When it comes to exercise, I’m all about doing it inexpensively with as little equipment as possible. If I don’t have to leave my house, that’s even better. I’ve talked about doing kettlebells at home with YouTube videos for guidance, but I also do pull-ups (or chin-ups, to some) at home or away.
So how do you do pull-ups without a pull-up bar? Easy! You can do them with a door. Start by opening the door up wide enough so you’re away from the door frame and away from the wall. Then drape a towel over the top so your hands won’t get any splinters. Next, with your body pressed up against the front or back of the door, grab the top and lift your feet off the ground. Then, pull yourself up ’til your head is above the door. Finally, slowly lower yourself to the starting position, then repeat!
Obviously you’ll want to do this on a door that’s strong. I always give the door a little test by grabbing the top and pushing down on it to see if there’s any play. If not, you’re likely good to go. The number of hinges a door has is a good indicator of its strength as well. Three or more hinges and you’re likely safe. I’ve found doors in hotels are also great as they’re built for strength and durability.
Aside from being an exercise that you can do virtually anywhere at no cost, pull-ups (on a door, or traditional chin-ups) work your back muscles, your biceps, and your forearms. Another benefit is that they don’t take much time at all! Try working in reps of pull-ups during commercials when you’re watching TV, or each time you enter that particular room.
Here’s a video of a guy demonstrating this technique. He’s really excited about doing pull-ups!