Power Tower Exercises – Introduction
What are the best power tower exercises to get ripped?
Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need to join a gym to get fit, lose weight, tone up, get stronger, or build muscle mass.
In fact, you can achieve all these body transformation and fitness goals at home and WITHOUT training equipment!
Calisthenic or bodyweight exercises overload your muscles like barbells and dumbbells but don’t cost a dime to perform.
You can do calisthenics anywhere and anytime, and most bodyweight exercises can be progressed or regressed according to your fitness level.
That said, floor-based calisthenics can become repetitive and boring, especially as you progress from being a beginner to an intermediate or advanced exerciser.
In addition, some muscle groups, such as your back, and biceps, are hard to train on the floor.
The good news is that a power tower can avoid all these shortfalls.
This article explains what a power tower is, reveals the five main exercises you can do with one, and gives you a workout to get you toned and ripped.
What is a Power Tower, Anyway?
A power tower is a free-standing pull-up and dip station designed for home use.
Most are made of tubular metal and are plenty strong enough to support even the heaviest exerciser.
Some power towers are light and relatively portable; some even fold down for easier storage and transport.
Others are more permanent and need to be unbolted if you want to dismantle and move them.
While most power towers allow you to do pull-ups and dips, some have additional features that enable you to do a wider range of exercises, such as raised push-up handles or a backrest for hanging leg raises.
You can also use a power tower in conjunction with resistance bands or a weighted vest, and some can also be used as anchor points for gymnastic rings and suspension trainers, such as the TRX.
Power towers mostly allow you to train your upper body muscle groups, but they can also be used for leg training, such as balance/support during one-leg squats.
So, if you want to add an extra dimension to your workouts or progress from floor-based calisthenics, you’ll probably enjoy training with a power tower.
The Best Power Tower Exercises to Try
Not sure what type of training you can do with a power tower?
Here’s a list of the five best exercises for building core and upper body strength with a power station:
- Triceps Dips
- Inverted rows
- Deficit pushups
- Knee raises
However, it’s worth noting that not all power towers have the same features, so, depending on the model you’ve got, your personal list of power tower exercises may be a little longer or shorter than ours.
Power Tower Exercises Descriptions
Target Muscles: latissimus dorsi, biceps, forearms, core.
There really aren’t many (or even any) floor-based bodyweight exercises for your back muscles and biceps.
Using a power tower makes it much more convenient to train your pulling muscles.
Standard pull-ups and chin-ups are essentially interchangeable, and most power towers allow you to choose between these excellent compound exercises.
How to do it:
- Hang from your power tower using a shoulder-width or narrower underhand grip (chin-ups) or a wider than shoulder-width overhand grip (pull-ups).
- Your arms should be straight, and your shoulders pulled down and back.
- Brace your abs and bend your legs so your feet are clear of the floor.
- Without kicking or swinging, bend your arms and pull your chin up and over the bar.
- Drive your elbows down and back to maximize upper back engagement.
- Descend smoothly and repeat, taking care not to relax your shoulders between reps.
- Make this exercise easier by using a resistance band for assistance or harder by wearing a weighted vest or a weighted chin/dip belt.
Target muscles: Pectoralis major, deltoids, triceps, core.
Dips are similar to decline presses with a barbell or dumbbells.
They’re one of the best basic calisthenic exercises for building a bigger, stronger chest and more muscular triceps.
On the downside, dips are challenging because they involve lifting your entire body weight with just your arms.
But, with practice, most people eventually master triceps and chest dips and enjoy their muscle-building effect.
How to do it:
- Hold the parallel dipping handles so your thumbs are pointing forward.
- Support your weight on straight arms.
- Bend your legs slightly.
- Push your shoulders down and back and look straight ahead.
- Brace your abs.
- Bend your arms and push your elbows backward.
- Descend until your chest is roughly level with your hands.
- Push yourself back up and repeat.
- Keep your torso vertical to emphasize your triceps (triceps dips), or lean forward more to hit your chest harder (chest dips).
- Wear a weighted vest or a weightlifting dip belt to make dips more challenging.
#3. Inverted row
Target Muscles: Latissimus dorsi, biceps, forearms, core.
Can’t do pull-ups or chin-ups (yet!)?
Or want to balance vertical pulling with some horizontal pulls?
Then this is the exercise for you.
While you won’t find this one listed as an “official” power tower exercise, it’s one you can do on most models.
Inverted rows work the same muscles as pull-ups and chin-ups, but there is less resistance to overcome.
How to do it:
- Stand between the dip handles with your back to your power tower.
- Grab the handles, then squat down, so your arms are straight.
- Extend your legs in front of you so your body is straight and your weight is on your heels.
- Bend your arms and pull your chest up between your hands.
- Extend your arms and repeat.
- Make this exercise more challenging by putting your feet on a chair, bench, or box.
#4. Deficit push-ups
Target muscles: Pectoralis major, deltoids, triceps, core.
When you do regular push-ups, the floor limits your full range of motion.
Your rep stops when your chest touches down.
The raised handles on a power tower mean you can lower your chest below your hands to increase the range of motion and get a better stretch at the bottom of each rep.
This is useful for increasing muscle activation and makes push-ups much more demanding.
How to do it:
- Squat down and grip the handles so your thumbs are pointing forward.
- Walk your feet back so your legs and body are straight.
- Pull your shoulders down and back and brace your core.
- Bend your arms and lower your chest down between your hands.
- Keep your elbows tucked in close to your sides to protect your shoulders.
- Extend your arms and return to the starting position.
- Make deficit push-ups easier by bending your legs and resting on your knees or harder by raising your feet or wearing a weighted vest.
- Pausing for 2-3 seconds at the bottom of each rep is another way to make deficit push-ups more challenging.
See the Top 10 Exercises to Improve Pushups for Beginners + Workout for more useful push-up strengthening tips.
#5. Knee raises
Target muscles: Rectus abdominis, hip flexors.
Many power towers have an attachment called a captain’s chair, which lets you do hanging knee raises while supported on your elbows.
If you don’t have a captain’s chair, you can do knee raises while hanging from your pull-up bar or your dipping bar.
Knee raises work your abdominal muscles and hips.
How to do it:
- Support your weight on your elbows (captain’s chair) or the dip bars or pull-up bar.
- Let your legs hang straight down and brace your core.
- Without swinging, bend your legs and pull your knees up so they’re above the height of your hips.
- This will entail curling your lower back and tilting the bottom of your pelvis forward.
- Lower your legs and repeat.
- Feeling strong?
- Try doing straight leg raises, which are MUCH more challenging!
Power Tower Workout Routine
While you could use your power tower casually when the mood takes you, you’ll get better results if you follow a more structured program.
That way, you can be sure that you train all your muscles equally.
Do the following workout 2-3 times per week on non-consecutive days, e.g., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Begin each workout by warming up for 5-10 minutes.
Start with some light cardio, e.g.:
- jumping rope,
- recumbent bike,
- air bike,
- rowing machine,
- or jogging,
and then do a few dynamic mobility and flexibility exercises for your knees, hips, lower back, shoulders, and elbows.
Finally, do an easy (submaximal) set of each exercise to reinforce your technique and maximize muscle activation.
Because you’ll be strength training using your own body weight for resistance, it’s impossible to tell you how many reps to do.
So, for example, some people might be able to do 20+, while others will only be able to do 5-10.
Reps will also vary from exercise to exercise.
So, to get around this problem, simply do as many reps as possible, or AMRAP for short.
This means you keep going until your form starts to fail and you cannot continue doing the exercise correctly.
This will take your muscles to the ideal level of fatigue for improving the condition and work capacity of your muscles.
For balance, we’ve also included some simple bodyweight leg exercises in this program to ensure you develop your entire body equally.
Do NOT skip these exercises!
Warmed up and ready to go?
Then let’s train!
Note: Exercises 1a, 1b, and 1c, and 2a, 2b, and 2c are to be done as two mini-circuits.
So, do pull-ups/chin-ups (your choice which), rest a few seconds, dips, rest another few seconds, and then alternating rear lunges.
Rest for 2-3 minutes, and then repeat that sequence as many times as you wish.
Then, do the same thing with inverted rows, deficit push-ups, and air squats.
Finally, do a couple of regular sets of knee raises.
This program design helps spread the exercise stress around your body, saves time, and increases the workout’s calorie burning and cardiorespiratory demand to help you get ripped faster.
5 Best Power Tower Exercises to Get Ripped – Wrapping Up
If you only buy one piece of exercise equipment to compliment your floor-based bodyweight workout routines, a multi-functional power tower dip station should be it.
Using a power tower makes it much easier to overload your pushing and pulling muscles, and you can also use one to work your abs.
Plus, if you like to use resistance bands, gymnastic rings, or a suspension trainer, you’ll quickly find that they work even better when you pair them with a power tower.
With no moving parts and a strong, solid heavy-duty steel frame construction, any of the best Power Towers on the market today would be a great addition to your garage or home gym.
They are reliable and long-lasting and are a great way to keep your home workout program productive and interesting for many years to come.
Use these power tower exercises and our workout to build the body of your dreams.
See The 7 Best Power Towers for Your Home Gym in 2023 + Workout for today’s finest models on the market.
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