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I want to put a wall mounted pull up bar in my home gym. Wherever I've seen one in a gym before, they are at such a height I have to jump and catch the bar, which is embarrassing if you miss!

Is there any particular reason for this? Is there a good reason I shouldn't simply set it at my maximum reach and curl my legs?

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  • Without adding even more to the m=comments under David's answer: if you're mounting it yourself, you could go for max reach on tiptoes, but my preference would be for a very small jump. If you're only jumping 15-20cm (6-8") doing so quite precisely shouldn't be hard. Arguably if it is, that's worth practicing
    – Chris H
    Apr 5, 2022 at 7:59

2 Answers 2

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Gyms need to have pull-up bars that are high enough that even their tallest members can use them without their knees hitting the ground. They may prefer to have them even higher, so that tall people can even use them without needing to bend their knees, which is possibly beneficial for CrossFit-style swinging pull-ups, though this will then mean that most people will need a box or step to get up to the bar. Hence they'll typically be at a height of 2m or higher.

If you're mounting a pull-up bar for your personal use only, then you can definitely set it at whatever height is most comfortable or convenient for you.

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  • 15
    As someone 6' 5" with long arms, I completely appreciate this :)
    – Dark Hippo
    Apr 4, 2022 at 6:19
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    Not only swinging pullups, but also leg raises.
    – arne
    Apr 4, 2022 at 9:41
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    @DarkHippo the opposite is true too - us giraffe-types like to walk around without risking our skull's integrity by finding a low-hanging but well-secured thing at forehead/ chin/shoulder height.
    – Criggie
    Apr 4, 2022 at 10:11
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    My gym has a box for shrimps like me to stand on.
    – RedSonja
    Apr 4, 2022 at 13:17
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    Having to bend your legs is not ideal even for regular pull ups. The "perfect" pull up form would have your legs hanging completely relaxed and without hitting the ground at any time during the movement.
    – jesse_b
    Apr 4, 2022 at 14:14
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What most people disregard when it comes to pull-ups is that during an actual proper pull-up, your legs and core should be engaged and tensed. You want to be able to hold this throughout the entire range of motion. To do a proper controlled pull-up, you don't want to have bent knees or legs that are rotated back at the hips.

If you can reach the bar easily while standing on the floor, you won't be able to have your legs straight at the lowest point of the motion.

Furthermore as mentioned before, the gym has to take into account that there are people of many different shapes and sizes, which includes height.

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    Are you saying that a "proper" pull-up means legs extended (presumably with ankles crossed) for the entire range of motion? Do you have a good scientific paper or authoritative article showing that this is better? I'm interested to learn more here. Apr 4, 2022 at 13:15
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    @PatrickSzalapski the legs shouldn't be crossed
    – minseong
    Apr 4, 2022 at 13:17
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    @PatrickSzalapski You're trying to avoid "kipping". See barbend.com/kipping-pull-ups-vs-strict
    – Graham
    Apr 4, 2022 at 13:40
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    One can bend one's knees to cheat a little in a slow non-kipping pull-up. I always thought it was better than giving up before that point for fewer reps, but I realize I have no evidence either way. Do you? Apr 4, 2022 at 13:54
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    @PatrickSzalapski "Better" depends on what you want to get out of it. :) But for the OP's question, you do at least want your bar set at a height which gives you access to the various methods. Then if you want to kip, you can kip; and if you want a long hang with your body rigid then you can do that too.
    – Graham
    Apr 4, 2022 at 18:04

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