How To Get Your First Chin-Up: Should You Use A Band For Assistance?
THE BENEFITS OF CHIN-UP TRAINING WITH BANDS
Bands can be very helpful to provide assistance with chin-ups. Especially if you don’t have access to a lat pulldown machine, they also provide a nice benchmark for progress. If you move to a thinner band, or can do more repetitions with the same band, you know you’re progressing. Great!
THE LIMITATIONS OF CHIN-UP TRAINING WITH BANDS
But, the downside is that bands give you plenty of help at the bottom, but not very much at the top of the chin-up. The top of the chin-up - especially while holding a retracted scapula position - is tough! That’s one area where most people need the most help, and the band just doesn’t give enough assistance here.
Training with bands can definitely help you get your first chin-up, but you’ll usually lack strength at the top of the rep, and be unable to maintain a good shoulder position.
MY RECOMMENDATION: HOW TO TRAIN TO GET YOUR FIRST CHIN-UP
You can certainly use the band at some points, but most of the time I recommend using exercises that enable you to pull your chest to the bar (i.e. to work through as full a range of motion as possible) so you can build even strength throughout the entire rep. Lat pulldowns, ring rows, seated rows, cable rows, feet-assisted chin-ups, and various forms of chin-ups negatives can all accomplish this goal.
WANT MORE HELP? Check out this free video series from my chin-up training course