Power Towers FAQ
A multi-function power tower is a piece of strength training equipment used for bodyweight exercises in the upper body and abdominals. Bodyweight exercises, otherwise known as Calisthenics, are a type of resistance workout that utilises the body’s own weight to create the resistance, as opposed to weights or resistance bands. Bodyweight exercises have many benefits over standard weight training, such as being able to work your balance and coordination, modulating your workout to your body type, can be performed almost anywhere and reduces the need for excess equipment.
Power towers can come in a few different forms, but usually include: a chin-up bar, a pull up bar, dip handles, a bar for vertical knee raises and push-up handles. Some CORTEX power towers will also feature an incorporated exercise bench, making it a true all-in-one strength training machine.
Power towers are popular for their ability to save a great deal of space in your home gym, as they offer an almost complete strength workout, without the hassle of a collection of weights or bars. They're appropriate for most users regardless of fitness level, and can be used for a combination of compound and targeted exercises.
Power towers are also generally safer as it provides a secure base to conduct bodyweight exercises, protecting your body and providing comfort and stability.
While power towers can be quite versatile in the number of exercises it allows you to perform, there are a few standard ones to know when you first get your machine. All CORTEX power towers will feature chin up and pull up bars, used for (you guessed it) chin ups and pull ups. The difference between a pull up and a chin up is that in a pull up, your arms will be slightly wider and your palms facing away from you, while a chin will have your arms closer together, with palms either facing each other or toward you. Other than that, they both involve gripping the pull up bar, and lifting your body until your chin is above the bar. Chin ups are excellent exercises for strengthening the biceps and pecs, while pull ups shift the focus to your back and shoulders, working the lats and traps.
You can then use the dip handles to work your triceps. This involves grabbing the handles, facing towards the machine, lifting yourself up until your arms are straight, then slowly bending your elbows to lower your body.
The main core workout you can perform on a power tower is a leg or knee raise. For this exercise, grab hold of the vertical knee raise grip with your back to the machine. From here, raise your legs in front of you till you’ve created a 90-degree angle. You can also bend your knees to reduce 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.
At the base of the machine, you’ll also find handles to assist in completing push ups, which are great for taking strain off the wrists.
Power towers are a comprehensive bodyweight workout station, and can be used to work a variety of muscles in the upper body, abdominals and the legs. Trainers can make use of the different stations of the power tower to isolate certain muscles.
At the top of the machine, you’ll find chin up/pull up bars. The main different between a chin up and a pull up is that the former is performed with the arms slightly wider and palms facing forwards, while the latter has the user move their arms closer together, with palms facing towards each other or inwards. Chin ups will work the arms and chest, building muscle in the biceps and pecs, while pull ups will shift focus to the back and shoulders, working the lats and traps.
Leg raises involve lifting the body up with back resting on the machine, and lifting the legs till the body is at a 90-degree angle. You can also bend the knees for this exercise to take some of the impact out. This will build muscle in the lower abdominals, as well as the stabiliser muscles in the anterior hip flexors.
At the middle of the machine, there’ll dip handles. To perform dips, grab these handles, facing the machine, and lift the body up till your elbows are straight. Then, slowly bend the elbows, then straightening again and repeat. These deliver an excellent focused workout for the triceps, with some incidental work for the pecs along the way.
At the bottom of the machine, you can find handles to perform assisted push ups. Push ups will work the biceps and triceps, with the handle helping to take strain of the wrists and reduce tension.
Some machines will also have a built-in exercise bench, which can also offer a variety of exercises. The main exercise a bench will be useful for is a bench press, which is performed by laying back on the bench, and lifting a barbell or pair of dumbbells straight above your head.
You can also add resistance bands to some exercise for assistance or reduced intensity.
There are a lot of options when it comes to equipment for building and maintaining muscle, with free weights such dumbbells and barbells being a safe choice for many trainers. However, if resistance training is part of your regular workout regime, you might want to take a second to consider a power tower for your home gym. These deceptively simple-looking pieces of equipment have impressive benefits and are surprisingly versatile. Here we’ll break down some of the key benefits of a power tower gym set, some key exercises and the technique that will help you get the most out of your workout.
So, what are power towers? They come in a few different forms, and will have slight variations, but are will usually made up of a vertical structure inclusive of pull up bar, knee raise station and push up handles. The first thing you’ll notice about this workout is the absence of any additional weights or other equipment. This is because a multi-function power tower facilitates bodyweight exercises, otherwise known as calisthenics. Bodyweight training is a form of resistance training that utilises the body’s own weight to create resistance. This is opposed to resistance training that utilises either weights or resistance bands. This type of training has many advantages over traditional weight training, including:
Modulating the workout to your body type
Reducing the likelihood of injury that can come with heavy equipment
Working your balance and coordination
Requiring less additional equipment
While there are options to incorporate weights and other equipment into a power tower workout, it’s possible to get the full range of benefits with the tower by itself. This fact alone makes them a popular option for home gyms, as they reduce the need for a huge amount of ancillary fitness gear, including weights and bars. This helps users save space in their home gym.
While saving space in the home is all well and good, what do you actually do with a fitness power tower? As mentioned earlier, it’s mainly used for building and maintaining muscle, but can also be effective in other workout metrics such as weight loss, endurance, coordination and cardio health. It does this mainly through upper body resistance exercises.
A power tower pull up bar can be used for either chin ups or pull ups. Most of CORTEX’s power towers will actually feature separate bars or hand placements for the two exercises. The difference between a pull up and a chin up is that in a pull up, your arms will be slightly wider and your palms facing away from you, while a chin will have your arms closer together, with palms either facing each other or toward you. Other than that, they both involve gripping the pull up bar, and lifting your body until your chin is above the bar. Chin ups are excellent exercises for strengthening the biceps and pecs, while pull ups shift the focus to your back and shoulders, working the lats and traps.
Shifting focus to the triceps, you can use the handles at the front to perform dips. These involve grabbing the handles, facing towards the machine, lifting yourself up until your arms are straight, then slowly bending your elbows to lower your body. This creates some great focused work for the triceps in a safe and effective way.
For any of these exercises, you may also choose to incorporate a resistance band for assistance and additional safety.
The main core workout you can perform on a power tower is a leg or knee raise. For this exercise, grab hold of the vertical knee raise grip with your back to the machine. Most power towers will have a back rest positioned here for this exercise which you can safely push against to secure your position, as well as padding on the arm rests. There will also sometimes be step up platforms on the base to help you get up and down from the lifted position. From here, raise your legs in front of you till you’ve created a 90-degree angle. You can also bend your knees to reduce 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.
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.
On top of this, you may choose to opt for a power tower with bench. Having an exercise bench incorporated into your equipment gives you access to a number of other exercises, as well as opportunities to work in other equipment. The bench will be most useful for performing bench presses, but can also be used for dumbbell rows, or you can incline the bench for crunches.
All CORTEX power towers will be built with heavy duty steel tubing, and can withstand weight loads of up to 300kg. The power tower chin bars will range in capacity from 200kg to 250kg, while machines that feature power tower and racks will be able to hold up to 200kg.
Power towers are a bit of hidden gem when it comes to home gym equipment, delivering a comprehensive resistance workout at an affordable price, all while taking up minimal space. The exercises are easily adaptable to suit your fitness level and needs, and require little to no additional equipment to receive full benefits. If you’re looking for a convenient, space-saving, user-friendly solution for your home gym, there really couldn’t be a better option than a good power tower. CORTEX offer a range of towers with different features, as well as commercial grade machines for the ultimate strength workout. If you have any questions regarding our range and what will be best for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly team, and we’ll be happy to assist you.
If you’re just getting started putting together your home gym, check out our guide here.