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The Best Chin-Up Bars

author image Henry Halse
Henry Halse is a Philadelphia-based personal trainer, speaker, and writer. He's trained a wide variety of people, from couch potatoes to professional athletes, and helped them realize their own strength, determination and self-confidence. Henry has also written for various fitness and lifestyle publications, including Women’s Health, AskMen and Prevention.
The Best Chin-Up Bars
Wall mounted chin-up bars save space. Photo Credit Cherina Jones

Chin-ups are one of the best back-building exercises. Perform them anywhere that you can comfortably hang; even a tree branch can be used to squeeze in a few impromptu chin-up reps. However, if you're looking for the best chin-up equipment on the market that you can use in your house or in a gym, your options are more limited. Depending on your skill level and how much space you have, here are some of the best options on the market:

Assisted Pull-Up Machine

Yes, chin-ups are a great back exercise. They are also one of the toughest exercises out there because you must lift your entire body weight from the get-go. That's why the assisted pull-up machine was invented. The machine includes a pad that you can kneel on, or a platform that you stand on, to help raise you up as you pull with your arms.

Read More: Homemade Pull-up Bars

You can adjust the amount of weight that the machine uses to help you up, making the exercise incrementally harder or easier, depending on your strength development. Without this machine, the regular chin-up would be too tough for most beginners. You'll generally find this in a gym, as it's relatively expensive and takes up more space than a regular chin-up bar.

Door Frame Bar

The least expensive and most convenient in-home chin-up option is a removable bar that fits in a door frame. Iron Gym makes one of the most popular door frame chin-up bars. To use it, you put the bar in front of the door frame and the back support on the wall behind the door. The bar is padded which makes it very comfortable on your hands. When you're done with your chin-up workout you simply take the bar out of the doorway and stash it wherever you want.

Read More: Information on Door Jamb Chin Up Bars

Wall Mounted

To save space in your home or gym, attach a wall mounted pull-up bar to a stable wall. This is a much more permanent option than a door frame bar because you have to drill it in, but it's still out of the way. The bar comes out of a platform that's fastened to the wall, far enough that you won't kick the wall when you do chin-ups.


Multi-purpose body weight workout towers include more than just chin-up bars. They also have a place to do triceps dips and Roman Chair exercises for your abs. They take up more space than a traditional chin-up bar but are well worth it if you plan on using all of the different parts of the tower. Don't use this option if you just want something just for chin-ups however, because a wall mounted bar is much more cost and space efficient.

Rogue Pull-Up Rig

For gym owners, especially in the CrossFit arena, a pull-up rig is a great investment. These structures are a bunch of pull-up bars placed side-by-side, and they form a rectangle of pull-up bars when placed together. They're the best option for accommodating a bunch of people, like in a group exercise class.

While it seems like they take up a lot of space, there is plenty of room under the pull-up bars to do body weight, dumbbell and kettlebell exercises.

A pull-up rig is sturdy because it's mounted on the ground.
A pull-up rig is sturdy because it's mounted on the ground. Photo Credit kieferpix/iStock/Getty Images

Power Rack

If you're looking for one piece of weightlifting equipment for your home gym or a small gym space, look no further than the power rack with a chin-up bar. The power rack itself holds a barbell and you can put equipment, such as a weightlifting bench, inside the power rack to do various exercises. When you add in a chin-up bar it becomes one of the best all-in-one pieces of weightlifting equipment on the market. And it comes at relatively little cost compared to most exercise machines.

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