Doorway Pull-Up Bars

Do I need one?

A Pull-up bar is an essential piece of equipment for guys who are trying to add muscle mass. Chin-ups and pull-ups are the best functional biceps and upper-back workouts for novices. Pull-ups not only strengthen the back, they balance bench presses and guard against shoulder problems.

A doorway pullup bar has many uses

A doorway pullup bar has many uses.

If you don’t have access to a standard-issue wall-mounted pull-up bar, a doorway pull-up bar is the next best thing. These inexpensive devices are perfect for a quick pull-up workout, but they also double as a sit-up station, a leg-lift station, and even a (partial) dip station. Versatility: thy name is “doorway pull-up bar”.

They’re convenient. Pop them in a doorway, do your sets, then throw them in a closet or under the bed until the next workout.

Drawbacks of a doorway pull-up bar

To see our pick for the best doorway pullup bar: click here

Pullup bars for wide doors

If your doorways are unusually wide, you’re out of luck.

Usually, doorway pullup bars work on doors that are up to 36 inches wide. Any wider and it won’t span the opening. Most doors are around 30 inches or so.

It’s really not a gym, just a pullup bar

Most manufacturers market their doorway pull-up bars as a dip station too. But this is fanciful thinking.

The truth is that you can’t get a full range of motion doing dips with these devices. Stick to performing dips between two chairs.

Doorway pullup bar weight limits

Most manufacturers say the weight limit on their doorway chinning bars is around 250 pounds (115 kg).

Odds are, the bar will hold more weight. They’re all heavily-constructed. But 250 lbs is a good limit because frankly, most guys who are bigger than that can’t even do a single pullup.

Modern frame construction is more than strong enough to support a large man on one of these bars. Since the bars don’t actually “hang” from the door frame — they work by wedging themselves against opposite sides of the frame — there’s very little danger of the trim pulling loose.

Which one is best?

They’re all basically the same, except for some bells and whistles. Some offer a range of different hand placements. Others come with straps so you can use them for hanging leg raises and other abdominal workouts.

My advice is to let price be your guide.

Do they harm your doorway?

Under normal use, they won’t mark up your doorframe at all. They’re padded in all the right places.

The doorway pullup bar simply presses against the wall

Doorway pullup bars simply press against the wall without harming the door frame.

Don’t worry about damage to the door or the door frame from a pullup bar unless you get a poorly-made bar.

Some models come with brackets that screw into the drywall to help keep the bar in place. But installing these brackets isn’t necessary. They’re mostly for the peace of mind of the user rather than for actually supporting anything. Most people don’t use them.

Doorway tension pullup bars

Doorway tension pullup bar

Tension pullup bars can be set at any height

Tension pullup bars press against the inside of the doorjams, holding the bar in place.

When you use a tension pull-up bar, you not only run the risk of injury when the bar slips out of the doorframe, but you put some pressure on the structural elements surrounding your door. Modern manufacturers include some hardware which holds the tension bar in place, but installing this hardware prevents you from closing the door. Tension pull-up bars are best used only if you have a sturdy doorway set in masonry without a door, and then, only if the dimensions of the opening are so unusual as to make a typical doorway pull-up bar (like the ones above) unusable.

To see our pick for the best doorway tension pullup bar, and to see additional user reviews or pricing info: Click Here

Check out the full selection at Amazon: doorway pullup bars

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Forrest February 16, 2010 at 12:27 am

I was thinking about getting a doorway pull-up bar, but I’m worried it will damage my doorway. Have you had experience with these? Is this a valid concern?


Thomas March 4, 2010 at 9:02 am

In my experience, doorway pullup bars don’t harm the house in any way. If you have concerns, you can see plenty of examples of their use on YouTube. And since they’re only 35 dollars or so, it’s not too big a deal if you have to abandon it and find something else to do pullups on. I’ve seen some folks put extra foam rubber between the door trim and the contact points on the bar.

Now, if I knew the answer to the “doorway too wide for a pullup bar” problem, I’d be happy!


Mahesh September 15, 2011 at 3:50 am

I’ve bought 1 recently and I’m quite happy with it. The great part is that there’s no drilling or need for any modifications. It simply grips onto the top wedge of your door. Also, it doesn’t damage the door since its padded where it makes contact with the frame.


Adam April 28, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Before buying a pull up bar like this, make sure your weight doesn’t exceed the recommended limit. I believe it’s around 250 lbs. If it’s not then your doorway will probably be fine. I own an older home, 19th century home, these pull up bars aren’t ideal for door ways with a lot of woodwork. They are pretty good for close grip pull ups and chin ups, but if you can get away with finding another object to use, one with a better option for placement of hands(close and wide grip) Save your money. If there is nothing else, go for it, they do help alot. Perfect pull up makes a pretty good bar, that’s more expensive, but offers a little more for pullups then door hangers like golds or iron gym.


Dr Amit Bhardwaj February 3, 2011 at 4:38 am

my doorway is 4 feet wide approx ..are these bars of some special size…or can they be fixed to fix in any width


Tyciol January 29, 2012 at 12:23 pm

There’s a third kind where you screw brackets on the inside of the frame. I had a bally fitness bar like this at my last house.


Deb April 15, 2012 at 9:45 am

I have the iron man pull up bar an weigh under 200 pounds however when I used it over my door way and it took the moulding off on the top of door . One, why would this happen? What is the best thing to do so it doesn’t happen again ?
Could I have been on the wrong side to use?
Frustrated and uneasy. d


chuck August 2, 2013 at 11:02 am

I have used 2 different pull-up bars in two different houses. In both cases the pull-up bars put dents into the door frame, I enjoy doing the pull-ups but i’m reluctant to put a bar up in my latest domicle for fear of trashing yet one more door frame.


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