Power Tower Exercises and Workout Guide

A power tower is sometimes called a captain’s chair or a knee raise station. It’s a piece of gym equipment that helps you work on your upper body and your core – all from one piece of equipment.

Most power towers have a backrest and forearm rests to make it more comfortable to use. All power towers will have vertical handles at the ends of the armrests for you to hold onto.

woman using a power tower in the gym

If you’re working out at home and looking to maximize space, or if you’re looking for combination exercises that help you save time in the gym, a power tower might just be the answer you’re looking for.

So let’s take a look at the benefits of a power tower workout and check out some examples, too.

What are the Benefits of Exercising Using a Power Tower?

Power towers are great for adding variety to your workout. You can easily target several muscle groups at once. Even better, a power tower doesn’t take up much space, and since there are no moving parts or pieces, there’s very little maintenance.

A power tower uses your body weight to perform each movement. That means that there’s a reduced risk of injury since you’re only working with your body weird. The intensity of these movements also depends on how hard you’re willing to work, So if you want to take it slow one day, you can, or if you’re going to rep out a bunch of pull-ups to get a sweat, you can do that too. Eventually, as your strength develops, there are ways to add weights to these movements to make them even more challenging.

Power towers are also incredibly affordable, and since they combine so many workout options in one machine, you’ll never get bored or tired of your routine.

Most importantly, power towers are suitable for all fitness levels, no matter if you’ve never done a pull up in your life or if you can do a hundred without a break.

Power Tower Exercises

Your upper body and core will get a serious workout when you add in power tower activities to your programming. Here’s everything you can do with one.

Chin-ups and Pull-ups

This is one of the most excellent benefits of a power tower, and both pull-ups and chin-ups are great exercises for total body strength. The difference between a pull-up and a chin-up is you grip the bar. Chin-ups are done with your hands facing your body, and pull-ups are done with your palms facing away from your body.

Both movements can be achieved using a power tower.

Activate your back, core, biceps, and shoulders with this move. Once you’re hanging from the bars, just pull up. If your chin crosses the bar, you’ve done a pull-up. If you can keep pulling, you’ve just done a pull-up.

Some power towers have different grip variations to make pull-ups and chin-ups more challenging. Chin-ups will give your biceps and arms a greater burn than pull-ups, which require more back muscle activation.

If you don’t have weights available, you could always work to a muscle-up. To perform a muscle-up, perform a pull-up but continue pulling until your chest is at the same level as the bar. Hint: these are a lot harder than they sound!

Dips

This is one of the most common exercises performed on a power tower. Dips target your triceps, and the shape of the tower allows you to get serious depth on the movement. To perform a dip, rest your hands on the armrests or the handgrips. Then extend your arms to raise your entire body upward. Relax to return to the starting position. To make dips more challenging, try leaning forward to activate your chest. If that’s too easy, you can add a weight belt with extra weights to make the move even more challenging.

Hanging Leg Raises

Leg raises can help you build serious core strength without a lot of awkward crunching and bending. To perform this movement, raise your legs, so your body forms an L shape. Lift them until they’re straight out in front of you. Hold for one or two seconds and then release. If you’re able to lift your legs higher than parallel, go for it. It’ll make the movement harder, and you’ll contract your abs even more.

If straight leg raises are too challenging to start, you can always do knee raises. To perform this movement, just pull your knees up toward your chest. You’ll get the same benefits as the L raise and eventually will be strong enough to perform a straight leg raise safely.

Other ab work you can do on a power tower includes Planche holds, oblique knee raises, and even dragon flags (using the bars as leverage).

Other Exercises

A power tower doesn’t have to just be about working your upper body. With a little ingenuity, you can easily use the frame to incorporate serious leg training too.

Some of the options you might consider to make your power tower experience full-body include:

  • Pistol squats (and assisted varieties)
  • Calf Raises (holding onto the tower for support)
  • Bulgarian split squats (if the tower has elevated bars for support)
  • Feet elevated planks
  • Use the backrest to do assisted handstand pushups if you have space for it.

Power Tower Workout for Beginner

  • Pull-ups: 4×8-12
  • Assisted pistol squats: 3×6-10 each leg
  • Triceps dips: 2×10-15
  • L-sits: 2x failure – hold as long as possible
  • Bulgarian split squats: 3×6 each leg

More Advanced Workout

  • Assisted handstand pushups: 3×8-12
  • Pistol jump squats: 3×6-8 each leg
  • Muscle-ups: 2x failure
  • Planche holds: 3x failure

If that doesn’t sound hard enough, consider supersetting a few exercises to get a perfect workout in a short amount of time.

  • Planche holds: 3x failure
  • Weighted chin-ups or pull-ups: 3×6-10
  • Assisted handstand pushups: 3×8-12
  • Pistol jump squats: 3×6-8 each leg

All of these workouts will give help you get closer to your fitness goals and be incredibly challenging no matter your current conditioning and fitness level.

Conclusion

Adding in power tower work to your current programming just makes sense. You’ll get a serious upper body workout and develop real tangible bodyweight strength, not to mention you’ll be sculpting your shoulders, back, arms, and core. Sometimes these moves can feel intimidating, especially at the start, but the more you do, the more comfortable they become. As you progress, you’ll see yourself getting stronger, fitter, and leaner – all with a reduced risk of injury and with an eye on form.

 

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