Technology

The best chin-up bars


Your home gym

16. 01. 2020, 06: 30 | from Amy Roberts

Content from our partner Wirecutter, A New York Times Company

A chin-up bar emerged victorious from what was probably the most strenuous test to date: the Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Pro. Wirecutter / Michelle McSwain

26 We spent hours finding a suitable pull-up bar – for your door frame and your workout. In order to really try every grip, we had to sweat a lot. The Fitness Multi-Gym Pro convinced us across the board and also left no traces on our door frame. The test was carried out by Wirecutter.com carried out in America, which is why only products available in Germany were not taken into account. You are reading the German translation.

Update 16.1.2020: The recommendations are still valid, we have updated the prices.

Our top recommendation: Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym

Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym (top recommendation)

  • Source: Image: Amazon

    Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym

    Very flexible thanks to several handle options. Carries up to 135 Kilogram.

The Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym is the newer version of our last favorite and meets the high requirements of its predecessor in all respects. Like our other test models, the Multi-Gym has several grip options – narrow, neutral and wide grips. The latter are thoughtfully attached to the crossbar, which in turn rests on the door frame. Such a concept was otherwise not found in any other test object.

Furthermore, the rectangular door frame supports offer a larger contact surface to the wall or wood than the cylindrical rods of the competitors, thus reducing the risk of damage. The position of the wide handle also solves the problem of the elbow room being too small, which is often the case with wide pull-ups. In our favorite, the arms are not inside, but in front of the door frame, but still close to the bar. Other models whose handles protrude further require a significantly larger footprint.

Like most of our test objects, the Multi-Gym Pro has a weight of approx. 135 kg, which is why even heavier people should feel safe here. The compression of the foam only causes it to bend slightly the first time it is hung. In contrast to many other models, the Multi-Gym Pro also has clearly formulated instructions with several mounting options to optimally different surfaces and door widths up to 83 cm.

It is also one of the few sticks that are suitable for various types of wood processing. Compared to the usual 50 cm are the outermost handles of the Multi-Gym Pro with round 68 cm extra wide apart. For people with narrow shoulders that could be way too much.

Price: round 40 Euro ( at Amazon , status 16.1.2020)

Also a good choice: the Gorilla Gym strength fitness package

Gorilla Gym Kraft Fitness Package

  • Source: Image: Amazon

    Gorilla Gym Kraft Fitness Package

    Versatile model to which you can also attach a punching bag or it can expand into an indoor playground for children.

    round 110 Euro (currently not available)

Most protruding bars for door frames are designed for relatively static pull-ups in the over or under handle. However, if you would like a more versatile model that allows you to attach accessories such as a punching bag, leather belts or an indoor playground for children, or is also suitable for swinging and tilted pull-ups, we recommend the Kraft Fitness Package from Gorilla Gym . Like the other pull-up bars, the model is attached above the door, whereby adjustable vice clamps provide enormous security. These are attached to the sides of the door frame and give the whole construction additional stability.

While other manufacturers warn of fluctuating movements when using their bars, Gorilla Gym even encourages its customers to move around on your device as much as possible. You should only take into account that the basic package without a pull-up extension offers significantly fewer grip options than the other test devices. In addition, the corresponding brackets make fitting and removing a little more complex.

Price: round 110 Euro (currently not available, status 16.1.2020)

Why you can trust our test

Apart from my journalistic work on technical health gadgets at Wirecutter.com, I am a NASM-certified personal trainer and ACE-certified group fitness trainer New York. In addition, I've been a chin-up fan all my life. When I was elementary school, I asked my father to install a pull-up bar in our garden. A short time later my first bar for the door frame followed.

For our test I brought my competent friend and trained personal trainer Adolph Bellamy on board to support me. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Athletics Training from Southern Connecticut State University, was a college football player and is a certified strength endurance specialist. In addition, he is with 1, 90 m and 99 kg significantly more bulky than I.

This test was already the second in the product category of the pull-up bar. I trusted the work of my predecessor, Mark Bixby, a multi-certified personal trainer. With his analysis as well as his tests, he significantly restricted the selection of pull-up bars.

Who is the test interesting for?

Pull-ups are a simple (but by no means an easy) and effective method to increase strength and coordination across several joints and muscle groups. When it comes to targeting the back and shoulder muscles, the pulling movement is essential and in a training session with your own body weight is even the greater challenge than your opponent – the pushups. Therefore, the pull-up bar for the door frame is a relatively inexpensive way to complete a versatile and functional fitness training at home.

In this post you will find our top favorites as well as products that We recommend it especially for smaller or larger people, as well as for the whole family (for example with separately available accessories).

How did we make our choice?

As in the previous test, we focused on free-hanging devices whose basic structure can be assembled directly: These are easy to attach and remove and do not require any permanent ones Adjustments to your facility. They also offer a choice of multiple grip options, including a wide top handle, a narrow horizontal (popular for chin-ups in the bottom handle), and a narrow, neutral handle. The latter is the safer option, especially for people with shoulder problems. The different grip options have the advantage that you can make your training more versatile and thus focus on different muscle groups. It also reduces the risk that a movement that is always carried out in the same way leads to overload and injuries.

Since our research for the first test, we have found that many of the newer models are now for people weighing up to 135 kg are designed – This is significantly more than the usual maximum weight between 104 and 114 kg. The bars are now also more versatile in terms of their appearance: curved or angled handles, as well as models with a higher design, are especially useful for taller people who have had to bend their knees strongly at the end of the pull-up movement.

We also compared readers' opinions on our previous test report with corresponding lists on EasyBuyPal.com, BestProducts.com, GarageGymBuilder.com and AskMen. We also read numerous customer reviews. Take into account, above all, those who indicate that the door frame has been damaged by the rod.

Source: Wirecutter

How did we test?

We examined all poles for their user-friendliness during assembly. We attached particular importance to a clear wording of the instructions, the quality of the tools and the possibility to individually adapt the bar to different door frames. In a last run we tested how easy the bars are in two different door frames with a width of 76 and 81 cm in a pre-war apartment in Queens had it attached and detached. We paid more attention to whether the bars left marks such as dents or peeled paint. In particular, peeling off the paint was a considerable problem in this case. The many layers of paint that had accumulated on the wood over the years dented and peeled off with the force of a fingernail.

In order to check to what extent the poles are suitable for people of different sizes, we asked a large, male trainer to carry out the tests with us. He and I hung on each of our test poles and observed whether the models bowed when we first hung them up or whether we had to bend our knees to stand out from the ground (attention spoiler: with its size of 1, 90 m our tester could not avoid that with any pole). Each of us did at least two pull-ups on each handle on each bar. We were able to evaluate each model in terms of its diversity, the placement of the handles and the comfort. It also showed whether the elbow room caused any problems when lifting or lowering. Last but not least, we compared the respective area of ​​the storage space that the rods needed for their storage on the floor.

Source: Wirecutter

Our top recommendation: The Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Pro

The Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Pro is our top favorite because it comes with clear assembly instructions, is easy to install, can be adapted to many different sized door frames and offers three different handle variants. Compared to all our other test objects, it is particularly gentle on the door frame thanks to its small contact areas. In addition, it takes up little space, so that it can be stowed inconspicuously even in a house with few storage options. The basic structure of the Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym is similar to that of the other test models: parallel L-shaped bars are attached to a vertical cross bar, which in turn sits in a metal fuse holder. This bracket is mounted between the top door molding and the wall. On the outside of the door, the L-shaped bars are attached to the actual pull-up bar. The padded areas are pressed into the sides of the door surface when you pull up, which holds the bar securely in place. The three products of the Perfect Fitness brand were the easiest to assemble among all test objects. The instructions are clearly structured and have illustrations of the individual work steps as well as corresponding written instructions. In addition, only a simple tool is required: two suitable wrenches, which can be neatly stored on the back of the crossbar and are therefore always at hand if the screws have to be tightened (this is recommended for each of our test bars).

In contrast to the other test objects, the Multi-Gym Pro has two mounting options and can therefore be better adapted to different door frame sizes. We mounted them on narrower door frames with more headroom. It fit both between one 76 cm-, as well 81 cm wide door frame. As with the other bars, the contact surfaces on the door frame are not rounded, but flat. As a result, the bar lies better on the wood or the wall. There is also less risk that the bar will leave pressure marks in the wood in the long term.With regard to the grip options, the Multi-Gym Pro is equipped similarly to the rest of our test models: wide handles allow pull-ups in the upper handle. The narrow handles are suitable for both the upper and lower handle, the latter stressing the biceps more. The protruding neutral handles, on the other hand, allow pull-ups to be carried out with the palms facing each other and thus less stress on the rotator cuffs.

The construction of the wide handles appears unique to this model, which together with the padded bracket on the wall form a unit. They are therefore on the door frame and allow a significantly wider grip than the majority of the competition models. This also reduces the risk of hitting your elbows on the door frame on the way up. Other of our test models such as the Multi-Gym Elite, the Ultimate Body Press, the Gorilla Gym with pull-up extensions, the Easy Effort and the Sportneer are designed for such wide pull-ups, but only with protruding bars that make their total area significantly larger than that the Multi-Gym Pro.

Small vulnerabilities

For people with narrow shoulders, these wide handles are actually too far apart – in the version wide chin-up, your hands should be slightly off your shoulders. With the Multi-Gym Pro, the hands inside would be better placed directly next to the wide handles. However, this is exactly the part of the bar that inexplicably lacks a foam cover. For most adults and tall adolescents, the width should still be fine. The bar is for a door frame width of up to 84 cm. However, while ideally in a 81 cm wide door fit, the brackets lay at 84 cm just barely on the door frame. There is a risk that the metal of the bar will scratch the wooden cladding. With smaller doors, the Multi-Gym Pro should be retracted as long as the door frame for the 96 cm-crossbar allowed.

Source: Wirecutter

Perfect Fitness Multi -Gym (top recommendation)

  • Source: Image: Amazon

    Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym

    Very flexible thanks to several handle options. Carries up to 135 Kilogram.

Also a good choice: the Gorilla Gym strength fitness package

The Kraft Fitness Package from Gorilla Gym is one of the more expensive models among the pull-up bars. However, it is the only one that allows swinging and has been rated by ASTM as particularly safe for use by children. Design and feel are similar to those of the other test objects. The manufacturer has also applied for a patent for its vice fastening, which anchors the rod to the edge of the door frame. Thanks to this vice technology, the model has a maximum weight of 136 kg. In order to demonstrate the enormous strength of their product, the developers and motorcycles hung on their bars.

The basic framework of the manufacturer is a simple pull-up bar, which is cheaper , but only offers two different grip options. We therefore recommend adding the Power Fitness Package, which in addition to the basic unit contains an additional element for pull-ups and an extra abdominal muscle belt. This equipment package includes two narrow handle variants, as well as a neutral and wide handle and is therefore at eye level with the possible uses of the other test products.

The vice clamps of the Gorilla Gym and the solid construction convey security and stability that comparative models cannot reach. All other manufacturers warn the user against vibrating movements on their product and against injuries due to unsecured elements. The managers behind Gorilla Gym, on the other hand, attach great importance to swinging around on their bars and using a variety of different accessories for children (swings, ropes, gymnastics rings) and adults (heavy bags / speedbag units, as well as hanging yoga and cardio bands) can. Likewise, the cross-fit tilted pull-ups can be carried out on this bar.

Nevertheless, the model has some disadvantages: For the same variety of grip options as that of the competing products is here the mentioned pull-up extension required, which in turn is reflected in the higher costs.

The vice clamps and the far larger number of individual parts make assembly more time-consuming and difficult than with other pull-up bars the case is. The step-by-step instructions also contain links to videos that demonstrate all aspects of assembly (we did not take this option ourselves). In addition, the Gorilla Gym bar requires significantly more space than many other models. In our test apartment, we were also forced to try the rod in a door frame and door. The included clips could not be opened so far that they completely enclosed the door frame. Extensions of the vice clamps must also be purchased.

Source: Wirecutter

Gorilla Gym Force Fitness package

  • Source: Image: Amazon

    Gorilla Gym Kraft Fitness Package

    Versatile model to which you can also attach a punching bag or convert it into an indoor playground for children.

    round 110 Euro (currently not available)

Important general information about chin-up bars

When looking for the right chin-up bar, it is worthwhile to measure doors, strips and even your hallway beforehand. Do the manufacturers state that their bars for door widths between 61 and 84 respectively. 91 cm, they usually mean the basic size of the door opening. However, it is often not taken into account that the door frame is also one of the door components. Obtain building experts from a 76 cm-wide door the door frame with a In the end, the door opening only 71 cm.

Another challenge when buying a pull-up bar is that there are basically no standard dimensions for door strips. If the door strip is thicker than 7.5 cm, this could lead to problems with some bars that do not offer sufficient scope for the door frame and are therefore not sufficient for wider strips. The height of the top ledge is also related. In my case it was more than 2.5 cm due to some layers of paint, so that the ends of the crossbar could be pushed far towards the wall and were flush there. However, this caused the vertical bars to lean against the door frame and cause dents. We therefore advise against the use of a pull-up bar for thick strip edges or decorative strips. If your door frame has a common molding height of approx. 1, 30 cm, you shouldn't have any problems with that.

Because the rods on the one hand lie on the door strip and on the other hand clasp the door frame, the third hurdle must be the width of the inside edge of the door. This is made up of the thickness of the wall and the height of the door frame. The thickness of the inside of my door is round 18 cm, which makes it rather wider (usually they are between 10 and 15 cm). In my case, each of the pull-up bars fits well. If the walls are thicker than average, thinner bars could be difficult, for example, if you want to use a hall door that doesn't offer a lot of space on both sides of the door opening, it may be problematic to adjust the length of the bar for optimal anchoring. The shortest chin-up bars measure around 91) cm, but additionally require approx. 2.5 cm on each side of the Door for assembly. The EasyBuyPal.com guide provides help to find the best combination of pull-up bar and door frame.

The competition

The Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout chin-up bar : The Extreme Edition was hanging on a 84 kg-heavy users something by. Since the instructions are limited to pictures only, assembly is also comparatively difficult. Customers also complained that the black foam padding was wearing off and the padding was deteriorating.

The 12 – Handle-pull-up bar of the brand Beachbody was one of the losers in our test because it was not in any of ours Doors fit (and apparently not only we are affected). In order to mount it securely and to fix the upper support, it must be drilled in the wall above the door.

The ProSource Multi-Grip chin-up bar visually reminded us of the Beachbody model so much that we didn't test it. Under the FAQs on the corresponding Amazon page, statements were found that the bar has black scratches and the hard rubber padding around the door frame leaves a 3 mm thick notch.

The Waccess 3-in-1 fitness bar corresponds exactly to the base unit of the Iron Gym Total in its look and functionality Upper body pull-up bar, but in this case users complained that the bar did not fit every door in the specified size (61 to 81 cm).

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  1. Adolph Bellamy, CSCS, Personal Trainer and Athletic Coach, personal interview, September 6, 2017
  2. The Pull Up Bar Guide: What You Need to Know , EasyBuyPal. com
  3. Does the chin-up bar fit in my door frame? , EasyBuyPal.com

The article “The best chin-up bars in the test” is the German translation of the article “ Best Pull-Up Bars “from wirecutter.com . The test was conducted in the United States and was first published in English on the Wirecutter website. The translation is based on the version from 10. 12. 2018. The CHIP test center was not involved in the investigation. We removed products that were not available in Germany at the time of the translation, including the Wirecutter recommendations Stamina Doorway Trainer Plus and Ultimate Body Press Elevated Doorway Pull-Up Bar.

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