3 Ways to Do Assisted Pull Ups

Pull-ups are one of the most effective exercises to strengthen your upper body. They work your back, arms, and shoulders, and they also require a lot of core strength.

However, pull-ups are also one of the most difficult exercises to master, and for many people, pull-ups can seem almost impossible.

That’s where assisted pull-ups come in.

Assisted pull-ups are a great way to build up your strength and eventually progress to doing your first proper pull-up. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing the 3 different ways to do assisted pull ups.

3 Ways to Do Assisted Pull Ups

1. Use Resistance Bands

One of the most popular ways to do assisted pull ups is by using resistance bands.

Resistance band-assisted pull-ups are great for progressing up to a real pull because they help alleviate your full body weight early into the movement. As you reach closer to the top of the exercise, the less the band will help assist you.

Out of the 3 ways to do an assisted pull-up, this will be the closest exercise to mimic a real pull-up.

How to do resistance band-assisted pull-ups:

  • Choose a resistance band according to your strength level (the thicker the band, the easier the pull-up will be)
how to loop resistance band for pull ups
  • Loop the selected band over the bar. Then grab one end of the band and loop it through to secure it in place. (Shown above)
how to do a resistance band pull up- assisted pull ups
  • Now using a chair, plyo box, or something to stand on, place your knees or feet onto the band.
  • Now perform a pull-up.
foot over band - bokey.co

If you’re using your feet, place one foot onto the band and the other foot on top to make sure the band doesn’t fly off. (as shown in the image above)

If you’re using your knees, be sure to keep them bent to avoid the band flying off.

2. Assisted Pull Up Machine

Another way to do assisted pull-ups is by using an assisted pull-up machine. These machines have a weight stack that you can adjust to provide assistance.

This form of assisted pull-up will give you constant weight alleviation, making it easier than doing a resistance band pull-up.

The assisted pull-up machine is a great option for beginners who want to gradually build up their strength while working the same muscles in a proper pull-up.

How to do resistance band-assisted pull-ups:

weight select- Bokey.co
  • Start by choosing a comfortable weight (The heavier the weight, the easier the pull-up will be to perform)
machine assisted pull ups - bokey.co
  • Now place your knees or feet (depending on the machine) on the platform while grabbing onto whichever grip you choose.
  • Now do a pull-up.

3. Partner/Object Assistance

The third way to do assisted pull-ups is by having a partner or object assist you. Using a partner or an object to help alleviate your weight only when necessary.

If you’re using a partner:

  • Simply have your partner provide support under your feet as you pull yourself up.

This method is great because your partner can adjust the level of assistance as you progress.

If you’re using an object:

object assisted pull up - bokeyfit.com
  • Have a chair, plyo box, or something to securely stand on underneath the bar.
  • As you pull up, you can use your legs to push off the object to assist you until you get your chin over the bar.

You can use two feet to start and progress to one foot or even just the tip of your toes.

This progression is often a good starting point for many to build upper body strength.

Pull-up Progressions

Exercise progressions are steps to build up to a particular movement.

In this case, you would be doing these movements to build strength and work your way up to a proper pull-up (with no assistance).

The best order of progressions for a pull-up would be:

  1. Object Assisted (Most of your body weight alleviated)

  2. Assisted Machine pull-ups (Consistent amount of weight alleviated)

  3. Resistance band pull-ups (Heavier as you lift your body higher)

  4. Partner pull-ups (Assistance just enough for you to get over the bar)

Other ways to get your first pull-up

Practice Dead Hangs

dead hangs for increasing grip strength

Dead hangs has tons of benefits including improving your grip strength. This will make it easier to hold onto the bar for long periods of time. They’re also great for strengthening your forearms.

To do a dead hang

  • Literally, just hang onto the bar for time or till failure.
  • 3 sets of 10-30 seconds is a good starting point.
  • You can practice dead hangs daily, before, or even after workouts to increase your grip strength.

Practice Negative Pull-ups

Negative pull-ups are the second half of the exercise and can help with stability, grip strength, and overall upper body development.

This is known as the “eccentric” portion of the pull-up.

To do a negative pull-up:

  • Start by beginning at the top portion of the pull-up (you can do this by using a chair or jumping up to the bar)
  • Then slowly lower yourself till your arms lock out
  • Repeat for reps
  • Aim for 3 sets of 8-10 reps

Practice trying to do a proper pull-up

This one is pretty straightforward. If you want to do your first pull-up, work on getting your chin over the bar more and more with each workout.


No matter which method you choose, doing assisted pull ups is a great way to build up your strength and eventually progress to unassisted pull-ups. As with any exercise, it’s important to start off slowly and gradually increase the difficulty level.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and you won’t become an expert at pull-ups overnight. But with patience, persistence, and the right level of assistance, you can work your way up to achieving your pull-up goals.

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