In my opinion, the power tower is the most useful home gym equipment you can have if you want to do bodyweight training. With the help of it, you can perform all the most important upper body exercises that build functional strength and muscles mass.
Within this post, I’m going to show you these exercises and not just the basic ones. Hence, you can create your home workout routine.Recommended: Find the best pull up dip station here
- Pull-Ups & Its Variations
- Chin Ups
- Abdominal Exercises
- Push Ups
Pull-Ups & Its Variations
The pull-up works your back, arms, shoulders and even your core. This is the exercise that can make you such a broad back that a plain can land on it.
Catch the bar at shoulder width or a little bit wider. To get the best results, perform the move rather slowly without using the momentum and pull yourself up until the pull-up bar is under your chin.
Tips for beginners
However, beginners may find it hard to do it first. You can use a rubber band by fixing both ends to the bar and putting it under your feet. This way it will assist, and it is going to be a bit easier to complete the move.
If it is still difficult to do the movement correctly, follow the progression tutorial below. With the help of these practices, you can strengthen all the muscles that are required.
2. With Narrow Grip
This is an excellent variation that works your lats, but also your biceps and forearm.
In this case, instead of gripping the bar in shoulder width, you catch the bar with your hands close or entirely next to each other.
I love this exercise because it works the lower arms efficiently. And with that, it boosts the strength of my grip which is crucial for pulling exercises.
If you can do about 15 or more proper pulls ups with no difficulty, you may want to add extra resistance to boost your strength. You can use a weighted vest or weight plates hanging on a dip belt.
Personally, I prefer a weighted vest since it is comfortable and does not disturb the motions.
Start by adding just a few pounds, and as you get better, add more weights. But, always keep the proper form!
Also, do not forget that each power tower fitness equipment has a maximum weight capacity. Overloading the workout station may result in wobbling, breakage and with that an injury.
4. Single Arm
This advanced variation that requires great strength and practice. Check out the following video to learn one arm pull up progression exercises.
5. Behind the Neck
I do not do this exercise because it requires significant shoulder mobility, which I do not have. You may try it, but be careful and if you feel pain in your shoulders just leave it out from your power tower workout routine.
Check out the behind the neck pull up tutorial here.
The traditional L-sit exercise is done with the help of dip or push up bars. And, it is a powerful compound move that works your core.
If you are good at both pull-ups and L-sit, why not combine them? Grab the bar, get into the L-sit position, and pull yourself up. It is a hard practice for sure, but it works almost all the muscles of your body at once.
Drills I do not recommend to do with an exercise tower
There are a few variations that I do not recommend to do with a pull-up dip station because it may fall over or just cannot stand such a load.
These exercises are: kipping and plyo pull up, and muscle up. These moves require momentum and with that a very robust and stable exercise equipment. You may fix the workout tower with bolts to the ground, but I do not think that is safe unless you are as light as a feather. Safety is the first.
Chin up has almost the same benefits as pull-ups, but it works your biceps better. You can do the same variations as well such as weighted, assisted, single arm, etc.
Watch the tutorial how to do it.
Now let’s see what kind of power tower exercises you can do with the help of the dip section. Guess what?
I call it traditional dip when we perform the move with a straight body which is almost vertical to the ground. Thanks to that position we can focus on the triceps muscles. But many other body parts such as your shoulders, forearms, chest, and core are engaged to perform the motion. Hence, the dip is an excellent upper body exercise.
2. Chest “Version”
If you lean more forward, then more load is placed on your chest muscles while you perform the motion, particularly on the lower parts of the pecks. Plus, the already mentioned muscles are engaged as well.
Like with pull-ups you can add extra resistance to your dip by using weight. That can be a chain, weighted vest, weight plates hanging on your dip belt. (You may want to hold a dumbbell with your feet, but it is not comfortable and clumsy.)
Again, increase the resistance gradually. And pay attention to the max load the dip bars can stand.
If you are not strong enough yet to perform dips correctly, you can use rubber bands. Fix the ends of it to the dip bars and place your knees on it. The tighter the band, the more help it will give.
5. Side to side
A great way to make the dips more difficult to place your body weight on one side instead of sharing the load on both equally. This is an excellent variation to boost the power and size of your triceps. I know it from my experience.
Now let’s see how you can use the vertical knee raise station and the pull up bar to train your core muscles.
1. Common Knee Raise
It is a perfect drill to strengthen the lower part of your abs. (rectus abdominis). It is not so hard, yet effective. Good for beginners.
Do the motion slowly and focus on your abs. Do not use the momentum.
If you are good it, you can use the pull-up bar instead of the VKR section. That way your body is not stabilized by the backrest and arm pads, so you need to control the movement. As a result, even more, core muscles are engaged. (Plus, your grips get stronger.)
Hanging knees to elbows
Also, instead of just lifting your knees to the point where your thighs are parallel to the floor, lift them up to your chest. Keep that position for a moment and tighten your abdominal muscles. Then, slowly lower your knees back to the starting position. Check out the tutorial here.
2. Regular Leg Raise
It works the same muscles as the previous one, but it is much harder to perform since you have to lift your legs in an extended state. You can also do it on the pull-up bar to make it more complicated instead of using the vertical knee raise station.
Toes to bar
Besides, instead of lifting your legs to the parallel position raise it up until they reach the bar. But, it only works if you implement the motion slowly without momentum.
3. Hanging knee circle
This is a very powerful all in one core training that works your entire rectus abdominis, obliques, and your lower back. But, it is tough.
Get on the pull-up bar, and raise your knees until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Then, make circles slowly with your knees. It needs concentration and tightened muscles. Circle to both sides equally. See the tutorial here.
4. Hanging bicycles
Did you know the bicycle exercise on the floor is the most effective abs exercise? Well, just do it in hanging position to make it even better.
5. Hanging scissor
Scissors are done on the floor but can be done in a hanging state as well. It is maybe easier to perform for beginners than traditional leg raises. A good move to prepare for that.
6. Hanging wipers
Want to focus on your obliques? Then, make this move! It is tough but strengthens those muscle groups miraculously.
Raise your extended leg up until your feet reach the pull-up bar, then turn them to left and right as if they were windshield wipers.
As most of the power towers come with a push-up section, it would be a crime not to use it.
Why is it beneficial to use the push-up bars?
When you do press up with bars, you have to go deeper. This way, the range of motion is longer. That boosts the strength and size development of your chest muscles.
You can do the standard push up when your feet are placed on the ground. Or you can perform decline push up by elevating your feet, for example, you put them on a low chair or a box. This exercise targets the upper part of your chest.
Also, if you are at an advanced fitness level, you can use a weighted vest to make your push-ups harder.
I think, now you agree with me why I said the power tower is the most useful workout equipment for bodyweight exercises at home. Obviously, you do not need to include each of the power tower exercises here in your workout routine. Pick a few that suits your fitness level.
Here is an example, a quick intermediate upper body strength training routine you can do twice a week.
Power tower workout routine:
- Push-ups 4×15
- Pull-ups: 4×10
- Dips: 4×10
- Chin ups: 2×10
- Leg raise: 4×15
- Windshield wiper: 4×10 on both sides.