Looking for an affordable workout aid for the home that allows you to build your chest and stay in better shape? So was I! I’m proud to say my wife and I are now owners of the best power tower around!
I’m excited to say this because instead of a free standing pull up bar, I previously installed a cheap door-frame pullup bar that resulted in–surprise!!–a damaged door frame.
Not to mention that the door frame pullup bar didn’t include a dip station, so I was reduced to balancing between a couple of chairs to do dips. Thankfully I didn’t break those!
Now if I could just find time to patch up the door frame….
Enter the Power Tower!
Don’t kid yourself: pullups are a critically important bodyweight exercise. They simply aren’t optional. And my wife is absolutely against attaching anything to the walls.
(Including picture frames. We stick pieces of velcro to the wall and velcro the pictures up, and to my surprise, most of them haven’t fallen down! Yet.)
The power tower is a free standing pull up bar furnished with a built-in dip station, that you can place in the garage or in your home for performing those important bodyweight exercises. It’s about 7 feet tall, so most people can do a dead-hang pullup; it’s a couple of feet wide to support narrow and wide grip pullups; and weighs around 75-100 pounds.
Don’t worry, these devices are balanced so that your weight won’t topple them over. The best power towers are extremely stable. Stability is an important element to watch for when selecting a power tower, and we’ll include that in our buying criteria below.
Now, we’re going to look at a few in detail further down in this article, but for now let’s take a quick look at the three candidates.
Early Look at the Candidates for Best Power Tower:
|Model||Dip Station||Pullup Bar||Leg Lift Bars||Situp Grips||Rating||Price|
|Stamina 1690||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||4.5 stars||Ck Amazon|
|BodyVision PT1600||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||4 stars||Ck Amazon|
|Weider Power Tower||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||4 stars||Ck Amazon|
You can see they all provide for pullups, dips and leg lifts (and more!), are highly rated and cost from around $85 to $120.
Before we go further in depth, let’s talk about why the pullup tower works for us, the other benefits it provides, and what to look for when shopping for your own.
The Hour of Power Tower
Pullup towers (or “power towers”) provide a few benefits that door frame pullup bars don’t:
- A power tower won’t automatically mean you can do 50 pullups in a session, but it’ll give you the confidence to practice them in your home without causing any damage to your door frames or other structures. 🙂
- And in the event your door frame isn’t so sturdy, or you’re a big person, using a power tower might just prevent you from breaking the door frame altogether and landing on your back. To me, that’s an important level of safety to think about.
- A power tower allows you to perform a pullup workout indoors. Some people mount pullup bars in the garage or even outside the home, but then you may find times through the year when you have to decide if you want to work out in freezing cold temperatures.
- Power towers often include additional equipment to enable you to do more exercises. Mine has dip bars and step-ups at the bottom that I use for incline pushups; it offers the right forearm padding for knee raises, and supports both pullups and chinups. Most include wide pullup bars with handles outside the main frame for wide-grip pullups. Versatility counts when you’re taking up space in your home permanently.
- Power towers can be enhanced to support neutral-grip pullups by attaching gymnastics rings. Though I’m not fully comfortable with the strap alignment quite yet, I’ve been using mine for ring pullups for a couple of weeks now and loving how it works!
- Finally, in line with the theme of living a Bodyweight Life, investing in a pullup tower means you don’t have to go to the gym to do pullups! Granted, if you have a playground or outdoor fitness area in your neighborhood, that’s another option — but having a setup available without leaving the house increases the odds that you’ll actually knock out a set on a given day, don’t you think?
When I made my investment, I went for sturdy but affordable. Given that I haven’t spent on a monthly gym membership in over 2 years, I am doing great in the money saving department!
With that, let’s take a look at some of the features you’d be wise to consider when shopping.
Power Tower Features to Consider
Let’s take a look at some of the features you should be looking at when trying to find the best power tower for your home gym:
- Capacity – How much weight can it hold? I happen to be a lightweight myself, so this wasn’t a huge concern for me, but it might be for those of bigger stature. Even so, I’m heavier than the unit and I don’t want to fall.
- Comfort – What kind of padding is used? Are you holding yourself up with padding or with comfortable straps?
- Configuration – Does the unit you’re considering allow you to adjust its height to accommodate sharing it with another person? Some of the cheaper units, including the one I purchased, do not.
- Height and Depth – This is less of a design feature of the product, but more a function of the space you’ll put it in. How much room do you need? How tall is the room? An average 8 foot ceiling will not provide you room to do muscle-ups over a bar 7+ feet in the air, even if the product you purchase would support you.
- Multipurpose – Does the unit you’re purchasing support only the pullup, as the bare bones units do? Or does it provide additional arms and supports for dips, leg raises and other types of exercise? Most people are looking for efficiency of space, so you will want to consider whether dedicating part of your room for a single exercise is a good use of space.
- Orientation – How are the arms arranged? One thing that went into my decision is having limited space–so I found a device where the pullup bar and dip station both face the same direction, so I can push it back towards the wall in order to minimize footprint. So far that’s worked out fine for me, as the unit I found is pretty well balanced (esp. with weight plates on the back legs).
What power tower exercises are supported?
The simplest of units support the following power tower exercises:
- Leg Raises
The more advanced offer additional equipment that supports even more:
- Single leg squats
- Decline pushups
- Pushup station
- Supine row
- Raised bridge
A word about situps
You may notice that one of our top three includes grips for situps, whereas the other two do not. Why did we not simply choose the one with situp grips as our “best” because it has more functionality?
We strongly believe that situps are not a form of ab exercise you should employ. The L-Sit — and its more advanced cousin the V-Sit — is a much better exercise to work your core and much less likely to cause injury.
Therefore, while we’re making note here of the situp gear as an added feature, it’s not a strong determinant of final recommendation.
Pullups are one of the TOP exercises you can do, so it goes without saying that you need a solid free standing pull up bar to have around. Whatever kind of pullup you’re most comfortable with, you need to have equipment to allow you do do a lot of them over time.
Need help with pullups? Consider the Pullup Solution!
So with that, let’s take a look at a few candidates for the best power tower for your home gym!
Power Towers to Consider
The Stamina 1690 Power Tower
The Stamina 1690 Power Tower is a small unit made of lightweight material–in fact it weighs only 61 pounds!
This tower targets large muscle groups by supporting the following exercises:
– Wide-grip pull-ups
– Narrow-grip pull-ups
– Sit-ups and crunches
– Push-up grips
The main supports angle in a bit which may be slightly awkward if your hand position gravitates towards the joint, but this was not a big concern when I tested this at the sporting goods store.
My primary concern here is the weight. You might consider putting some counterweight on the back – perhaps rest a kettlebell on each leg.
The unit measures 50″ x 81.5″ x 41.5″.
>>> Stamina 1690 on Amazon <<<
Body Vision PT600 Power Tower
The Body Vision PT600 power tower is ideal for those of you with limited space–which was my situation before upgrading to the recommended model below.
If you need to place your power tower in a corner, you’ll need a unit where the dip station and pullup bar are facing the same way! Most units on the market put the pullup bar facing the back, mostly for stability. This one is angled back so that the front facing pullup bar does not cause rocking.
When I was using mine, I added some weight on the back using plates and a kettlebell just to make sure it stayed stable. I didn’t do that because of instability, it was more my own OCD. 🙂
This unit does not provide the bar across the bottom to support situps and crunches. However, I personally prefer L-Sits to sit ups or crunches, and in fact, I caution against the use of sit ups and crunches because of risks to the back.
So, to me, with any space limitation, this unit is ideal! It supports the following exercises:
– Leg lifts and leg raises
– Chins and pull-ups
– Hanging Knee Raises
The unit measures a compact 42 x 43 x 85.
>>> Body Vision PT600 on Amazon <<<
The BEST Power Tower
The best power tower we could find–having the balance between price and features that we’ve seen–is the Weider Power Tower:
This is an affordable, yet professional piece of equipment that offers a few more perks than the Body Vision and Stamina models above for just a bit more investment–and much less than a few other similar models available.
This unit supports the following exercises:
– Hanging Knee Raises
– Push ups
So why is it my favorite?
- The unit is fit for multiple purposes and multiple sizes.
- It includes comfortable padding to support you during leg raises.
- It includes padded handles for pushups
- It is sturdy, weighing 94 pounds which gives it a strong base of support; it supports up to 300 pounds of body weight.
- It’s 57″ x 41″ x 84″ high, so you’ll need some space to deploy it.
Things to consider:
- Because the dip station and the pullup bar face opposite directions, it really won’t work well in a corner–you’ll need to access it from both sides to use this power tower to its full potential.
This pullup tower will provide a great base station for your at home workouts! Check out the best power tower–the Weider–today!
>>> Weider Power Tower on Amazon <<<