Pull ups are considered one of the best exercises for you. They engage several major muscle groups and test your strength like no other bodyweight exercises. Despite being so effective, you don't need much equipment for pull ups, just a sturdy bar.
There are many great pull-up bars out there, but some of these can be a bit bulky and take up a lot of space in your home gym. Many people are opting instead for a DIY standing pull up bar, which is cheaper and more compact, plus they also let you do more exercises.
In this guide, we'll explain how to create a DYI free standing pull up bar and explain all the benefits that come with it.
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What Defines a Free Standing Pull Up Bar?
Many people don't realize that there are actually a lot of different types of pull up bars. Most rely on a solid surface, like a ceiling or doorframe, to support your body weight, but free standing pull up bars are entirely different. They are completely autonomous and have a solid frame that can support your weight, allowing you to do various exercises without limitations.
Free standing pull up bars are great for pull ups, chin ups and push ups. They have more room around them for easy use, but you need to make sure you have enough space in your home. You may also want a protective mat to sit under the bar, so it doesn't damage your floor.
Benefits Of Free Standing Pull Up Bars
If you're still not sure which pull up bar to choose, then it's worth understanding the pros and cons of each. Free standing pull up bars offer a range of benefits to the user. Here’s a quick breakdown:
You might expect free standing pull up bars to be pretty heavy, given the need to accommodate your whole-body weight. However, due to the design and the materials, your free standing pull up bar could weigh as little as 10 pounds. This makes them easy to carry and set up without any assistance.
Most free standing pull up bars can be folded up, which makes, combined with the lightweight nature of the bar, makes them pretty simple to move. You can take them with you on trips or store them between uses with ease.
Versatile With Multiple Exercise Options
Free standing pull up bars allow you to do push ups, pull ups, and chin ups, but they offer more versatility compared to other pull up bars.
Many have attachments and configurations that allow you to do dips and other bodyweight exercises, and you can even attach racks to store your free weights. This is why free standing pull up bars are often considered the all-in-one option that gives you much more workspace to use.
No Need To Fix Walls Or Ceiling
The biggest advantage of the free standing pull up bar is that there’s no need to attach it to anything else. This makes the setup much simpler than ceiling mounted pull up bars and removes the need for any tools to secure it in place.
It also prevents any risk of damage to different parts of your home, which can become damaged if your pull up bar comes loose.
How To Build Your Own DIY Free Standing Pull Up Bar
Building your own free standing pull up bar in your home is not as difficult as you might think. We’ve given a step-by-step guide below on how to do this simply and effectively. However, before you start, you will need:
1. Understand the bar
You need to understand how the different aspects of the free standing pull up bar fit together. There is a square base with two vertical bars and a horizontal bar connecting them together.
Supporting beams are then attached to make the whole pull up bar more secure. The diagram below shows the setup.
2. Measure the length
If you are using a packed free standing pull up bar, then all your bars will be measured already. If not, then you'll need to measure and cut your bars to the next length. The base of your bar should be 6 feet long and 4 feet wide.
The pull up bar should be 7.5 feet high, though you can make it higher if you're very tall. Ensure you measure and cut each of these accurately, or the free standing pull up bar might not be stable.
3. Connect the pieces
Use the different connections to fix it all together. The majority of the sections will need 90-degree attachments, but some will need 30 or 60-degree socket tees or multiple socket tees so several attachments can go in at once. These plastic attachments can all be purchased at any hardware store and aren’t hard to find.
4. Test the stability
Once you have it set up, you need to check everything is stable and that nothing is visible moving or wobbling. Set a protective mat or other cushioning underneath the pull up bar before you try it for the first time and if anything seems wrong, then stop using it immediately. It could be that your attachments need to be tightened.
Building your own free standing pull up bar is a great alternative to traditional pull up bars. You can set it up in your home and even have it outside, and if you want to take it down, you can just remove the connections and take it down piece by piece.
Common Pull Up Bar Exercises
Now you've got your pull up bar sorted, it's time to start using it. Here's some of the best exercises you can do and the benefits they give you:
This is the ultimate workout for your back and shoulders, and nothing else really comes close. Pull ups are often regarded as the fitness test, and the more you can do, the better your overall fitness is.
To do a pull up you just need to grip the bar with hands shoulder-width apart and palms facing away from you. Then, in a controlled motion, pull your body up until your chin reaches the bar and then lower it down.
The chin up is a common twist on the traditional pull up. It focuses the strain on the biceps and really works them, giving you a great workout without having to lift any weights.
Grip the bar with your hands about shoulder-width apart and your palms facing towards you. Pull upwards until your chip reaches the bar and then slowly lower down to complete the workout.
Toes Above Bar
This one is not easy, but it’s an amazing core workout. Hang from the pull up bar and keep your legs completely straight. Slowly raise them up, so they touch the bar and then lower them down in a controlled motion. This will absolutely kill your core and your forearms, but definitely not one for beginners!
Knee raises are typically an easier core exercise for beginners. Hang from the bar and let your legs hang loosely down below you. By engaging your core, lift the legs up until your knees are touching your chest and then slowly lower them down again. This will give you a great workout on your arms and your core.
The Climber Pull-Up
This is an advanced exercise that will really test you. Start by doing a regular pull up, but as you lower yourself down, shift your weight to the right and then to the left. This really works your back, shoulders, and arms, giving you that strong and functional physique.
If you want to back your biceps burn, then negatives are perfect for you. For this exercise, you're completely focusing on the lower phase of the movement.
Grab a chair and while standing on it, grip the bar like you should for a pull up and then step off the chair. Control the movement as you go down until your arms are fully extended.
This is probably the most intense workout on our list. You start by gripping the bar like you’re doing a chin up and keep your legs straight.
Move your body left to right, mimicking the movement of windshield wipers, and keep going until failure. This will absolutely kill your arms, shoulders, and back and take your body to the next level.
Hanging Reverse Shrugs
As an alternative to trap exercises, you can use your pull up bar for your shrugs. Grip the bar, palms facing towards you, and keep your arms completely straight and still.
Focus on your shoulders and push your shoulder blades away from your ears. You should feel a burn, and it's a great exercise to isolate your shoulders.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
What are some negatives to free standing pull up bars?
Free standing pull up bars offer a greater range of movement but take up more space in your home. They can also damage your floor if you don’t have anything to protect it.
Do pull up bars damage door frames?
Yes, some pull up bars can cause scuffing, denting, or damage to the paint. If they aren't installed correctly, they can also slip, which can cause an injury to the user.
Should I consider a wall mounted bar over a free standing?
Wall-mounted bars don’t offer the same range of movement, but they don't take up much room. If you're a beginner, then a wall-mounted bar may be better for you, but free standing pull up bars allow you to do more exercises.
How much will it cost to build my own free standing pull up bar?
For all the materials needed, you will probably spend $125-200. Of course, this depends on the exact materials you buy and where you can get them from locally.
Pull ups are the most effective bodyweight exercise, and you barely need any equipment. Free standing pull up bars offer a great alternative to other pull up bars and give you much more versatility and flexibility.
Hopefully this guide has given you more information about the benefits and the confidence to set up your own DIY free standing pull up bar.
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