Male or female, young or old and no matter how big or small you may be, being able to move your own body weight is often seen as a key indicator of strength and power.
Exercises that require you to do so are often fantastic ways for you to build and develop your physique and provide an amazing way for you to train your body.
The pull-up, for example, is often referred to as one of the best back exercises around as it allows you to lift your entire body weight with your back muscles and biceps and works the muscles, unlike any other exercise.
The same is true of dips and the impact they can have on your arms and chest as you control your body weight on the bar.
For that reason more and more people are turning to home training systems to get the full benefit of these amazing exercises, without having to go to a gym, free-standing pull up bars, dip stations and larger pull-up towers are becoming more and more popular.
The problem is, with so many different models out there it can be difficult to figure out which product is right for you.
In this review, we take a look at some of the best pull-up stations and dip stations on the market, to make it easier for you to decide which one is the right one for your home training needs.
1. RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE Power Tower
The RELIEF REBUILD POWER TOWER is a strong and sturdy power tower that is built for home use and has a range of different functions, meaning you can work on and develop your body from the comfort of your own home.
It’s a free-standing pull-up bar but it also acts as a dip station, push-up machine, abdominal exercise station as well as being a stand-alone pull-up bar. You can train your chest, shoulders, arms, back, abdominals and leg muscles all with one piece of equipment.
Made from high-quality steel, the power tower supports weight of up to 330lbs and with its new and updated design, this power tower offers extra support and stability as the suction cups fitted to the bottom of the dip stand give the overall pull-up station more support, plus the safety locknuts keep the stand tightly fitted together.
There are 9 different levels of height adjustment on this pull-up station, catering to users from 4 Ft 8” all the way up to 7 Ft 4”, and with a supportive back cushion that can be adjusted for optimal comfort, moving between 7-9.6 inches plus the padded arm rests which makes holding the nonslip handles much easier, you will always be comfortable when using this machine.
What We Liked
The RELIFE REBUILD power tower is a true multi-purpose pull-up station that allows you to work on different muscle groups as you train.
Amongst other things, its ability to act as a suitable machine to perform abdominal crunches or knee raises and the fact that it is also a great dip station makes this power tower a great piece of equipment to have in your home.
What We Didn’t Like
The ability to perform hanging leg raises and abdominal crunches is a fantastic addition to this machine, but we would love to see a different shaped handlebar at the top of the pull-up station to allow for different variations on the hanging exercises. It’s not a major problem, just something we would have liked to see.
2. CITYBIRDS Power Tower
The CITYBIRDS power tower is another great multi-function pull-up tower that also acts as a dip station, allowing you to complete other exercises such as abdominal work or push-ups, working multiple muscles at once.
With a 14-gauge heavy square steel frame, constructed with scratch-resistant coating, the dip station can support users up to 400lbs and is built for long-lasting exercise. The H-shape base provides more support and loading points and the extended steel, which increases the contact area, provides even more support when this power tower is in use.
The ergonomic design has your comfort in mind and with leather PU pads for elbow protection and a comfy backrest, you will feel at ease when using this piece of equipment. In fact, to increase your comfort, the pads are slightly inclined to keep you stable and avoid you slipping when using the dip stand.
The pull-up station is built for all and can be adjusted to fit users of different heights, going from 64.56 inches to 88.18 inches, meaning the majority of users will be more than happy with this stand and with 7 different levels of backrest adjustment also available, you will feel the cushioning against your body as you work.
What We Liked
The angled leather PU pads are slightly inclined inwards and that extra consideration really makes a difference. It’s a great feature of the dip station that allows for extra comfort and support, keeping you firmly in place when holding your position and using the dip stand.
What We Didn’t Like
There wasn’t much we didn’t like, from the angled support pads on the backrest and arm rests, the high weight limit and the strong design to the overall build, this machine is a great option for home exercise. If we could make one change it would be to add a section for leg and lower body exercises but other than that, this machine was great.
3. GoBeast Pull Up Bar Free-Standing
The GoBeast free-standing pull-up bar has been designed with ease of use in mind as it dismantles into smaller, tubular strips and can be easily stored at home or packed into the storage bag (which comes with the bar) for portable use with no extra effort.
You can train your chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, and core with the GoBeast free-standing chin-up bar and with a maximum user weight of 300lbs, you can feel safe and secure when you’re using this piece of kit.
The pull-up bar is 190cm tall, slightly over 6ft, but that could make it difficult to use if you’re a taller user as you will find your feet may touch the floor. Muscle-ups are also not encouraged as the base, although strong and sturdy, isn’t made for more than being a free-standing pull-up bar.
By moving, flipping and adjusting the frame you can complete other exercises on this stand-alone pull-up bar, and as it dismantles in only 2 minutes, you can store the frame anywhere you want in the bag. It’s a truly portable pull-up bar, which makes transport and storage very easy indeed.
What We Liked
The fact that this pull-up station can be dismantled and stored in the handy bag which comes with the bar, makes this a great feature for exercise enthusiasts that are low on space or who want to work out on the go. It’s also great for mobile personal trainers that move from client to client and need a portable pull-up bar or easily moveable equipment that they can take with them.
What We Didn’t Like
Although the portable pull-up bar stand can be moved, it weighs 46lbs, which makes it hard to actually carry. There’s also mention of various different exercises that can be completed on the stand, 35 in total, we would like to see a PDF made available, instead of a paper copy, to make it easier to follow along with when you train.
4. HARISON Multifunction Power Tower
The Harison multifunction power tower comes equipped with a range of different features to help you train your whole body more effectively and efficiently, all from your own home.
It’s high capacity and multi-functional with an adjustable bench and resistance bands included allowing you to work your chest, back, shoulders, arms, core, and legs all from one piece of equipment. You can use the pull-up stand, the dip stand, practice your incline push-ups or use any of the other features on this machine.
The frame is heavy-duty, made from powder-coated steel tubing, designed for ultimate strength and stability and the back cushions and arm pads are also designed for extra support and comfort, making your exercise experience more enjoyable.
The pull-up tower has adjustable height settings, going from 70.47 inches to 88.19 inches and with a 400-500lbs limit, all users should be satisfied.
The backrest, which is also the bench, can also be adjusted for whatever your needs may be, but the individual back pad cannot.
Whilst most free standing pull up bars or other machines built for home use like this, often only focus on the single pull up, the Harison power tower does so much more and with a risk-free 30-day return policy, it’s one of the best options on the market.
What We Liked
The fact that this power tower also came with an adjustable bench and resistance bands was a huge plus for us.
Most stand-alone stations don’t offer much else but this unit could actually function as your sole workout station which is great for people building a home gym and who are also low on space.
What We Didn’t Like
There’s not much to complain about with this pull up station, it’s great.
If we had to pick something we don’t like then it would be the fact that the machine is a little bulky, but with so many great features, it’s only natural that it will be a little bigger than other options on the market.
5. Stamina 65-1460 Outdoor Fitness Power Tower
The Stamina 65-1460 outdoor power tower is a stand-alone pull-up bar that has been specially designed for use outdoors and has been built to withstand the elements but still perform with high quality.
It’s a portable pull up bar with a weather-resistant, corrosion-resistant and UV protection finish and this pull up bar stand will still look great through all types of weather conditions.
With different handles and grips, this bar can be used for traditional pull-ups, dips, sit-ups or push-ups and you can work multiple muscles in the body including your chest, back, biceps, triceps, and abdominals as you workout.
As you would expect, it has a solid steel frame for extra support and stability and that shows as you are also able to perform muscle-ups on this bar.
Perfect for outdoor use in your yard or garden, this pull-up bar is no-frills and gives you exactly what you want.
What We Liked
The solid frame and protective coating is obviously a huge benefit to any pull-up stand or dip-bar which is going to be used outdoors, however, what we liked the most was the fact that you can complete muscle ups on this bar as the frame is so strong and sturdy, giving any true calisthenics fans a chance to work on a very difficult skill whenever they use this bar.
What We Didn’t Like
Many of the exercises you would perform on this bar, such as pull-ups or dips or even muscle-ups, require a great amount of power and strength and for true calisthenics athletes, they would also love to be able to perform other moves such as the human flag. The stand is quite chunky, making this quite difficult, so we would love to see a few extra bars, just to further increase the range of exercises that are available when using this stand.
Exercise on Pull-Up Stations and Muscles to Target
One of the main things you will notice when reading through this review will be the range of exercises that are available for you to complete with each power tower.
It’s why you don’t often see the frames referred to as a pull-up stand, pull-up station or a dip-stand, because, although they are those things and they do perform that job perfectly, they can also be used for so much more.
With each and every stand you can, of course, complete pull-ups, but there is also a range of other exercises you could be doing on your pull-up station and a variety of different muscles that you could be targeting.
Pull Up - Chin Up Variations
There are multiple variations of pull-ups, all of which can affect your body and your muscles in different ways, however before we get into them, let us introduce the standard, basic pull-up.
Using an overhand grip, with your palms facing away from you, grab the bar a little wider than shoulder-width. Keep your core tight and with your butt slightly tucked under you pull yourself up to the top of the bar, getting your chin to and above the bar before lowering yourself back down to your starting position.
This is the standard pull-up and helps you to work your lats, traps, biceps, deltoids and abdominal muscles all at the same time.
Other Pull Up Variations
The chin-up requires you to approach the bar with your hands at shoulder width but with your palms facing behind you. As you pull yourself up, getting your chin to and above the bar, you will recruit far greater muscle contractions from the biceps, making chin-ups a fantastic bicep builder.
Chin-ups are usually easier to complete and are a great way for beginners to build their strength and confidence.
Wide Grip Pull-Up
Wide grip pull-ups require you to place your hands wider along the bar, with an overhand grip and your palms facing in front of you. They are generally much harder to complete as they put far greater emphasis on the lats, making this a key pull-up variation if you’re looking to build a bigger back.
Narrow Grip Pull-Ups
If the wide grip variation takes your arms out wider down the bar, close grip pull-ups, you guessed it, take your hands closer in. With an overhand grip and your arms at or just inside shoulder width, this narrower variation places more emphasis on your arms, chest, and shoulders, perfect for building an overall sculpted upper body.
Popularized with the explosion of Crossfit, kipping pull-ups allow you to use your momentum to get yourself up to the bar. It’s an explosive movement and your goal is to use your body to swing up to the bar. It can place more emphasis on the deltoids (shoulders) using this method but it is a somewhat easier variation.
One of the hardest variations out there the one-arm pull-up works everything, from your shoulders to your biceps to your core. There are different variations and different ways of completing this move, but once you do, you will feel incredible.
Muscle-ups are another variation popularised in Crossfit. Using an overhand grip the first part is simple, pull yourself up, however, your goal here is to get a little higher than normal and use your momentum to roll your chest over the bar, pushing yourself up, performing a dip.
It’s another move that works the big powerful muscles in your body and it’s also one that will leave you feeling accomplished once you’ve finally mastered it.
Once you’ve mastered any of the variations above and you’re looking for a way to take your progress to the next level it’s time to add some weight. With weighted belts you can attach weight plates to your lower body, adding more weight to your lift and making it harder overall, or with a weighted vest, you can accomplish the same thing.
A belt would be preferable as the amount of weight you can add is greatly increased, but by doing so, you can gradually start to level up your pull-ups.
When people think of using a dip machine they often think of the great upper body workout they’re going to get, however, what most people don’t realize is that just like the pull-up, there are slight tweaks you can make to the move which have a huge impact on what you’re actually working.
Walk into the parallel bars, put your hands on the handlebars and jump up onto the bar, straightening your arms.
From here, lower yourself down, bending your arms whilst leaning forward and bringing your shoulders down level with or just below your elbows.
Push back up, straightening your body and lock your elbows at the top.
To protect your shoulders and chest ensure you don’t roll or shrug your shoulders; they should remain relaxed as you drop down. You should also avoid your shoulders gong much lower than your elbows.
The set up for the chest dip is exactly as described above except your torso is slightly leaning forward to target the pectoral muscles (chest muscles) more. Your grip is often a little wider than normal and your elbows are slightly flared out to the side.
To target the triceps muscles more keep your torso upright and hold a narrower grip. Your elbow should be tight, placing much more emphasis on the triceps, instead of the chest.
Hanging Leg - Knee Raise
Leg raises are a fantastic way to train your core and work your abs. They also help to train your grip strength and shoulders as you hold your body weight in position.
To perform these it’s simple, hang, facing away from the bar with a tight core and some tension in your shoulders, your shoulders shouldn’t be by your ears as your arms slump down.
Your body should be straight as you hang before you begin to raise your knees upwards, towards your chest and then return them back down to form a straight line. You can also do this with straight legs, bringing your legs out to form an L shape with your body. Either variation is a great abdominal workout and will help you to burn more calories as you transform your body.
Push Ups - Sit Ups
All of the machines above come with the ability to use them to perform push-ups or sit-ups.
You might be thinking you could just use the ground but why add extra pressure to your wrists, forearms, and shoulders if you don’t have to.
The handles attached offer more support to your wrists and shoulders and often add a little more tension to your arms, enhancing the impact the push-ups have on your body.
When doing push-ups on a power tower you often have the opportunity to change your style in a range of different ways, from decline to incline with your feet raised or simply flat and in most cases you also have the option to change your position to your optimal level of comfort.
Sit-ups are just as easy, as you use the grips on the bottom to hook your feet under, giving you stability and balance as you complete your sit-ups.
There you have it, a review of some of the best free standing pull up bars and dip stands on the market, perfect for at home use and working some of the biggest muscles in the body and a list of alternative exercises you can complete to help you sculpt your body.
All of the pull-up towers listed in this review are fantastic quality and offer up some of the best models on the market, the only thing left for you to do is decide.
Space might be a factor so you may want to go for a portable pull-up bar, as might budget and overall use which may make you lean more towards the big pull-up tower or the free standing chin-up bar, but one thing is for sure, with all of the products on this list you can’t go wrong, and you’ll be fully satisfied with whichever model you decide to take home.