hammer grips, namely wide and neutral, which many other bars lack, to ensure you get the most out of your workouts.
The grips are all covered in non-slip foam, so you’ll always have a good idea of where to put your hands. The bar accommodates people of different sizes by padding a large section of the bar, allowing you to find your perfect grip setup.
In addition to a total upper body workout, you can use the Stamina bar as an exercise aid. Use it on the floor to help protect your wrists during push-ups or adjust the doorway placement to use it as a foothold for sit-ups and crunches. We think it’s one of the best doorway pull-up bars due to its multiple grips that include several non-standard ones that other pull-up bars neglect.
4. Sunny Health & Fitness Door Way Chin Up Bar
Sunny Health & Fitness is a California-based brand that has been taking over the fitness industry in the last couple of years by producing high-quality, affordable fitness products for home gym users. One of their most popular products is the Sunny Health & Fitness Door Way Chin Up Bar.
This product is a sleek looking telescopic bar that uses pressure to keep it firmly secured in the doorway. It’s a full-body workout bar that you’ll mostly use for pull-ups, but that you can also use for many other types of exercises, including dips, sit-ups, and crunches.
The bar is adjustable and can fit doorways up to 36 inches wide. If you’re not comfortable trusting your weight to friction alone, you can use the weight-bearing mounting brackets that secure firmly into the frame. This small and compact doorway trainer is best suited to smaller individuals as the maximum capacity is only 220 pounds.
5. Stamina Door Gyms Boulder Fit Doorway
Most pull-up bars have a standard set of grips that correlate to the traditional pull-up movements. Stamina Door Gyms Boulder Fit Doorway Pull-Up Bar is different.
Originally designed for rock climbers, the bar has several unique grips that focus on the forearms rather than back or arms. The two rock climbing grips include tiny rock-climbing handholds in the center of the bar and wider loops for pulling up at a variety of angles.
The bar also has the traditional grips you’d expect, including a wide and neutral grip. The steel build allows the bar to handle up to 250 pounds with ease. Assembly can be a bit tricky, but once you’ve assembled the bar, it’s very easy to hang in any standard doorway.
If you’re looking for an exercise pull-up bar that adds a bit extra to your normal workout, give the Stamina Boulder Fit bar a try.
6. Pure Fitness Multi-Purpose Bar
The Pure Fitness Multi-Purpose Bar is a no-frills option. It has six foam-padded grips that allow for eight grip types. The main appeal of the Pure Fitness bar, as opposed to others, though, is its price. Despite being one of the more affordable products on the market, the bar still uses high-quality black-coated steel.
While this option may not be the fanciest piece of equipment you’ve ever bought, it will do what it says— sit in a doorway while you do pull-ups. Most pull-up bar reviews rank this bar as a pretty good product that doesn’t step outside of its comfort zone, and that’s okay.
If you’re looking for a piece of metal that you can stick in a doorway and workout safely, and you don’t want any extras like ab belts, this is the product for you.
7. Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Bar
Perfect Fitness advertises this product as a ‘portable gym system’ because you can work almost every muscle in your body without the need for weights. What sets the Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Bar apart from the competition is its smart, ergonomic design.
It protects the doorframe from any scuffs or rips by attaching vertically as well as horizontally. By resting on more of the doorframe, the bar distributes its weight more evenly, resulting in less wear and tear on the door, as well as a more stable workout experience.
Another feature of the Perfect Fitness is that it has wide grips. If you’re a larger person looking for a real wide grip workout bar, this is the product for you. You can also use the other grip types to maximize your workouts and give your muscles a good burn.
One feature that seems to be missing from many of the bars we’ve looked at is an instruction manual on how to do a pull-up. If you’re avoiding injury, you need to have perfect form, which means not just jumping up and hoping for the best.
The Perfect Fitness home doorway bar comes with a complimentary Back Blaster video link that will show you exactly what you need to do to get your entire back engaged during your pull-ups—no CrossFit pull-up bar kipping allowed.
8. Yes4All Doorway
Yes4All is a relatively new company out of California that seems determined to build its reputation as an affordable, high-quality equipment provider for the serious gym rat. The Yes4All Doorway pull-up bar is the perfect example of this.
While most companies would offer nothing more than a bare-bones standard bar at this price, Yes4All has added several extra grips and a robust doorframe leverage design. The bar itself is made of solid steel with pads on the various grip locations. It offers 12 different hand positions, including two hammer grips.
The Yes4All is a great product in its price range, offering features that usually come on more expensive models. Another advantage of its one-piece construction is that there’s no assembly involved. Not only does this make the bar easier to use, but it also makes the bar feel more stable than similar products that come in pieces that you have to assemble.
9. Ultimate Body Press XL
One of the first things you’ll notice about the Ultimate Body Press XL bar is that the handles are lower than the bar itself.
The main advantage of an elevated bar is that you get a more comfortable workout. Not only do you have more space to move around, but you also have more headroom and don’t have to worry about hitting your head on the doorframe.
While you may expect that an elevated bar would be flimsier than the standard models, the robust and ergonomic construction of the Ultimate Body Press XL means that it feels stable and can support up to 300 pounds. It’s also very easy to place in most doorways and even comes with an extension bar to fit it in wider doorways.
One of the best features of this product is that it has curved grips at the ends of the bar. These curved ends allow for more natural motion and can help you focus on hitting your lats and inner back during the pull-up. As an upper-body fitness package, you can’t go wrong with the Ultimate Body Press XL.
10. Iron Age Pull Up Bar
One of the biggest drawbacks of most doorway pull-up bars is that they put a lot of pressure on the doorframe. The better you can distribute this pressure, the more weight the bar can carry, and the less wear and tear there is on the door.
The Iron Age Pull Up Bar uses Smart Hook technology to distribute the downward force into smaller forces that get distributed throughout more of the door frame, making it one of the best pull-up bars for renters.
The design of the bar itself is really simple, with multiple grip positions allowing for many different versions of a pull-up. There is also a center anchor that you can combine with various Iron Age accessories to get a better workout than simply doing pull-ups.
How to Choose a Pull-up Bar – Three Key Things to Think About
While all pull-up bars may all look similar, several key factors can affect your choice. Finding the best home pull-up bars requires that you do your research and consider what your needs are before going out and buying the first one you see. The factors you need to consider include:
You want to do your pull-ups without worrying whether the bar can hold your weight. Different bars will have different supported user weights or the max capacity which the bar can safely hold. These range from 200 to 600 pounds. A good rule of thumb to follow is to choose a bar with a capacity of 1.5 times your weight. Also, if you want to use a bar that mounts on a doorway, make sure that the doorway is made of robust and stable materials, such as wood, brick, or concrete.
The price of pull-up bars changes significantly. While a doorway pull-up bar can cost between $10 and $40, a free-standing pull-up rack can cost between $100 and $500. Before you start shopping around, consider what type of pull-up bar would suit your home and needs, and then identify the price range you’re willing to pay. We always recommend paying a bit more for a higher quality bar, as cheap bars tend to have lower weight capacity and may not be as safe.
Every person has a certain way of doing a pull-up. Some prefer a wider grip to work the shoulders and back more, while others prefer a tight grip that works the biceps and triceps. If possible, find a bar with comfortable foam grips and many grip choices so that you can adjust your workout to your needs and preferences.
The Different Types of Pull-Up Bars
Doorway pull-up bar
A doorway pull-up bar is the simplest piece of exercise equipment you can own. It fits into a standard-size doorway, secured by door-mounted brackets or expanding the bar by twisting it. Telescopic doorway bars have the advantage of being great wide-door pull-up bars due to their variable length.
However, telescopic bars can slip over time, so we strongly recommend using brackets wherever possible. Doorway pull-up bars are easy to put up and great for doing a pull-up every time you enter a room. The main disadvantage is their relatively low max weight and the fact that tall people will have to bend their legs throughout the pull-up motion.
Leverage-mounted pull-up bar
Leverage-mounted pull-up bars rest on the front edge of the doorframe. They stay in place due to the leverage of your weight, pulling the bar against the doorframe, which means you don’t need to attach any brackets to install the bar. These bars are easy to transport and make great travel gifts for people who want to keep up with their strength training while on the move.
Wall-mounted pull-up bar
Wall-mounted pull-up bars screw directly into the wall, giving the bar excellent stability and allowing you to decide how high up you want it. The main drawback of this type of workout bar is that it’s permanent and may not be suitable if you’re renting your living space.
Ceiling-mounted pull-up bar
Ceiling-mounted pull-up bars give you a better range of motion and customization than wall-mounted bars. Because the bar hangs from the ceiling, you can put it well away from any walls, so you can swing away without fear of banging against an obstacle.
Most of these pull-up bars have spacers that fit standard stud spacing, so make sure that you can install it in your ceiling before you buy. Ceiling-mounted models make great garage pull-up bars as they don’t take up any floor or wall space.
Free-standing pull-up bar
The free-standing pull-up bar is the most expensive piece of pull-up equipment you can buy. It provides a platform where you can exercise with no space concerns, and also no concerns about leaving permanent marks. These bars also tend to have attachments for dips and other upper body workouts.
What are the Best Pull-Up Bars to Use on the Frame of a Doorway?
Doorway pull-up bars come in two flavors: those that mount onto brackets inside the doorway and those that telescope out and press against the doorway, keeping them in place.
We recommend using brackets wherever possible, simply because telescopic bars rely on friction and can slip over time. Telescopic bars also tend to handle less weight and are more suited to light exercise without too much pressure on the bar.
You can also consider a leverage-mounted pull-up bar, which will do less damage to your doorway and is also slightly more portable. These bars work by using your body weight as the lever, so they also have higher max weight capacities than most doorway pull-up bars. Due to their higher maximum weight limit, we like to think that leverage-mounted pull-up bars make the best door frame pull-up bars for people who are not on a strict budget.
What is the Average Weight Limit of the Bars?
The average weight limit on most pull-up bars is around 300 pounds. Some bars have a higher capacity, while some telescopic doorway bars have a lower capacity at around 250 or even 200 pounds.
Many ceiling-mounted and pull-up towers have higher weight capacities, though this will depend a lot on the brand and the type of material they use. In general, you should use a bar that can take 1.5 times your weight to prevent injury.
Make sure that your doorframe is robust enough to handle the pressure. Plywood doorframes aren’t strong enough to handle any significant weight, and you may find yourself on the floor if you try to mount a chin pull-up bar in an unsuitable doorframe.