Tips to Install a Hangboard Above a Door Frame

Make good use of random spaces above doorways and headers in your home by installing a pull up bar or climbing hang board.

Location, Location, Location

First, find the best spot in your home or around your house or apartment building where you won’t be obstructing too many people when you do your workouts.

The more space above and around the doorway, the better. The taller the doorway, the better. Of course these features aren’t entirely necessary, any doorway or overhang with space below will work, but it’s nice to have room to jump up and go to work getting huge. Depending on which pull-up bar or climbing hangboard you have, assess how much room you will actually need.

Hanging Strategy

Don’t hang your board so high that you can’t reach it, but not so low that your feet touch the ground, allowing you to cheat your pull-ups. I like to have full body extension when possible, or have to do a little hop up to reach the handholds.

Look around outside for a place to install your hangboard. I found an overhang by my backdoor that gives me full body extension and allows me to workout outside. The important thing to look for is a wall that you can safely install the bar or board. If you live in an old apartment, beware of plaster walls or as in most homes, just drywall. You have to go into wood to make your hangboard safe.

The Install

Use the butt of your Leatherman or your knuckles (or an actual stud finder) to tap the wall all across the doorframe horizontally, and locate the studs. You will want to go into at least one, if not two or three, studs—not just drywall. This is especially important if you weight more than 150 pounds.

When you’ve located the studs above the door, or found a nice wooden header you can screw into. It’s time to get busy. You might want a power drill, a level, your Leatherman with a screwdriver, and a variety of bits, long screws, or bolts on hand.

Install the hangboard so that you can’t cheat by touching down on the ground, ensure that you are in wood—not just drywall or plaster—level it up before you screw it in all the way, and jump up and test it out. As long as there’s no creaking, bending, or movement, you’re good to go.

Now you can start cranking out those pull ups from the convenience of your own home. Invite your buddies over for pull up contests, and start getting huge for climbing season.

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