The humble pull up is one of the most effective ways of building upper body strength.
Pull ups work your biceps, triceps, forearms, wrists, grip strength, lats, shoulders, as well as your core. Another great thing is it’s super time efficient - do just 5 or 10 pull ups a day on your own home - maybe that’s one minute of your time - and you’ll quickly start noticing the results. It’s also a very space efficient piece of kit, and many options are removable and easily stored too.
Broadly speaking, there are three different types to consider:
Doorway pull up bars:
Many doorway pull up bars can be temporarily fitted - with no fixings - to a regular door frame within seconds, then easily stored away when not being used. These are the least sturdy but certainly sufficient for home use week in week out.
Wall and ceiling mounted pull up bars:
These options require correct installation to ensure they are properly secure, but once in place they will take much greater weights and are more robust than temporary options. Not only this, they can be mounted both indoors and outdoors so they’re versatile too.
Free Standing pull up towers:
Freestanding towers are certainly a more costly option as well as more space hungry, however they offer a wider range of exercises beyond the pull up, and you don’t need to risk damaging ceilings, walls or door frames if you end up using very frequently.
UMI. Essentials Door Pull-up and Chin-up Bar Upper Body Workout Bar
This removable option simply places in the gap of a doorframe - you won’t need any kind of fixing at all. Place in the desired location, then unfasten the clips at each end and pull out the bar until it is tightly and securely in place. Once you’ve done your workout, simply then pop the bar back in and it’ll be ready to store compactly away. Also, given it’s not reliant on the top horizontal of a door, you can secure it in the middle or near the ground making it very versatile for other exercises (sit ups, press ups etc). It measures from 72 to 92cm and can withstand weights up to 75kg depending on how far it has been extended.
Opti Pull Up Bar
This very affordable pull up bar from Opti proves you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to nail the basics. Screw into your doorway and begin your muscle and strength building - particularly for abs and arms. It can fit in spaces up to 95cm and be removed once completed. The beauty of this bar is the versatility. Depending on where you place it, the exercise options are endless, from sit ups, to chin ups. Can hold up to 95kg.
adidas Door Gym
This is a door mounted pull up bar which used the wizardry of physics, so there’s no screwing or any fixings required. It simply hangs from the top of the door frame and safely sits there. If you end up using it super regularly, it’s likely some small marks would start appearing where it makes contact with the frame and wall, however they are on the small side. It has both wide armed options and narrow options to work different muscle groups. You can use it in a door way or place on the floor for a greater range of movement and to work even more of your biceps, shoulder, upper body, lower back and core. The maximum weight is 110kg.
Mirafit M1 3 Position Ceiling Pull Up Bar
If you have your own space to indulge in permanently fixing your pull up bar, a ceiling mounted option handily means you can place it anywhere you like in the room. Care will need to be taken when installing to ensure you screw into your joists, as needless to say plasterboard isn’t strong enough. It comes with the fixings required, but you may need others depending on what you’re screwing into. Mirafit produce quality gear and this is certainly no exception.
Rotating Pull Up Handles
A favourite of climbers, these rotating handles are unique in that it has rotates as you grip it therefore intensifying and working your fingers and arms that bit extra. It is designed to be hung from above, suspended, so you’ll need a bar or something solid to tie it onto like the bars above. The handles are kitted out with a foam grip for additional comfort. The maximum weight is 300kg.
Wall-Mounted Pull Up Bar
This heavy duty wall mounted pull up bar would work happily both indoors and outdoors. With 3-grip positions and a carrying capacity of 350kg, it is the essence of a pull up bar. As with the ceiling mounted option, you’ll need to take great care when installing, however it’s likely to be somewhat easier given walls are typically a more solid weight bearing construction than ceilings.
Pro Fitness Door Trainer
A very affordable no nonsense removable pull up bar, if budget is a concern and you’re looking for a functional product, this is a great option. It is 108cm wide, so fits most standard size doors frames, and has three different pull up positions as per other offerings with this design.
Opti Multi Pull Up Bar
Another great option for the temporary pullup bar, which mounts onto a door frame. The handlegrips are covered in a soft-grip foam adding some comfort. You will note this particular option has the actual pull up bar handles positioned a good number of inches lower than the top of the top of the door, so consider this when choosing the model, such as the ceiling height above the top of the door (to allow room for your head at the top of the pull up) and your height.
Gym climbing ladder
A super classic design harking from your old school gymnasium, it’s time to refresh your outlook on this versatile piece of kit. Excellent for pull ups, this a very effective tool for building strength and flexibility in the entire body as well as stretching.
HOMCOM Steel Strength Training Power Tower Black/Red
This is a very versatile piece of kit. As well as being able to do wide and narrow arm pull ups, you can target core workouts such as hanging leg raises and tricep dips as well as a world of possibilities with the pull-out bench. It's a very solidly built product that is stable and at a fair price than many comparable options.