Comparison Guide: Free standing pull up bars
A free standing pull up bar is a great choice for anybody who isn't satisfied with pull-up stations or wall mounted pull-up bars.
Pull up stations can be clunky, and the "all-in-one" aspect can become annoying and simply get in the way when you're trying to work on new exercises.
Wall mounted and door frame pull up bars don't offer much versatility, and the user is often limited by the available space they have to work in.
This is where the versatility of a free standing pull up bar can be well worth the extra spend.
What are my options for a free standing pull up bar in the UK?
I've reviewed various products on Calisthenics 101, and whilst there's a confusing amount of choice for some products, such as Resistance Bands, the choice is much more limited for free standing pull up bars.
With that in mind I've narrowed the choices down to the following (more detail below):
Let's look at each one in further detail...
DTX Fitness Squat Rack Power Cage With Pull Up Bar
Max user weight (for pull-ups): 120kg.
The DTX Power Cage would be my best recommendation for a free standing pull-up bar.
It's a quality bar, and best of all it's one of the cheapest on the market; likely because it does the job without being an all-in-one complex solution.
This is one of the only bars I've found where you can bolt it down to the ground, which is important for strenuous or explosive exercises such as muscle ups where other bars could wobble. The feet are also designed in a way where if you're not feeling too comfortable or don't have the option to bolt the bar down, then you can alternatively buy some cheap sandbags to keep the bar weighed down and stable. Even with the added expense of some sandbags, it is still the cheapest bars on the market.
MiraFit Power Cage
Max user weight (for pull-ups): Unstated.
The MiraFit Power Cage is much more suited to those looking to lift weights, but also want the use of a pull up bar.
At twice the price of the DTX Fitness rack, it's certainly one of the more expensive choices, but still remains good value considering what it offers.
A great thing about this choice is the squat rack bars are fully adjustable, which is great as this becomes very useful for exercises requiring a lower bar, such as triceps dips and Australian pull-ups for example.
The downside to this option is that it has no bolts (or bolt holes) to secure to the floor. The pull-up bar also has the same rough pattern that barbells use, which is great for weight lifting but can be annoyingly uncomfortable on your hands for calisthenics exercises.
Pull Up Mate
Max user weight (for pull-ups): 110kg.
This option is much different to the others above. Because of its design it can be packed away easily and comes with its own storage bags, which is great for those with little space, however, it does mean it can feel less stable than the other options.
Of course, the product is robust, but when I talk about stability I mean a slight movement when using it which can make some exercises (like muscle ups) much harder.
Another factor to consider with the Pull Up Mate is that it has a max weight capacity of 110kgs (approximately 17 stone). If you're heavier than this you'll want to opt for one of the previous options.
To see more check out the video below. I think a video is worth a thousand words in this example: