Which power towers are best?
Power towers are a staple in every commercial gym, and for a good reason. You can use them to perform a wide range of bodyweight exercises for toning and building muscle mass. You can work out almost every upper body muscle on a power tower without the need for any other pieces of equipment. And, with the addition of resistance bands, you can also use them to target leg muscles.
When choosing a power tower, there are several things to consider, including how many stations it has and the variety in hand grips. Above all else, build quality needs to be one of the deciding factors. Power towers need to be both sturdy and stable to ensure they won’t tip over or fail in any other manner during use. For that reason, it is recommended to choose a model from a reputable brand, such as the Bowflex BodyTower.
What to know before you buy a power tower
Benefits of bodyweight exercises
There are many benefits to performing bodyweight exercises. We would need to dedicate an entire article to that topic alone to explain them all. Instead, we will just touch on some of the most notable.
Those putting together a home gym will appreciate that bodyweight exercises don’t require you to purchase a variety of dumbbells and barbells in various weights, which is costly and demands a lot of storage space. Instead, you’ll be relying simply on your bodyweight and various handholds when performing exercises in the case of a power tower.
Bodyweight exercises are very good for building functional strength since they tend to work multiple muscles simultaneously. These are called compound exercises, and they better translate to overall conditioning for activities you do in your daily life. Additionally, unlike when working out with dumbbells and barbells, you won’t have to waste time switching weights when moving from one exercise to the next, making your workout more efficient.
Though bodyweight exercises may seem difficult at first, you can augment nearly all of them in some way to match the difficulty with your current fitness levels. Also, as bodyweight exercises get easier, you’ll naturally begin to do sets of higher reps, which builds muscle endurance and adds an element of cardio that you don’t get when always stopping at six, eight or 10-rep maxes.
Do you have space in your home for a power tower?
There is no arguing that power towers have a large footprint, so it is vital to make sure you have enough space in your home to dedicate to one before purchasing it. Along with the overall dimensions of the power tower, including the floor space and the ceiling height it requires, you’ll need to factor in how much additional space is needed around the tower to perform all of the various exercises. For example, if doing push-ups off of it, you’ll need at least five feet of clear space in front of it. During pull-ups, your head may reach several inches above the top of the machine, even more if you are performing muscle-ups.
All power towers require assembly, and you can expect this to be more involved than putting together a standard workout bench or door pull-up bar. Also, while most power towers come with the tools required for assembly, these are often low quality and can make the process more difficult than it needs to be. You’ll find the assembly process less of a hassle if you have some of your own wrenches on hand. Even then, expect to dedicate at least an hour or more to put it together.
Features to look for in a quality power tower
A pull-up station is one of the main components of a power tower, so you can expect every model to include one. That said, some pull-up stations are better than others. The more grips a pull-up station has, the more you can vary your hand placements to place greater emphasis on specific parts of a muscle group.
A dip station is another main component of a power tower that all models will include. As with the pull-up station, some dip stations have more grips than others. For example, some models feature angled bars or handholds that you can flip inwards or outwards, so you can vary between narrow and wide grips to emphasize the triceps or the chest, respectively. Additionally, some dip stations feature wide pads where you can rest your forearms while doing leg raises.
Some manufacturers equip them with a push-up station to increase the number of exercises you can do on your power tower. These may include handholds for incline push-ups, footrests for decline push-ups or both.
You can also find power towers with attached workout benches. These will require more space than your average power tower, but they also increase the number of workouts you can utilize. This will also allow you to eliminate adding a separate workout bench to your home gym. On some models, these may fold up against the machine to free up some floor space when not in use.
The ability to add straps and resistance bands to your power tower can further increase its versatility. Some models feature small hooks or holes that act as safe attachment points for these accessories.
Padding is essential for comfort on any piece of workout equipment. There should be adequate padding on the handholds and anywhere else your body will be coming into contact with the power tower with any weight behind it.
Some power towers allow you to adjust the height of the dip station, and if it has one, the push-up station. This can help increase the number, type and difficulty of the exercises you perform on the machine. It is also useful for making the power tower more approachable for people of varying sizes.
How much you can expect to spend on a power tower
Power towers cost $75-$200 for models from lesser-known brands and $200-$400 for reputable and well-known brands.
Power tower FAQ
Do power towers need to be bolted to the ground?
A. Most power towers do not need to be bolted to the ground. Instead, they feature a wide stance that allows them to offer sufficient stability without the need to be bolted down.
How much weight can a power tower support?
A. Every power tower has a different weight capacity, so it is critical to read the product details carefully of any model you consider. That said, most power towers support at least 200 pounds, and some can support over 350 pounds.
What are the best power towers to buy?
Top power tower
What you need to know: This well-made power tower comes from one of the most reputable names in home fitness equipment and allows you to perform more than 20 exercises.
What you’ll love: Its dip station is height adjustable and doubles as the push-up station when set at the lower levels. Also, it features several attachment points for exercise bands and other accessories.
What you should consider: It doesn’t have forearm pads for performing leg lifts.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top power tower for the money
What you need to know: Though basic, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more affordable power tower that feels as sturdy as this model from Body Champ.
What you’ll love: It has thick back and forearm padding to keep you comfortable when performing leg lifts, and its foot stands double as a push-up station.
What you should consider: The overall build is a bit small for tall or large individuals.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This power tower is packed with features not found in many other models, including a sit-up station and a dip station that doubles as a barbell rack for performing squats.
What you’ll love: The high pull-up bar and height-adjustable dip station make the STB-98501 suitable for users of all sizes.
What you should consider: Some people have received units missing bolts and other vital hardware.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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