Saturday, November 23, 2013

Gear Tips - Affiliate Rig - Assisted Pullups

One of the most popular uses for resistance bands is in use for assisted pull ups.  For many beginners, the extra help that the resistance band offers is the difference between a failed rep and stringing several pull ups in a row.

One common way to provide this assistance is by fastening the band to the Pull Up bar with the Lark's Head Knot [pictured right].  This type of 'knot' is very easily undone when the athlete is finished with the workout so no worries about taking it off when the workout is over.  And even though this is a very popular and common method for providing that necessary assistance, we've seen two not so favorable issues that tend to come about by using this method of attaching the band to the pull up bar:

The Lark's Head Knot is the old stand by for attaching resistance bands to pull up bars.  But we've got a better way.  Read on.
The old stand-by for attaching bands.
  1. The bottom loop of the band is too high up off the ground for the athlete to quickly or easily transition into the pullup. This requires additional time for the athlete to get their foot into the loop and can put them into an awkward position causing them to lose their balance.
  2. To help athletes get into position faster, bumpers or plyo boxes are sometimes used to give them a platform to stand on.  The added height does make it easier to get into the resistance band but we're not a huge fan of stacking anything under the rig where it can become a tripping hazard.

If you've got a stand alone pull up bar [we know someone that makes a great one, by the way :D], there isn't really another option.  Just take your time when transitioning or if you do add a plyo box or bumpers, try to keep them off to the side rather than right under the pull up bar.

For those with a Garage Rig or Affiliate Rig, there is one simple change in how the band is attached to the rig can make a difference.  Our quick fix involves the use of the J-Cups in the Squat Station.  By stretching the resistance band across two J-Cups [they can be installed on either the inside or outside the posts], we've now got a much more stable 'platform'.
  1. The athlete now has a much easier time getting into position.  No loops to try to get their feet into.  Standing on the band with one or both feet is easy to do and won't put them off balance.
  2. By raising/lowering the J-Cups, the amount of assistance that the band offers can be varied.  That means that one resistance band has a much larger range of assistance when used this way. When hung from the pull up bar overhead with a Lark's Knot, the amount of assistance is constant for each athlete.
  3. The band can very quickly be attached/detached from the J-Cups if necessary to keep the area under the rig clear.
  4. For this method to work the best, have your athletes grab the low pull up bar from the inside of the rig facing out.  The high bar on the Offset Pull Up bars stands 8" away from the poles.  Using the band while grabbing the high bar is not as efficient.
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We shot a video too to give you an even better idea of how to use the resistance bands for assisted pull-ups on our Affiliate Rig.  Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for even more gear tips.  Thanks for watching!