The power tower, also known as the pull-up and dip station, is a piece of exercise equipment that allows you to strengthen your upper body and core muscles.
Power towers are really simple. They’ve got a steel frame and several grip positions so that you can push and pull it several different ways. Typically, they include the following sections:
- Pull-up bar.
- Dip bars.
- Push-up bars.
- Vertical knee raise station (VKR) aka. Captain’s chair.
A pull-up dip station allows you to work out your entire body without taking up much space at home with just one piece of equipment. It’s the best home gym equipment for bodyweight exercises. Hence, perfect choice for people interested in calisthenics.
Let’s see the different power tower exercises.
1. Pull-up & variations
A pull-up is an effective bodyweight exercise that strengthens the upper body muscles. You hang from a pull-up bar with your arms fully extended and your palms facing away from you. After that, you slowly pull yourself up until your chin reaches the top of the bar.
Pull-ups build a strong upper body and work multiple muscles. The lats, back, and shoulders are some of the major muscle groups that pull-ups work. Additionally, the pull-up targets secondary muscle groups such as the biceps, obliques, and serratus anterior. It is participially beneficial to improve grip strength and back muscles.
There is also a wide range of pull-up variations with different grips. You are mainly using the same muscles for all pull-up variations since this is a vertical movement. These movements differ primarily in the intensity of the contractions and the muscles being targeted. An exercise done with a wide grip will focus on the outer part of the back more than the one done with a close grip, which would focus on the middle. When you incorporate these variations into your workouts, you’ll build your lats, midback, rear delts, biceps, forearms, and core.
With the power tower, you can perform almost all these types of pull-up exercises!
From the following video, you can learn many moves. Even though they are presented on a traditional bar, most of them can be done with the tower as well. The pull-up is the best power tower exercise in my opinion.
We recommend this power tower for home
Using a supinated grip, you pull your body up to a hanging bar in a chin-up exercise. By performing chin-ups, you develop muscles in your back, chest, and arms, focusing on the biceps in particular.
- You should hold the bar with both hands. You should have your palms facing you and your arms at shoulder width.
- Reach your chin above the bar. You should have fully bent elbows.
- Pause for a moment.
- Lower your arms straight until you have fully lowered yourself.
- Do the required number of reps.
3. Hanging knee and leg raises
Hanging knee raises target the rectus abdominis (front abs), hip flexors, and some obliques (if the knees are moved laterally from the midline). The hanging leg raises are more difficult to perform since more control is required and higher resistance. Hence full leg lifts build core strength even better.
Hanging knee raises – how to do them?
- Get your hands on a bar high enough to let you hang straight from it.
- Bend your legs and lift your knees as high as you can in front of you without swinging.
- Return your legs to their original positions without swaying.
For the hanging leg lifts, simply lift your legs straight.
There is also a wide range of different hanging core exercises you can do with the pull-up bar of the power tower. Here is another video with 25 types of exercises for strengthening the core muscle.
4. Dip Exercise
As well as engaging the triceps muscles, the triceps dip also works the shoulders and requires core, grip, and arm strength. The exercise becomes a chest dip that focuses on the biceps and pectorals more as you lean into the dip. You still work the triceps, and it feels like a bench press and chest dips in one.
How to do standard bodyweight dips?
- Dip bar should be mounted shoulder width, shoulders above hands, arms straight. Maintain straight hips.
- Lower body until shoulders has a slight stretch.
- Straighten arms after lowering the body.
- Do the required repetitions.
For targeting the chest muscles, lean forward instead of maintaining an upright position.
Find the best power tower for your home gym
5. Captain’s Chair Exercises
These moves are almost the same as the ones you can do on the pull-up bar, but your back and forearm are supported, so it is comfortable to handle the motion and with that, you can perform the exercises more correctly. Hence, they are better for beginners. But they are still very powerful moves to train your abs.
Several types of captain’s chair exercises target the abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis), hip flexors, and external oblique muscle.
Why are power towers good for abs?
Recent studies by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) have shown that captain’s chair exercises are among the best activities for strengthening the obliques and abs.
To do these abdominal exercises, you need to use the power tower’s vertical knee raise station (VKR).
How to do leg raise in VKR?
- Place your back against the support when you step into the vertical leg raise station. Grab the handles firmly and rest your forearms on the pads.
- When you’re ready, let your legs hang down. Maintain a straight posture by keeping your back against the support and contracting your core.
- Bend your knees slightly and lift your legs forward. Lift your legs, so they’re parallel with the ground (90-degree angle). Keep them there for one second.
- Using controlled movement, lower your legs. Be careful not to let your legs fall! Be sure to engage your abs while lowering your legs.
The execution is the same for the knee raise. Just you bend your knees in 90 degrees. This way, this power tower exercise is easier to perform, better for beginners.
By turning your lower body to the sides, you can target your obliques better than your rectus abdominis.
Also, there are many variations you can try to make your abdominal workout routine more versatile. Here is the guide to power tower core exercises.
Power towers are typically equipped with a push-up station. The push-up bars make push-ups more challenging and allow you to use more strength in every rep. Push-up handles increase the range of motion of your push-up, and the science behind the results is clear: having more range of motion leads to more strength and faster muscle growth.
The use of push-up bars may protect the wrists of some people. It’s better for your wrist to use a bar since your hand will not be forced to bend back as far as if you were using a floor. Those with wrist problems will find the bars extremely helpful since they keep the joint in a neutral position.
You can do different push-up variations as well with this station. For example, incline or decline push-ups.
You can do the push-up move harder by placing your weight to do sides, using a weighted vest, or putting a chair under your feet to increase the difficulty.
From the following video, you can learn many variations. Obviously, you cannot do each of them with the push-up station, but you will get some great examples.
Power tower Exercises for Beginners
Some of you may not be ready to do bodyweight exercises yet. You may have trouble doing pull-ups and dips if you are a novice trainer. A support band, also known as a resistance band, can solve this problem.
How do resistance bands work on a power tower?
By reducing your body weight, support bands will allow you to work out better and therefore improve your performance. One end of the band should be attached around your feet, while the other end should be tied around the bar while you are doing pull-ups. When you drag yourself towards the top position with the help of assistance, the tension in the band will help lift your body. The same is true for the dips.
With increasing strength, you’ll be able to use lower-tension rubber bands until you can perform full workouts independently.
Power Tower Workout Routine Ideas
Full-body bodyweight workout routine
When you work out your entire body, you do 1-2 exercises to strengthen the major muscle groups. You work out 2-3 times a week, based on your fitness level. Beginners should follow that training strategy to build fundamental strength and mass. The fact that you perform an exercise frequently also helps you improve at it.
The following is an example full-body workout that you can do with a power tower.
Split system training consists of strength training sessions divided by body regions – usually upper and lower body.
Here is an example of calisthenics split raining.
What are the benefits of power tower workouts?
You can perform compound exercises
You can use the power tower to perform compound moves. Compound exercises work many muscles simultaneously. In a way, compound calisthenics exercises are a time-effective way to get fit. By focusing on compound exercises, you’ll work more muscles and build more strength in a short amount of time. Furthermore, this exercise causes you to burn more calories, improve intramuscular coordination, boost your heart rate, increase flexibility, increase strength, and gain more muscle mass.
Improve your grip strength
A person’s grip strength describes the extent to which they are able to hold something in their hands and for how long considering how heavy it is. A weak grip can reduce a person’s lifting capacity during heavy lifting or bodyweight exercises. Your gains may be hindered if your grip is too weak to complete certain exercises. However, if you have a strong grip, your gains may be boosted.
Numerous muscles groups have to work together
It’s a common misconception that you need more weight resistance than your body can offer to build muscle effectively. The truth is, bodyweight training is probably more efficient at building muscle.
Unlike gym machines that stabilize and move your body for you, bodyweight exercises let you control your weight. Your stabilizer muscles will be put to use, allowing them to develop along with your other muscles. As a result, the exercises feel more natural and exercise the whole body.
How much weight can a power tower support?
Depending on the model, power towers have weight limits ranging from 250 to 500 pounds. One popular model, the SportsRoyal power tower, can support 400 pounds of weight. If you are looking for a suitable machine for your weight, you should pay attention to the weight limit, mainly if you are a pro athlete who wants to do weighted chin-ups with the help of weight vests.
Can you lose weight with a power tower?
Power towers may help an individual lose weight, but there are a few things they need to keep in mind. Dietary restrictions are still necessary. People won’t lose weight if they eat more calories than they burn. Power towers will help you build muscle. People tend to lose weight faster when their lean mass increases. One of the reasons for this is that lean mass causes the metabolism to speed up. It is also true that a person’s resting metabolism rises. As a result, they burn more calories even when they are inactive.
These power tower exercises can help you get a great home upper body workout. With a pull-up and dip station, you can exercise most of your body’s muscles. It also doesn’t require much space, and it’s very affordable! I strongly recommend you get a workout tower if you can only buy one piece of gym equipment.
We have plenty of articles about using this upper body exercise equipment and about the best pieces.
Last update on 2023-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API