Do you have a goal to do more pull ups? Then you need easy access to a pull up bar. The best pull up bars are ones you can mount on the wall or ceiling or in your doorway.
Now, every time you walk past that pull up bar there will be no excuse to not do several pull ups. Before you know it, you’ll build yourself up and be able to do 20 pull ups.
I’ve written several articles about pull ups that you may also find interesting:
Critical Pull Up Bar Considerations
Price – The pull up bars included in this review are not very expensive. You can get a great wall or ceiling mounted pull up bar for $75 – $150. Your best doorway pull up bars will run you between $50 – $80.
Weight – In general, these pull up bars have a maximum weight of 220 pounds or more. If you like to do weighted pull ups, be sure to take the amount of extra weight into consideration.
Stability – The wall and ceiling mounted pull up bars are more stable than the doorway models.
Durability – All of these pull up bars are made out of steel and are very durable. User complaints about durability usually involve the foam padding and nuts and bolts.
Space Requirements – A wall mounted pull up bar may stick out almost 3 feet from the wall. All doorway pull up bars require space above the door and each side. Measure your doors carefully and compare your measurements to the manufacturer’s specifications. Also remember that a doorway pull up bar must be taken down it you want to close the door. You’ll need a place to store the unit when it’s not being used.
Height Requirements – Make sure you have enough head clearance to do complete pull ups.
Design – You can do muscle ups and gymnastic movements on wall and ceiling mounted pull up bars if you have enough space around the bar. You should not do movements such as kipping pull ups on doorway pull up bars. In general, you can place doorway pull up bars on the floor to do push-ups, triceps dips, and sit ups.
Doorway pull up bar damage – you’re using the doorway and frame in ways that were never intended. Expect some damage.
Assembly – All of the pull up bars reviewed here require assembly. The mounting brackets for the wall and ceiling mounted units tend to be heavy. Therefore, you probably will need another person to help you.
Buying Online – Be sure to check the seller’s return policy before you buy. You can almost always return a pull up bar within a couple of weeks after purchasing. I suggest you buy your top choice and use at home. If it’s not right for you, then return it according to the return policy. Also, be sure to assemble your new pull up bar soon after it arrives. You won’t know if parts are missing or bent until you try to assemble it.
A Brief History of Pull Ups
I’ve been doing some research to learn about the history of pull ups. So far, I have not found much information.
However, I came across FM 21-20 War Department Field Manual from January 1946. This document discusses the Army’s procedures for the physical training of soldiers.
Here is their explanation about how to do pull ups:
This event requires a horizontal bar. This may be made of a pipe or gymnasium horizontal bar, or other rigid horizontal support which is not over 1½ inches in diameter. The bar should be high enough to permit the performer to hang at full length without touching the ground. A height of 7 feet, 9 inches to 8 feet is recommended.
Starting Position. Hanging at full length from the bar with arms straight. The forward grasp is used with the palms turned away from the face.
Movement. Pull up until the chin is above the level of the bar. Then lower the body until elbows are completely straight. Continue for as many repetitions as possible.
Instructions. The men should be told that it is permissible to raise the legs and flex the hips when pulling up but not to kick or execute a jerking motion with trunk or legs. The body must be kept from swinging. The chin must be raised above the bar. The arms must be completely straight at the bottom of the movement.
Note the Army allowed some movement of the legs and hips, but these certainly were not kipping pull ups.
12 Best Pull Up Bars of 2017
I would classify pull up bars into 4 categories:
- wall or ceiling mounted
- door frame
- free standing.
I think the mounted and free standing categories are pretty clear. However, the categories of “doorway” and “door frame” can be confusing.
I define a doorway pull up bar as one that is hung on the door frame without requiring any screws. The pull up bar has a connecting bar which rests on the top molding of the door frame and a long bar in front that pushed on the sides of the door.
I define a door frame pull up bar as a telescoping bar that is inserted into brackets that are attached to the inside of the door frame.
This review article looks at wall or ceiling mounted pull bars and doorway pull up bars.
Wall Mounted Pull Up Bars
Stud Bar Ceiling or Wall Mountable
The Stud Bar is made from welded 14 gauge steel. It features triangular supports for added strength. The bar itself can support up to 600 pounds.
The Stud Bar is 48 inches wide so it will line up with your existing wall or ceiling studs. The pull up bar is 1 ¼” in diameter which should be comfortable for most users.
The big question is which size Stud Bar should you get? It comes in 3 sizes:
- small for 8-ft ceilings
- standard for 9-ft ceilings
- large for 10-ft ceilings
Which size is best for you? Keep in mind that for most people you want your pull up bar to be between 7 ½ and 8 feet off the floor.
For example, measure up 8 feet from the floor. Now, grab your measuring tape and let it hang from the ceiling. How many inches are there from the ceiling to your 8 foot mark?
The small Stud Bar let’s you position the pull up bar either 10” or 14” from the ceiling.
The Standard Stud Bar puts the pull up bar either 14” or 22” from the ceiling.
The Large Stud Bar puts the pull up bar either 31” or 39” from the ceiling.
If you decide to mount your Stud Bar on a wall, then the bar can be between 10” to 39” from the wall depending on which size you have.
The Stud Bar can also be mounted on an angled ceiling.
Unlike many other pull up bars, you can do muscle ups with the Stud Bar. Just make sure there is plenty of room above the bar for your head!
GRONK Fitness Wall Mounted Pull Up Bar
This GRONK Fitness wall mounted pull up bar features a grid so you can grab the bar in many different ways.
You can do wide grip or narrow grip pull ups. You can also grab the bar using a pronated, neutral, or supinated grip.
The assembled unit is 49” long x 24” deep x 20” high. From the wall to the inner bar is 14” and 22” to the outer bar.
The grip tubing is 1 ¼” in diameter which is pretty standard for pull up bars.
The holes in the wall brackets are 48” apart so it will fit on any wall with standard stud spacing.
The Gronk pull up bar can handle up to 700 pounds when properly installed.
The Gronk is very solid, so you can hang a punching bag from it. You can also use it with accessories such as gym rings, ab straps, and elastic bands.
CFF Wall/Ceiling Mounted Pull Up Bar
The CFF Pull Up Bar can be mounted on a wall or ceiling.
This is a large and heavy unit. The pull up bar itself is 46 inches long. The mounting brackets are designed so the screw holes are 48” apart, perfect for homes and garages with standard wall studs. The mounting brackets are 33” long with the 4 mounting holes spaced 9 1/2” apart.
The pull up bar is 30 inches away from the wall. The bar has a diameter of 1 ¼” which most people find comfortable.
The CFF Pull Up Bar is good for users weighing up to 300 pounds. If you’re light enough, you can also hand your punching bag on the bar without having to remove it to do pull ups.
The CFF Pull Up Bar can be used for standard and kipping pull ups as well as muscle ups.
Ultimate Body Press Wall or 9ft Ceiling Mount Pull Up Bar
The Ultimate Body Press pull up bar can be wall or ceiling mounted.
When mounted on your ceiling it can support users weighing up to 450 pounds. On the wall it’s good up to 350 pounds.
The pull up bar ends up being 22 inches from the wall or ceiling. That means, for muscle ups you’ll want to mount the bar on your wall.
Currently, the Ultimate Body Press pull up bar comes with white supports and a black bar. (You may have seen pictures of the previous version of this pull up bar which was all black.)
The bar itself is 1 ¼” in diameter and features a textured surface.
The mounting holes are spaced 48” apart so this bar should fit most wall and ceiling studs.
Titan Fitness Wall Mounted Pull Up Bar
The Titan Fitness pull up bar is a great addition for your home gym. This bar is solid and can handle kipping pull ups and muscle ups.
You can mount the Titan pull up bar on your wall or ceiling. When properly installed the bar can support up to 500 pounds.
This pull up bar does not come with wall mounting hardware. There are many possible ways to mount your pull up bar. If you have questions about the best way it would be best to hire a handyman or consult with a knowledgeable professional.
The mounting brackets are 31” high and 32” deep. This places the center of the pull up bar 30 ½” away from your wall or ceiling.
The pull up bar is a standard 1 ¼” diameter and is 53” long.
This leads to one of the unique features of this pull up bar. Most wall mounted pull up bars are manufactured with a standard distance between the mounting holes of 48 inches. That is perfect for homes with studs spaced 16 or 24 inches apart.
However, what about non-standard construction or other spacing problems? The Titan Fitness pull up bar solves this problem in a unique way.
You can mount the brackets on your studs at any spacing up to 52”. You insert the pull bar into the holes in the brackets and secure it in place with a set screw.
One thing some users do is mount their pull up bar as far apart as possible. This allows them to hang TRX suspension straps or a punching bag on the bar and keep it there all of the time.
Ultimate Body Press Wall Mounted Doorway Pull Up Bar
You mount this unique pull up bar one of your interior doors.
The pull up bar is 36” long measuring from the midpoint of where each end of the bar is attached to the brackets. The mounting brackets are 4 ¾” long and 5 1/8” high. The mounting plates feature elongated holes that allow you to mount the bar over doors between 24 – 30 inches wide.
The textured steel pull up bar is 1 ¼” diameter which is the standard diameter for these products.
Unlike many other wall mounted pull up bars, this one is angled and features 3 grip positions.
The distance of the bar from the wall is only 4 inches. That is not enough space to do a pull up. You should use this bar when the door is open so there will be room for your legs and knees to move without kicking your wall.
When properly mounted this Ultimate Body Press pull up bar can accommodate users up to 350 pounds.
You can also use this pull up bar with gym rings, suspension straps, or abs straps.
You can always close the door without removing the bar because this pull up bar is mounted over the door.
Doorway Pull Up Bars
Pull Up Bar Core Unit by Gorilla Gym
The Gorilla Gym pull up bar features a unique vice grip that holds it firmly in place on your door frame.
This pull up bar is designed for door frames from 24 – 36 inches wide.
The unit is 38 inches wide which means you’ll need a few inches of clearance on both sides of your door.
You need to measure your doorway carefully to make sure the doorway pull up bar you like will fit. Look at the following image which shows how to measure your door and the acceptable ranges. [CLICK on the image to view it at a larger size.]
As the manufacturer writes, “It easily installs on standard door frames 25″- 36″ in less than 30 seconds.”
Let’s be clear about something that has confused some folks in the past. They are not claiming that your initial assembly of the pull up bar will only take 30 seconds. No! Count on needing between 30 minutes to an hour for initial assembly.
However, once you’ve built it, then it will only take 30 seconds to set it on your door frame. This is good since you’ll need to take it down any time you want to close the door to that room.
This Gorilla Gym pull up bar is certified for users up to 300 pounds.
MORE – Gorilla Gym makes a number of accessories you can attach to the core unit. For example, there is a kids gym, kids indoor swing, an aerial yoga swing, and ab straps. Click here to visit the Gorilla Gym shop at Amazon to see all of the available attachments.
Ultimate Body Press XL Doorway Pull Up Bar
The Ultimate Body Press XL Doorway pull up bar solves an important problem since it has a design that sets it apart from other doorway pull up bars.
The elevated pull up bar is 1 inch above the door trim and therefore you’ll have fuller range of motion for your pull ups.
For most other doorway pull up bars the bar is below the top of the door.
The XL Doorway pull up bar supports users weighing up to 300 pounds.
This bar fits doors between 24 – 36 inches wide. The molding can be up to 3 ½”.
Besides pull ups you can use it with ab straps, suspension trainers, or gym rings.
Shamrock Triple Pullup, Dip and Suspension Door Gym
The Shamrock Triple is a doorway pull up bar that features a dip station. Also included is a bodyweight suspension trainer.
With Shamrock Triple you can do most popular bodyweight exercises such as pull ups, chin ups, dips, leg raises, knee raises, suspended pushups, and suspended flys. However, you should not do kipping pull ups on the Shamrock Triple.
You can use the Triple on doors that are from 26 – 34 inches wide. According to user reports, the Triple will fit on door trim up to 6 inches wide.
It is suitable for users up to 300 pounds.
The pull up bar is a standard 1 ¼” diameter bar.
You can adjust width of the dip bar with three settings from 15 to 26 inches.
The Shamrock Triple comes with two fixed length straps with loops on one end and handles on the other. They are good for TRX style exercises such as inverted rows and suspended pushups.
Black Mountain Products Heavy Duty Chin Up Bar and Resistance Bands
The BMP Heavy Duty Chin Up Bar comes with a set of 5 resistance bands of different weights.
The resistance bands are
- Yellow (2-4 pounds),
- Blue (4-6 pounds),
- Green (10-12 pounds),
- Black (15-20 pounds),
- Red (25-30) pounds.
For extra variety you can combine the resistance bands to have resistance levels up to 75 pounds.
The pull up bar fits doorways from 24 to 32 inches wide with trim up to 3 ½ inches wide.
The pull up bar features 12 grip positions such as wide grip, close grip, and neutral grip.
This pull up bar will accommodate users up to 300 pounds.
Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Doorway Pull Up Bar and Portable Gym System, Original
The Perfect Fitness pull up bar comes in 4 different models (dimensions for assembled pull up bars):
- Original – 15 x 38 x 14 inches; weight 6.2 pounds;
- Sport – 11 x 36.5 x 12 inches; weight 4.8 pounds;
- Pro – 15 x 38 x 14 inches; weight 6.2 pounds;
- Elite – 15 x 38 x 14 inches; weight 8 pounds.
The Original and Sport models fit door frames 27 – 35 inches wide. The Pro and Elite models fit door frames only up to 33 inches wide. All models fit door frames up to 6 inches deep.
The Multi-Gym Original gives you the ability to adjust the height of the connecting bar that sits on the door frame. Not many doorway pull up bars have this feature.
The pull up bar features padding along its entire length. You can use the bar for wide grip, close grip, and hammer grip pull ups.
The weight capacity for the Multi-Gym Elite is 300 pounds. For the other models it is 220 pounds, which is adequate for most users.
Stamina Doorway Trainer Plus
The Stamina Doorway Trainer allows you to use 5 hand grips on the pull up bar.
The assembled unit is 37 x 16 x 11 inches and supports users up to 250 pounds.
The question everyone has about these doorway pull up bars is if the unit will fit on their door. Here’s what Stamina Fitness says about this unit:
“It will only fit in a standard interior door 32″ wide and standard 2×4 wall construction – about 4 1/2″ thick not counting the trim.”
Also, the Doorway Trainer requires a sturdy door frame and trim between 2 ¾ ” – 3 ¼ “.
As they describe it, this doorway pull up bar is “one size fits most.”
I hope the information in this article helps you choose the right pull up bar for your home gym.