Pull up bars are equipment people use to strengthen their back muscles and upper body. Strength training provides your body with numerous health benefits.
Find out below the best pull up bars to get, so you can get a quality workout from your home or on the road and build a toned, fit body.
1. Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Doorway Bar
For durability, portability, and flexibility, this is the bar to get. It hangs up on your walls without damaging them and can hold up to 300 pounds. Flip it over to perform push-ups, situps, and dips for a full-body workout.
With its ergonomic handles, you have the option for wide, close, and hammer grip pull-ups targeting every lagging muscle in your back and biceps.
This pull up bar is sure to last you a long time, keep your door frame damage free, and give you a quality full-body workout which is why we have it ranked on the top of our list.
2. Sunny Health and Fitness Doorway Chin Up
Equipped with a sturdy chrome steel bar that supports tough workouts.
It’s an adjustable length allowing you to take it with you anywhere. It comes with comfort grips to keep you free of calluses.
If you want to keep your hands healthy and get a workout in on the road, this is the pull-up bar for you.
3. Garren Fitness Maximiza Pull Up Bar
Built with heavy-duty chrome steel keeping you safe for your workouts.
Its door bar is versatile making it capable of multiple movements including pull-ups, chin-ups, hanging leg raises, push-ups, dips, situps, and crunches.
Get this pull up bar for a safe full-body workout.
4. Stamina Doorway Trainer Plus
Built with multiple five grip positions, so you can build and tone upper body muscles.
It has thick padding and non-slip comfort grips, so you can comfortably grip the bar.
5. ProsourceFit Multi-Grip Chin-Up/Pull-Up Bar
Fits most doorways and has multiple grips letting you workout from different angles.
It slips on and off the doorway easily and is easy to store.
6. ProsourceFit Multi-Grip Lite Pull Up Bar – Basic
Targets multiple upper body and core muscles.
With the comfortable grip and multi-function, you’ll be able to work out your back, chest, arms, and abs anywhere you want.
7. IRON AGE Pull Up Bar
Angled to protect your wrist and target your lats giving you a wide variety of grip width to hit different muscles.
To prevent wrist pain and focus on your lat muscles, this angled bar is ideal.
8. AmazeFan Pull Up Bar
Comes with added ergonomic grips ideal for working your lats.
No screws or assembly is needed making it ready for immediate use. It’s a multiple foldable design making it a breeze for storage.
9. AbleFitness Doorway Chin-up Bar
Lets you work out your shoulders, back, arm, abs, and much more with its multiple grip positions.
It’s constructed with heavy-gauge steel and can withstand up to 300 pounds. It also includes a pair of abs straps for a killer core workout.
10. Ultimate Body Press XL Doorway Pull Up Bar
Gets you out of the doorway with it’s elevated bar set 10 inches from the wall to build strength across your entire upper body.
It has an anchor for accessories including ab straps and gymnastic rings for a total body workout.
How We Ranked
The first thing we looked at when ranking the best pull up bars is how versatile they are. You want a pull-up bar that’s capable of targeting a variety of muscles in your upper body. AmazeFan came up short on the list since it doesn’t allow you to work much more than your lats. The way it’s built makes it uncomfortable for other movements like pushups. Whereas, ProsourceFit Multi-Grip was ranked in the middle since it’s multi-function grip targets multiple upper body and core muscles. Stamina Doorway Trainer Plus is also ranked in the top five because it has multiple five grip positions to target a diversity of muscles.
After that, we looked at how portable each pull up bar is. Having good portability allows you to get a workout in from anywhere which is why Sunny Health and Fitness earned a spot in the top two. It’s an adjustable length bar making it easy to store and carry with you anywhere. AbleFitness is low on the list because it’s heavy-gauge steel dense makeup makes it hard to travel with.
How durable each pull-up bar is also important. Without a durable pull up bar, it won’t last and you risk injuring yourself. Garren Fitness Maximiza is ranked high because it’s built with heavy-duty chrome steel to keep you safe and last a lifetime. Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym is ranked number one for a multitude of reasons, one of them being it can hold up to 300 pounds making it very durable.
Pull up bars build muscle in your entire upper body. Pull-ups activate muscles in both your back and shoulders. According to the Strength & Conditioning Journal, the pull up is a multi-joint movement that increases your shoulder girdle stability, upper body strength, and relative strength (1).
Pull-ups mainly target your back but because of the stabilization required from your shoulders, they activate your shoulders as well. In this study, 13 males and 13 females were measured for muscle activation during an inverted row. The study proved that shoulders are activated during a pull movement (2).
Pull up bars give you a bigger, stronger back. During a pull-up, you lift your entire body weight up using your back muscles. A 2014 study performed on 14 males measured muscle activity during a pulling motion and found that pull-ups and chin-ups created the highest spinal load and had the most muscle activation compared to other pulling movements (3).
Pull up bars make you stronger on other exercises. Pull-ups work your back muscles the most which are crucial muscles for other exercises.
Stronger lats and traps carry over to better squats and deadlifts. A 2015 study by the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy showed deadlifts resulted in back muscle strength. Patients with low back pain were given exercise routines to compare the effects of a low-load motor and a high-load exercise routine. The patients improved their lower back pain and back muscle strength from performing deadlifts (4).
Pull up bars target your lats more than other exercises. Few movements compete with pull-ups to build lat strength.
In a 2014 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers concluded that the lats were activated the most during the movement. 21 men and 4 women were tested for muscle activation during a pull-up, chin up and perfect pull up using electromyographic activation patterns (EMG). The average EMG readings between the three movements showed that the lats were activated the most (5).
Pull up bars make you stronger. Strength is important for bone health, reducing fat, and preventing type 2 diabetes. This study proves that inactive adults lose an average of 3-8% of muscle mass per decade (6).
Strength training also improves your mental health. When you strength train, you release neurotransmitters and other chemicals in your body that reduce anxiety and depression. In one study, 120 people with anxiety and depression were measured after 20 strength and endurance sessions. The participants’ anxiety reduced by 27% and depression reduced by 37% (7).
Since pull-ups require you to lift your entire body weight from a hanging position, it builds great strength.
Pull up bars increase your grip strength. Grip strength may be directly proportional to your total strength. This study showed grip strength to correlate to greater overall strength. In a 2010 Dutch study, 384 children, adolescents, and young adults between the age of 8-20 showed that those with higher grip strength had a higher total body strength (8).
Having good grip strength will also play over to all the other exercises you do because you’ll need strong hands to grab the equipment and support the weight.
Pull up bars are a multi-joint exercise and target large muscles. Compound movements burn more calories and require more power output than isolation movements. That’s because multi-joint movements work larger muscles which require more energy output than smaller muscles. A study dividing 36 individuals into single-joint and multi-joint groups reported that those in the multi-joint group were more efficient in increasing muscle strength than those in the single-joint movement group (9).
Because of the detachability of most pull up bars, they allow you to do push-ups too which is a compound movement that targets your chest, shoulders, and triceps.
Pull up bars are versatile and allow you to target muscles from different angles. You can do this by changing the grip or width of the bar, or you can detach it from the wall and target your chest, triceps, and shoulders. Many of the pull-up bars mentioned above allow you to do pushups and dips which target the muscles in your chest, shoulders, and triceps (10).
Pull up bars make men more attractive. Pull-ups make your lats bigger which play an important role in creating the V-shape. The V-shape is a broad upper body with a narrower waist which has shown to make men more physically attractive. A 2014 study was done to determine why a low waist-to-chest ratio was attractive in males. 151 women were asked to rate one of fifteen avatars of men. The study concluded that women prefer men with a low waist-to-chest ratio because it makes them perceived as more physically dominant, physically fit, and better able to protect loved ones (11).
Pull up bars prevent injuries. Pull-ups are a form of resistance training, and engaging in resistance training decreases your chance of musculoskeletal injuries. Research shows that resistance training increases strength in muscles, tendons, and bones (12).
Pull up bars improve your posture. Exercise has been shown to correct posture. Between September 2013 and November 2013 a study was performed on 88 students measuring pain level for posture correction. All 88 members were prescribed a 20-minute exercise program 3 days a week for 8 weeks. Overall pain levels were reduced in the participants after the program with a significant decrease in pain in their shoulders, middle back, and lower back (13).
Pull up bars reduce back pain. Physical activity is good for low back pain. In the Western countries, back pain is a major issue affecting 60%-80% of adults. Research supports exercise programs including muscular strength is beneficial for lower back pain. According to studies, increasing muscular strength can help with supporting the lumbar spine (14).
Pull up bars increase your testosterone. Many studies prove that resistance training substantially increases your testosterone levels. The Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State University conducted an experiment measuring testosterone levels and GH (growth hormone) on 23-year-olds and 63-year-olds after a 12-week training program. The data indicated that strength training induces testosterone and GH release regardless of age (15).
Pull-ups work some of the largest muscles in your upper body spiking your testosterone levels.
Pull up bars may increase your explosiveness. To do pull-ups you have to pull up your entire body weight which requires an explosive pull.
The explosive pull in pull-ups may target your fast-twitch muscle fibers (type II fibers). Fast-twitch muscle fibers are responsible for how explosive you are. Research supports high-velocity isokinetic contractions like bench press, throws, and sprints increase your type II fibers (16).
Pull up bars increase your relative strength. Relative strength is how strong you are for your size. The better you are at pull-ups, the more relative strength you build since pull-ups require just the use of your body weight.
The more relative strength you have, the more explosive and athletic you’ll be. An NCCA study investigated Division II collegiate women soccer players. Their squats were analyzed and used to determine their relative strength by their squat one-rep max divided by their body mass. Their relative lower-body strength showed significant increases in their overall athleticism (17).
Pull up bars allow you to workout from anywhere. Since most pull up bars are detachable, they can be carried with you anywhere.
So whether you want to work out from home or whenever you travel, you’ll be able to bring the pull-up bar with you. This is a good way to stay fit and healthy.
Pull up bars are cheap compared to other fitness equipment. Most fitness equipment cost a lot of money. A squat rack, dumbbells, bench, and any other equipment you may need to work your entire body can end up costing you thousands of dollars.
With pull up bars, you only need one piece of equipment for a good rate to get a quality full-body workout in.
Pull up bars may injure you if you’re overweight. If you weigh too much, some pull bars may not be able to support your weight. This can cause you to fall and severely hurt yourself.
If you’re overweight, make sure you get on a proper weight loss program first before you attempt pull-ups.
Pull up bars may cause calluses. Since pull-ups require a lot of grip strength, it may cause calluses or rips in your hands.
You also have to be capable of pulling up your entire body weight which will add more stress to your hands.
Pull up bars can hurt your shoulders. Pull-ups are taxing on your shoulders and require a lot of shoulder mobility. A study showed that overhead activities including pull-ups increases your risk for shoulder impingement (18).
Without good shoulder mobility, you can hurt your shoulders. The shoulders are one of the most mobile joints in the body. Anecdotal evidence is proving that the more mobile a joint is the more prone it is to injury (19).
Avoid swinging or hanging too long to avoid shoulder injury.
Pull up bars could result in overtraining. Working out the same muscle group with too much volume without any rest can cause you to injure yourself. You can either injure the muscle you’re working or have side effects that result from overtraining.
According to a study by European College of Sports Medicine and the American College of Sports Medicine, successful training must avoid the combination of excessive overload and inadequate recovery (20).
Pull up bars might rupture your biceps tendon. Pull-ups work your biceps muscles as a secondary muscle so it could result in a rupture of the biceps tendon. Pull-ups are an eccentric movement and NCBI states that eccentric loading movement may break tendons (21).
Pull up bars might break and cause severe injury. Since you’re relying on a door frame and a bar to support your entire weight, you may fall and injure yourself if you’re not careful.
Make sure you have a robust door frame and a strong pull-up bar. If you’re overweight, it may be best to get to a healthy weight range before attempting to use your pull up bar.
Pull up bars can create muscular imbalances. It’s important to not only work your back muscles when using pull up bars. This can create some muscular imbalances in your body.
Balance out how often you work your pull muscles (back and biceps) with push muscles (chest, shoulders, triceps). The good news is the pull up bars listed above are detachable so allow you to do push-ups.
Pull up bars can be used every day. Health authorities recommend you do resistance training only 2-3 days per week, however, some evidence is showing no negative strength effects on body composition and strength when resistance training is performed on consecutive days. A 2018 study separated 30 young, healthy and recreationally males into 3 consecutive and 3 nonconsecutive days of lifting for 12 weeks. It was concluded that both consecutive and nonconsecutive days of lifting had similar improvements in strength and body composition (22).
Although, you still want to manage the workload you do. If not, you risk overtraining which causes fatigue, depression, and insomnia (23).
For safety precautions, if you’re going to do pull-ups every day, make sure the volume is low or take a few days off between doing them again.
What are pull up bars? A piece of equipment used to do pull-ups. They strengthen your back muscles and can be used to strengthen your entire upper body workout.
What pull up bars are best for an apartment? The one that fits on most doors and doesn’t cause any damage to walls.
What are the best wall mounted pull up bars? Pull up bars that fit comfortably in most places and don’t slip off.
What are the best doorway pull up bars? Ones that fit in almost all doorways.
What are the best multipurpose exercises for pull up bars? Pull-ups, chin-ups, and pushups. These exercises work your entire body and are multi-joint movements.
What are the best pull up bars? It depends on what features you’re looking for. The Prosource Fit Multi-Grip is overall ranked the best because it’s sturdy, safe, and allows you to get a full-body workout in.
What are the best portable pull up bars? The one with the best storage which is the AmazeFan. It’s foldable, so it’s easy to pack.
What pull up bars are best for a narrow door frame? The smallest or most adjustable pull up bar. The Sunny Health and Fitness pull up bar is adjustable and will fit easily in a narrow door frame.
What are some exercises for pull up bars? You can do pull-ups and chin-ups using a pull-up bar. Many pull up bars also allow you to do push-ups and situps as well since they detach off door frames.
What are some workouts for pull up bars? Pull up bars are versatile when it comes to getting in an upper-body workout. You can do push-ups, pull-ups, and chin-ups with many pull up bars.
What are the best pull up bars on Amazon? Many of the pull-up bars listed above include some of the top pull up bars from Amazon.
What’s a good door for pull up bars? A door that’s durable, a proper length, and isn’t damaged.
How do you prevent doorway damage from pull up bars? You’ll want a pull-up bar with a lot of padding. The Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym bar prevents any door frame damage.
What are some exercises to help with using pull up bars? The pull up can be a hard movement to get down at first. Inverted rows, cable rows, and lat pulldowns can help you get better at pullups.
What are the effects of pull up bars? Pull up bars allow you to do pull-ups which lead to a broader back and a stronger and more toned upper body.
Are there any benefits of pull up bars for females? Yes, pull up bars increase a woman’s upper body strength and tone their body.
Do pull up bars benefit abs? Yes, using pull up bars require you to engage your core and strengthen your abdominal muscles.
What’s the best grip for pull up bars? It depends on what muscles you’re trying to target the most. To target your lat muscles, you’ll want to use a wider grip. To target your inner back muscles and biceps more, you’ll use a narrower grip.
What are some grip variations for pull up bars? You can use a variety of grips. It depends on what your goal is. If you want to target your lats more, use a wider pronated/overhand grip (palms down). If you want to target your biceps and your inner back muscles more, you’ll use a supinated/underhand grip (palms facing up).
What are the best pull up bands for pull up bars? The best resistance bands for pull up bars are ones that come in multiple sizes and tensions and are durable.
What are some progressions before using pull up bars? Doing inverted rows before using pull up bars is a good exercise to prep for using pull up bars.
Can beginners use pull up bars? Yes. If you can’t do a pull-up, there are many progressions you can do to work your way up to doing pull-ups.
Can you use pull up bars every day? Yes, as long as you keep the volume low. If the volume is too high, you risk overtraining.
What are the different pull up bars sizes? Pull up bars come in all shapes and sizes. To determine which pull up bar is right for you, take a look at our list for a ranking of the top ten pull up bars.
What muscles do pull up bars target? Pull-ups target many muscles in your upper body including your lats and biceps. Many pull up bars can also be used to do push-ups that target your chest, shoulders, and triceps.
What are the exercise benefits of pull up bars? They build strength and make your upper body and back stronger.
Can pull up bars be used at home? Yes, they’re one of the best home equipment. With the pull-up bars listed above, you can easily get a pull-up workout done from home.
Are pull up bars bad for your shoulders? As long as you don’t have any prior shoulder injuries, you should be fine. Although, they can place a lot of stress on your shoulders and require good shoulder mobility.
Don’t hang on pull up bars for too long and prevent yourself from swinging and kipping.
Do pull up bars work your biceps? Yes, as a secondary muscle. To target your biceps more, do chin-ups.
How high do you pull yourself up on pull up bars? For a full rep to count, you need to pull yourself up to where your chin meets the bar.
How wide should your grip be on pull up bars? The width of your grip will depend on what muscles you’re trying to target. For a regular pull up, you’ll want to be about shoulder-width apart.
Do pull up bars work? They work at making you build more strength and muscle.
Do door pull up bars damage? It depends on what material they’re made out of. Chrome steel ones like Garren Fitness Maximiza are hard to damage.
How much weight can pull up bars hold? That depends on the pull-up bar since they’re all capable of withstanding different weights, but many can hold up to 300 pounds.
Can pull up bars hurt your shoulders? Yes. If you have a prior shoulder injury, it’s best to avoid pull up bars. Pull-ups require good shoulder mobility.
Are pull up bars bad for your spine? There is no evidence suggesting this. In fact, one study suggested pull-ups may rehabilitate lumbar injuries (24).
Do pull up bars hurt your hands? Pull up bars may cause calluses to form on your hands that could potentially rip. It’s best to wear gloves or avoid using them when calluses start to tear.
What muscles do pull up bars work the most? It depends on what movement you’re doing, but typically pull up bars are meant for pull-ups the most which target your lats the most.
How long do pull up bars last? It depends on the quality of material they’re made out of, but they should last at least a few years.
Are pull up bars strong enough for heavier people? That will depend on how much the individual weighs and the amount of weight the pull-up bar can withstand. Most pull up bars support 200-300 pounds.
Will pull up bars break my door frame? If you’re not too heavy, and the pull-up bar is a quality bar, your door frame should be fine.
What level of fitness should I be at to use pull up bars? Pull up bars can be used at all levels of fitness. If you’re a beginner, you may struggle with a traditional pull-up, but there are progressions you can do.
What are some exercises to progress to pull up bars? Doing inverted rows and machine back exercises will help you be able to do pull-ups on your pull up bar.
Do pull up bars make me stronger? Yes, you’ll build strength and muscle.
Will pull up bars rehabilitate my injury? It’s best to avoid using pull up bars if you’re injured.
Can I supplement pull up bars with other exercise equipment? Absolutely, as long as you avoid overtraining.
What material are pull up bars made from? It depends on the pull-up bar, but many are made from chrome or steel.
Do pull up bars break easily? Some will, depending on the quality of the bar, but none of the ones we have ranked will.
Can you work other muscles on pull up bars beside your back? Yes, many pull up bars are detachable and have multi-purpose grips that allow you to work your entire upper body.
Pull up bars strengthen your back and upper body which has abundant benefits for your body.
Make sure you have no prior shoulder injuries or are careful with your shoulders when using pull up bars.
For Fitbug’s #1 recommended pull up bars, click here.