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Installing a pull-up bar in your home gym can help you reach your fitness goals. Completing pull-ups or chin-ups helps develop the biceps and the lats, as well as the forearms, upper back, and abdominals. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money to add one to your home gym—you can build a homemade pull-up bar in a few simple steps with materials from a local hardware store.
If you’re building your own pull-up bar, the first step is determining whether you prefer to construct a free-standing pull-up bar or a mounted pull-up bar. Any mounted bar will need to be anchored by a structurally sound beam, stud, or doorframe. Free-standing pull-up bars require piping, tubing, and gear, which may be expensive. Designs that allow for easy assembly and disassembly can cost nearly $600.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re looking for portability and minimal materials, you can quickly construct a pull-up station using a barbell, two galvanized steel rods or a similar bar, and a pair of ratchet tie down straps. Avoid building your pull-up station in spaces that are not structurally sound or not suitable for exercise.
Mounted pull-up bars typically take up less space and are anchored to support structures. There are multiple styles of mounted pull-up bars, including:
The primary piece of equipment that you’ll need is a galvanized pipe. For anyone that plans a total lift weight (body weight plus any weighted vests or weight belts) of 200 pounds or less, a 3/4-inch pipe diameter is likely sufficient; however, a 1-inch pipe is safer, though more expensive and more difficult to find. Be sure to test the grip of each pipe, as this is the piping that you’ll wrap your hands around to do your pull-ups and chin-ups. This project will likely cost between $35–$55.
If you have an exposed support beam in your house or garage, here’s another option for a simple homemade pull-up bar that does not require mounting a bar to a beam or a wall.
The most important factor in an over-the-door pull-up bar is the structural stability of the door frame. This equipment works because the door frame helps diffuse your weight when you use the pull-up bar and stays in place due to gravity. This project will cost $25–$35.
The second most important consideration for an over-the-door pull-up bar is the width of your door frame. While most door frames are 28–32 inches wide, others are larger and will require different equipment.
There are many other options for construction, however, they can be quite time-consuming and costly. If you’re not interested in a DIY pull-up bar, there are low-cost options for pull-up bars of all varieties—free-standing and ceiling, wall, and over-the-door mounts. Here are popular options available from retailers and manufacturers:
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