If you’re finding it hard to get to the gym these days or maybe you want to create your own workout space at home, the pull-up bar is a must-have accessory.
These handy devices can help you sculpt the body of your dreams, and they can be used to do such a diverse range of exercises.
With your own pull up bar, you’ll have your ticket to amazing biceps and lats, as well as strengthening the abs, upper back, and forearms.
Better still, it’s one piece of workout gear you can make as a DIY project, and all with some simple supplies from the hardware store and a little bit of time.
How do you make a DIY pull up bar?
There are two main options for building a pull up bar, depending on the style you want and the space you have at home, with either the free-standing bar or mounted pull up bar on offer. If you’re after the easier and cheaper project, a mounted pull up bar is the way to go, and it can be made for around $100 in total.
With a DIY pull up bar, you can reach your fitness goals, work out conveniently, and never have to spend a dime on a wasted gym membership again. Check out our guide to making your own pull up bar and just how easy it is to sculpt the body you want at home.
Wall Mounted or Free Standing: Which is Best?
If you’ve used a pull up bar before, you probably already have a preference for the style you like. The wall-mounted pull up bard and free standing pull up bar are the two best options, and each has its owns pros and cons.
The free-standing pull up bar can cost around $600 to create at home, due to the many parts like piping, tubing, and additional gear. For a mounted pull up bar, it’s a lot less money and effort and gives you the same results.
If you’re extra handy, you might even make a pull up station out of a barbell and two steel rods, but ensuring that it has structural integrity is key here.
A mounted pull up bar is the safest option as it’s attached to somewhere stable and secure. There are three options for how you can mount yours, depending on the space you have and your preferences, including:
- Wall: Using a 2 x 4 or 2 x 6-inch wooden board, these pull up bars are attached to a horizontal mount that is fastened to the wall.
- Ceiling: This is created by attaching a 2 x 4 or 2 x 6-inch wooden board to the ceiling and then attaching the pull up bar to it, giving you the freedom to add other workout gear if you choose.
- Door: Similar to the style you can buy, an over the door pull up bar can be made at home with the same materials, but you need to be certain of your door’s stability.
How to Make Your Own Pull Up Bar
As the most versatile and affordable pull up bar you can create at home, we’ve decided to make a wall or ceiling mounted device. With this option, you can choose wherever you want to place it, and it’ll cost around $50 for the equipment and materials needed to get the job done.
Choosing the Right Grip
The most important thing you’ll need for this pull up bar is a piece of galvanized pipe, and this is where you’ll grip onto as you do your exercise.
If your body weight is less than 200 pounds, you’ll want a ¾ inch pipe diameter, although you can choose a full one-inch pipe if you’d rather feel more secure. Keep in mind this is more expensive, but also more stable.
Before choosing your pipe, do a test grip to see how well you can hold onto it. If you feel you can get a good grip on it and it’s large enough to hold your weight, that’s the way to go.
This part is the most important step of the process because if you’re not comfortable with the grip, you’ll find it very hard to perform a basic exercise, let alone a set of them.
Assembling the Materials
Gather up everything you need before you get started, as it’ll make the entire process run smoother. For a ceiling or wall mounted pull up bar, you’ll need:
- 48 inches of 3/4–1-inch galvanized pipe
- 2 x separate 18 inches of 3/4–1-inch galvanized pipe
- 1 x 60” 2 x 4 wood board
- 2 x 3/4–1-inch galvanized 90-degree elbow couplings
- 2 x 3/4–1-inch galvanized flanges
- Stud finder
- Pipe wrench
- Socket wrench
- 16 x wood lag screws
Make the Pull Up Bar
- Use your stud finder to find the support beam or wall studs, and make a mark in the middle where you plan on installing the bar.
- Thread the two pieces of 18” galvanized pipe into the elbows and tighten the 48” galvanized pipe into the opposite end. Line them up so the piping is square.
- Thread the flanges through the opposite ends of the 18” pipes so that the flat side away from the point where they connect.
- Use your wrench to tighten all of the connections so that the flanges, elbows, and piping are all square and fitted.
- Use the pencil to mark on the wooden board so that the holes in each of the flanges meet up in the right spots. Drill the holes where required so you can insert the lag screws.
- Attach the piping to the wooden board and line it up so the flange holes are on top of the holes you just drilled. Drilled the lag screws in and tighten them up using your wrench.
- Mount the pull up bar to either the ceiling or wall using the lag screws, making sure it’s in the place where you located the studs and beam.
- Do a test run of the pull-up bar by sitting in a chair and then slowly pulling up. Once secure and tested for safety, it’s ready for use.
Safety Tips for Pull Up Bars
A doorway or wall mounted pull up bar might not look like the most secure thing, but provided they’re installed correctly and made with quality materials, they’re capable of holding a lot more than it seems.
To ensure you’re using your pull up bar safely, check out these recommendations:
- Check the trim of the door to make sure it’s not faulty or damaged, as this is where the pull up bar holds onto. If the door seems insecure, try mounting it to the wall or ceiling instead.
- Learn the proper technique for exercising with a pull up bar to ensure safety. This will enable the weight to be distributed properly which means less chance it’ll fall off or break.
- If you’re concerned about falling from a pull up bar, especially if you’ve just made your own, set up a safe space to work out. Use some cushions or a mattress and place them underneath you while you do exercise just in case you fall.
- Now and then, perform a maintenance check on the pull up bar to test its quality. Look for signs of damage and wear and tear, and if you’re unsure about the stability, don’t use it.
The pull up bar is one of the oldest and most trusted pieces of workout gear, and seeing how easy it is to create one at home, there’s no excuse not to make it part of your fitness regime
If you’re thinking of installing a DIY pull up bar but want to learn more, check out our answers to some commonly asked questions about this fitness equipment.
How High Should I Mount a Pull Up Bar?
There’s no standard level for how high a pull up bar needs to be, but you can use your height to choose one that’s comfortable.
Follow the general guideline of having it at least 20 inches below the ceiling but with enough space from the ground that you’re able to hang from it with bent knees and not touching the floor.
Is Pull Ups Good For Height?
A pull up bar can help strengthen the upper body muscles, but it, unfortunately, won’t make your body lengthen.
However, by improving your posture and reminding yourself to stand taller, you can give the appearance of height. This is made easier when you feel confident with your body, which leaner muscles might be able to give you.