Pull Up Machines (assistance)

Ok guys don't pay me out. I have never been able to do pull ups and I do know how good they are for you.

So I'm looking to add them to my back days now doing pull ups on the assistance machine if this useless? If I were to start at a certain weight build up is that the way to go?

Anyone have any tips or tricks. Phone Post 3.0

Start by just jumping up and trying to hold yourself at the top of the bar, then work up to the point where you can slowly lower yourself down, then work the pull up. Try to point your elbows inwards. It will help engage your lats Phone Post 3.0

Use a resistance band. You can get them from a variety of sources, I use them when I work with newbies who can't do pull ups.

can't give much input for the assisted pull-ups, but lat Pulldowns have helped me a lot at increasing pull-up reps Phone Post 3.0

Why would they be useless? It's the same exact movement your just lighter. Phone Post 3.0

Lat Pulldowns, Bodyrows, and Barbell Rows will help you increase strength for Pullups. The assisted machine is good too, I prefer neutral grip. Go heavy.

The assisted pull up machine can be valuable for those who can't do pullups or dips. Just continue to reduce the weight week by week, then once your able to do a few pullups on your own, then start doing the isometric holds at the top at the end of your pullup session. The Lat pulldown machine is also a good tool to incorporate in your routine also. Phone Post 3.0

Pull ups have always been one of my favorites.
I cannot do them anymore though. About 6-8 months ago, I pulled something in my right lat when hanging between reps.

I wait a few weeks, things seem cool so I try again and get pain in the area again.

been a few months, I have been doing lat pulldowns pretty light. I hate using machines though so I get discouraged every time I touch the queer thing.

maybe the assisted pull up machine thing is my way back?
I've never tried one, always thought they were queer.

getting old sucks.

Another for resistance bands , more natural movement will transition to pull-ups better IMO Phone Post 3.0

when i see people use the assisted pull-up machine, they always seems to be at a really unusual angle that appears painful and unhelpful. <br /><br />Maybe try using the lat pulldown or overhead row thing or whatever it's called.

I disagree with the resistance band over machine argument.

Resistance bands will assist unevenly through the pull-up. Ie: More help at the bottom when the band is more stretched, less at the top when the band is more contracted.

A machine will provide closer to even assistance throughout the pull-up.

Not that bands are useless, just that in this case machines are better.

No access to a machine? Set up a box. Step up to where your chin's over the bar, and do a slow, controlled lowering to full extension. Repeat.

At the end of the day, be it a machine, a band, a box, a spot, or a jump, anything that will lead you to doing controlled free chins without injuring yourself is a good thing.

Just remember that the goal is unassisted, good form chins (and eventually with additional weight), so keep weaning yourself off the assistance until you get there.

(as an aside: Two ways to be better at chins: Get stronger or get lighter)

And I disagree with the machine over band argument. I have a variety of bands, different strengths and can toss them in my bag when I meet up with a student. By using the bands, the grip is improving, the spine and body gets a nice controlled stretch and it reinforces that natural movement.

Just my counter point Joe.

To follow up on your reasoning (and because I learn best via debate...):

In what way do elastics improve your grip more than the machine? Your grip is supporting your weight either way, so I don't get the difference there. Unless you're saying that the elastic, on the top portion of the lift, give less resistance than would the machine. To which I would say the converse is true at the bottom.

I would say the "nice controlled stretch" is less, not more, controlled with the elastic, as a machine platform will not shift under you as bands do. And unless you're very tall, you can stretch at the bottom with a machine as well.

Not sure about the 'natural movement' to which you refer, but am willing the cede the point if you can clarify it better. Seems to me there's nothing natural about trying to balance on a foot while doing chins, let alone getting your foot into "the stirrup" to begin with.

I had a pt test I had to take back in the day. The test required you to perform as many pull ups as possible or you could do lat pull downs with a weight based on your body weight. Many of the cadets took the lat pull down and breezed through it. It's easier. I did 15 pull ups and stopped because I didn't want to be an ass. But who is stronger? The "machine" supports you and assists you.

Now the assisted pull up machine you choose a weight to counter balance your weight. Your knees are braced on the pads and I don't see how you can stretch much further than that. The machine dictates your movement much like using a smith machine to squat.

The bands when used for pull ups and chins actively engage the most difficult part of the exercise at the bottom thus engaging a full range of motion and the grip.

Both bands and machine assisted pull ups have value to assist somebody who struggles to do a pull up without assistance.

I would lean more towards band assistance rather than the machine personally. My reasoning is that with the machine assisted pull ups you have the bar/machine guiding you as you do the pull up (similar to using a smith machine) and thus requires less total body control, which translates through the scapula and GH joint. With the band, there is still a demand for total body control and I feel it will better translate to transitioning to a normal pull up. Also, with the greater resistance at the bottom with the band on a deeper stretch, the lifter will be assisted in the range of motion of the lift where they need the most assistance but will not have as much assistance where they are strongest in the ROM.

Fair points.

1) Assistance through ROM: The top part of the pull up (clearing the bar) is also difficult, especially for tall guys. Bands give the least assistance there.

2) Balancing on an elastic band does not simulate a free chin.

That being said, you've underlined legitimate benefits of the bands, and I can see why you feel they're superior. I tend to disagree, but can now see where you're coming from.

It's a nice community of sharing and learning here. That being said, If I had a student who could not or may have some fear of using the bands, I would opt for the machine of course.

mongrel 911 - It's a nice community of sharing and learning here. That being said, If I had a student who could not or may have some fear of using the bands, I would opt for the machine of course.

And if I had a student who was afraid of the machine, I'd say "Man up, Susan!!!"