How to Choose the Best Free Standing Pull up Bar
There are a lot of pull up towers to choose from, but what is the best power tower for you? There are several questions you need to answer, but first, here’s a table of the key specifications, sorted by price. Click on any of the product names to visit the product page directly.
Assembled Dimensions – floor space is important, as always when you are looking to buy strength training equipment, but ceiling height, in particular, is critical.
Warranty – the frame warranty is given in years for each pull up tower.
Weight capacity – this is straightforward, but the pull up tower has got to accomodate every user. Also consider if you will be adding weighted vests or other things to your own body weight.
What exercises do you want to perform?
Right next a home gym, the power tower is one of the greatest pieces of equipment you could purchase in terms of its versatility. The beautiful thing is that, unlike a home gym, the pull up tower is simple. The basics only require your own body weight. And you can potentially have many more options in exercises than just a pull up or chin up. Most people purchase a power tower, but may not be aware of all the other features that they could potentially use.
Vertical knee raises
Another popular exercise is the vertical knee raise, also known as the leg lift or dip. That’s why you might also see a power tower called a VKR (vertical knee raise) station or dip station. All these names basically refer to a power tower, just calling out different key features of how you can use one. If you want a simple way to enhance your core/ab training, then a power tower would be an excellent choice. By doing vertical knee raises you are engaging your whole core in a different way than simply doing sit ups. As a matter of fact, your core is also called on when you are doing pull ups and chin ups. A power tower is excellent for strengthening and toning your major muscle groups as well as developing your stabilitizer muscles. If you are interested in “functional fitness” then you may be particularly interested in all of thes features.
In the middle of the power tower, you can also perform dips while facing the tower. If dips are important to you, then be sure to maximize the stability of the power tower. It should have especially heavy gauge steel and a wide base. This is because your body is positioned off center to the tower, unlike it is when performing vertical knee raises. And during dips you are simply using a pair of grips and not the arm or back pads.
Pull up towers are often used for push ups as well. Sometimes they come with push up handles built right on them. These push up bar are even more stable than separate, portable push up handles due to their rugged build. The standard push up feature on pull up towers are a couple handles, although some power towers have parallel bars at an incline, moving upward towards the frame. This special design gives a unique advantage by letting you have complete control over the level of incline for your and therefore resistance of your push ups. And, in fact, even if a pull up tower doesn’t come designed specifically for push ups, the step-up points can double as push up bars anyway. They are meant to hold your entire weight and can just as easily be used for push ups.
Pull up Tower Accessories
Most power towers offer the “big 3” exercises above, but there some interesting, powerful accessories you might not have considered. The following accessories, whether
built-in or added, can make killer workouts possible to help you reach your goals in the areas of endurance, functional strength, Crossfit and sports training.
Chin up & Dip Assists
Pull ups and chin ups can be challenging for those who are recovered an injury or who just aren’t used to performing them. At commercial facilities there are often power towers that have a weight assisted feature, but there are similar options for your own home gym also. These towers use a stack of weights to counter your own body weight, so you can have a little help when doing dips or chin ups. Usually, if you want to have this feature at home, you would need to have a power cage to take advantage of this feature.
Sit up Stations
A power tower can be a great tool to stabilize your sit ups. Some towers come fitted with a sit up station, letting you keep comfortably tuck your feet underneath and keep your form on point.
A pair of ab slings makes knee raises more dynamic. Instead of holding yourself in one firm place, ab slings suspend you more freely by your arms. You engage your core and upper body in a whole new, challenging way.
Speed Bag Station
Power towers are already not too far off in design from a punching bag stand, so this is just one more clever way to give them a new purpose. XMark makes a power tower just like this. You can hang a speed bag to practice boxing and mixed martial arts.
Resistance bands are easy to set up just about anywhere that’s sturdy and secure. You can really put them just about anywhere on a power cage or pull up tower and take advantage of the graduated, natural resistance that’s easy on your joints. Some power towers make adding them a little easier with attachment points at the base of the tower.
What size pull up tower do you need?
Pull up towers don’t take up a lot of floor space, but your ceiliing height is critical. Pull up towers are tall, obviously, usually ranging from 7-8′ tall. At the top of your pull up your head will need clearance, so you ceiling height should have another 2′ feet on top of that. The ceiling heights of most garages more than meet this criteria, but rooms with 10′ ceilings should work just fine.
The width of your pull up tower also matters. You need to keep the proper form when doing vertical knee raise routines, in particular. Your arms need to be close to your side, so the pull up tower should be the right size. Larger, commercial pull up towers have the majority of people covered in this regard. They are large but have sizable arm and back rests, so that just about anybody can stay comfortable and keep the right posture, just focusing on their core without stressing their shoulders.
Best Power Towers by Price
Now that we’ve outlined the most important factors in our power tower review, we hope you’ll be 100% confident in your purchase. Everyone is different, but we ve chosen our favorite power towers in each price range, all things considered!
Up to $400
We chose the XMark XM-4446 power tower. You get all the basics with just the right touch of comfort. Rugged, simple and effective, this power tower is excellent in this lower price range.
$400 to $800
The Body Solid Fusion Power Tower is perfect for home and commercial application, for a fantastic price.
$800 or more
The Body Solid Pro Clubline Power Tower is the best power tower for commercial application. It is rock-solid and offers multiple grips and revolving dip handles that let you perform dozens of exercises.
The Best Free-standing Pull up Bar
The best power tower at any price with all things considered is the BodyCraft Total Training Power Tower. The handles are oversized and comfortable so support every workout. You also get a handy sit up station (gripped horizontal bar at the bottom), ab slings, a stability ball, and holder plus handy loops for optional power band attachments. You just can’t get any more value from a power tower dollar per dollar.