Door frame pull up bars let you do effective pull ups even if you have little space for gym equipment. They are also a cheap and convenient alternative to standing pull up bars. However, many people refrain from using them for fear of having an accident.
Door frame pull up bars are safe when used correctly. Jumping onto them or pushing them up could cause a fall. Door frame pull up bars have weight limits. If you use one that can’t support your weight, it could cause an accident. Weak door frames can break or bend under the weight of a pull up.
Common reasons to avoid pull up bars are fear of it sliding off or damaging your door frame. Let’s see how much truth there is to these claims and if you can do something about them.
Why It’s Important To Use Door Frame Pull Up Bars Correctly
As long as you use them properly and follow product instructions, door frame pull up bars are perfectly safe to use. They aren’t as stable as standing pull up bars, but it’s very unlikely that they will fall on your head.
Pull up bars distribute their weight across their trim. Much of your weight also goes to the sides, pressing against the sides of the door frame. This way, the pull up bar becomes locked in place.
There are situations where pull up bars can cause accidents, but it’s mostly due to where they are placed and what you do with them.
If the door frame is too narrow or curved, the horizontal support of the pull up bar won’t have enough space to find a grip. This highly increases the chances of it sliding off and causing injury.
You also shouldn’t jump onto pull up bars. The shaking can cause them to slip off and fall on your head. The same goes with swinging from it or applying force to their side. Pull up bars are designed to lock in only when downward force is applied, and failing to use them correctly can lead to significant injuries and damages to your door.
How Much Weight Can Pull Up Bars Hold?
Most door frame pull up bars hold up to 250-300 pounds (90-130 kgs) of weight. They usually don’t hold more than 400 pounds (180 kgs). Common door frame materials, like timber, vinyl, and aluminum, can support that weight, but weak materials can break.
If your body weight is above the maximum weight of your pull up bar, then you shouldn’t use it. You’d be exposing yourself to an accident. Make sure you get a product that can hold your weight.
Most manufacturers show the weight limit of their pull up bar in their product description, so it’s easy to find one that will work for you.
You won’t find any door frame pull up bars that can support more than 300 pounds (136.07 kgs). If you weigh more than that, you can try wall-mounted or free-standing pull up bars.
The pull up bar is not the only thing holding your weight. You have to make sure that your door frame material is strong enough to support your weight during a pull up.
Door frames are usually made of aluminum, wood, timber, and vinyl. These materials can easily support the weight of your pull up bar and your body combined. However, some weak wood composites like plywood may be too weak for that.
To get rid of doubts, you can do a test on your door frame before using your pull up bars. Hang on the door frame for a while with something soft under you. If you feel any cracking or bending, then find somewhere else to put your pull up bars.
How To Protect Your Door Frame From a Pull Up Bar?
When you do pull ups, a lot of pressure is driven forwards on the sides of the pull up bar. If one of the rods is in contact with the sides of the door frame or a wall, it might cause dents.
To protect your door frame from a pull up bar, put a towel or cloth between the door frame and the bar. You can also wrap the part of the bar that comes in contact with the door frame with a cloth.
Many pull up bars come with a soft protective layer on the underside of the horizontal support. This protection is usually enough, but it’s not enough to stop them from leaving a mark in some cases.
A sturdy door frame shouldn’t have a risk of bending or breaking over the weight of your pull ups. However, weaker types of wood might slightly bend over time, even if they can support your weight.
The Best 5 Pull Up Bars
If you think your door frame can handle a pull up bar, then all that’s left is choosing one. Here are some of the best pull up bars on the market, and are all available on Amazon.com:
This pull up bar features ergonomic grips that allow you to do three different kinds of pull ups. The smart placement of their door frame supports leaves your arms in front of the pull up bar, giving you plenty of elbow space.
Because of its compact design and easy setup, you can unmount it in an instant and place it on the floor to do other exercises.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money but still want a reliable product, the Iron Gym Pull Up Bars might be the choice for you. Even though some of its pieces are plastic, these bars can hold up to 300 pounds (136.07 kgs). It’s easy to install and allows you to perform push ups, sit ups, and dips as well, giving you a great bang for your buck.
The AmazeFan Pull Up Bar has quality, ergonomic handles. Besides the traditional grips, it also comes with angled grips ideal for back exercises. The angled grips open the door to a wide variety of exercises, all in a device that can be easily folded and stored when not in use. It’s made with solid steel and fits all doors, including doors in the corner.
Many pull up bars end up being too narrow for some people. For those with wide shoulders, the Ultimate Body Press XL Doorway Pull Up Bar is a perfect choice. It allows for 3 different kinds of grips with extra room for your elbows and shoulders. This model also places its handles 10 inches (25.4 cm) away from the doorway, adding extra comfort and giving you a full range of motion.
The Iron Age Pull Up Bar gives you fully functional upper body gym equipment without doing any installation. It supports 440 pounds (199.58 kgs) of weight, making it a great product for those who like to add extra weight to their reps.
The Iron Age pull up bar is one of the few products of this kind that comes with all protective pads for your door frame. That’s the only piece you’ll have to assemble by yourself. Other than that, it’s ready to go right out of the box.
Door frame pull up bars are safe to use as long as they are well placed, and you don’t try to do anything they’re not designed to do. They are designed for supporting downward force, and doing something different might make them slip off.
Ultimately, the safety of pull up bars depends on where they are placed. If your door frame is too narrow or too fragile, accidents become much more likely.
Check the weight limit of a pull up bar before purchasing it to ensure it can support your weight.