Power towers can seem like pretty simple devices at first, but rest assured there’s quite a diversity of exercises that can be performed on these machines. A power tower is a strength and conditioning machine that allows the user to perform a variety of muscle building and maintenance exercises in the upper body, core and leg muscles. Their main utility is in assisting with bodyweight exercises, or calisthenics. This is a type of weight training that utilises the body’s own weight as a form of resistance, as opposed to using additional weights such as dumbbells or weight plates.
Using the chin up bar, this exercise can be done to build muscle in the arms and chest, working your biceps and pecs.
- Face the machine, locating the dedicated chin up bar.
- Reach up and grip the bar with palms facing inwards, shoulder-length apart.
- You may also opt for positioning your palms facing towards you.
- From here, pull your body up until your chin is above the bar.
- Lower yourself down and repeat for desired number of reps.
This variation shifts the focus to your back and shoulders, working the lats and traps.
- Face the machine, locating the dedicated pull bar.
- Grip the bar with palms facing away from you, with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Pull your body up until your chin is above the bar.
- Lower yourself down and repeat.
This is the main core workout that you’ll perform on a power tower.
- On most machines, there’ll be a step up platform to help get you up and down from the lifted position.
- Using these, step up and grab hold of the leg raise handles with your back to the machine.
- You’ll find padding where you can rest your forearms, as well as a padded back rest you can push your bodyweight against.
- Once you’ve found the stable position, activate your core muscles, and gently lift your feet off of the platforms.
- Keep your legs straight and tucked in close together.
- Raise your legs straight in front of you till you’ve formed a 90-degree angle.
- Slowly lower them back down and repeat.
Remember to remain controlled throughout the movement, as this will test your stability, balance and coordination as well as strengthening the abdominals. You can also choose to bend the knees to reduce some of the resistance.
This is a great alternative to something like crunches, as it puts less strain on the rest of your muscles such as the neck, and focuses all the work purely in the abdominal muscles.
Shifting focus to the triceps, you can use the handles at the front to perform dips.
- Face towards the machine, grabbing the handles with palms facing inwards.
- Lift yourself up until your arms are straight.
- Bend your knees slightly behind you.
- Slowly bend your elbows to lower yourself down.
- Straighten your arms again and repeat.
At the base of the machine, you’ll usually find handles to assist in completing push ups. Using these handles for a push up helps to take strain off the wrists, making for a more comfortable movement and less risk of injury.
- Lower yourself down to floor, grabbing the handles with palms facing inwards.
- Start with arms straight, and legs either straight behind your or bent with knees on the floor.
- Bend the elbows backwards, lowering yourself down.
- Straighten the elbows and repeat.
Exercise Bench Workouts
Some power towers will also include an exercise bench, making for a truly comprehensive workout machine. There are many workouts that can be performed with a bench press, but here are some of the key ones to know.
This delivers strong gains for the pecs, as well as the triceps and shoulders. The power tower will usually also have a rack you can hang your barbell on, with a max weight load of 200kg. Remember you can also swap out your barbell for a pair of dumbbells.
- Lie flat on the bench, with head on the power tower side of the bench.
- Grab hold of the barbell at around shoulder-width apart and palms facing forwards.
- Lift the barbell off the rack, and bring it down to your chest.
- Straighten your arms till they are fully straight above you.
- Slowly lower the bar back down to your chest and repeat.
You can also check out our guide to getting started with weightlifting here.
Another exercise using a bench will be abdominal crunches. This will involve laying back-down on an inclined bench position, feet locked in place in the feet handles and performing a crunch as usual.
Dumbbell rows are excellent for building a stronger back, as well as developing the muscles in shoulders.
- Place your knee on the bench, and the same side hand on the far side.
- Bend your body down to be parallel with the ground.
- Pick up your dumbbell with palm facing inwards, then hold it with an extended arm.
- Bending the elbow, bring the dumbbell up to your chest, activating your back and shoulder muscles.
- Lower the dumbbell slowly until your arm is straight again.
- Repeat and switch to the other side.
Pull up assistance bands can help to assist certain bodyweight exercises, reducing the resistance of certain exercises, especially chin ups and pulls ups.