Ask anyone experienced with fitness and they will tell you that pull ups are one of the best exercises that you can do to improve your strength and fitness. Pull-ups are what are known as a functional movement. This is because they imitate something we would frequently do in a more natural environment. Pull ups involve a whole lot of muscles throughout the entire body but the focus is on the back.
As an entire muscle group, the back is the most important muscle group in our body as well as one of the largest. In modern day life, we dont get as much exercise for our backs as we need to. Pullups are one of the few exercises which work all muscles in the back when done correctly. In addition, pullups are also a fantastic exercise for the arms and forearm muscles. Doing pullups will get you strong in a hurry.
Doing pullups at home however is not that easy. First there is the question of finding a place to hang. Secondly, you need to ensure that there is enough height avaialable for you to do the pullups fully. While I recommend full height, firmly fixed pull up bars as the best possible option, I realize that getting these in your home is not the easiest of propositions. With many of us living in rented homes, even drilling major holes in the walls is sometimes out of the question. Our buying guide today will focus on all the different kinds of pull up bars you can get for your home as well as the important factors you should keep in mind before you buy your next pull up bar.
Different Kind of Pull Up Bars Available
Before we begin talking about the different factors you should keep in mind while getting a pull up bar, lets first talk about the different kinds of pull up bars avaialable for home use.
Free Standing Pull Up Bar
A free-standing pull-up bar is what you will usually find in a gym. These pullup bars have a heavy base with vertical supports. The entire unit is free standing and does not require any modifications to your home space when you get it installed.
The benefit of the free standing pull up bar is that you can plug and play it in your home. The downside of course is that it requires a large amount of space both in terms of floor space as well vertical height. The cost of these devices is also usually high.
Wall Mounted Pull Up Bar
The wall mounted pull up bar is another kind which is frequently seen in gyms. This kind of pullup bar usually has no vertical supports. The entire pullup bar is screwed into the wall to provide support. The benefits of a wall mounted pull up bar is that it requires no floor space and is cheaper than a free standing pull up bar. The downside is that it will still cost a few thousand rupees and it will also require drilling into your walls which might not feasible for everyone.
In-doorway Pull Up Bar
The in doorway pullup bar is probably the most common when it comes to doing pullups at home. This device consists of a bar which attaches itself inside your doorway. In most cases, the bar itself can be unscrewed till the point where it stays on the doorway purely through suction and pressure.
The advantage of the in-doorway pullup bar is that it is very inexpensive and very quick to setup. The disadvantage is that not all brands of in-doorway pullup bars are of the same quality. While some can be attached easily, others are not so cooperative. The second disadvantage is the safety aspect. Since this pullup bar is staying up purely through suction and internal pressure, it can get dislodged if not setup correctly. Lastly since it is within your doorway, you will have to bend your knees to get a full extension on your pullups.
On doorway Pull Up Bar
The on-doorway pullup bar is not seen very often in India. This design of pullup bar is seen more often in western countries. This is mostly due to the design of doorways in India vs other countries. The on-doorway pullup bar rests on top of the doorway and provides a stable base. The force is distributed both vertically and horizontally so the doorway itself does not have to bear all the load.
The advantage of the on-doorway pullup bar is that it requires zero setup and it can be removed once the workout is complete. Due to its design, the device can also be used for other exercises like pushups, ab crunches and tricep dips. The disadvantage of course is that these devices are not available and applicable in India.
Gymnastic Rings or Suspension Trainer for Pull Ups
The last type of pullup bar I wanted to highlight is not really a pull up bar at all. Gymnastics rings and suspension trainers can also be used for doing pullups. However, you will have to find a suitable place to hang them and for doing pullups, you will need an anchor of suitable height which will most likely be found in a playground. Once properly setup, pullups can be done very well on gymnastic rings or suspension trainers.
The advantage of doing pullups on these devices is that the equipment itself is highly portable and inexpensive. You can also perform a wide variety of other exercises on this equipment.
The disadvantage of course is that you need a place to anchor the rings or suspension trainer and it is unlikely that you will find a suitable place within your home.
What to look for when buying a Pull up Bar
When buying a pull up bar, there are a few things you can look out for to make sure you get a device that works well for you
Measure your Doorway
If you are planning on getting a in-doorway pullup bar, make sure that you measure your doorway exactly and ensure that the pullup bar is suitable. Doorway widths in India are not standard so yours just might be different from what is suitable for the bar.
Check the weight limit
The second thing to check is that the pullup bar can support your weight. I always err on the side of caution here and ensure that I get a bar that can take a weight much heavier than my own.
Check if the bar has padded grips included
The last thing to check for on the doorway pullup bar is there are some padded grips available. Doing pullups on bare metal can make your palms hurt and having a padded grip will let you do more pullups as well.
PullUp Bar Buying Guide – Conclusion
This was our brief guide to buying a pullup bar for your home. Hope it helped and please let us know of your thoughts in the comments.