If you’re looking to raise the bar on your at-home workouts, literally, it’s time to add a pullup bar to your stockpile of home gym equipment. Why, you ask? Well, according to experts, pullups are *really* freakin’ good for you (both mentally and physically!).
What are the benefits of pullups, exactly?“Besides the fact that they can truly increase your confidence–especially when you finally achieve one–it helps with upper body, core, and leg strength, too,” explains Angela Gargano, CPT, creator of Pull Up Revolution. “It’s a full body move! Doing pullups will also help a ton with your posture,” she says.
Plus, if you can do a pullup, that opens doors to all kinds of other fun physical activities like monkey bars, rope climbing, rock climbing, and more. “All in all, it’s a great skill for fitness and life in general,” Gargano says.
At this point, perhaps you’re wondering what to look for in a pullup bar.A few things. For starters, there are a four main types of pullup bars:
- Doorway: These are the kinds of pullup bars that fit safely and securely onto your door or door frame that do *not* need any external installation, says Gargano. And with these, you really get what you pay for. “If you spend $20 on a doorway bar, chances are it wont be that sturdy and it might mess up the molding on your door,” explains Gargano.
- Mounted: Pullup bars that are mounted mean they’re physically attached to your wall via drilling, and they tend to be one of the sturdiest options. Something to keep in mind, though? Make sure it’s high enough when you install it so that you *actually hang*, Gargano says. The last thing you need is to tear up your wall because you measured wrong.
- Portable: When it comes to portable pullup bars, the definition is simple: You can bring them pretty much anywhere. They collapse into separate pieces, so they go wherever you want them to.
- Tower:They call this equipment a ‘power tower’ for a reason. It’s big, so it basically looks like you have a whole machine in the room. For towers, you want to make sure they’re sturdy, Gargano says. “You may need to put a sandbag or something heavy on the bottom to keep it from moving,” she explains.” Noted!
Okay, now that you’re basically an expert when it comes to all things pullup bars, it’s time for some home-gym shopping inspo. (And BTW, it’ll help if you think about where you plan to put the bar, how much you weigh, and how high you need it to be when making your pick.) Once that’s settled, keep reading for the 10 best pullup bars to buy in 2020, based on intel from Gargano and consumer ratings.
Are you a beginner? If so, no worries. All pullup experts have to start somewhere. This doorway-based bar is perfect for newbies, and with over 9,000 positive reviews on Amazon, you can trust that this is ~the one~ pullup bar you’ve been looking for. It fits in doorways anywhere from 24 to 32 inches wide, and its max weight is about 300 pounds.
Reviewer Rave: “Assembly was easy. If I remember correctly, it took me less than 30 minutes. I don’t use it for anything else other than pullups and chin-ups, but I’m sure it’ll be good for pushups and sit-ups. It has handled my weight (145 lbs) well and has not started to bend or sag.” –Himeko, amazon.com
It’s you’re looking for a pullup bar that’s super basic (in a good way!), this one is for you. It fits right in your doorway without leaving any marks or scratches, and the simple-yet-trustworthy design allows for you to take it on and off as you please without worrying about falling during your workout.
Reviewer Rave:“I’ve used this for a month now a few times each week and it holds super firmly. Put it in a standard door frame and it’s definitely in there. Doesn’t damage the frame from what I can tell but I’m not putting it in and taking it out, it just stays up there.” –Sonja, amazon.com
This tower station is a favorite of expert-trainers and workout enthusiasts alike. “I like it ’cause it was super easy to put together and it’s extremely sturdy,” Gargano says. It holds up to 330 pounds, and with additional assets like a dip bar, back pad, and varying grip angles, you’re definitely getting the most bang for your buck.
Reviewer Rave: “Love it! Doesn’t take up a lot of room. Way better than my door hanging bar. I am always afraid I would yank out the door frame doing pullups–now I don’t have to worry about that. Plus, there are other exercises I do in it!” –Lorna, amazon.com
Want to add a bar to your hallway sitch? Great. This super sturdy has an adjustable length, requires no screws, and it supports around 240 pounds of weight. A bonus? It comes with a bag of extra accessories like rope, gloves, handles, and more.
Reviewer Rave:“Yeah, I don’t write reviews but…this thing is pretty much perfect. Some reviewers mentioned that it slips but the manufacturers added locks now so it doesn’t. The hangers bolt into a doorway and the bar easily twists into them. It’s solid as hell and no way this is going anywhere. The new locks keep it firm with no slipping at all. The entire family is doing pullups now. Just buy it.” –Maggie, amazon.com
ICYMI, Gargano is a major fan of this wall-mounted pullup bar. “You don’t need to drill any holes in the wall to mount it, it has two heights so you can make sure you can full hang, and it’s not made out of that foamy material which sometimes can feel annoying on your hands,” she explains. So yeah, get this scratch-free, weight-bearing pullup bar on your hands for a great upper body workout.
Reviewer Rave: “I’ve been looking for a pullup bar for a while (most bars have been out of stock or the price has tripled) and found this. Assembly was quick and it’s easy to put up in my doorways. I like that the top bar is higher than other pullup bars so my tall sons can do pullups without scrunching up their legs. This was a little more than I was planning to pay but it’s well worth it–its sturdy and well-made. Would buy again.” –Happy1, amazon.com
If you’re looking for a pullup bar that can bear lots of weight and take your rep counts without moving around, this hardcore doorway trainer is perf for you. It can hold up to 440 pounds and it’s suitable for tall and short people alike. Plus, it comes totally assembly-free, and you don’t need any screws to secure it in your doorway.
Reviewer Rave:“Simple install and works as advertised. My kids and I use this often and so does my husband’s forehead. He’s 6’4″ and is often reminded of its presence at night. So, not only are everyone’s arms getting a great workout, but our diaphragms are as well from all the laughter after we hear the inevitable ‘bang’ and string of angry phrases boom from my husband’s mouth. In spite of this, we (husband included) love this thing.” –Jessica, amazon.com
Know that you’ll be making pullups a regular part of your routine? Then this wall-mounted bar will be ideal for your workout sitch. It’s strong enough that you can attach weights and accessories when you want. And yep, you can work on your form via varying grips, too.
Reviewer Rave:“This one has several different angles to help work different parts of your back, as well as two points to hang other items. I love the pullup bar and it is solidly built. I added some TRX bands on one hook and a punching back on the other. I am getting a small workout area in my garage and it is perfect what I need.” –Alex, amazon.com
It’s totally understandable if you’d rather attach your pullup bar into your ceiling than potentially leave marks in another area of your house. Plus, you get total range of motion with this ceiling-hanging option, as well as four different grip positions for all the upper body pullup training you need.
Reviewer Rave: “Honestly, it is as sturdy as you could ever hope to get. It is very reassuring to grab the grips and feel how solid the bar is. No power is lost on wobbles, bends, shakes, etc. Far better than a cheap tower or a door frame mounted bar where half your mental and physical energy may be spent trying to prevent equipment failure.” –B. Young, amazon.com
When it comes to wall-mounted pullup stations, this one is pretty much the most versatile out there. With a bunch of different padded grip points, suspension anchors, and the ability to bear over 440 pounds of weight, you know you’re getting a deal out of this at-home pullup option.
Reviewer Rave: “So I bought this to try and better my activity for morning workouts. Most of my workouts don’t require lifting but I have a new program that requires pull-ups and upon installing this I knew I was going to have to get new anchors. I bought some from my local department store. They went in fine and it is definitely sturdy.” –fkoolkat, amazon.com
Sometimes it’s not a wall, doorframe, ceiling, or tower pullup bar option that you need, but rather, one that is secured with a beam or joist. This one not only has a 500-pound weight limit, but also five different grip positions, padded steel tubes, and super easy installation. Enjoy!
Reviewer Rave:“I bought this beam-mounted bar for doing pull-ups. I had my sons put it together and attach it to the steel beam in my basement. It is superbly well-made, rock solid! I have no fears using it. Great product! The open part of the bar is great for looping assist bands as well.” –Amazon Customer, amazon.com