Assisted Pull Up Machine Training Tips

Pull-ups are one of the most challenging exercises in a fitness routine that need incredible strength in your back, arms, and shoulder muscles. Assisted pull-up machines are here to help you perform the movements more easily. So, what are the assisted pull-up machine’s benefits, and what muscles does it work?

The assisted pull-up machine uses weights to counterbalance your body weight, reducing the weight you need to pull up. It helps you master proper form and gain strength until you can reach the pull-up bar without help. It targets many upper body muscles, including traps, lats, erector spinae, and biceps. 

This article will explore the benefits of weighted pull-up machines and the muscles they work. We’ll also give you suggestions about a good assisted pull-up machine and answer some frequently asked questions.

Assisted Pull-up Machine’s Benefits

Assisted pull-up machines are one of the most beneficial equipment in the gym, helping you reap the benefits of classic pull-ups. Unlike the single pull-up, assisted pull-ups give you more assistance in lifting your body and overcome gravity much easier. Plus, the machine helps you avoid swinging and stabilizes your motion. That’s why you can have better body positioning and form and target the exact muscles you should.

So, if you’re a beginner and can’t get the regular pull-ups right, you can rely on assisted pull-up machines to perfect the movement by learning the range of motions. After getting comfortable with the movements, you can move on to the more challenging classic pull-ups.

That said, it doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from the pull-up exercises if you use assisted machines. On the contrary, you can have the same benefits, including:

  • Increased grip strength
  • You can train without the help of a trainer
  • Build core strength

In addition, assisted pull-ups are perfect for those who aren’t strong enough for bodyweight pull-ups or have mobility issues and joint and shoulder injuries.

Assisted pull-up machines use weights to counterbalance your own weight and assist you in pulling your body up. It means the machine lifts some of your body weight for you,no matter whether you perform chin-ups, pull-ups, or dips. 

The more weight you add to the weight stack, the easier your workout will be. That’s because the machine takes off that amount of weight from your own weight and helps you move up your body. So, if you weigh 130 pounds and use 60 pounds of weights, you only move 70 pounds of your body weight to lift.

The critical point here is to reduce the resistance the machine uses to counterbalance your body weight. If you don’t, you can’t build strength. So, while the weight stack can help you keep track of your workout progress, you should reduce it gradually to rely on your own body weight.

You can also use pull-up assistant bands to add to the challenge. For example, this product, available on Amazon, is excellent for pull-ups to build strength.

INTENT SPORTS Pull Up Assist Bands - Assistance and Resistance Bands for Pull-Up, Fitness, Body Stretching, Mobility Work, Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Heavy Duty, Single/Set, Exercise Videos, eBook
  • FULLY ADJUSTABLE PULL UP ASSIST comes with Exercise Videos that lets you start with lots of helpful assist, then gradually lessen the assistance. This makes you stronger while building key muscles that give you a lean, great looking physique. Have the muscular, well defined arms you want. Perfect for both men and women of all ages.
  • DO MORE PULL UPS in less time. Rather than killing yourself with full weight pull ups, this smart patented new system lets you work up to full weight. Your body develops faster, builds strength much more quickly, and lets you skillfully accomplish many more pull ups.

Muscles Engaged by Assisted Pull-up Machines

Assisted pull-ups are one of the best exercises to target upper body muscles. A proper assisted pull-up workout builds strength in your upper body so that you can do other weights like barbell rows, dumbbell rows, lat pulldowns, and deadlifts.

Here are the most significant muscles that an assisted pull-up workout targets:

Lats: The latissimus dorsi is the largest muscle in your upper back, running from your mid-back to shoulder blades and under your armpit. These V-shaped muscles stabilize and protect your spine and provide shoulder and back strength and posture.

Trapezius: It’s a flat muscle that runs from the neck, along the spine, to mid-back. This triangle-shaped muscle crosses your shoulder blade and neck and helps raise your arms and protect your shoulders.

Erector spinae: Also called the paraspinal muscles, erector spinae are three muscle groups that help you move or bend your back. They support your back, give you a proper posture, and help you rotate around your spinal column.

Biceps: These large muscles run from your shoulder to the upper arm. Located on the upper arm’s front part, the biceps help you pull up your forearm and rotate it outward. And, of course, strong, bulging biceps are one of the primary goals of any exerciser!

Other muscles targeted by assisted pull-ups are:

  • Rhomboid
  • Brachialis
  • Abs
  • External Obliques
  • Pecs

Assisted pull-up Machine Best Buy

You can have many different options if you want to equip your home gym and look for a great pull-up machine.

For example, this multifunctional workout station, available on Amazon, allows you to perform various movements. For example, you can do pull-ups, chin-ups, dips, and even reverse grip chin-ups.

soges Power Tower Adjustable Height Pull Up & Dip Station Multi-Function Home Strength Training Fitness Workout Station, PSBB002
  • Multi-functional: With this kind of equipment, you can easy to Chin up, Dips, Vertical Knee Raises, Push-ups and Reverse grip chin up whenever and wherever possible. Perfect for adults or children to grow workout, fitness enthusiasts and the elderly exercise.
  • Firm material: Heavy-duty metal frame, main support widened, splayed anti eversion base, which ensures stability and durability. Multi gear regulation, could adjust the height as your need.

Made of heavy-duty metal, this machine is Amazon’s choice and comes at a reasonable cost. You can target a wide range of muscles, including shoulders, arms, legs, and lower body muscles. You can also adjust the bars to fit your height and perform dips and other exercises. It’s sturdy but lightweight, so you can even move it around your home if you want to.

However, one of the downsides of this machine is that it doesn’t have a backrest area, which can be tiring for some people. Plus, the hand paddings are thin, which may be painful to grab the bars.

Overall, it’s great value for money, allowing you to perform different movements with only one machine.

Getting Started With the Assisted Pull-up Machine

If you’ve never done assisted pull-ups before, talk to your trainer to instruct you on maintaining good form. For example, you shouldn’t arch your back, scrunch your shoulders around your ears, lean forward, or dip too low. And you should keep your body upward.

Beginners should start with 10 pounds less than their body’s weight and gradually reduce the weights as they feel stronger. The ideal weight should allow them to do ten reps without being too easy or too difficult.

Here’s how to do assisted pull-ups:

  1. Kneel on the padded knee rest and make sure you’re comfortable and balanced.
  2. Reach your hands up to grab the handles, keeping your arms completely straight.
  3. Pull your body up just like you would with the regular pull-up bar, and the weights will assist you to go up.
  4. Lift your body until your chin is above the handles, keeping your shoulders down without straining your neck.
  5. Lower your body slowly while keeping your movements controlled and without dropping your body with force until you go back to the starting position.

And here’s how to set up assisted pull-ups:

Some machines let you perform chin-ups and dips in addition to pushups. Doing the assisted dip is quite straightforward: 

You stand or kneel on the cushioned seat attached to the weight plate via pulleys. Grasp the machine’s handles with a neutral grip while maintaining straight elbows. Then, try to push down the seat by exerting pressure on the handles, and the weights help you through the process.  

What is an Assisted Chin-up?

The assisted chin-up is a modification of regular chin-ups to help beginners learn the movements and gain strength. It’s just like assisted pull-ups in that the weights you add to the machine help you lift your body by counterbalancing your body weight.

Assisted chin-ups involve lifting your body above the pull-up bar with a supinated grip and your palms facing toward you. This way, chin-ups target the muscle groups on the front of your upper body, like the biceps and chest.

Frequently Asked Questions about Assisted pull-up Machines

How Much Weight Should I Use on an Assisted pull-up Machine?

It depends on your fitness level and core strength. If you’re a beginner, you can start with 10 or 20 pounds less than your body weight and use less weight as you get stronger. So, if you weigh 130 pounds, use 120lbs weights, and you’ll be moving only 10 pounds of your body weight.

Are Assisted pull-up Machines Good?

Assisted pull-up machines are beneficial, especially for beginners that can’t do the regular pushup movement. They help you reduce the weight you need to pull off the ground by counterbalancing the weight using their weight stacks. Plus, assisted pull-up machines help you target many upper body muscle groups, including arms, shoulders, and back.

Do Assisted Pull-ups Work Traps?

Traps are one of the primary muscle groups that assisted pull-ups target. Both phases of the assisted pull-ups work the lower part of the traps because they provide the power required in the lift phase. And when you lower your body, it helps your lats control your body’s weight.

How Do You Do a Dip Assist Machine?

Before adding weights, adjust the levered platform (depending on the machine’s design) and stand or kneel on it, grasp the handles with a neutral grip and straight elbows, and try to dip as deeply as you can. If you can’t dip much, you can add weights to help you. With the right weights, you can easily lower yourself with moderate effort and go back to the starting position.

Are Weighted Pull-ups Effective?

Weighted pull-ups effectively help you master the pull-up movement by letting you familiarize yourself with the correct form and position. It gives you similar benefits as the regular pull-ups by strengthening your upper body and targeting the biceps, traps, lats, and other muscle groups in your arms and shoulders.

How Do You Use an Assisted Pull-up Machine for Beginners?

The assisted pull-up machine is especially useful for beginners who don’t have enough upper body strength to do regular pull-ups in their exercise program. That’s why the weighted machine helps them move up their bodies by taking off some of the body’s weight.

Final Thoughts 

If you’re a beginner and have difficulty pulling your body up until your chin goes over the pull-up bar, you’re not alone. This movement has challenged many athletes of all fitness levels.

The assisted pull-up machine is the perfect equipment that shares the weight you need to pull up. It targets similar muscle groups as regular pull-ups and helps you develop strength until you can perform pull-ups without assistance. 

Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


James Wright

James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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