No pull up bar at home? Grab your barbell and band and do these exercises instead

By Taco Fleu/Unsplash

If there’s something 2020 taught fitness enthusiasts, it’s that you really have to innovate your indoor workout routine because there are certain exercises you cannot easily do at home—one of which is the pull up exercise. Dubbed as one the most important upper body exercise, pull ups are the perfect exercise to work multiple muscles on your body while increasing your heart rate. The thing is, it’s not easy to build a pull-up bar indoors. If you’re wondering what alternative exercises you can make up for pull ups, here are five regimens you can consider: 


Snatch grip bar hold


  1. Start by bending your knees, hips out and chest up. Stretch your hands shoulder width on the squat bar while pulling the bar to your legs
  2. Make sure your upper back is engaged before you draw your shoulder blades down together
  3. Pull the bar toward your legs for 30 seconds straight


Barbell Row


  1. Your starting position should be standing up with your feet hip-width apart, knees are slightly bent. Remember to keep your glutes and core engaged throughout this routine
  2. Place your hands on the squat bar and make sure it’s as width as your shoulder width. Bend your elbows and bring your bar onto your chest
  3. Once you do so, pause for a little while then slowly lower the bar back to the floor. Make sure your eyes are looking to the floor so you avoid straining your neck


Renegade rows


  1. First, put your preferred set of dumbbells on the floor before you get into a push-up position. Make sure your shoulders are above your wrist and are hip-width apart while you put your hands on the set of weights
  2. With your hips leveled, lift your dumbbell up to your shoulder height while pointing your elbows directly to the ceiling. Remember to keep your core and legs engaged while you’re at it
  3. Then, lower your weights back down to the floor and then do the same process on your other side. While transitioning to another shoulder, keep your belly button drawn up and shoulders down and back




  1. Using a band, pull this onto your shoulder width with your palms facing forward. Remember to keep your shoulder blades down and chest up
  2. Hold onto the band for 20 seconds while keeping your neck relaxed and core engaged throughout the exercise


W rise


  1. Use your preferred pair of weights in this exercise. Make sure you start by bending your knees and lifting your torso parallel to the ground. Keep your glutes and core engaged throughout this exercise
  2. Draw your elbows to your shoulders by forming a 90-degree angle position with your arms
  3. With your upper arms still, rotate your weights up to your forearms. Make sure they’re parallel to the ground. And then push the weight back out by extending your arms all the way straight 
  4. Do this exercise on the other shoulder and repeat consistently