Sports Training

Negative Pull-Ups vs Assisted Pull-Ups

Negative Pull-ups and Assisted pull-ups are two very different but interrelated exercises. 

Both can be should and would be a good idea to incorporate into your workouts if you want to make the most GAINZ….. but if you want to know just which one edges out as the better option for building and packing on the toned muscle here I will tell you just which one is the winner…. 

**Hint… its not what you think 😉

In this article, I will cover the benefits of both negative pull-ups and assisted pull-ups and help you determine which one, YOU THINK, is best for YOU.

What Is a Negative Pull-Up?

What Is a Negative Pull-Up

You can regard negative pull-ups as the initial step towards doing regular pull-ups, but pretty much, to simplify, all your doing is focusing on the downward aspect of traditional pull-up.

If you still think that negative pull-ups are just a simpler version of the traditional pull up, then bada bing, you’re right; but there are still a f*** load of benefits that the negative variation can offer.

How to Do Negative Pull-Ups?

How to Do Negative Pull-Ups

To do a negative pull-up correctly, just do this, and exactly this:

  • Your initial position is just over the pull-up bar. Remember that your chin should be placed above the bar’s level.
  • Lower your body while increasing the resistance level that is being felt by your body.
  • Your body should be lowered to a particular position called ‘dead hang’, with your arms extended.
  • Repeat.

Benefits of Negative Pull-ups

Benefits of Negative Pull-ups

  • It boosts your grip strength. Way way more than regular pull ups as you are focusing on holding onto the bar and lowering down slowly which requires more body positioning, and in turn, you guessed it, requires more grip activation.
  • It offers good preparation for gaining the strength needed to do regular pull-ups.
  • If you want a fast and proportionate increase in muscle mass, you will get that with negative pull-ups.

Muscles Worked by Negative Pull-Ups

Muscles Worked by Negative Pull-Ups

Negative pull-ups work mainly your biceps, triceps, core muscles, primary lats, and shoulders.

Other exercises that work those muscles areas include, the overhead cable curl, the single-arm french press, and barbell or dumbbell shrugs.

Tips to Remember While Doing Negative Pull-Ups

Tips to Remember While Doing Negative Pull-Ups

  • If you are doing the exercise for the first time, enlist the help of a partner.
  • If you feel that you lack strength for this exercise, gain strength through doing similar exercises like reverse pull-ups barbell rows, barbell bench presses, or dumbbell bench presses.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Common Mistakes to Avoid when doing Negative Pull-Ups

  • When you are lowering your body, do not just drop down drastically. Do it in a controlled manner so that it impacts your muscles and core.

What Is an Assisted Pull-Up?

What Is an Assisted Pull-Up

Assisted pull-ups ease your struggles a lot because you no longer have to do the unenviable task of lifting your whole body weight. 

You will engage external assistance in lifting your body, which can be in the form of a helpful partner, resistance bands, or a specialised machine.

How to Do Assisted Pull-Ups?

How to Do Assisted Pull-Ups

If you are doing partner assisted pull-ups, then do this… and EXACTLY this:

  • Your initial position would be on the pull-up bar, holding it with an overhand grip.
  • Your partner will now push your back gently to help you prop up.
  • Let your partner render you the requisite support to complete the entire movement of going up and lowering back down.
  • Repeat as it seems prudent. You can also use a chair, a stool or resistance bands to help you move upwards.

Benefits of Assisted Pull-Ups

Benefits of Assisted Pull-Ups

  • It improves the overall stability of your body.
  • It boosts the strength of your back and arms.

Tips to Remember

Tips to Remember when doing Assisted Pull-Ups

  • Take particular care of your breathing during the exercise. Exhale as you move up, inhale as you lower back down.
  • Before doing the exercise, start with a few pull-downs to help you prepare your body for assisted pull-ups.

Muscles Worked

Muscles Worked by Assisted pull-ups

Assisted pull-ups will focus most of the work on the biceps, abdominal muscles, pectoral muscles, and the lats (Latissimus dorsi).

Mistakes to Avoid

Mistakes to Avoid when doing Assisted pull-ups

  • Do not attempt this exercise without warming up. Duh.
  • Do not go through the steps too quickly, as that would decrease the impact of the exercise. Again. Controlled Movement.

Comparing Negative Pull-Ups and Assisted Pull-Ups

Comparing Negative Pull-Ups and Assisted Pull-Ups

Both pull up variations are great exercises, but with negative pull-ups, you can exert more authority over your body. Improve grip strength. And focus on the muscle with more concentration as they are not requiring all out strength just to make it up and over the bar.

In negative pull-ups, you are using your own weight to lower your body, while in assisted pull-ups, most of the hard work is being done by an external agent, whether it’s a machine, a chair, or your partner.

Since in negative pull-ups, you are engaging your upper muscles to counter the resistance, the exercise has more benefits for your body than assisted pull-ups. 

On the other hand, if you are a beginner, then it is better for you to do the assisted version because your body will simplify not be strong enough to do a negative pull up, as they are no joke.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts on Negative Pull-Ups Vs Assisted Pull-Ups

To sum up, both negative pull-ups and assisted pull-ups are excellent exercises, and you can definitely do both regularly. 

But if you have to make a choice, then I def recommend you go with negative pull ups. They are my favorite exercise.

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