What is a stringer and how does it help me install a rig into studs?

There is a word we use a lot around the Fringe Sport office, that is not often used in the "normal" world...


What is a stringer and how does it help me install a pull-up rig?

What is it?

A secret agent? Stringer, John Stringer. License to kill.


Something to do a with a rope, a battle rope perhaps?


Some advanced Olympic Weightlifting movement?


A stringer is a board mounted horizontally and screwed into studs, that something else is then mounted to.

For example, stringers are used in home construction to provide more support or strength for stair installation or bathtub installation (or pull-up bar, squat rack, or rig installation in your garage gym.)

Here's an example of a stringer used to support a bathtub. You can see the studs that the stringer is screwed to, since the drywall is removed in this pic:

A stringer used for a bathtub

In our strength and conditioning world, a stringer is used to mount a rig, squat rack, or pull-up bar to a wall or ceiling.

Here you can see a stringer used in my garage to mount a wall-mounted pull-up rig to the wall:

A stringer used for a wall mount pull-up rig installation

In the above image, the stringer is mounted outside the drywall- this is normally how stringers are used when they are used to mount wall mounted rigs and racks.

Here you can see two stringers used to mount a retractable squat rack to a concrete wall in the Fringe Sport retail location:

A retractable squat rack installed with two stringers

Why do we use stringers to mount pull-up rigs, squat racks, and pullup bars?

Stringers increase structural strength in many cases- for example, spanning studs with a stringer, then mounting a rig into the stringer makes for a more secure installation

In other cases, stringers allow you to mount into wood instead of concrete or masonry. When you screw a pull-up bar directly into concrete, the stress and vibration of the pull-up bar can pull out the mounts over time. Installing a stringer first, and then screwing into the stringer minimizes this problem.

Finally, stringers can also help you install into studs when your studs are installed in non-standard spacing. Studs are generally installed in 16 or 24 inch intervals, but some older construction does not adhere to this spacing paradigm. In this case, you would install your stringers into the studs, then your pull-up rig into the stringer.

Please note:

As long as both sides of the pull-up bar are mounted to a stud, a stringer shouldn't be necessary. However, using a stringer would still provide better stability as the stringer would equally disperse the force being emitted on the pull-up bar equally to the two studs.

How do you install a stringer?

  1. Get the stringer. We typically recommend a 2x10" stringer for wall mount pull-up rig installation (with the length depending on the length of your wall-mount rig), two five foot long 2x6" stringers for our retractable pull-up racks, and usually 1-2 2x4" stringer(s) of about four feet in length are good for pullup bars. You can find this lumber at your local home supply store.
  2. Find your studs. With a stud-finder.
  3. Position the stringer where you want to install it.
  4. Drill through the stringer and into the studs behind it.
  5. Using lag screws, screw the stringer into your studs. Make sure you are going into the studs and not only drywall.

For installing pull-up rigs and wall-mount squat racks, you want to screw into at least 2 studs, and 3-4 is better. If I am installing a 2x4" stringer, I usually use one lag screw per stud. For a 2x6" or wider, I usually use 2 lag screws per stud.

What do you do once the stringer is installed?

  1. Now you install your gear into the stringer, using lag screws
  2. Position your gear where you want it installed and mark where to drill holes.
  3. Drill pilot holes.
  4. Screw your gear to the stringer using lag screws and a ratchet set
  5. Test your gear to make sure it is stable and installed well
  6. Do some pull-ups, then have a glass of milk

Milk, beer, and stringers

Hopefully this was helpful. For more information on installing pull-up rigs, check this link out.

Check our our full selection of pull-up rigs, retractable racks, and pull-up bars.

Did this help? Hit us in the comments below, email us at team@fringesport.com, or call us 512.201.4404.

1 comment

  • john deprima

    when using the lag screws, what is the best size screw to use? do we want a very long screw, one that just gets through the wood and just into the beam or is there another option.

    i also fear drilling to far in and then having to much wiggle. also with the lag screw would you use a washer on it as well or just screw?
    Thank you

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