If you are looking to increase your overall body strength using Calisthenics, you will need to get your hands on a quality pull up bar. A great option if you have the space, is a free standing pull up bar.
A free standing bar gives you a stack of exercise options, so let’s go over what you need to know about this piece of fitness equipment.
What You Can Do With A Free Standing Pull Up Bar
Pull Ups obviously….but also Leg Raises and other abdominal exercises to absolutely hammer your core.
To show you how much variety you can get from this single piece of equipment, check out the video below. In the video you will see Al Kavadlo, a Calisthenics expert who has written several books on Calisthenics, including one that is specific to bar exercises called Raising The Bar.
One of the nice things about a free standing bar is that you can do all your Calisthenics bar work on one. Generally they are wide enough for you to do all of the pull up variations including Muscle Ups. This is possible because your legs won’t be obstructed like on most Power Towers. They usually have a high weight rating to so even big guys can hit the bar.
If you have read any of my other articles about Pull Ups or Pull Up Bars, you will know that the unassuming Pull Up bar is probably the most important piece of equipment needed for effective Calisthenics training. Assuming you put the work in, the range of exercises available on a bar guarantees you will get the best physical gains possible.
As previously mentioned, a pull up bar is not just for the upper body as there is a raft of abdominal exercises as well. By targeting the core as well, you can ensure that your overall strength and stability will be greatly improved.
The Good and the Bad…
There are always good points and bad points with any piece of equipment. I have yet to find “perfection” in the fitness equipment area.
So…let’s look at those good points and bad points respectively…
- Great piece of equipment that will allow you to work the entire upper body and complete more advanced exercise such as muscle ups which a difficult, if not if possible on some of the other Pull Up bar offerings
- Will generally have a higher weight rating than some of the other types of Pull Up Bars which accommodates a wider range of body weights
- Although cumbersome, the bar is portable so you can move it around your workout space or even drag it outside on a sunny day
- You won’t have to drill holes into your wall, door frame or ceiling unlike some of the other bars on the market
- Easily set up
- The bar itself will take up far more room compared to a wall mounted pull up bar
- These bars can be more costly to purchase
What To Look For When You Buy A Free Standing Up Bar…
As with Power Towers and other “free standing” types of equipment, you want to make sure that the one you buy is relatively heavy duty and will accommodate your weight.
You also want to make sure that the base is sturdy and is not prone to tipping. Usually, lateral movement is more likely to cause tipping but a decent set up should provide plenty of resistance to a tip.
Some people like to have comfortable padding over the bar as well. These people need to harden up. If you stick to using a standard metal bar, your hands will harden up quickly. This is good because it toughens your hands up in general, making them more resistant to cuts abrasions, and blisters when doing other activities.
As such, I wouldn’t recommend getting a bar with padding on it, unless of course you intend to remove the padding prior to use. If you find it absolutely necessary to protect your hands just buy some weight lifting gloves or something similar.
Also, look for a bar that has a corrosion resistant coating on it. This will reduce the impact that sweat (and weather if using outdoors) has on the bar and will ensure that if lasts a lifetime.
Buying quality gear…
As always, I recommend you buy quality equipment. This will save you some headaches later.
Lets take a look at two options can are readily available:
- Product: Elite Free Standing Pull Up Bar by Trapezerigging
- Price: $350.00 USD (Retail)
- Cheapest Place to Buy: The Strength & Stability Amazon Store
- My Rating: 4 out of 5
- User Rating: 4 out of 5
- Description: The Elite portable pull up bar is the most stable freestanding platform on the market. It can be assembled and stored away again quickly and easily…literally in minutes. This is a great feature! It is also adjustable for height to allow for either different exercises or different users. In total there are 6 different positions. It is made from high quality Aluminium.
- Product: All in One Free Standing Pull Up Bar by Trapeze
- Price: $250 USD (Retail)
- Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com
- My Rating: 4 out of 5
- User Rating: 4 out of 5
- Description: This portable pull up bar can be assembled and disassemble in about a minute without tools! In its “normal” configuration, it is 7 feet tall, and the top bar lets you do pull ups, chin ups, and “neutral-grip” pull ups. You can adjust the height in 4″ increments. In its “dipping” configuration, you take off the top half, so that the top bar is 3.5 feet high, allowing you to do dips, inclined pull ups, and and inclined push ups. The system can handle 350 pounds without bending. The product is made entirely of Aluminium, so its lightweight but won’t rust.
So there you have it…
We have covered of the main points that you need to know before going out and laying down your hard earned cash on a free standing bar.
Although they can be more expensive than some of the other options out there (not always), they will provide you with pretty much everything you will need to complete a full on Calisthenics program. They will give you a portable, stable platform on which to workout.
When used in conjunction with a top notch Calisthenics strength and conditioning program, a free standing pull up bar is a great addition to your equipment “stable”.
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