I have a “Perfect Pullup” pull-up bar in my bathroom doorway at home, I prefer it since it is securely attached with several screws on each side, as opposed to the kind which simply uses pressure against the doorframe to stay up. The Perfect Pullup design is much safer and causes less damage to the doorframe. Having it installed in my bathroom doorway is also one of the easiest ways I’ve found to keep up with an exercising routine, since I walk underneath it several times a day. 🙂
Note: The version I have is no longer available on Amazon, the product I’ve linked to on this page is the closest pull up bar I’ve found to what I have. It is less expensive than what I purchased “As seen on TV” and it sounds like a better design.
I’ve come up with 10 different exercises that can be done on a pull-up bar, and I created a video demonstrating each one (see below, embedded from youtube). I also have in mind 2 more that require much more strength, but I’ll have to make a follow up post about that when I can do them. Here is the list of exercises, how they can be adapted for different strength levels, and which muscles they work (according to which muscles get sore when I do them):
- Pull-ups (knuckles towards your face). If you aren’t able to do a pull-up by yourself you can put a chair under the bar in the doorway and push on it with your feet to help. These work your forearms and biceps.
- Chin-ups (palms towards your face). The same progression with a chair applies to chin-ups also, and they work biceps and a different part of your forearms.
- Tucked Leg Lifts – this is an easier version of next few exercises, it works your abs and thighs
- Hanging L Hold – you can hold it for longer time as you get stronger, it works your lower abs and thighs
- Leg raises – you can start by raising them to an L and progress to the bar as you get stronger, this works your thighs and stomach muscles
- Front Lever Pulls – this can be a progression to holding a front lever, it works your biceps, triceps, chest, and abs
- Front Lever – hold it for longer time as you get stronger, this works your chest, triceps, abs, and thighs
- Back Leg Raises – this works your back muscles and can be a progression to back lever holds
- Back Lever – hold it for longer time as you get stronger, works your back, the back of your legs, and your arms
- Skin the Cat – this is really a stretch and not an exercise, but after doing some of the above you’ll need to take time to stretch in order to stay limber and healthy