How to Build the Strength for Your First Strict Pull-Up – Using Bands!

Written By Charleh Knighton  |  Pull-up 

In this article, I'm going to teach you how to learn strict pull-ups using bands. Pull-ups can be challenging, but with the right technique and assistance from bands, you can build the necessary strength to do them without any assistance at all. The bands are a great tool to help you develop that strength and progress towards more advanced movements like kipping pull-ups or muscle-ups.

So, let's dive into how to use bands effectively and keep getting stronger.

The Thickness of the Pull-up Band Matters!

To start, it's important to understand that the thickness of the band determines the amount of assistance it provides. Thicker bands offer more uplift, while thinner bands offer less assistance. 

You can use different bands to customize the level of assistance you need and gradually reduce it over time. This versatility is what makes bands such a valuable training tool.

There are a few different ways you can hang the band from a pull-up bar. The simplest method is to throw the band over the bar and loop it in itself. Then, place your foot inside the band, and now you can do band-assisted strict pull-ups. If you need more assistance, you can even stack bands by adding another one and stepping into both bands.

Using a Squat Rack For Banded Pull-ups

Another option is to use a squat rack with J hooks or pins. Stretch the band across and stand on top of it to perform pull-ups. This method allows you to maintain a solid, hollow body position and can be easier to set up without the band interfering with your face or chest.

Using The Pull-up Band Effectively

Now, let's talk about using the bands effectively. It's crucial to focus on full range of motion when doing banded pull-ups. Start with your arms fully locked out at the bottom and aim to get your chin above the bar with your head in a neutral position. Avoid partial reps or using momentum to complete the movement. You can even challenge yourself further by doing banded chest-to-bar pull-ups, pulling the bar all the way to your chest.

How to Build the Strength for Your First Strict Pull Up Using Bands!

Using a Pull-up Band in a Workout

To structure your workouts, start with a band combination that allows you to do around five pull-ups in a row. Aim to complete five sets of five repetitions with that band. If you can do it comfortably, consider adding a rep or reducing the band assistance in the following weeks. The key is progressive overload, gradually making the exercise slightly harder by increasing reps or reducing band tension.

Remember to find the sweet spot between three to eight reps per set for optimal strength development. If you're doing too many reps easily, adjust the band or band height to make it more challenging. Conversely, if you can't complete at least three reps, make it easier by raising the anchor point or using a thicker band.

To Summarize

By following these principles and consistently challenging yourself, you'll make progress and eventually be able to transition to smaller bands or even no bands at all. The goal is to develop your raw pull-up strength and achieve strict pull-ups without any assistance.

So, get started with band-assisted pull-ups, focus on a full range of motion, and use progressive overload to keep pushing yourself. With time and dedication, you'll see significant improvements and be on your way to mastering strict pull-ups.

If you'd like additional training tips or want to learn more about other exercises, check out our website for more resources. Keep up the hard work, and I'll see you in the next article!

If you're looking to improve your gymnastics, why not check out our online gymnastics program called WPx Gymnastics!

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