Assisted Pull Up: Your Complete How-To Tutorial

Do you struggle with completing a pull-up on your own? You’re not alone. Even the strongest fitness enthusiasts can struggle with this challenging exercise. The reason? A lack of strength in the upper body, particularly the back and arms. But don’t worry, there’s a solution that can help you progress towards your goal of achieving an unassisted pull-up: assisted pull-ups. In this blog post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about assisted pull-ups and how they can help you build the strength needed to perform a pull-up with ease.

Assisted Pull Up Summary

Graphic image of a fit man performing alternate cable triceps extensions.

Assisted Pull Up Instructions

  • Put a bench directly behind the pull up bar, or set the machine assist to a weight that reduces your body weight so you can perform 8–12 chin-ups.
  • Place your hands on the bar shoulder-width apart.
  • Pull your shoulder blades together and tuck your elbows.
  • Pull your chin above the bar.
  • Slowly lower your body back to the starting position.
  • Repeat as many times as desired.

Video Tutorial

ASSISTED PULL-UP/CHIN-UP & DIP MACHINE TUTORIAL

Assisted Pull Up Muscles

Target (Agonist)

  • Latissimus Dorsi

Synergists

Dynamic Stabilizers

Stabilizers

  • None

Antagonist Stabilizers

  • None
Image of the skeletal muscular system with the muscles used in the assisted pull up exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Assisted Pull Up

The assisted pull up is a great exercise to target the latissimus dorsi, or lats, muscle. This is a large muscle group that runs along the back of the body, and helps to stabilize the spine and shoulder blades. When performing assisted pull ups, the lats are worked in both a pulling and pushing motion, which helps to build strength and stability in the back muscles. Additionally, by working the lats in multiple directions, this exercise can help to improve posture, as well as increase flexibility in the shoulder and back muscles. Finally, by strengthening the lats, assisted pull ups can also help to improve overall upper body strength and performance in other exercises.

Tips for Performing Assisted Pull Up

Making the most out of an assisted pull up is essential if you are looking to gain the benefits of this exercise. To ensure that you are getting the most out of your assisted pull up workout, it is important to follow some tips to help you make the most out of each and every rep. Read on to learn some helpful tips to maximize your assisted pull up workout.

  • -Ensure Proper Form: To ensure the best results with assisted pull ups, it is important to make sure you have the correct form. This includes keeping your body in a straight line from your head to your toes and engaging your core muscles to maintain the correct form throughout the entire movement.
  • -Increase Resistance Gradually: Starting with a lower resistance level and gradually increasing as you become stronger is important for improving results with assisted pull ups. This will help build strength and endurance over time to be able to perform more repetitions and heavier weights.
  • -Use Slow and Controlled Reps: Using slow and controlled reps when performing assisted pull ups will help maximize the effectiveness of the exercise. Slow and controlled reps will help ensure that the correct muscles are being engaged, as well as help with form and technique.

Benefits and Tips Video

9 Assisted Pull Up Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

It is important to be aware of the mistakes that you can make when performing the assisted pull up. While this exercise can help you achieve your fitness goals, it is important to perform it correctly in order to maximize its effectiveness and avoid injury. Below are some of the most common mistakes that should be avoided when performing assisted pull ups.

  • Not warming up: Before performing assisted pull-ups, it is important to warm up your body with dynamic stretches and light cardio to reduce the risk of injury and improve performance.
  • Using incorrect form: To ensure proper form, ensure that your back and core remain tight, shoulders are pulled back, and your chin is over the bar when performing the exercise.
  • Overloading weight: When using an assisted pull-up machine, it is important to be aware of how much weight you are adding on. Start with a lighter weight and gradually increase it as you get stronger. Adding too much weight too quickly can lead to injury.

Find More Machine Exercises Here

Variations and Complementary Exercises

The Assisted Pull Up is a great exercise to strengthen your upper body and core, but sometimes you need to switch it up to keep your routine fresh. If you are looking to try something new, here are some variations, complementary, or alternative exercises that work similar muscles as the Assisted Pull Up.

Barbell Bent Arm Pullover

Graphic image of Barbell Bent Arm Pullover.

The Barbell Bent Arm Pullover is an excellent complementary exercise to the Assisted Pull Up. It targets the same muscles but from a different angle, helping to build strength and stability in the arms, shoulders, and back. While Assisted Pull Ups focus on pulling the body up, the Barbell Bent Arm Pullover is a pushing exercise that works the chest, triceps, and lats. It also helps to stretch out the chest and shoulder muscles to keep them loose and flexible. This exercise can be used as an alternative to Assisted Pull Ups when an individual is unable to perform them or when they need a different variation in their workout routine.

Barbell Decline Bent Arm Pullover

Graphic image of Barbell Decline Bent Arm Pullover.

The Barbell Decline Bent Arm Pullover is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Assisted Pull Up. It is a great way to work the same muscles as the Assisted Pull Up in a slightly different manner. This exercise targets the lats, as well as the lower chest, triceps, and biceps. By lying on a decline bench and holding a barbell with both hands, you can perform a bent arm pullover that will help you build strength and definition in your lats. This exercise is also great for working your core muscles and developing stability. It’s a great way to mix up your routine and keep your muscles challenged.

Chin Up

Graphic image of Chin Up.

Chin Up is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Assisted Pull Up. It is similar in that it works the same muscles, but Chin Up works them from a different angle and with a different range of motion. Chin Ups require you to pull your chin up to the bar rather than pulling your body up to the bar. This requires more abdominal strength and control, making it a great exercise for developing core strength. Chin Ups are also a great way to isolate specific muscle groups and increase muscular endurance.

Check Out These Top Machine Exercises

Dumbbell Straight Arm Pullover

Graphic image of Dumbbell Straight Arm Pullover.

The Dumbbell Straight Arm Pullover is an excellent complementary or alternative exercise for Assisted Pull Up. This exercise works the same muscles as the Assisted Pull Up, but with a different range of motion. It also helps strengthen the lats, triceps, and chest muscles. The Dumbbell Straight Arm Pullover is a great way to increase muscle strength and stability in the upper body. The exercise can be done with one arm at a time or with both arms together, allowing you to target different muscles and increase your strength. This exercise is great for beginners as it can be done with lighter weights and low intensity.

One Arm Pulldown With Bands

Graphic image of One Arm Pulldown With Bands.

One Arm Pulldown With Bands is a great alternative or complementary exercise to Assisted Pull Ups. The exercise is performed by attaching a resistance band to a pull-up bar and then grabbing the handle with one arm while keeping the other arm extended. The band provides assistance while allowing the user to work against the resistance. This exercise helps build strength and stability in the shoulder, chest, and arms, making it an excellent supplement to the Assisted Pull Up. Additionally, it can help improve grip strength and overall upper body strength, which is beneficial for both beginners and advanced athletes.

V Bar Lateral Pulldown

Graphic image of V Bar Lateral Pulldown.

The V Bar Lateral Pulldown is a great exercise to complement or even replace the Assisted Pull Up. This exercise targets the same muscles as the Assisted Pull Up, but it also works the latissimus dorsi, which is the large muscle in your back responsible for shoulder extension and adduction. The V Bar Lateral Pulldown can be performed with a cable machine or with a suspension trainer and is great for building strength and size in your back muscles. It also helps to improve posture and stability in the shoulder joint.

Find More Back Exercises Here

Opposing Complementary Exercises

In order to get the most out of your Assisted Pull Up exercise, it is important to include exercises that will help to strengthen the opposing muscle groups. This will help to promote balance in your body and will help you to get the most out of your workout. Below is a list of exercises that will help to complement the Assisted Pull Up exercise by working opposing muscle groups.

Barbell Standing Bradford Press

Graphic image of Barbell Standing Bradford Press.

The Barbell Standing Bradford Press is a great complement to the Assisted Pull Up exercise. It works the opposing muscle group of the back, shoulders and arms, providing a comprehensive workout for the upper body. This exercise involves standing with feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the barbell and pushing up until arms are extended. The motion should be controlled and slow, using the back muscles to pull the barbell up and down. The Barbell Standing Bradford Press helps to build strength in the chest, shoulders and triceps, as well as aiding in strengthening the opposing muscle group used in the Assisted Pull Up.

Barbell Standing Close Grip Military Press

Graphic image of Barbell Standing Close Grip Military Press.

The Barbell Standing Close Grip Military Press is a great exercise to complement the Assisted Pull Up by engaging the opposing muscle groups. The Barbell Standing Close Grip Military Press works primarily the shoulders, triceps, and core muscles, which are all important in opposing the muscles used in the Assisted Pull Up. This exercise also helps build strength and stability in the shoulder and upper arm, making it a great choice for those looking to get the most out of their workout. Furthermore, this exercise can help improve posture and balance, which can help make the Assisted Pull Up easier to perform.

Barbell Standing Military Press

Graphic image of Barbell Standing Military Press.

Barbell Standing Military Press is an effective exercise to strengthen the shoulder and upper back muscles. It works the anterior deltoid, medial deltoid, and trapezius muscles, making it a great complementary exercise to the Assisted Pull Up. While the Assisted Pull Up primarily works the back muscles, specifically the latissimus dorsi, the Barbell Standing Military Press works the opposing muscle group in the front of the body. The combination of both exercises helps to build a balanced upper body strength and can help improve posture.

Get Pulling!

Ready to get your upper body pumping? It’s time to focus on your pulling muscles! Pull-ups and chin-ups are two of the best exercises to build a strong back, biceps, and shoulders. However, not everyone has the strength to do them on their own. That’s where assisted pull-ups come in! By using resistance bands or a machine, you can gradually build strength and work your way up to unassisted pull-ups. Plus, you’ll still get all the benefits of the exercise without the frustration of not being able to do them yet. So, get ready to pull yourself up to new heights with assisted pull-ups!

References: Wikipedia | ExRx.net | PubMed.gov | Comprehensive List of Back Machine Exercises

Pin image for assisted pull up post. With an image of a man performing the exercise on Top and a graphic of the exercise on the Bottom.

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