List of the Best Doorway Pull Up Bar Exercises

Doorway pull up bar is really popular thing in the last two years among people whose goal is to become healthy and build a good-looking figure. That’s not a surprise by any means. Why? I noticed that more and more people are doing body weight exercises and the king of body weight exercises is a pull up.

Warning: Don’t listen to people who’ll say you can’t build a great-looking body with body weight exercises. There are two reasons why you should never listen to them. First, they are obviously trying to sell you some gym membership or expensive and useless fitness equipment. Second, they don’t know a theory behind body weight movements. As an evidence, I share with you the photo of my results of training with a single doorway pull up bar in my home.

doorway pull up bar

Well, to do a pull up you need a certain amount of strength in your upper body, especially in your arms, forearms, shoulders and back as well as a good portable pull up bar. If you’re living in a small apartment or house, like me, and you have a limited free time, I advise you to read more about this doorway pull up bar for a few reasons. I listed those reasons below.

  • It doesn’t take much space, just one doorway
  • It is easy to install
  • It is suitable for almost any doorway, so you basically can train wherever you want
  • It is cheap
  • It enables you to do a whole upper-body workout in your home
  • It is made to last, so once you invest some money, it will last forever

These are just a few benefits of doorway pull up bar.

A list of the best exercises you can perform on a doorway pull up bar

If you thought that the best pull up bar is only meant for pull ups because of its name, you’ll be very wrong. Versatility makes this bar the best home pull up bar you can possibly find. It means that you’ll be able to do a really huge amount of different exercises with this piece of equipment.

Read the list of basic exercises you can perform on a doorway pull up bar below. I’ll try do my best to explain each exercise with words and if I fail, I’ll provide you with some videos of people demonstrating each exercise.

#1 Pull ups

A pull up is the king of body weight exercises in my opinion and doorway pull up bar is perfect for doing pull ups in your home. A pull up is a compound upper body exercise, as it focuses many muscles during performance. Some major muscles that are involved in a pull up movement are: biceps, forearms, shoulders, abs, back, etc. These are all great news, but you’ll need some strength first, if you want to do your first pull up.

There are a different types of pull ups you can perform on a doorway pull up bar and some of them are: chin ups, regular pull ups and hammer pull ups.

Chin up is the same as pull up, but your hands are facing your face and body. It is a different hand position and it targets arms more than pull up.

Exercise tip: Place your hands together or try to use a narrow grip because it targets your biceps like crazy. I would say this is the best exercise for building a huge arms.

Regular pull up is a good exercise for your back because it’ll give you that V-tape.

Exercise tip: Do the widest pull ups you can do on your doorway because it’s harder and you’ll see improvements on your back muscles really fast.

Hammer pull up is essentially the same like a pull up, but the only difference is a hand placement. In hammer pull up, hand placement is neutral and this hits biceps brachialis (second biceps head) very hard.

Pro tip: Raise your knees when you’re doing any variation of pull ups because you’ll target abs pretty hard.

You can also see all variations of pull ups you can possibly do in the video below. Keep in mind that some of these variations can’t be performed on a doorway pull up bar.

#2 Push ups

If a pull up is a king, then a push up is a queen of body weight exercises. The great thing is that you are able to do push ups on a doorway pull up bar. Just put your bar off a doorway, place it on the floor, and you’re ready for a pushing workout. That’s the beauty of portable pull up bar.

Great tip for beginners: If you’re struggling with your first pull up, I would advise you to forget about pull ups for a few weeks and focus on a pushing strength e.g. different variations of push ups. The reason for that is you practicaly increase pushing strength as well as muscles involved in those pushing movements. Arms, shoulders, some back muscles are activated during a pushing workout and these muscles are required for a pull up. Strengthen this muscles first and you’ll be able to do your first pull up in a no time.

Let’s back at the push up variations. With doorway pull up bar you’ll be able to do almost all types of push ups including: wide, narrow, dip and reverse push ups. These are the most crucial variations for beginners.

Exercise tip: Try to do a pike push up. It’s by far the most effective exercise for building a strong and round shoulders.

See different variations of push ups in the video below.

#3 Seated dips

This one is another great pushing exercise. I really like this one because it mainly targets triceps and chest muscles and shoulders as well. It’s an essential pushing exercise you should not skip if you’re just starting with training because it is easier than regular dip, but it boosts your strength.

A seated dip is a relatively easy exercise to perform. You need to put your doorway pull up bar on some elevated place like bench, table or bed and put your legs on another elevated place. Now, your hands should be placed on a doorway pull up bar and your legs should be placed on a second elevated object and you are ready for your first dip.

Exercise tip: Linger this exercise by adding some additional weight on your legs e.g. upper legs. If you don’t have additional weight, it’s not a problem. I usually put some books on my legs and this works well because weight is still weight.

Here is a video demonstration of seated dip.

#4 Abs

I intentionally put number 4 as abs because you target entire abs with exercises you can perform on a doorway pull up bar. You can put a bar on the floor and put your legs in it to perform crunches. However, I would not advise you to do crunches because there are much more effective exercises you can do using a doorway pull up bar.

Knee and leg raises are by far the most effective ab exercises. Simply, place your bar on a doorway, place your hands on a bar and extend them fully. Do a free hang. From there raise your knees slowly to your head, hold there for a bit and return your knees in the starting position. You’ll feel a great burn in your abs after this exercise.

#5 Hanging exercises

In case you are struggling with a grip, this is a great exercise for you. Simply, put your hands on the bar and extend them fully. Do a free hang for as much time as you can hold. This exercise will build a required gripping strength for your first pull up.

I suggest you to do a hanging exercises even if you master a pull up. You can do one-hand hangs and in my opinion, this is the most effective exercise for gripping strength.

#6 Levers (advanced)

If you’ve mastered a basic movements, it’s not unusual to focus more on static elements like front and back lever. These exercises are very, very hard and require a solid strength to be performed. I’ve been training for three years and I’m still not able to hold a front lever more than 5 seconds. You can also do all of progressions for front and back lever which will hugely impact your overall strength.

#7 Handstands

A handstand is my favorite exercise because it requires a real commitment and focus. Technique plays the main role in handstand and it’s easy to learn. Also, a handstand is one of the most attractive exercises known in a body weight training. It’s far more comfortable for the wrists and hands when a handstand is performed on a doorway pull up bar because it has a foam padded grips.

A handstand is not only a fancy exercise, it has many benefits.

  • It strengthens a whole body
  • It develops hand balance
  • It develops flexibility
  • It targets abs pretty hard

If you’re interested in learning handstands, I advise you to check this guide because I learned my handstand technique from there because it’s well explained and detailed tutorial.

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