Best Door Frame Pull-Up Bar: Calisthenics 101's Top 3 Picks
A door frame pull-up bar is a great choice for those who are looking for something to perform pull-ups and chin-ups from, yet don't have space or flexibility to buy a wall mounted pull-up bar or a free standing pull-up bar.
The other benefit of a door frame pull-up bar is that they are the cheapest of the available pull-up bar types, so won't break the bank!
In this post, I'm going to share with you my top 3 picks for what I think are the best door frame pull-up bars on the market.
I've also included a section at the end of this post on how to install a door frame pull-up bar since I've found the simple door frame bars don't include any instructions. I've gone through the pain of figuring that out so you don't have to!
The Top 3 Door Frame Pull-Up Bars
#1 Trend-Welt Door-Mount Pull-Up Bar
The Trend-Welt pull-up bar is the highest rated bar of the telescopic bar types which fit between the door frame without the need for fixings.
The bar ranks at number one on my list as it is the cheapest of the three reviewed here, yet still does a top job without issues, making it the best value pull-up bar.
What I love about bars of this type is that they can be easily re-positioned for different exercises. For example, you could set the bar up with or without the fixings at a higher level for pull-ups and chin-ups, but you could easily re-position the bar a bit lower to work on Australian Pull-Ups, and then lower again to work on straight bar dips. This could all be done within the same workout, taking no longer than you would need rest between sets to re-position the bar.
The bar can support a maximum weight of 150kg without the fixings, but that increases as high as 300kgs if the fixings are used. Be sure to check your door frame is of a high enough quality, as I have found that these figures are meaningless if you have an old and/or terribly fitted door frame which creaks and moves when force is applied to it.
The bar also comes with transparent rubber ends to avoid leaving any marks or traces on your door frame - a great feature for those of you who are renting your house and are keen to not do anything that would jeopardise your deposit!
#2 Powerbar 2
The Powerbar 2 is one of the most loved door frame pull-up bars due to its simplicity.
The Powerbar 2 is an 'over the frame' type bar which has been designed to be as minimalist as possible, instead concentrating on being the most solid bar of this type on the market.
Where other bars of this type have to be screwed together in order to give the user a variety of different grip combinations (see the Sporastisch "Get Strong" bar), the Powerbar 2 is delivered as one single welded item.
For those wanting strength over versatility, the Powerbar 2 is #1 contender.
Another feature that is unique about the Powerbar 2 is the way the supporting bar sits against the door frame beneath the actual pull-up bar. This means that when using the bar, more of your weight is transferred against the door frame rather than pulling down on the frame, giving you a more solid feeling, and hopefully extending the life of your door frame!
The design also means the pull-up bar is positioned at a similar height to the top of the door frame, which means this pull-up bar type is better suited to taller users who find the bars that extend between the door frame not as suitable for them.
The only problem with the Powerbar 2 is how thin the bar is, since some users may desire a thicker bar to grip on to. Many users have reportedly wrapped tennis grip tape around the bar to make it thicker, however, if you are strong enough you may find that a pair of Fatgripz also does the trick.
#3 Sportastisch 'Powerful' Pull-Up Bar
The Sportastisch 'Powerful' Pull-Up Bar was one of two Sportastisch bars I reviewed in this dedicated post.
The bar is very similar to the Trend-Welt bar in that it is a telescopic-type bar which can be positioned between the doorframe without needing to use the optional fixings.
I believe which bar you choose is down to personal choice, however, I have ranked Sportastisch's bar below Trend-Welt 's bar for the following reasons:
- It is marginally more expensive
- It supports less weight in total
- Much more of the bar length is covered in padding material, whereas I prefer to have less of the bar covered so I have the option to grip the non-padded areas of the bar
Installation Tips For The Telescopic Pull-Up Bar Types
The common type of doorframe bar is the 'telescopic bar' which aims to fit between your doorframe without the need for screws or any DIY (in most cases that is).
Installing a bar of this type should be simple in theory, but for many, it is far from it! For those who are puzzled, here's a quick guide on how to set the bar up correctly:
- Find a solid door frame with flat faces that are wide enough to accommodate the rubber ends of the bar.
- Unscrew the bar at each side (usually anti-clockwise) until both sides are extended long enough to fit into the frame snuggly, but not tight. Move the bar to the desired position so it sits horizontally at the desired height.
- To tighten the bar to the door frame you now need to rotate the central section of the bar (be sure to adapt your grip to the direction of tightening). Because the central section is connected to the telescopic arms via a screw thread, tightening this will rotate both of the telescopic arms in a direction which extends the width of the whole bar and tightens the bar within the frame.
- Make sure you perform exercises on the correct side of the bar so that your grip doesn't inadvertently loosen the bar. For example, if you are doing chin-ups using an underhand grip, you will pull the other side of the bar downwards, rotating the bar anti-clockwise. If you are doing pull-ups using an overhand grip, you will pull the facing side of the bar downwards, rotating the bar clockwise.
Always proceed with caution when first attempting exercises on a door frame pull-up bar, until you are confident that the bar is securely tightened within the frame, and that the frame is strong enough to hold the bar and your weight.