Updated March 28, 2020 by Brett Dvoretz

The 10 Best Chin-Up Bars

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This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in July of 2015. You don't need an expensive gym membership to get a strenuous upper body workout. All you need is one of these sturdy chin-up bars to help reach whatever strength and fitness level you are aiming for. Not only are they great for pull-ups, but some can be used for a variety of other exercises, too, including leg lifts, push-ups, and rows. We've included both temporary and permanent options. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best chin-up bar on Amazon.

10. Perfect Fitness Progression Bar

9. Yes4All E. Joist Mounted

8. Garren Fitness Maximiza

7. HandSonic Doorway

6. Ultimate Body Press WMP-20

5. KT Multipull

4. Xtreme Monkey Straight Pull

3. Gorilla Gym Power Fitness Package

2. Ultimate Body Press XL

1. Gronk Fitness 100-80046

Special Honors

Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym The Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym is gentler on door frames than many other units, so if you are worried about causing damage to your home, this is a good choice. It is also one of the few options that can be attached to the bottom of the door to act as an anchor for sit ups. perfectfitness.implus.com

Valor Fitness Chn-Up Pro The Valor Fitness Chn-Up Pro uses an eight-bar design that makes it easy to find your power position, whether with wide, neutral wide, semi-supine, or underhand grips. When mounted, it offers 30 inches of wall clearance to allow for a range of exercises, and it has a high 600-pound weight capacity. valorfitness.com

Editor's Notes

March 25, 2020:

When selecting the best chin-up bars, we thought it prudent to include both permanently-mounted and temporary options, as they both have their own pros and cons. When it comes to safety and stability, there is no doubt that permanently-mounted models are going to be at the top of pack. Of course, in order to install one, you'll have to be proficient with using a stud finder and not mind drilling into your wall. You'll also need a suitable place for one, so it won't feel like an eyesore. On the other hand, temporary ones, when installed correctly, can definitely be secure enough for the average user and are generally easier to incorporate into most homes, since you can simply take them down and stash them in a closet after finished with your workout.

We are big fans of any model that gives you a lot of hand positions to vary your workout, such as the Gronk Fitness 100-80046, Yes4All E. Joist Mounted, Ultimate Body Press WMP-20, and Ultimate Body Press XL. Of these, the first three need to be permanently mounted, while the last slips into place in seconds.

When it comes to kipping or performing any other exercise where you'll be swinging forwards and backwards a lot, wall clearance is going to be very important and few can match the 33 inches the Xtreme Monkey Straight Pull offers.

If you like the idea of having something that bolts into place for security, but also don't want to have a chin-up bar as a permanent fixture in your home, you can look to the Garren Fitness Maximiza and Perfect Fitness Progression Bar. Both of these have mounts that screw into a door frame, but the bar itself is easily removable when not in use.

Standing apart from all the rest of the models on our list is the KT Multipull, which is a completely freestanding model. Weighing nearly 70 pounds, it can be a bit cumbersome for one person to move around by themselves, but it does allow you to workout anywhere and is suitable for users up to 6'5".

What to Look For In a Chin-Up Bar

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.

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.

Lying with your back against the floor, use the bar to pull yourself up, as if you were doing a reverse push-up.

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.

These bars are inexpensive, easy to install, and lightweight.

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.

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Brett Dvoretz
Last updated on March 28, 2020 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.


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