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  • Alternatives to the Pull Up Bar?

    Are there any exercises that come close to mimicking using the pull up bar? We have one, but it doesn't work in our home. I don't use a gym but I do have full weights and bench at home. I've searched and searched but nothing is coming up. Can weights be substituted for that one exercise?

    Any help would be appreciated!

    Thanks!!!!!

  • #2
    you can put a wedge or something under a door and use the top to pull yourself up. but, even better than that is a tree branch.
    i've also used landings or the backs of stairs in apartment buildings. and, in a pinch, you can throw a thick-ish rope or a towel over some goal posts or higher branches and get a good pull up workout that way.

    also, consider getting a different kind of pull up bar for your home. my last apartment, i couldn't use the doorway frame kind, but the kind that you screw in to a doorway works just as good...and usually costs less
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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    • #3
      Originally posted by redskater View Post
      Are there any exercises that come close to mimicking using the pull up bar? We have one, but it doesn't work in our home. I don't use a gym but I do have full weights and bench at home. I've searched and searched but nothing is coming up. Can weights be substituted for that one exercise?

      Any help would be appreciated!

      Thanks!!!!!
      Nothing can replace pullups Now, you can do bent-over barbell rows to work the back (or bent-over dumbbell rows), for bodyweight you can use a barbell in a rack or a table, get underneath it, and do reverse pushups (or whatever they are called), but nothing physiologically can replace the pullups (which is probably the most "human" back exercise).

      --Me

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      • #4
        Our doors are over 8ft! even with a step ladder it's difficult to reach. My husband just sees hospital bills if I attempt it! Thanks for the ideas, I might just have to get a frame, not sure hubby wants to be drilling holes in the wall..... but maybe.....

        Thanks for the help

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        • #5
          Originally posted by redskater View Post
          Our doors are over 8ft! even with a step ladder it's difficult to reach. My husband just sees hospital bills if I attempt it! Thanks for the ideas, I might just have to get a frame, not sure hubby wants to be drilling holes in the wall..... but maybe.....

          Thanks for the help
          imagine the hospital bills if you stay sedentary.

          i had forgotten about inverse rows...adamm's suggestion. they are a great pre-pullups exercise and can be just about anywhere.
          the holes you would need for screw-in doorway pull up bar are minimal...less than the hinges on the door. that's a pretty small price to pay for all the benefits of a pull up bar.
          http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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          • #6
            Have you got anywhere to hang a set of rings? Outside on a tree, some hooks inside a door frame (with 8ft doors should be perfect). I travel with my rings and its really pretty rare that there is nowhere to rig them.

            Other pulling options would be climbing (trees, lamp posts, roof beams), horizontal rows (under a table, bar or TRX), towel rows (wrap a towel round a door handle sit back and pull) dumbbell rows, how about fixing a rope to a tyre and pulling towards you. Of course don't forget crawling- maybe even more primal than climbing- just pull yourself along the ground using your arms.

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            • #7
              thanks for all the suggestions. I'll give them a try until I can get a frame. I think that might be the best solution down the road.

              appreciate the help!

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              • #8
                I think there's something called a Turbo Tower for about $100, available at WalMart (or at least at their online store) if I remember right, if you have room for a stand-alone pull-up bar. I have that tucked away in my memory for the day that my mangled shoulders are well enough to permit me to try working on pull-ups. In the meanwhile, I am cautiously trying resistance band exercises. There's probably a way to mimic a pull-up with those, but I am way too far from being an expert to tell anyone how to do it.
                5'2", 55 years, Primal since April. Pre-Primal weight loss, from 216.6 to 157.8
                Primal low: 140.2 (Dec. 3) Goal weight: 135?
                Main Primal goal: beating back my CFS enough to function more normally and start writing again

                More and more, our life has been governed by specialists, who know too little of what lies outside their province to be able to know enough about what takes place within it.
                - Lewis Mumford

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                • #9
                  It's pretty easy to find a lowish bar to do Australian pull ups. I use a hand railing at a park. Here's how to do them better than I can explain (with a video!): All About Australian Pull-ups

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                  • #10
                    neighborhood playground.
                    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by adamm View Post
                      Nothing can replace pullups Now, you can do bent-over barbell rows to work the back (or bent-over dumbbell rows), for bodyweight you can use a barbell in a rack or a table, get underneath it, and do reverse pushups (or whatever they are called), but nothing physiologically can replace the pullups (which is probably the most "human" back exercise).

                      --Me
                      What about holding a plank and doing dumbell rows? Does that help? I do those sometimes but I can't do any pullups and it's not likely I ever will be able to. It's like I have to start not at square one but square 1 - 100.
                      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                      • #12
                        But I bet you can do a negative. That's the place to start. Negative, then weighted negative. Even just hanging on the bar for a while isometrically will highlight the difference in the muscular groups and efforts involved.

                        Planks and db rows are great exercise, planks are better, because rows in most cases are done in the weight range where it's bicep that is pulling the weight, not back or laterals. If you can do a bicep curl with the weight you are rowing, chances are you are not activating the back.
                        My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                        When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                        • #13
                          well I bit the bullet and ordered a "Power Tower". It has a few different bars and handles to be able to do a variety of exercises.
                          It will be interesting to see if I will ever be able to do a real pull up, but I like the challenge!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sandstone View Post
                            Have you got anywhere to hang a set of rings? Outside on a tree, some hooks inside a door frame (with 8ft doors should be perfect). I travel with my rings and its really pretty rare that there is nowhere to rig them.
                            I'm curious about the rings you use when you travel. Where do you use them and how do they mount?

                            I travel a lot for business, so having the ability to conduct a workout on my own time would be great. Push ups and planks are easy enough...but pull ups (and a Grok hang) are harder...sounds like you have a solution!

                            Thanks!

                            Jim

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                            • #15
                              if you have the money, a trx suspension system, either a genuine one or a cheaper alternative like the jungle gym, or a home made system (see youtube) is fab for all the possible bodyweight exercises you could contemplate. If you make your own, just buy a door anchor attachment on amazon and you are good to go in hotels etc.

                              I love mine, one legged squats, planks with suspended legs and host more. The genuine TRX is not cheap but it is a good bit of kit if it saves you on a lot of other stuff and gym membership

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