What is a Power Tower?

Shelby Miller
Shelby Miller
Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

A power tower is a piece of fitness equipment used to strengthen the upper body and core utilizing bodyweight exercises. It typically incorporates four exercise stations into a single machine: a chin-up bar or bars, a pair of dip bars, arm and back pads for vertical knee raises, and another pair of bars or handles for push-ups. The power tower may also feature a fold-away knee pad for performing chin-ups and dips with assistance. Sold under several fitness-equipment brands, it can be purchased for use in a health club or home gym.

Tall and narrow, the power tower is designed to incorporate a maximum number of exercises while taking up a minimum amount of floor space. Its exercise stations, therefore, are stacked, with a chin-up bar at the very top, typically about 7 feet (2.1336 meters) off the ground. The user can hang from this bar — or in some cases, two individual horizontal bars — and pull his chest up to the height of the bar, strengthening the upper back muscles and biceps.

Below this, either facing the same direction or on the reverse side of the equipment, is a station for performing vertical knee raises. An abdominal exercise, the vertical knee raise involves placing one’s elbows on a pair of forward-jutting pads, holding onto a vertical handle at the end of either pad, placing one’s back against a vertical back pad behind them, and hanging with legs dangling. The user then draws the knees upward or lifts the legs straight out in front and then lowers them, training the abdominal and anterior hip muscles.

Another pair of bars projects forward from the power tower, typically from the front of the vertical-knee-raise arm pads, to form dip bars. To perform dips, which primarily work the triceps, anterior deltoids, and chest muscles, the user faces the equipment and grasps the bars with arms down at his sides, supporting his weight above the bars with legs dangling. The user then bends and straightens his elbows to lower and lift his body weight.

At the base of the power tower and just off the floor is another pair of bars, these ones designed for push-ups. Arranged parallel to the length of one’s body so that one’s hands are positioned with palms facing inward, they allow the user to lower his body farther into a push-up than can be achieved with palms on the floor while placing minimal stress on the wrists. Push-ups work the chest, triceps, shoulder, back, and core muscles.

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      Woman with hand on her hip