How to Do Assisted Pull-ups and Dips

Exercises for the Upper Body

Doing repetition pull-ups or dips can be a real challenge if you have poor upper-body strength or a little too much lower-body weight. It's likely that your gym has a machine to assist you with these exercises. This is a good option for beginners or anyone who's working on building strength.

The pull-up will work your back and arms while the dip will give those triceps a good workout. Both exercises can be done on the same machine. If you're new to this type of workout, it's a good idea to get some background information on weight training exercises before you give it a try.

1
How to Do the Assisted Pull-up

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A pull-up (or chin-up) is an exercise for working the back and arm muscles. Pull-ups require you to lift your body up by the arms so your chin is almost level with the bar that was previously above your head.

The "assisted" pull-up uses a gym machine that assists you by providing counterweight upward pressure during the lift. It provides a means of developing strength before transitioning to the unassisted pull-up.

  1. Stand on the bottom step of the machine and grasp the angled handles at the top.
  2. Kneel on the pad while grasping the high handles to test the pad pressure.
  3. Adjust the upward pressure on the pad (more weight equals more assistance) to the point where you can do a set of pull-ups, including at least 8 repetitions.
  4. As you get stronger over time, gradually decrease the support you set for the knee pad until you can do one or more pull-ups without assistance.

Your goal can be to do up to 8 pull-ups in a set with no assistance.

2
How to Do the Assisted Dip

Assisted dips
Assisted dips. Image: (c) TrainerClipArt.com

Dips are an exercise for the triceps muscle at the back of the upper arm. You will get a little shoulder and chest work as well.

Assisted dips use the same machine as pull-ups but with different hand positions for the dip exercise.

  1. Stand on the bottom step and grasp the handles half-way up the frame with an overhand grip.
  2. Kneel on the pad while grasping the handles to test the pad pressure.
  3. Adjust the upward pressure (more weight equals more assistance) on the pad to the point where you can do a set of at least 8 to 12 repetitions.
  4. As you get stronger, decrease the upward support gradually until you can do 8 to 12 dips in a set with decreasing support.

Your goal can be to do 3 sets of 8 to 12 exercises unassisted.

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