Without a doubt, pull-ups are one of the hardest exercises using your own bodyweight. After all, you have to pull your entire bodyweight up on the pull-up bar. It is a real workout, not only for the lats and the rhomboid muscle, but also for the biceps, the brachialis and various other muscles.
You cannot do any pull-ups, or only very few? Then this is just the thing for you! We introduce you to 9 pull-up aids that guarantee you will achieve more repetitions. Have fun reading and good luck with your workout!
Why you need a pull-up aid
A pull-up aid is generally seen as an aid to reduce effort when doing this popular bodyweight exercise. Pull-up bands are often the first items mentioned in this context. With a band like this, you reduce the weight that has to be lifted, or rather, pulled, so that it is easier to execute the pull-ups.
By the way, both beginners and advanced students benefit equally from a pull-up aid. While beginners use the device to achieve just a few pull-ups, "professionals" primarily use the pull-up band or something similar for strength endurance training.
Note: Theoretically, any means of increasing weight is also a pull-up assistance, namely in order to work towards your own training goals more effectively. But, in this article we will only consider tools that make it easier for you to do this.
The following pull-up assistances are available to help you achieve more pull-ups
In the following sections, we will introduce you to various pull-up assistances. Choose the best option for your workout level, so that you can achieve more pull-ups!
Unlike conventional pull-ups, for so-called negative pull-ups, you start at the top of the pull-up bar. Hang o to your pull-up bar and lower your body weight as slowly as possible. Afterwards, use something like a chair to help you to get back to the starting position, and do the next repetition. The exercise targets the same muscles as conventional pull-ups, but it is much easier to do.
If you start off by doing negative pull-ups for a few weeks, you will soon increase your strength sufficiently to enable you to do more "normal" pull-ups.
Isometric training for more pull-ups
Isometric training is another type of pull-up aid. It involves hanging on the bar. When you do so, the innervated muscles or muscle fibres do not change in length, but they are nevertheless put under tension. Do isometric workouts on the pull-up bar for a few weeks, to build strength and improve your overall pull-up performance.
Take a look at our pull-up bars here!
Work as a team to achieve more pull-ups
If you have a workout partner, he can also serve as your "pull-up assistances". Ask him to support you slightly during the exercise by bearing some of your weight. For example, you can hang on the bar and put one foot into the linked hands of your partner, so that you can push yourself up. As you do each pull-up, your training partner pushes you upwards slightly. He should also "resist" your weight somewhat during the downward movement.
The pull-up band as a workout partner
If you work out alone, a pull-up band is an excellent pull-up aid! The band also bears part of the load, making it easier for you to pull up on the bar. The sequence of the exercise remains unchanged. However, you need to begin by attaching the strap to the pull-up bar. Then you can put your feet or knees onto the band and do your pull-ups that way.
Tip: This pull-up aid is available in various strengths so you are sure to find the perfect training device for your needs! You can also use bands of different strengths to achieve the desired number of repetitions and work towards different training goals (strength endurance, muscle building, ...).
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Special bands ensure support
Sounds funny, but that's the way it is: the next pull-up aid we want to introduce you to is a ... pull-up assistances trainer. This is a so-called stretching loop band, which resembles a classic resistance band. However, unlike the classic resistance band, the loop band is equipped with a click fastener so that it can be attached to the bar; the foot loop is particularly wide, so it is easy to get into.
How to become a “pull-up machine”!
A pull-up machine works with counterweights, making it the ideal pull-up assistances for beginners. You have free choice when it comes to the counterweight, so you do not have to bear your entire body weight. To increase your strength, reduce the counterweight gradually, and work towards free pull-ups step by step.
Grip pads and chalk as pull-up assistances
Another way to achieve more pull-ups on the bar is by using grip pads or chalk. These aids give you a better grip on the pull-up bar, so that you do not have to worry about your hands slipping during your workout. The following table gives you an overview of the specific advantages of these two pull-up aids.
|Protects your hands from injury and calluses
|Reduces the formation of sweat, thanks to a special formula
|Also suitable for other applications (calisthenics, bouldering, climbing, weightlifting, …)
|Unlike gloves: no unpleasant odour
|Unlike gloves: no unpleasant odour
|Enables you to work out on an outdoor pull-up bar in winter (no direct contact between your hands and the cold bar)
|Simply wash off after your workout
|Very economical (you only need small quantities for your workout session)
|Quick-drying and dust-free (leaves no traces on the pull-up bar or other devices)
Gloves as pull-up assistances
Fitness gloves are also a good option for more grip during pull-ups. In addition, you protect your palms from calluses and cracks during sports.
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For the cold season you can use full-finger sports gloves. Besides a better grip during outdoor activities and the protection of your palms, you can also protect your hands from the cold.
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Grip tape as pull-up assistances
Another alternative to gloves and grip pads is the grip tape. This self-adhesive tape can be wrapped around the pull-up bar and henceforth offers a super grip and additional grip for all exercises on the pull-up bar due to its high sweat absorption. The grip tape can also be attached to Parallettes, gymnastic rings and many other sports equipment.
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Off to the bar! Ready, steady, go!
Now you are familiar with 9 pull-up assistances that will help you on your way to achieving more pull-ups. Choose the ideal training partner and maximise your performance when doing bodyweight workouts!
Are you looking for a suitable pull-up bar?
We at Pullup & Dip offer you various high quality and unique pull-up bars. Go check them out now!