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7 Of The Best Power Tower Exercises

You may realize that power tower workouts can offer you impressive benefits but what are some exercises you can do with a power tower?

A power tower is a type of fitness equipment that is mainly a combination of a pull-up bar, captain’s chair, and tricep bars in one gym machine. Some models add other attachments too. Even with just the standard three components, there are a wide variety of power tower exercises for a wide variety of muscles.

When doing these exercises make sure your power tower is stable and able to handle the pressure you will put on it. Also keep in mind that implementing these exercises can offer benefits but like any workout, there is always some risk of injury. Implement a good technique to keep your injury risk low. When in doubt talk to an expert.

1. Pull-ups

This first exercise is not surprising but the classic pull-up is a great exercise for goals like building muscle and losing weight. To do a standard pull-up take the following steps:

  1. Hang from the pull-up bar with your hands at about shoulder-width with your hand palms facing forward.
  2. Pull your body up slowly until your shoulders are the height of the bar.
  3. Lower your body again into starting position in a controlled motion.

Among other muscles, the pull-up is great for working your back muscles. If this exercise is too challenging yet there are plenty of pull-up alternatives that can help you work up to your first successful pull-up. You can also use resistance bands to make the pull-up less challenging.

If you are more experienced with resistance training you may have the opposite problem, that a regular bodyweight pull-up is not challenging enough.

In that case, you can do weighted pull-ups where you carry extra external weights so that you can keep gaining muscle. Before trying this last option out make sure your power tower can handle the extra weight.

Another potential challenge is that your grip muscles fatigue before your back muscles. If this is an issue, power tower accessories like hand grip hook straps may be a good investment.

2. Dips

To do the exercise where these bars get their name from you will use the dip bars of your power tower. On top of many other benefits, dip workouts are a great way to build muscle in areas like your triceps and lower chest muscles. To do a dip take the following steps:

  1. Place your hands on the dip bars. Start with your arms in an extended but not locked position. You will likely need to step-ups on your power tower to get into this position.
  2. Slowly lower your body by bending your elbows until these are at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Raise yourself back up again into starting position.

A dip is often done with just body weight. Individuals more experienced with resistance training may need to do weighted dips to keep building a lot of muscle.

On the other hand, beginners to resistance training may need to start with dip alternatives because regular dips are too challenging.

If you are able to do them dips are a great exercise choice to build muscle mass. To build the most muscle mass you want to do about 4 sets of 10-40 dips depending on how advanced you are.

3. Knee and leg raises

The power tower is not only useful for building back and arm muscles. With knee and leg raises you can also strengthen and grow your core muscles. For this exercise, you will use the captain’s chair part of the power tower. To do a knee or leg raise take the following steps:

  1. Grip the captain’s chair handles and rest your forearms on the padding. Your back should be against the back padding and your legs hanging, not resisting gravity yet.
  2. For the knee raise, start raising your knees held together upwards. Let gravity do its work on your lower legs throughout the exercise. For the leg raise, you keep your legs stretched but in this step, they just hang downwards.
  3. Slowly raise your knees to at least hip height for the knee raise or your feet to at least hip height for the leg raise. Once you are at the highest you can hold for a second or less.
  4. Lower your legs back into the position in step 2 in a controlled manner.

This exercise is one example of many captain’s chair exercises that can help you build bigger abs. One of the most convenient ways of adding weights to these exercises is with the help of ankle weights.

4. Pushup variations

Some powers have a dedicated place for pushup variations. Even if they don’t you can often find a place where you can safely put your hands for pushup variations. By doing pushups in different ways you can make them more or less challenging and make them target different muscles.

Make sure your power tower is suited for this exercise before trying it out. To do an incline pushup take the following steps:

  1. Put your hands about shoulder-width apart somewhere elevated and safe on your power tower. Your arms start stretched.
  2. Move your feet back until your body is in a straight line and your arms are at a 90-degree angle to your body.
  3. Slowly fold your arms at your elbows until your face is at about hand height. Your arms should be at an angle of about 45 degrees to your sides. Another way to put it is if someone is looking down at you from above your arms should make an arrow, not a T.
  4. Stretch your arms again until you are back in the position from the second step.

Incline pushups, where you place your hands higher, are generally easier and focus more on your lower chest muscles than regular pushups. Decline pushups, where you place your feet higher are generally harder and focus more on your upper chest muscles.

5. Inverted row

A regular weight lifting row involves standing bent over and moving an external weight up and down. With this inverted row, you will move your body weight up and down in a way that targets similar muscles with the help of the dip bars of the power tower.

Make sure your power tower stays balanced enough for this exercise. To do an inverted row take the following steps:

  1. Start sitting down under the dip bars and grab them.
  2. Move your body so your arms are stretched, your knees are at about a 90-degree angle or more, and the rest of your body is in a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
  3. Raise your body by slightly bending your elbows until your body reaches the bar. The goal is to mainly make your back muscles support this movement. Keep your arms close to your body, your body in a straight line, and your feet in the same position during the movement.
  4. Slowly lower yourself again until you are back in the position of the third step.

When done right the inverted row engages your back, bicep, and trap muscles.

6. Bicep curl

This next example is a power tower exercise for your biceps. Most people stick to the wide variety of dumbbell exercises but you can also do a bicep curl with the help of your dip bars.

At first, this may look similar to the inverted row but there are a few differences that shift the focus to your bicep muscles instead of your back muscles.

To do a power tower bicep curl take the following steps:

  1. Start sitting down under the dip bars and grab them.
  2. Move your body so your arms are stretched, your knees are at about a 90-degree angle, and the rest of your body is in a straight line.
  3. Raise your body by bending your elbows until your body reaches the bar. Compared to the inverted row your back will be stiffer and your elbows will fold more with the bicep curl. Keep your arms close to your body, your body in a straight line, and your feet in the same position during the movement.
  4. Slowly lower yourself again until you are back in the position of the third step.

As the name implies if you do this exercise right it should engage your bicep muscles. If you have dumbbells at home it may be smarter to do bicep curls or other bicep exercises with those.

7. Dead hang

The dead hand does not look that impressive but for specific goals, this exercise can make sense to do. To do a dead hang take the following steps:

  1. Hang from the pull-up bar with your hands at about shoulder-width with your hand palms facing forward.
  2. Simply keep hanging for an extended period of time.

Partly because it is an isometric exercise the dead hang is not the greatest for building a lot of muscle mass. That being said just hanging from a pull-up bar can be good in the sense that it can help you improve grip strength.