Pull-Up Alternatives

5 Alternatives to Pull-ups Without a Bar

Looking for a way to do pull-ups at home without a bar? These 5 alternatives to bar pull-ups can help you build strength and achieve your fitness goals. From doorway rows to towel pull-ups, there are options for all levels of ability. With a little creativity and some household items, you can easily get in a great pull-up workout from the comfort of your own home. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to challenge yourself, these no bar pull-up alternatives have got you covered.

1. Doorway Rows

To perform a doorway row:

  • Stand in front of your doorway and grab both sides.
  • Place your feet a little closer to the doorway, so you’re leaning back.
  • Sit back so you put weight on your arms.
  • Pull yourself forward.

The more you lean back, the tougher this will be. You can also just hang back to start building some “pull” strength.


2. Towel Doorway Rows

To perform a towel doorway row:

  • Take a towel and fold it twice lengthwise.
  • Tie the towel around the door handle on the opposite side of you.
  • Perform rows by using each side of the towel.

The towel might help you lean back even further, creating a more challenging exercise. Make sure the door opens AWAY from you to prevent accidents.

3. Inverted Rows with Chairs

To perform inverted rows with chairs:

  • Place two sturdy chairs a few feet apart.
  • Place a broomstick or dowel across the backs of the chairs.
  • Grasp the broomstick with an overhand grip.
  • Perform rows by pulling your chest towards the broomstick.

The important thing here is the setup. Give your newly created station a few gentle pushes to check the integrity of the structure. Only when you feel confident should you start performing inverted bodyweight rows.

4. Towel Pull-Ups

To perform towel pull-ups:

  • Tie an overhand knot in the corner of two sturdy hand towels or washcloths.
  • Place the knots over a door and close it.
  • Make sure the knots are secure before you start doing your pull-ups.

Doing towel pull-ups is a great way to improve your grip strength. If you find them too difficult, you can use a stool to support your feet as you lift.

5. Floor Sliding Pull-Ups

To perform floor sliding pull-ups:

  • Place a towel on the floor.
  • Use the same muscles you would use for a pull-up to pull yourself up using your back muscles.

This exercise is a good way to build strength in your back muscles and work towards a full pull-up.