Every time I enter a new gymnastics gym one of the first apparatus’ I notice, that certainly is not in every gym, are stall bars (stall bars = swedish ladder = gymnastics ladder = wall bars). Which is a little peculiar because of how therapeutic it was made to be.
We determined the Xtreme Fitness Wood Stall Bars to be the best stall bars to be because of its low barrier to entry costs, ability to fit conveniently in a home, room for growth in fitness routines and physical therapy, as well as resiliency.
For a more cost effective, classic swedish aesthetic, and durable option, the Durable Port Wooden Swedish Ladder would be your second best option.
I’ll save listing all the things it can be used for for another part of this review. Instead, let’s cut right down to the best wooden gymnastics ladders that are available online.
What you can do with the best stall bars
Climbing and coordination skills are its primary focuses, but there are many sub genres of focal points which, due to its multifunctional purposes, are incredibly beneficial not only for gymnasts, but people with arthritis, as well as those who do crossfit and parkour.
Unfortunately, I wish I could cover everything, but some of these categories have too many examples to list.
Front Support – Face toward the apparatus and step up on the second rung then grab whichever rung is level with your waste. Now take your feet off the second rung so that your arms and hands are supporting your full weight. It may seem awkward to do at first, but it strengthens your fore arms giving you more stability and coordination.
Back Support Arms Supinated/Pronated – Same setup, except do it with your back towards the apparatus. Most importantly is supinating your arms, this means your palms will be facing your body. After doing this, do another set with your arms pronated, means your knuckles will be facing you.
Flag Support – Being able to jump right into a flag support just won’t happen, you will need to warm up to it and train consistently. Grab the highest rung (or the highest you can reach) and the rung that is level with your pelvis.
Tricep Extension – Start a 4-6 feet away from the gymnastics ladder and grab the top most rung that you are able to reach, tuck head in between arms while simultaneously bending your elbows down. Squeeze those triceps and extend your elbows. You can increase difficulty by going lower on the wall bar.
Pike Stretch – Have back to the bar, legs straight, then bend all the way down until your head is level with your shins. You’ll need to reach behind yourself for the highest rung you can reach. Once you do this, bring your feet to the first rung and hold in this position. You can also do this while straddling, but with your hands reaching through your legs instead.
Shoulder Extension – This one is pretty simple to to do. Have the best stall bars behind you, reach back for a supinated grip on a rung. After determining a firm try sitting on the floor while maintaining that grip, helps if you grab a higher rung. Basically you’ll relax the rest of your body and use your bodyweight to stretch the shoulders.
Leg Raises – Very effective abdominal workout and widely known, so shouldn’t need to much explaining. While holding the top bar just get your toes to touch the bar without bending your legs.
Wipers – A good transitional exercise since we are using the same position (toes to the bar) but instead of bringing or legs down they will be rotating from side to side. Think of how windshield wipers wipe, you’ll pretty much be doing that with your legs.
The Best Stall Bars
I recommend reading our list of considerations to take before purchasing, which you can find immediately after our review of these 4 gymnastics ladders:
1. Vita Vibe
Vita Vibe is certainly one of the more debatable options as far as price, structure, and resiliency are concerned. It is a sturdy and well made product so the cost is worth it. The aluminum frame isn’t resistant to rust and the wooden rungs are not stained so placing it outside would be a problem.
Important to know
- 9 rungs 1 chin-up bar
- Wooden rods and chin-up bar are adjustable – spacing can be modified
- 10 year warranty
- For indoor use only
- Top bar does not add to overall height
- 250lbs weight limit
- 82″ X 34″
- 9 rungs +1 chin-up bar
Great and durable frame when setup correctly, even with the medium level 250 lbs weight capacity so its great for people with an average build. Like I had mentioned before, you’ll start seeing problems if it is placed somewhere that is exposed to moisture often.
Vibe Vibe has an 82″ vertical (6 feet 8 inches) which would fit perfect in the average single story house that has an average of 8 feet to 9 feet ceiling height.
Each evenly spaced rung is 1.5″ in diameter and is made of hardwood ash. The top bar is offset by 8″ and height can be adjusted to your preference or removed.
Easy to assemble, easy to use, and reliable for intermediate use.
2. Durable Port Wooden Swedish Ladder
If you’re just searching for something that is to the point and will successfully accomplish the rudimentary functions and skills for stretching and conditioning exercises, then you’ll want to take a look at the Durable Port option.
Important to know
- Made with pine wood
- 12 wooden rods
- 94.5″ X 36.7″
- 330lbs weight limit
- Easy install
- Anti-humidity sealed
The Durable Port is quite basic looking, but you can’t call its functionality basic when it’s so often the best go to design for stall bars. The alternating rung distance and gaps makes it easy to perform any exercise that involves laying down, sitting, and standing.
With its 330 weight limit, it is hard to overlook the durability potential up against high activity usage. Since it holds more weight, it is designed to withstand more than what is required. While the pinewood is quite robust, it is also coated with an anti-humidity seal in case it is exposed to moisture.
The top bar does not stick out as far as some of our other options, but doing anything related to the top bar is still completely possible without risking comfortability.
Great choice for people looking to make an in home fitness gym for more intense conditioning, or above average weight, that has a classic swedish stall bar look.
3. Xtreme Fitness Wood Stall Bars
By far the best stall bars for having the highest weight limit. It is also somewhat agreeable with outside moisture because of what the wood is coated with (I still prefer to setup swedish bars inside). Side by side setup for multiple stall bars is an option. Wood feels incredibly durable and secure.
Important to know
- Coated with a sealer that is resistant to humidity
- Made with pine wood
- 12 rungs + 1 chin-up bar
- 94.5″ X 36.6″
- Easy to assemble
- Top bar comes out 8″ from the ladder & 16″ from the wall
- 330 lbs weight limit
Another heavy hitter here made from pinewood with a well built design able to withstand 330lbs of weight during exercise. Same sturdiness as option #2, but looks very different.
There are 12 fixed, evenly spaced wooden rungs plus 1 chin-up bar that is offset by 8″ from the ladder giving a lot of room for various exercises with the chin-up bar.
Additionally, installation is simple and easy with the provided guide after purchase. Take your time with following instructions, cutting corners will lead to a faulty assembly that is potentially dangerous.
There seems to be a little bit of limitation to what exercises you will be able to perform with even spaced rungs, but other than that this option is the best stall bars for intense workouts or physical therapy.
4. Limitless XVP Fitness Gymnastics Ladder
Comparatively, this is the less expensive option while still maintaining its quality. Here is the best stall bars for physical therapy. The rungs are a smaller radius than our other options so if doing incredibly strenuous activities is your intensions then you’ll be better off looking at option 3.
Important to know
- 10 rungs + 1 chin-up bar
- 16″ wide
- 7′ 8″ in height
- Easy to assemble
- Multiple layers of tough matte sealer
The best stall bars for gymnastics conditioning, back pain, scoliosis, arthritis, or any other therapeutic purposes. It’s simple shape and design offers support for anything from light fitness to intense range of motion training. Its ability to provide room for improvement, coupled with its inexpensive price range makes it a valuable choice.
Unfortunately, necessary tools needed for installation don’t come with this product, but everything you will need is listed in the easy to follow installation guide. Which could be all for naught if you don’t have the tools to put it all together.
If you’re willing to put the tools issue aside, you’ll see many other variables that make this gymnastics ladder worthwhile.
Hard to decipher the best stall bars from the bad ones? Read below and find out what qualities to look for that make well made wooden wall bars stand out from the rest.
Is it difficult to assemble?
We aren’t attempting to build our own wooden stall bars, if we wanted to do that we would go to IKEA. SO let’s try to stay away from companies that ship too many pieces making it too difficult to assemble easily.
Additionally, pay attention to the details of the product. Sometimes they do NOT come with the necessary tools needed to assemble the wall bars.
How can you tell how many pieces they send to you before buying?
That’s a little difficult to determine, but what you should pay attention to is how many steps are in the installation process.
Here’s an example:
11 is not bad. Anything more than 15 steps is pushing it.
How do I know if the product comes with the tools I need to assemble it?
They will tell you in the product details. If you look in the above example, it says…”All installation materials are included..”
Type of wood
The wood used to build the product varies from company to company, but there are plenty of good wood that is ideal for making stall bars.
Stringy wood like poplar flexes when weight is applied to it, which might give someone the perception it is about to break though it is natural for the wood to do.
When poplar wood is about to break it actually splinters before it fails, which gives the person plenty of time to bail out of their assumed position before it’s too late. Poplar wood here in the States tends to be much more durable than European poplar.
Here are some other optimal wood options:
- Hardwood ash
Exposed to moisture
Even if this comes as common sense to some people, it’s better to just go over every varying factor than to skip over it.
Exposing wood to humidity or any moisture weakens the wood.
What is a good placement for my wooden stall bars?
Anywhere indoors. Your home, apartment, or gym (again if it is indoors).
Metal or Wood
I heavily recommend using stall bars with wooden rungs. Point being is when you are going to town with a workout and you begin to sweat, your hands will get real moist making it incredibly difficult to grip metal rungs compared to wood rungs.
Additionally, metal stall bars are also more expensive. I’m talking a couple to several hundred dollars more expensive.
Side by Side
Being able to place the best stall bars side by side is a pretty common feature, and practically necessary if you’re going to have a station in a gymnastics gym dedicated to physical therapy and stretching.