Exercise Band Pull Up

In this article you will learn about the exercise band pull up – what it is, how to perform it and why you may want to add it to your exercise routine.

How to Use Exercise Band to Improve Pull Ups

Exercise bands are popular aids in improving pull ups.

This YouTube video provides some tips on how to go about using an exercise band (also known as a resistance band) to improve your pull up:

Here is how to use an exercise band to improve your pull ups, step by step:

  1. Wrap a exercise band around the bar you intend to use for your pull ups (the YouTube video above demonstrates how to do this)
  2. Grip the bar. Your hands should be wider apart than shoulder width
  3. Put one of your feet into the bottom of the loop created by the exercise band, resting your other foot behind the loop
  4. Lift yourself up until your chin is above the bar as when performing a normal pull up
  5. Ensure you limit the amount you swing on the band by keeping your core muscles engaged whilst performing the pull up
  6. Lower down to a hanging position again
  7. Repeat for the desired number of reps

The band should provide you with enough resistance so that the pull up doesn’t feel easy, but neither should it feel impossible to complete either.

In order to get the correct amount of resistance from the band you are using it is important to choose the correct band.

Below is a guide to the amount of resistance they will provide:

Resistance Band Size Lbs Resistance
Extra-Small 10
Small 20
Medium 30
Heavy 50
Extra-Heavy 70

It is important to ensure you are safe when using an exercise aid such as an exercise band in order to avoid injury.

Ensure you follow these safety tips in order to ensure that the resistance band adds the greatest improvement to your pull ups:

  • Before you use the band to perform pull ups check that it has not been damaged
  • Ensure you keep your abdominal muscles tightened when performing the exercise with the band
  • Don’t hold your breath during the pull up
  • Ensure each pull up is performed slowly, with control and without straining

Are Resistance Bands Good For Pull Ups?

There is much debate in the exercise community about whether resistance bands are good for pull ups, with those on each side taking a strong position of whether or not people should use such bands to assist their performance.

So, here are some of the arguments on either side:


  • Exercise bands are a great support for beginners who are new to serious exercise regimes or just beginning to master the pull up, helping them to build strength, mobility and fitness on their journey towards mastering the difficult exercise that is the pull up
  • They allow the user to practice the motion of a pull up without straining their arms, strengthening their trapezius, biceps, rhomboids, and lats and providing muscle definition while they master the technique behind the pull up
  • They can be used to help the individual perform a pull up when they are fatigued from other forms of exercise, ensuring they are still able to benefit from the performance of a pull up despite the rigours of the rest of their routine


  • Some claim that resistance bands can provide inconsistent assistance to the user, like a spotter who slacks on the job at times and is over-attentive at others. Those who claim this believe it is far better to have a spotter assist with the pull up than to employ a resistance band
  • Others claim that the resistance band provides assistance in the wrong places for the user to build strength where they most need it. Most of the assistance the band gives is at the bottom of the banded pull up, and those who make this argument claim that it would be better to perform a jumping pull up rather than to use a resistance band
  • Experts argue that once users start using resistance bands they will have difficulty stopping, relying on the assistance they provide too heavily

How Do You Use a Band To Help With Pull Ups?

The main technique for using a resistance band to help with pull ups is demonstrated in this YouTube video:

The resistance band is wrapped around the exercise bar so that it is securely attached.

The user then grips the bar with their hands just wider apart than shoulder width, ensuring that their fingers are facing forward. They step into the loop created by the band with one foot then perform a pull up as they otherwise would.

The resistance band provides support to this motion, making it easier to successfully perform the pull up by reducing the strength and mobility required as well as by reducing the strain on the body.

What Exercise Works the Same Muscles as Pull Ups?

There are a number of exercises you can perform which exercise the same muscles as pull ups.

These include:

  • Bicep curls using dumbbell weights are a good alternative to the exercise which a pull up provides the biceps
  • Lat squeezes, again using dumbbells, will help give your lats the workout that pull ups otherwise would
  • Rhomboid pulls are an excellent alternative for this area of your physique
  • The T Hold, using a resistance band, helps exercise the shoulder and chest
  • The Bent Over Dumbbell Row is a great all round alternative for the back and chest muscles

How Do You Choose Resistance Bands For Pull Ups?

When performing a pull up you will first of all need to ensure that you choose the power loop type of resistance band.

The size of the power loop resistance band which you require very much depends on your weight and also your fitness level.

As a general rule fitness level can be determined as follows:

  • Beginner – unable to perform any pull ups without assistance/complete exercise beginner
  • Intermediate – can perform 2-3 pull ups unassisted/has around 6 months exercise experience
  • Advanced – can perform 5 or more pull up unassisted/has around 12 months exercise experience minimum

Once fitness level and weight is determined the individual should then research the various options available on the market and choose a band which is recommended for their weight and fitness level.


By now you should be familiar with the exercise band pull up.

This is a summary of the article:

  • Exercise bands are a popular aid when performing pull ups
  • We have covered the technique of performing an exercise band assisted pull up
  • Safety precautions are important when using an exercise band to perform a pull up
  • We have covered some of the pros and cons of using the exercise band when performing pull ups
  • There are a number of alternative exercises which work the same muscles as the pull up
  • We have seen how to choose a resistance band for use in pull ups