Pull-up assist bands are large rubber bands that relieve a certain amount of weight when performing a pull-up. For example, if an athlete who weighs 150lbs uses a pull-up assist band of 25lbs, then they are pulling up 125lbs instead of their full body weight. This seems pretty straightforward and primarily for those who are training toward performing unassisted pull-ups, but there are many reasons why athletes of all experience and fitness levels might be able to benefit significantly by having access pull-up assist bands.
Pull-ups are one of the best upper body building exercises out there and they don’t necessarily always need to be full bodyweight pull-ups to achieve the benefits they offer. Here are some reasons why having pull-up assist bands in your equipment arsenal is beneficial:
- Training routines that call for higher volume work with lighter weight pull-ups.
- Pull-up assist bands will help athletes continue to perform pull-ups without having to concede proper form when fatigue sets in.
- Performing pull-up dropsets (every set gets progressively lighter) is possible with assist bands.
- Assist bands are excellent when supersetting pull-ups with other exercises.
So whether your goal is your first unassisted pull-up or spicing up the normal X sets of X reps of normal pull-ups, assist bands are worth looking into. Let’s stretch out and find which would be best for your needs.
DYNAPRO Power Resistance Bands
- Uses commercial grade rubber to ensure long term durability.
- Included access to VIP Club; an online blog of different workouts and community forums.
- Each band can stretch to twice their starting length.
- The rubber has a strong scent that may be off-putting to some athletes.
- On the pricier end of the market for the full set of bands.
The DYNAPRO Power Resistance Bands are a set of five bands that range from 5lbs to 170lbs of resistance. They fold comfortably and have bands to hold them tight so they are easier to pack and travel with. Each band is made of eco-friendly snap-resistant rubber.
Odoland 5 Packs Pull-Up Assist Bands
- Includes a free ebook of exercises that can be downloaded to any mobile device.
- More affordable than most other options available.
- Strongest resistance band in the set only goes up to 125lbs.
- The film covering each band may peel off over time.
Odoland’s 5 Pack of Pull-Up Assist Bands have a resistance range of 5lbs to 125lbs. The smallest band is half a centimeter thick while the thickets is just over 4 centimeters. The pack includes two handles, a door anchor, and a carrying bag.
CANWAY Pull-Up Bands
- Made of a latex rubber that aims to maintain elasticity over the long term.
- Can be used in outdoor gyms.
- One of the most affordable options available on the market.
- Many options on the market offer a fifth band to a set.
- Not fitting for athletes allergic to latex.
CANWAY Pull-Up Bands come in a set of four that offer a resistance range of 15lbs to 125lbs. Included in the purchase is a carrying bag and a user manual. The total weight of the bands is approximately 2lbs which makes them potentially easier to travel with.
Best for Advanced Athletes
Draper’s Strength Heavy Duty Pull-Up Assist and Powerlifting Stretch Bands
- Resistance up to 200lbs is higher than most competitors.
- Larger resistance range potentially offers higher exercise variety.
- Six bands per set is more than most other options on the market.
- Not fitting for athletes allergic to latex.
- The bands may maintain scuffs or other signs of wear.
- More expensive than comparable options.
Draper’s Strength Heavy Duty Pull-Up Assist Bands come in a set of six that range from 2-200lbs of resistance. Each band is made of latex rubber and is 41 inches long. Free e-workout guide included with the set of bands.
Best for Beginners
INTEY Pull-Up Assist Band
- Can support pull-ups by athletes that weigh up to 300lbs.
- Approximately 2lbs total may make this set easier to travel with.
- Very affordable compared to most options available.
- Four bands is less than many other sets on the market.
- Needs extra care when cleaning to avoid getting moldy.
INTEY’s Pull-Up Assist Bands come in packs of four and include a workout e-book, a carrying bag, and a gift box. They offer a resistance range of 15lbs-125lbs. They are made from an anti-corrosive and anti-snap rubber to ensure better safety.
Depending on the needs of an athlete, the amount of resistance (or assistance) can vary. New athletes learning correct form for pull-ups may need a band that can off-set more of their body weight so the pull-ups aren’t as difficult starting out. As an athlete gets stronger, less assistance is needed, and most band sets include bands that go meet or go below 5lbs of resistance.
Ease of Travel
Traveling easy is not necessarily a needed attribute for those with home gyms, but for those without, being able to travel to and from the gym or from hotel to hotel easily is important. Many sets prioritize easy travel with lightweight bands, travel bags, or tight packaging of the bands when rolled up. If you are a traveling athlete, be on the lookout for pull-up assist bands that place easy travel at the forefront of their messaging as it is usually highlighted by the seller.
A pull-up band’s elasticity is going to be indicative of its durability. Better elasticity means the band is less likely to snap or tear over time. Usually, bands that offer more resistance are also thicker than bands that offer less resistance. Maintaining elasticity despite the increased thickness is very important to ensure safety. If a band snaps during an exercise, it can leave a bad welt on the athlete. Most assist bands are made of rubber and are long enough to avoid accidents. However, knowing how much tension a band can withstand is important, especially for taller athletes or athletes with longer wingspans where the bands will have to naturally stretch farther.
Pull-ups will almost assuredly benefit your training routine regardless of your experience level. Using assist bands to learn or correct pull-up form will help build strength in the long term. Pull-up assist bands get some extra mileage for athletes able to get creative with them by incorporating supersets, dropsets, or grip variations. Ultimately, pull-up assist bands are a great addition to your equipment bag.