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For many gym enthusiasts, a home gym is essential. Often times we are not in the mood to leave the comfort of our homes to go exercise. When the pandemic hit, we could not go to our local gym even if we wanted to and many of us wished for a home gym.
While a home gym can utilize many pieces of equipment, no gym is complete without adding a pull-up bar. With a pull-up bar, you can exercise your back, chest, shoulders, lats, abdomen and many more muscle groups. A pull-up bar allows you to train almost any muscle group — if creative enough. Here is how to install one in your home.
Things To Keep In Mind
Installing a pull-up bar on a cement wall is typically easier than installing it on drywall. This is because installing a pull-up bar on drywall requires the installer to locate the studs first. For this reason, many people feel intimidated and decide to forgo the idea of having a pull-up bar at home.
Locating the studs behind your drywall is not difficult, but it does take time and effort — often much more effort and time than it should have. To make this task easier, it is recommended to use a stud finder which eliminates the need for you to bang your knuckles against the wall to hear if it is hollow.
Although this is a tedious step, it is a necessary one to take. Not installing the pull-up bar on the studs can lead to accidentally drilling into sheetrock or cause your wall to come down when you attempt a pull-up. The method covered in this article will focus on installing a bar on drywall.
The screws you use for your pull-up bar installation are crucial. If improper screws and equipment are used, it might result in you lying on your back with a bar in hand. Ensure you are on the safe side and check that the screws you buy can support your weight — generally, lag bolts are a good choice.
Another thing to remember is there are different pull-up bars out there and not all of them will install the same way. However, this guide should give you a general idea of what to do and what to expect.
Where Should You Install The Pull-Up Bar?
The first thing to do is locate the perfect pull-up bar spot. A spare room is usually the ideal place, but unfortunately, this route will not be accessible to everyone. Some people choose a garage, but this can present its own challenges, especially if it’s on the smaller side.
The important thing to remember is what will stand beneath the bar. If the answer is nothing, you’re good to go. However, if something stands in that area already, there are a few things to consider.
If there is something in the way of the bar that requires to be moved every time, it can cause you to skip your workout altogether. It is recommended to find another place for the object or choose a different wall for the pull-up bar.
If other people also live in the house, ensure that you take them into consideration. They might not be fond of having a pull-up bar in the living room — if that was the only suitable place you could find. Instead, discuss with them and find the ideal place for the bar instead of surprising them.
How High Does Your Pull-Up Bar Need To Be?
Now that you have located the perfect spot, the next step is to choose the height. This is entirely up to preference and will depend on your length and how you like to grab the bar. Some people want to stand beneath it and grab it easily without extending themselves.
While others prefer to jump and grab ahold of the bar, consider which one you are and write down your chosen height. For many people, the ideal height to install a pull-up bar is to have at least a minimum gap of 18 inches from the ceiling — for where your head will go — or 80 inches from the floor.
However, if your ceiling is on the high side, you can lower the amount and might be able to perform additional exercises that require more space above the bar — such as muscle ups. Ensure you are happy with the height and that there is enough space for your head when performing exercises.
5 Steps To Install The Pull-Up Bar
You can begin installing the pull-up bar when you have the ideal place and height. Here are the five steps to follow.
1. Locate Your Wall Studs
The first step is to locate the studs set beneath your drywall. As mentioned before, this step is crucial and will prevent the wall from collapsing on you. Studs are typically placed 16 to 23 inches apart.
2. Make an Indication on The Wall for The Brackets
Measure the height you selected earlier and indicate it on the wall with a pencil. Ensure the studs are behind the marks you make. This is where you will drill the holes for the brackets of the pull-up bar.
3. Drill The Holes and Install The Pull-up Bar
Use the same drill bit size as the screws you will insert — which is usually indicated in the manual that comes with the pull-up bar. Drill the first holes and use the bracket to line up the rest of the holes — if your pull-up bar comes in separate parts.
If your pull-up bar is a single solid piece, it is recommended you mark the holes while someone is holding the bar up for you. After that, the holes can be drilled and the bar attached. Ensure the bolts are well tightened and the bar is stable.
4. Testing The Stability of The Bar
This step is essential to ensure the bar is tightly secured and eliminates the risk of an injury occurring — remember to follow the safety instructions in the user manual. Begin by slightly adding pressure to the bar and see if the wall or the bar is giving way. Only after ensuring the bar is secured can you hang on it with your full weight.
5. Do Some Pull-Ups
After ensuring the bar is safe, do some pull-ups to test it properly. If nothing gives way, you have successfully installed a pull-up bar and the perfect home gym of your dreams is one step closer.
Taking The Leap
While installing a pull-up bar might seem complicated, it is easier than expected and completely doable. Ensure you follow all the steps and take the necessary precautions when tackling this endeavor. If all goes well, you can be doing pull-ups within the hour.