All those crunches or sit-ups aren’t going to get you killer abs. Just ask any professional. The secret is in the sauce… or in this case, the gear. The best way to target all your abdominal muscles including the traverse abdominis (the deepest layer and the actual “core”) is to use a power tower. With just one piece of equipment, you can transition between several different exercises and workout all your abdominal muscles to get that ultra flat six pack. Of course, not just any ole power tower will do. You need to make sure that the one you get will have all the features you need to meet your fitness goals. To help you out, we’ve found all the best power towers in the market based on our tests and consumer reviews. Check them all out below.
Top 8 Power Towers of 2018 Reviewed
1. Stamina 1690 Power TowerBest Power Tower For The Money
The Stamina 1690 Power Tower is a crowd-favorite among beginners and pros alike. And it’s not just because of the price. It measures 49” by 42” (height is 81 inches) which means it’ll fit almost any space you have in mind. It features all four core stations – pulls up, pushes up, dip, and VKR. All bars that you’ll be gripping feature a foam padding for comfort.
And there’s an added sit up a station which has a foam padded bar where you can anchor your feet on for doing crunches. Non-slip end-caps are located at the base to ensure that the power tower remains stable and won’t scratch your floors. And in case you’re wondering, the frame is made of solid steel with a max weight capacity of 250 lbs. Now, it does have a wobble if your form is sloppy but not enough to make you feel like you’re going to fall. The hex wrench included isn’t any good so make sure you have a socket wrench available. And there is no backrest and armrest for knee raises and leg raises.
- Easy to assemble
- All four core stations included
- Great grip on the bars
- Slight wobble
- No backrest and armrest
- Included hex wrench isn’t any good
2. Body Champ VKR1010
For a little bit more money ($50 more), you can enjoy a complete and comfortable power tower. The Body Champ VKR1010 features armrests and a backrest which are made with thick, heavy duty cushions. The heavy-duty steel frame ensures durability while the solid D-frame base provides enhanced stability. It has a 250-lbs maximum weight capacity. Like our first pick, the tools that came with this power tower weren’t all that great. It stays stable when doing leg raises and pulls ups but there is a slight wobble when you do dips. Also, smaller framed individuals have reported that the armrests were a little too wide.
- Thick heavy duty cushions
- Sturdy frame
- Easy to assemble
- Individuals with small frames may find the armrest too wide
- Slight wobble when dipping
- Included tools were below par
3. XMark Power Tower XM-4432
For a little bit more money (again), you’ll get an upgraded version of the Body Champ power tower. The XMark XM-4432 features all four core stations plus a sit-up station that is comprised of an adjustable padded foot bar. The frame is made of 14-Gauge steel with a scratch resistant powder coat finish. The pull-up bar features a narrow and wide grip for multiple variations of pulls.
Unlike the other two, there’s barely a wobble here, especially if it’s on a level floor or placed on top of the carpeted floor. However, the armrest covers get slippery when wet which happens when you’re sweating. Also, it takes a lot of time to assemble. Faster if you have help. Also, the pull-up bar seems a bit too close to the crossbar causing some users to hit their knee when they do pull up exercises.
- 14-gauge steel with a scratch resistant coating
- Very stable
- Narrow and wide grips on pull up bar
- Pull up bar is too near the crossbar
- Armrest gets slippery when wet
- Takes a lot of time to assemble
4. ProGear 275Best Power Tower For Calisthenics
Unlike our previous picks, the ProGear 275 has a higher maximum weight capacity due to its reinforced tubular steel frame. The cushions of the armrests and backrest are thick (2 inches). The angled design of the armrests ensures that your forearm, wrist, and elbow stay comfortable while you do your knee and leg raises. You may have noticed that the pull-up bar isn’t actually a bar.
It’s made up of two separate bars that feature multiple grip capability, allowing you to perform a diverse range of exercises to develop your lats, biceps, and back. What makes this power tower standout (aside from the extended weight capacity) is the extended leg stabilizers to ensure that it really doesn’t wobble.
Other highlights include the comfortable foam grips and the step support that allows shorter individuals to reach the pull-up bars. However, the power tower is only 7 feet tall so individuals 6 feet tall and above will find this too short. It’s not that easy to assemble; you need to make sure everything is aligned correctly before tightening anything.
- Extended weight capacity
- Step support
- Multiple grip capability
- A bit difficult to assemble
- Not for tall individuals (over 6 feet tall)
5. Gold’s Gym XR 10.9 Power TowerBest Power Tower For P90x
The Gold’s Gym XR 10.9 Power Tower gets to be on our list because it features multiple grip capability as well. And unlike the ProGear 275, assembly was super easy with this one. It feels very sturdy and stable. The base is wide and the frame is made of heavy steel. Unlike another power tower on our list, this has a maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs. However, the padding of the armrests is not the best quality. The grips aren’t all that comfortable either. And since it has functions on both sides, this power tower does take up a fair bit of room.
- 300-lbs max weight capacity
- Solid construction
- Multiple grip capacity
- Takes up a lot of space
- Grips and foam padding are not comfortable
6. Ainfox Power TowerBest Power Tower For Muscle Ups
The Ainfox Power Tower has a lot going for it, one of which is the very affordable price. Now, this is a heavy duty power tower that is made of oblate reinforced steel frame with a max weight capacity of 550 lbs.
It has an adjustable height, ranging from approximately 5’4” to 7 feet. Assembling this power tower is a breeze compared to other units. However, we did notice that it has a wobble, especially during dips and if you’re over 220 lbs. A mat or weights on the base does solve the problem. The equipment does have this initial rubber odor out of the box but airing it out for a few days does the trick.
- Adjustable height
- 550-lbs max weight capacity
- Sturdy construction
- Wobbly; needs longer/wider base
- Initial rubber smell out of the box
7. GoBeast Portable Power Tower
The GoBeast isn’t like any of the power towers you’ve seen before. It’s just a base with a horizontal bar that can be extended to a max height of 2 meters and used as a pull-up bar and shortened to 1.3 meters for use as a dip station. While there are no armrests or a backrest, you can still use this power tower to do knee raises and leg raises. This piece of equipment is incredibly versatile for something so simple. You can flip it into different positions to perform various exercises.
Now, this isn’t the stablest of power towers. But the manufacturer does claim that once your form is perfect, it should be stable. Also, you’ll need to place it on a hard surface so it won’t slip. Take note that there are alignment issues with the bars and the pins. And it’s made in China.
- Easy to assemble (takes less than 20 mins)
- Does wobble
- Alignment issues
- Made in China
8. Stamina | X Fortress Power TowerBest Power Tower For Home Use
If you have an unlimited budget and want an all-in-one power tower, then the Stamina X Fortress Power Tower is your best bet. Aside from the usual, this piece of equipment comes with an adjustable plyo box, stronghold grips, ab straps and Boulder Fit rock climbing hand holds. It has a solid steel construction for durability. And even with the numerous parts, the assembly couldn’t be easier.
This is a very stable power tower that will be able to withstand constant use. You really get what you pay for with this power tower. Well worth the money. That being said, it is incredibly expensive so it’s not ideal for everyone. And not everyone will like the extra bells and whistles. Also, the little wrenches included with the unit aren’t going to tighten the bolts well enough so you need to make sure you have socket wrenches on hand.
- Heavy duty construction
- Very stable
- Lots of extra features like the adjustable plyo box, and ab straps
- Very expensive
- You’ll need your own socket wrenches to assemble properly
Power Tower Buying Guide
If you’re on the way to a healthier you, an incredibly efficient and cost-effective way to build strength and burn fat is through the use of a power tower. With this slim gym equipment, you can already perform a diverse range of exercises that target different muscle groups including, or shall we say more importantly your abdominal muscles. Of course, not all power towers are made equal. Some will have a fixed height while others are adjustable.
Some will come with attachments that allow you to perform resistance exercises. There are power towers with racks for stacking free weights. With so many features to consider and models to choose from, it’s totally understandable that finding the right one can be discouraging. All you want to do is get healthy but all these choices are stopping you from getting killer abs and all that. Well, we’ve got just the guide to help you get that power tower of your dreams… er, you know what we mean.
What are power towers?
We’ve already discussed a bit of what a power tower does. But for the sake of those who still have an unclear idea of what it is, here goes. The power tower is a slim piece of equipment that sort of looks like a tall table that was turned on its side, legs sticking out. It features a horizontal bar that connects the 2 sides, two hand grips and armrests located around the middle area of the equipment, and 2 handles near the bottom. The beauty of a power tower is that you’ll be using your own bodyweight to train your muscles.
Most power towers will have four basic stations
The pull-up station is the horizontal bar where you can perform chin ups and pull ups to train the muscles at your back as well as strengthen the muscles in your shoulder and arms.
The push-up station consists of the two lower handles near the bottom of the tower. Due to the low handlebars, you can go deeper and get a more intense workout. You can also do shoulder taps which strengthen your arms and your core.
The dip station is the two hand grips in the middle area. It allows you to work out a variety of muscle groups through dip exercises such as your triceps, shoulders, and chest.
The VKR or vertical knee station is right there beside the dip station. Using the armrests and hand grips along with the backrest allows you to target your abs through a variety of exercises such as knee and leg raises.
Why should I buy a power tower?
With just this simple piece of equipment, you can target a lot of different muscle groups through a diverse range of workouts that you can customize according to your fitness level. Beginners who aren’t able to handle their bodyweight yet can buy resistance bands or sling straps to help you perform the exercises. If you find the workouts on the power tower no longer challenging, you can use a weight vest or ankle weights to push your body to a new level.
Another huge benefit to owning a power tower is that it can easily fit in almost any space because it’s slim and not bulky. With a power tower in your home, you won’t have any excuse to not work out.
How do I know which power tower is for me?
As we’ve already mentioned, not all power towers are made the same. Don’t let any of the marketing distract you. Instead, focus first on what muscles you want to build and strengthen and the range of exercises you plan to include in your regimen to target those muscles. You’ll naturally want all four basic stations of most power towers. But if you want even more versatility, you can check out models that come with a built-in rack, detachable weight bench, and/or space for hanging a punching bag like the Stamina | X Fortress Power Tower.
If you don’t have the budget to buy more than just the basics, you might want to consider a model that offers attachments you can get later on when you have the money. Determining your needs will enable you to more easily narrow down which ones make the cut and which power towers do not.
While power towers are slim, much slimmer than Olympic weight benches, you still need to take into consideration the space you have available. You’ll want extra space around the equipment so your movements won’t get restricted. You don’t want to take precious time away from your exercises because you had to reposition the equipment just so you can do push-ups.
Take note that power towers aren’t all designed alike. Some will allow you to place the equipment flush against the wall because the functions are all located on one side. Other power towers like the XMark Power Tower XM-4432 will have some of the functions on one side and the rest on the other side which will require more space.
You’ll also want to consider height. How high is your ceiling? You’ll need to make sure that you have enough clearance in the room, especially if you plan on setting up your home gym in the basement. A lot of power towers have a fixed height of 2.2 meters, a little over 7 feet. Some like the Ainfox Power Tower has an adjustable height ranging from 5’4” to 7’.
Stability and Sturdiness
A lot of the exercises on the power tower require you to hang on for dear life. Ok, that’s an exaggeration but you probably get what we mean. So, it’s vitally important that the power tower of your choice has a solid construction. The frame bars need to be made of high-quality steel and easily able to handle your weight. Also, check the quality of the hand grips and padding. Is the foam thick enough? Is the cover made of quality vinyl that won’t tear easily? What about the hand grips? Is it made of quality rubber that won’t fall apart after several months of abuse?
As for stability, you want to make sure that the power tower doesn’t wobble. Aside from decreasing the effectivity of your exercise, wobbling can easily lead to injury. Look for one that features a heavily weighted base.
Most power towers will accommodate a wide range of body sizes. However, certain individuals are larger or bulkier than most (Arnold Schwarzenegger comes to mind) which require a specialized power tower such as Ainfox Power Tower.
Speaking of sizes, make sure to check the maximum weight capacity of the power tower. It should be able to handle your weight plus any additional weights you might want to use such as a weight vest or ankle weights.
Power towers don’t come cheap. And if they do, run the other way. Good quality ones will cost you a little under $100 like the Stamina 1690 Power Tower. The construction is solid but the VKR station is missing the armrests hence the lower price. If you want all four core stations complete (read that: comfortable), be prepared to spend more than $100 like the Body Champ VKR1010. For all the bells and whistles, the price can go all the way to $500.
While shelling out this much money can feel daunting, it’s going to be an investment that’ll cost less than your gym membership fees over time. And having your own easily accessible gym means that you can go exercise whenever you want to. No excuses!