Freestanding pull up bars are perfect for athletes who want to get an upper body workout but don’t have the space for a full home gym.
Fortunately, many setups allow you to do more than just work out your back. Many portable pull up bars accommodate for dips and abdominal work too.
What To Look For In A Freestanding Pull Up Bar
Purchasing a freestanding pull-up bar is an investment. You want one that will support your fitness goals and fit in your space.
So, before we reveal our top freestanding pull-up bar picks, let’s review the types of freestanding pull-up bars and their top features. That way, you’ll know what to look for when you go to invest.
Types of Pull Up Bars
All of the pull-up bars in this review are freestanding. They don’t require a door frame or a full-blown weightlifting rig to use. Even within the freestanding pull-up bar category, though, there are variations. Below we review the different types and suggest where each will work best.
Foldable pull-up bars are ideal for small spaces or multi-use rooms because you can pack them away. Unfortunately, what you gain in convenience, you often lose in other areas.
Foldable models tend to be less sturdy. They also won’t include extras, like dip-bars or backrests.
Many freestanding pull-up bars are height-adjustable. Being able to adjust the height of the bar is fantastic if you’re training with a family or even a roommate.
Just because a pull-up bar says it’s adjustable, though, doesn’t mean it’s easy to adjust. If multiple people in your household want to use the same bar regularly, make sure you don’t need extra tools to adjust the height setting.
Outdoor VS Indoor Pull Up Bar Designs
Indoor pull-up bars that are freestanding are far more popular than outdoor models because you don’t need to worry about weather wrecking your equipment. However, outdoor models do exist. If you want a pull-up rig that lives outdoors, be sure to seek out weatherproof, non-corrosive material. Ideally, it’ll have a UV-resistant coating as well.
We don’t feature any fully outdoor models on this list, but we do offer a foldable option that you could set up outdoors. However, you shouldn’t store it outside if you want it to last.
Features To Consider
Whether you buy a foldable, adjustable, or outdoor pull-up bar, there are several important features to consider, such as stability, dimensions, and any height or weight restrictions.
You don’t have to look far to find pull-up failure videos. Usually, the failures are due to the equipment and not the athlete’s strength. A poorly produced pull-up rig can fall apart or tip, causing severe injuries to the athlete using it. So, paying attention to stability is critical.
Steel frames are ideal, as is a broader base. For extra stability, look for suction cup feet that will grip the floor and keep things steady, even if you swing on the bar.
Freestanding pull-up bars take up more floor space than you might realize. They need a base that extends out to create a stable structure. So, if you’re limited on space for gym equipment, be sure to pay attention to the product dimensions.
In the smallest spaces, a foldable option might work best. However, it’s good to note that fold-up bars are usually a-frames. An a-frame is easy to store, but it will take up the most space when it’s in use.
Every freestanding pull-up bar has specific height and weight restrictions. Be sure to pay attention to them before you invest in a bar. Nothing’s worse than buying equipment that only accommodates heights up to 6’2 when you’re 6’3.
Many pull-up bars come with extra features that experienced athletes can benefit from. You can use some pull-up bars as power racks, allowing you to incorporate barbell exercises like squats or bench presses.
Many models also feature adjustable padded forearm rests for dips. And, the best offer adjustable backrests so you can perform abdominal exercises like leg lifts.
Some freestanding pull-up bars even offer double-sided use, which is ideal if you work out with a partner or family.
Pull up bars with lots of space underneath can allow you to do Crossfit movements like butteryfly pullups.
Frequently Asked Questions
Buying a pull-up bar tends to come with questions. Let’s see if we can answer the most common concerns.
Are Home Pull-Up Bars Safe?
As long as you install and use them correctly, home pull-up bars are safe. If you try to use them outside of the manufacturer’s recommendations, however, we can’t promise anything.
How Much Weight Can a Home Pull Up Bar Hold?
Usually, freestanding pull-up bars can accommodate between 300 and 500 pounds. Every model varies, though, so be sure to look at the manufacturer’s specifications.
Make sure to take into consideration if you will be adding extra weight with accessories like a weighted belt for pull ups.
Can You Get Ripped With Just a Pull-Up Bar?
Pull-up bars, especially ones with dip bar attachments, can give you ripped back and shoulder muscles. Of course, the best way to build upper-body strength is with a range of movements. Pull-ups shouldn’t be your only exercise.
What’s Better; a Home Pull-Up Bar That’s Freestanding, or One That Attaches to a Door Frame?
Door frame pull-up bars are popular because they’re inexpensive. However, if you use them extensively, they can cause damage to your door frame. And, it will prevent you from closing the door while it’s up.
A freestanding pull-up bar can usually hold more weight and may be safer thanks to better stability. It also won’t block your doorway, though it will take up more space overall.
In our opinion, a freestanding pull-up bar is better, especially for more experienced athletes. Many freestanding models allow you to perform dips as well, making them a more versatile piece of equipment.
What Are the Best Alternatives to Freestanding Pull-Up Bars?
If you have the budget and space for it, a full power rack will give you the most versatility in your workouts. With a power rack, you can incorporate barbell exercises, such as squats and bench presses. They also tend to be more stable, though they’re also more expensive.
Homemade pull up bars can also save you money.
How Tall Should My Pull-Up Bar Be?
Ideally, the height of your pull-up bar will sit 3-4 inches above your fingertips when your arm is outstretched overhead, and you’re standing on your toes.
The best way to establish the correct height is to recruit a friend. Stand against a wall, place your hands straight up overhead, and stand on your tip-toes. Add 3 inches to the measurement, and set your bar accordingly.
Top Freestanding Pull Up Bars Reviewed
Top Choice: ReLife Tower Power Workout Station
The ReLife Tower Power Workout Station is a sturdy, steel-frame freestanding pull-up bar with a dip bar and backrest. It’s entirely adjustable, accommodating heights between 58.5 and 89 inches, making it perfect for family settings. And it has a relatively small footprint, making this pull-up bar our best overall pick.
If you’re a larger athlete, a smaller workout station can cause hesitation. You don’t want something that shakes and rattles when you go to hang on it. This tower can hold up to 330 lbs, but if you’re close to the upper weight limit, it may not be for you. At under 300 lbs body weight, though, it’s incredibly stable.
Assembling the tower is very intuitive. Even though the instructions provided by the manufacturer are a little tough to follow, most users have no problem getting this station set up. Once you set it up, it’s incredibly versatile, thanks to the adjustable backrest and foam push-up handles. You can do dips, leg lifts, raised push-ups, and, of course, pull-ups.
- Sturdy steel frame
- Adjustable backrest
- Raised handles on base for push-ups
- Small footprint (26.4″ x 35.4″)
Best For Large Athletes: SportsRoyal Power Tower Dip and Pull Up Station
If you’re a larger athlete or expect your pull-up bar to experience a ton of wear and tear, the SportsRoyal Power Tower may be your best option. It features a 5 mm steel frame, so you know it can stand up to heavy use. This extra-sturdy tower can accommodate athletes up to 400 lbs, and you can set the bar in nine positions between 64″ and 88″ high.
With eight contact points on the floor, this station is incredibly stable. It won’t rock or shift during use even if you’re close to the weight limit. Of course, the multiple contact points do increase the size of this tower. It’s 39 inches in length, which is a little long for smaller spaces.
The tower also includes an adjustable backrest, dip bars, and raised push-up handles. Unlike many power towers, SportsRoyal does not weld in their dip bars. They use a lock-nut instead. That’s ideal because it allows the bars a bit of give so that the entire tower doesn’t wobble during use.
- Holds up to 400 lbs
- 5 mm steel frame for extra durability
- Eight floor contact points for stability
- Lock-nut dip bars prevent wobbling
Most Portable: KT Toes Foldable Pull Up Bar
The KT Toes Foldable Pull Up bar is ideal if you need a portable option or hope to practice more gymnastic-like moves. While regular power stations work well for pull-ups, they don’t always allow for more advanced movements, like muscle-ups or turnovers.
KT Toes fixes that problem with their adjustable, pyramid-shaped pull-up bar. You can kip-swing, turnover, or front-lever. You can even attach an aerial yoga hammock or punching bag to this setup. And, when you finish your workout, you can fold it up and store it flat.
Despite its versatility, the bar is still very stable. It will wobble a bit during use, but it won’t fall over or collapse. It can accommodate athletes up to 485 lbs and up to 6’5″ in height, making it an excellent option for athletes of almost any size.
- Allows for over-the-bar movements, like muscle-ups and turnovers
- Folds flat to store
- Accommodates up to 485 lbs
- Works with aerial yoga hammocks and punching bags
- Portable pull-up bar
Finding the best freestanding pull-up bar is all about fitting your particular needs. Are you a crossfitter that wants to muscle up and over the bar? Then the foldable KT Toes bar is your best option.
Maybe you’re a larger athlete who wants something extra sturdy. In that case, the SportsRoyal power tower is ideal. But if you just want a workout station that gives you the most bang for your buck, one that’s stable, solid, and versatile, the Relife workout tower is your best bet. It lets you work out your arms, abs, and back, all with a smaller footprint.