The 10 Best Chin-Up Bars
10. Iron Gym Upper Body
9. Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym
8. Stamina Doorway Trainer Plus
7. Ultimate Body Press WMP
6. Gorilla Gym Power Fitness Package
5. Ultimate Body Press CMP
4. ProSource Multi-Grip
3. Ultimate Body Press XL
2. Black Mountain BMP5M
1. Valor Fitness Chn-Up Pro
What to Look For In a Chin-Up Bar
The most important aspect of any chin-up bar is how stable it is whenever a person is hanging from it. There are a lot of factors that figure into this, the first of which is how the chin-up bar is anchored.
Chin-up bars that are meant to be mounted on a wall - or a ceiling - are generally as secure as the wall they're fastened into, and the tightness of the wall plugs on both sides. Whenever mounting a chin-up bar, it is best to use a heavy-duty drill that features a hammer function for really driving a bit into the wall. If possible, you'll want to mount the chin-up bar into concrete, which doesn't buckle under extreme movement or weight.
Chin-up bars that are suspended across doorways are generally as safe as their moorings. Top-of-the-line "door-jamb bars" come with pins and plugs that can secure them, whereas certain low-grade bars depend on manually adjusting the bar and then tightening a pair of rubber end plugs into place. It's best to look for terms like "heavy-duty," "immovable," and "long-term warranty" in the product descriptions of any doorway bars. It's also best to confirm the adjustable width of any doorway bar to ensure it matches any archway where you plan for it to fit.
Superior chin-up bars have a weight capacity of 300+ lbs, whereas weaker models may have a weight capacity as low as 230 lbs, or even less. Most bars weigh between 8-15 lbs (assuming they're not attached to a larger piece of equipment). Certain bars come with extra accessories including resistance bands and suspension straps, both of which can be used for developing your core and abs.
Several Basic Chin-Up Bar Exercises
The more often you use a chin-up bar, the greater the chance you'll want to add a little variety to your routine. There are several exercises that one can do while suspended from a chin-up bar, and a lot of these exercises offer an opportunity to develop different muscle groups and greater overall strength.
By way of example, consider a stern-up (aka a sternum chin-up). As the name denotes, a stern-up is completed by pulling up until the bar is running parallel to your sternum. This strengthens your delts and your lats by forcing you to pull up higher while arching your back.
You can build your biceps and forearms by attempting some one-handed chin-ups. One-handed chin-ups are achieved by lifting your body with one arm while clutching that arm below the wrist with your opposite hand. You can increase the difficulty level by allowing your second arm to dangle freely, thereby using one arm to lift - and balance - your body's total weight.
If you own a chin-up bar with an adjustable height, bring that bar down until it rests 3-4 ft off the floor. Lying with your back against the floor, use the bar to pull yourself up, as if you were doing a reverse push-up. Once your chest reaches the bar, hold, and then lower yourself. Hold again with your arms straight out, and then repeat.
Over time, you can build more muscle by increasing the number of reps, or the number of sets, that you do for each exercise. You can also burn more fat by going faster and decreasing the duration of rest in between.
The Myriad Benefits of Owning a Chin-Up Bar
The beauty of a chin-up bar resides in its simplicity. These bars are inexpensive, easy to install, and lightweight. Once installed, a chin-up bar requires little maintenance. It's extremely unlikely that you'll ever have to replace a chin-up bar, or throw it away.
A chin-up bar can be placed inside any apartment. It doesn't require a lot of square footage, or space. It is also much safer than a set of free weights or a workout bench, especially in an environment where there are at-risk children, or pets.
In terms of fitness, a chin-up bar allows you to work 12 different muscle groups - including the deltoids, biceps, triceps, trapezia, and latissimi dorsi - at once. They can also enable you to do inverted sit-ups or upside-down crunches (by wearing a pair of gravity boots), or a number of glute exercises (by using a pair of grip attachments, or Velcro stirrups).
Chin-ups are routinely recommended as a form of physical therapy in that they can help alleviate joint and muscle pain throughout the arms. Doing 3-4 sets of chin-ups at a fast pace is considered an effective form of anaerobic exercise in that it allows the body to develop lean muscle while burning fat and increasing blood flow through the heart. Chin-ups are tremendous conditioning for rowing, tug-of-war, and several other "pulling" sports. Chin-ups are also used by several organizations, including the President's Council on Physical Fitness, to measure upper-body strength throughout the muscles and joints.