Are you a bodybuilder or strength trainer?
Then a home gym pulley system is a great addition to your free weight program.
If you’re not using free weights, you can train using only pulleys. This is especially true if you train for general fitness. It’s a compact, easy-to-use piece of exercise equipment.
The great thing is, you can take it outdoors on a nice day. All you need is a beam or pole to attach it to.
In this guide, we’ll look at the best home gym pulley systems you can buy. Let’s get going so we can get training!
In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:
Best Home Gym Pulley System
- SYL Fitness Cable Pulley System – Best Overall
- Spud Inc Pulley Systems – Best High/Low Pulley Combo
- Mikolo Fitness Pulley System – Best For Beginners
- TRENDBOX Pulley System Machine – Best For Permanent Installation
- HulkFit Pulley System – Best For A Power Rack
- J Bryant Fitness Pulley System – Best For Seniors
- Titan Fitness V3 Pulley System – Best Wall Mount
- Power Lift Fitness Pulley System – Best Value
- Gold’s Gym XRS 50 Home Gym – Best Home Gym With Upper & Lower Pulley System
- Body-Solid BFFT10R Functional Trainer – Best Machine Pulley System
- Valor Fitness PY-1 Portable Pulley Station – Best Portable Pulley System
Reviews – Best home gym pulley systems
SYL Fitness Cable Pulley System – Best Overall
Here’s an easy to set up home gym pulley system. It’s our pick for best overall. The SYL Fitness Cable Pulley System holds up to 800lbs. That’s more than any other pulley system in this guide! Attach it to your power rack, chin bar, or sturdy beam. There’s a strap with a pulley that wraps around your anchor point. The pulley swivels 360 degrees.
It’s welded to the steel pulley bracket for stability. The strap attaches to a cable with a steel chain extension. The extension is 20” in length. Add it to your cable as needed by your exercises. The loading pin is sturdy and built for strength.
The only handles included with this system are the looped strap handles. There is an extra-cost version that includes a triceps rope.
- Welded Swivel Pulley
- Attaches To Any Sturdy Beam, Pole, Or Exercise Equipment
- Holds Up To 800lbs
- There Aren’t Many Available Attachments
Spud Inc Pulley Systems – Best High/Low Pulley Combo
Rogue sells and backs Spud Inc Pulley Systems. Of course, Rogue makes exceptional equipment for all types of training styles. It holds up to 500lbs. The Spud Inc Pulley Systems is a combination of pulley options. You can choose a high pulley, low pulley, or both.
The pulley attaches with a strap to any secure beam, pole, or piece of exercise equipment. There’s a cable with a swivel pulley attached. The high pulley comes with looped straps. The low pulley comes with a shorter stump handle.
Other handles available through Rogue are extra-cost options. These features make it the best choice for a combination high and low pulley system.
- Options Include A High Pulley, Low Pulley Or Both
- Holds Up To 550lbs
- Easy To Attach
- Attachments Are Extra-Cost
Mikolo Fitness Pulley System – Best For Beginners
Here’s our pick for the best for beginners. One reason is that you can use it as a high and low pulley. By moving the hanging strap, you can set it up both ways. This can be done during your workout. The Mikolo Fitness Pulley System includes a 70’ and 90’ foot cable.
This pulley system holds up to 280lbs. There’s a straight handle and a triceps rope included. Also, the loading pin fits either standard or Olympic plates. Finally, the metal pulley provides quiet operation and swivels 360 degrees.
- Includes Two Cables – 70ft And 90ft
- Use It As an Upper Or Lower Pulley
- Holds Either Olympic Or Standard Plates
- The Olympic Sleeve Is Not Metal – Some Users Feel It’s Not Sturdy
TRENDBOX Pulley System Machine – Best For Permanent Installation
You can permanently install the TRENDBOX Pulley System Machine in your home gym. TRENDBOX has a 17” steel frame that bolts into a concrete or brick wall. Also, you can install it to non-loading-bearing wooden walls.
This is the frame that holds the pulley system. The TRENDBOX Pulley System comes with 2 durable nylon ropes and 3 handles. These include a short straight bar, D-handles, and a triceps rope. The pulleys are silent and made of steel. There are also small hooks on the frame to hang accessories. The max load is 280lbs.
- Permanently Installs In Concrete, Brick Or Wood Studs
- Holds 280lbs
- Includes 3 Handles
- Some Users Feel The Included Bolts Are Not Strong Enough
HulkFit Pulley System – Best For A Power Rack
This pulley system is specifically designed for use with the HulkFit Power Cage. It attaches to the chin bar. You can use it with any power rack. If your rack does not have a chin bar, you can attach it to any upper beam.
The HulkFit Pulley System holds 200lbs. It comes with a triceps rope. Also, you can use any lat machine attachment. These features make it a good addition to any serious lifter’s home gym.
- Designed For Your HulkFit Power Rack
- Works With Any Rack or Squat Stand
- Holds 200lbs
- Only Comes With A Triceps Rope
J Bryant Fitness Pulley System – Best For Seniors
This is our pick for the best pulley system for seniors. Many seniors want to keep fit. The J Bryant Fitness Pulley System is easy for seniors to use. There’s a hanging strap that wraps around any pole, power rack or beam.
You can exercise with this inside or outside. There’s a steel pulley and 4 steel carabiners. This pulley system uses a loading strap instead of a loading pin. The strap is strong enough to hold up to 220lbs. Finally, the J Bryant Fitness Pulley System provides quiet operation.
- Attaches To Any Beam, Pole, Or Chin Bar
- Holds Up To 220lbs
- Quiet, Smooth Operation
- Some Users May Prefer A Loading Pin
Titan Fitness V3 Pulley System – Best Wall Mount
Here’s our pick for the best wall mounted pulley system. The Titan Fitness V3 Pulley System is like a regular lat pulldown machine. The difference is that it bolts to any sturdy wall.
Like a regular lat machine, it has a high and low pulley. In this case, it’s a height-adjustable pulley. There are 18 positions available. Also, it uses a two-pulley bracket. This lets you do two-arm exercises using the included D-handles.
There’s no knee pads or seat like a free-standing lat unit. You’ll have to sit on your bench for some exercises. You have a choice of an 80” or 84” dual pole bar track design.
The frame is heavy duty steel. The V3 is compatible with Titan power racks. This unit can hold up to 350lbs.
- Steel Tower Design Attaches To A Wall
- Holds Up To 350lbs
- Includes A High And Low Pulley
- Some Users Feel The Unit Is Not As Smooth During The Concentric Phase Of Any Exercise
Power Lift Fitness Pulley System – Best Value
Here’s our best value-conscious pulley system. The Power Lift Fitness Pulley System features a silent pulley that swivels 360 degrees. It comes with two D-handles and a triceps rope. The loading pin can hold up to 220lbs.
You can use either standard or Olympic plates. The Power Lift Fitness Pulley System uses a water-resistant attachment strap. It will attach to any secure beam or post. There’s also a 2mm thick cable for strength.
- Holds 220lbs Of Olympic Or Standard Plates
- The Silent Pulley Swivels 360 Degrees
- Features A 2mm Thick Cable
- Some Users Complain Of No Included Instructions
Gold’s Gym XRS 50 Home Gym – Best Home Gym With Upper & Lower Pulley System
The Gold’s Gym XRS 50 is a home gym that features a high and low pulley system. Users can do single and dual-arm upper body and leg exercises. Single stack home gyms like this one are based around the pulley system.
The Gold’s Gym XRS 50 provides 280lbs of weight stack resistance. There’s a combination chest press/fly station and a leg extension/leg curl combo. The XRS 50 is the best home gym with a built-in pulley system.
- Self-Contained Home Gym With Upper And Lower Pulley System
- 280lbs Of Resistance
- Includes D-Handles And A Lat Bar
- May Be Too Big For Some Home Gyms
Body-Solid BFFT10R Functional Trainer – Best Machine Pulley System
This is a unique type of stand-alone pulley machine. The Body-Solid BFFT10R is a functional trainer. There are two adjustable swiveling pulleys with D-handles. They attach to a single 190lb weight stack.
This machine allows users to do various high and low single and double arm exercises. In all, there are 19 pulley height adjustments. There’s also a chin bar. The BFFT10R is compact and will fit in most home gyms.
- Stand-Alone Pulley System
- Features Two height-Adjustable Swivel Pulleys
- There’s A 190lb Weight Stack
- May Not Fit In All Exercise Spaces
Valor Fitness PY-1 Portable Pulley Station – Best Portable Pulley System
This pulley system is a good choice for frequent travelers. It’s also good for anyone that likes to exercise outdoors or in different locations.
Valor Fitness PY-1 Portable Pulley Station has a max load of up to 200lbs. There’s a sheathed rubber 75” cable for weather and wear protection.
The PY-1 comes with looped handles. You can use any other pulley attachment. But, you’ll have to buy them separately. Finally, the pulley is solid steel.
- Portable – You Can Use It Anywhere
- Holds Up To 200lbs
- Rubber-Sheathed Cable
- Attachments Cost Extra
Buying Guide – How To Choose The Best Home Gym Pulley System?
What Is A Home Gym Pulley System
A home gym pulley system is a piece of exercise equipment that utilizes an upper pulley attached to weight plates. Some pulley systems also have a low pulley. Most pulley systems are portable. This is because they wrap around a beam, pole, or power rack.
Types Of Home Gym Pulley Systems
Strap-Attached – Portable
As noted, this is the standard type of pulley system. You can attach it to any solid beam or post outside or inside. You can take it with you if you travel a lot.
Self-Contained Home Gym
This is a single-stack home gym. Any home gym, such as the Gold’s Gym XR 50, will feature a high and low pulley system.
This is a specialized home gym that has two separate pulley systems attached to a weight stack. Some may have two weight stacks, one for each pulley. The pulleys are height adjustable from ground level to high pulley level.
Wall Mount – Complete Lat Machine
This is a lat pulldown machine. However, instead of a free-standing unit, it’s wall-mounted. Unlike a free-standing unit, there’s no knee pads or seat.
Wall Mount – Upper Frame
This is the TRENDBOX Pulley System. This style is not portable. It uses a steel frame instead of an attachment strap. It needs to be wall mounted.
Types Of Resistance
The types of resistance include:
Most home gym pulley systems use standard or Olympic plates.
Some home gym pulley systems use a weight stack. Two examples are the Gold’s Gym XR 50, and the Body-Solid BFFT10R Functional Trainer.
Things To Consider When Looking At A Home Gym Pulley System
A home gym pulley system is a basic piece of equipment. All of them include D-handles. Some will also include a triceps rope and a short bar. Extra-cost options would be a lat bar and a curl bar. Any style of bar that you can use on a regular lat pulldown machine will work on these.
Home gym pulley systems are an easy way to add a value-conscious piece of exercise equipment. This is a more value-minded choice than a full-sized lat pulldown machine. Yet the number of exercises a pulley system can add is substantial.
How Much Weight Can A Pulley System Hold?
Most of the pulley systems in this guide use weight plates. As noted, you have the choice of using standard or Olympic plates. The available weight capacity can be a lot. For example, you can use up to 800lbs with the SYL Fitness Cable Pulley System. Most home gym pulley systems can hold an average of 200-250lbs.
For the most part, you’re not doing heavy compound type exercises on these. Only exercises like a seated low pulley row may demand a heavy weight. The amount of weight you use will depend on your goals.
Every option in this guide is compact. The strap attachment-style pulley systems can work in any size exercise space. All you need is something sturdy to attach it to. Being portable, you can train outdoors if desired. Do you mind taking some plates with you? If not, you can train anywhere.
Is a pulley system going to be your primary high/low unit? You’ll want to make sure you buy a unit that fits your training style. Make sure the pulley is made of steel for durability. Check that it swivels. Does the company sell additional bar attachments? If you’re a serious bodybuilder, you’ll need several. Also, make sure it takes the weight plates you’re using. Nothing is worse than having standard plates when the unit takes Olympic.
The advertised plate capacity should be a couple of hundred pounds over your max lifts. For serious lifters, the Titan Fitness V3 Pulley System is best. This is because it mounts to the wall. It’ll take a beating if you train hard. Otherwise, there’s a pulley system in this guide for every training goal.
What Exercises Can I Do?
This is not an all-inclusive list of exercises. These are the most common exercises you can do on a home gym pulley system.
- Curls – One Arm & Two Arm – You can do standing curls or preacher curls.
- Tricep Extensions – You can perform these one arm or two arms at a time.
- Tricep Pressdowns – Many home gym pulley systems include a triceps rope.
- Front Raises – This is done with the low pulley.
- Shoulder Laterals – This should be done with a low pulley. Yet, you can do them one arm at a time using the high pulley. You stand sideways and pull the D-handle across your body
- Lat Pulldowns – Any Variation – There are several bars available for these. Use a regular angled lat bar, a parallel grip bar, or a V bar. You can also use a curl bar or a triceps rope.
- Seated Cable Rows – The same bar as listed above options apply here.
- Face Pulls
- Leg Pulls – The best way to do leg work is with an ankle cuff.
- Lying Leg Curls
- Leg Raises
Are Pulley Systems Better Than Free Weights?
As noted, the short answer is no. Yet there’s more to it than that. If you’re a bodybuilder or powerlifter, nothing replaces the big basics. But, a pulley system is an essential supplement to those exercises. If you’re a senior, a pulley system is a more logical choice than free weights. The same is true if you’re training for general fitness. Ultimately, it’s not “which is better”, it’s what’s the best choice for your goals. Don’t forget, you can and should use both.
Have you decided it’s time to choose a home gym pulley system? It’s a good investment that will open up a wide range of exercise possibilities.
Our pick for best overall is a good place to start. One reason the SYL Fitness Cable Pulley System is that it can hold 800lbs. You can attach it to any beam, pole, chin bar, or power rack. You can use it inside or out. All parts of the loading pin are welded for strength. That makes it sturdy enough for anyone. Finally, there’s a 20” steel chain extension. This allows you to adjust cable length if needed.
Would you prefer a stationary unit mounted to the wall? The Titan Fitness V3 Pulley System is like a lat pulldown machine. It has a dual-track bar design with a height-adjustable pulley. You can choose 18 different heights. This allows users of any height to use it. It also means you can adjust it for low and high pulley exercises. The V3 uses a two-pulley system that works well with the included D-handles.
Are you starting your fitness journey? Then the Mikolo Fitness Pulley System is the best choice. It can hold 280lbs, giving you room to build strength. It has two different cables, a 70ft and a 90ft. Besides, you can use standard or Olympic plates.
We’ve seen that a home gym pulley system opens up a wide range of new exercises. Many of these can only be done using pulleys. The best home gym pulley system will fit your goals and needs the most. Use this guide to make the right choice!