Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Pull up bar alternatives

Your choice of a pull up bar will very much depend on the set up of the house or flat you live in. For most people, this will mean a doorway pull up bar. However, wall-mounted, joist mounted, or ceiling bars are usually sturdier, and they offer the possibility of moving on to muscle ups as you progress. I recommend the ones from , which offer a range of all these different types.

If you do not have a pull up bar however, there are a few alternatives that can offer a temporary solution:

Door pull ups: place a towel on top of a door, and perform pull ups by sliding your body up and down the door. This is an effective way to do pull ups, but be aware that it places a lot of stress on door hinges and -in the long term- could leave you with costly repairs.
 Door frame pull ups: again, you will need a sturdy door frame if you want to perform these, and not all are suitable. Typically also, door frames are quite narrow, which will mean increased demand on finger strength.
 Stairs pull ups: if you have a suitable open stair case, this is a great way to perform your pull ups. The only inconvenient is that your range of movement may be slightly reduced due to limited headroom.
Trees, beams, and other structures: go outside, and you can find a wide variety of things to hang from, such as tree branches. Not necessarily ideal if you're just starting with the exercise, but the unevenness and awkward grip of tree branches will really test your grip strength and allow your muscles to work at different angles and ranges of motion. A great way to start preparing for one arm pull ups.
 If you have an open stair case, or a beam from which you can hang straps, a simple system can easily be rigged with two straps and a bit of metal piping. This also offers the advantage that the height of your pull up bar is adjustable, allowing for your feet to rest on the floor for exercises such as inverted rows.

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