How to Conquer Neutral Grip Pull Ups

There’s no getting around the fact that - if you desire a muscular and stronger back, your workout needs to include pull ups, as this is THE exercise for a perfectly V-shape back.

We have all seen those giant ripped dudes perform this exercise at the gym and many of us wish that we could do the same. Honestly, I used to think that doing it was nearly impossible for me since I was just not able to lift my own bodyweight when I started working out.

However, I really was fascinated by the great benefits the exercise brings, so I tried and tried and then found out that through techniques like assisted pull ups, negatives and reverse push ups I was able to conquer this daunting exercise.

Read on to find out more...


Pull Ups Variations

Before we start, it is important for you to understand the types of pull ups which exist and distinguish them if you hope to master one of these. There are three separate categories of pull-ups depending on your hand posture:

The Tranditional Pull Up with your hands in a pronated posture facing away from you:

traditional pull-up

Traditional Pull-Up

A Chin Up with your hands supinated and palms facing you. You can learn a bit more about the pros and cons of pull ups vs chin ups here.

Chin Up

Chin Up

Neutral Grip Pull Up with your palms facing each other. This can be done by holding on to two handles as shown in the picture below, or by using rings to perform the pull up.

Neutral Grip Pull-Ups

Neutral Grip Pull-Ups -

Now, let's hone in on the neutral grip pull-up. It's performed by using a pull up bar with parallel handles or an assisted pull up machine is a calisthenics exercise for intermediate and above gym goers.

To be more specific, this exercise hits the three main back muscles – your lats, rhomboids and traps, and also targets your biceps, forearms and core.

Your arms will also become stronger, which means you can pull a heavier weight and therefore improve your deadlifts. In addition, it contributes to increases in metabolism and caloric consumption in your body, as your muscles will need fuel to repair.

Keep in mind that this pull-up requires a considerably more advanced technique, so you need to curb your enthusiasm until your upper-body muscles are strong enough.

Therefore, I think its prudent to provide you with efficient supplementary exercises to improve the strength of these targeted muscles, which in turn will help you to perform neutral grip pull ups.

Conquer Neutral Grip Pull Ups With 5 Exercises

1. Reverse push-ups with rings

Reverse push-ups with rings is a marvelous method to strengthen muscles necessary to perform pull ups. If you can already do a few pull ups, it will improve your back and shoulder muscles’ strength and help you crank out more pull ups.

  • Lie down when grasping the rings as well as tighten your core and leg muscles.
  • Simultaneously, put your shoulders directly below you and your palms facing away from your head.
  • Push your body up toward the rings while spinning your palms and finish facing each other at the apex of this exercise.

2. Bottoms-Up Holds And Presses

Bottoms-up kettle-bell exercise helps you strengthen your core as well as stabilize your shoulder, which provides you the edge to enhance your pull up strength. It may be the easiest in this series of exercises.

3. Batwings

  • Lie down on a bench with an appropriate kettle-bell or dumbbell in each hand.
  • Lift the weights until your thumbs are touched to your armpits, and compress the shoulders within 5-7 seconds.

Your pull-up ability and rhomboid strength will be increased significantly.

4. Bananas

If you want to perform a fantastic pull up, it is necessary to establish a gymnastic-type “hollow” posture with your body. And, the proper answer is Bananas! Moreover, you can build up abdominal parts as well.

To be more specific, you lie on floor with legs together, arms extended overhead, lower spine on the floor. Keeping head between arms, slowly raise upper body and legs off floor to form a gentle banana-like curve.

5. Isometrics

You can do many bodyweight and weighted pull up isometric at different levels of the motion, which is really beneficial to prepare your body for heavier pulls.Well here is 25 Isometrics Core Exercises video. So, you should choose your favorite series of isometrics exercises and then practice hard with them.

After you have already prepared your body for try yourself with the neutral-grip pull up, you need a step-by-step guideline, a detailed instructional video and key notes as followings to gain amazing achievement.

And, don’t forget to prepare a pull-up bar and pull-up machine. Since it provides you assistance and makes the exercise easier than the traditional pull-up by moderately decreasing internal rotation of your humeri.

An additional equipment is a chair, which can be placed under the pull-up bar or machine. You would put one foot on the chair (or two legs for extra support), lift yourself up and straighten your legs. Try to use as little power as possible.

Neutral Grip Pull Ups Step-by-step Instructions

Step 1: Grasp the parallel pull-up bars with a neutral grip. Your palms should be facing each other, and your arms are extended. This will be your starting position.

Step 2: Pull yourself up to the bar until your chin is above your hands by bending elbows instead of swaying momentum.

Step 3: Pause for 3-5 seconds, then lowering yourself to the starting position. This is considered as one rep.

• Look at the video below to take in these techniques better: 

Some Key Tips:

  • Your arms should not be outside the sockets while being flexed.
  • Pause and then slowly lower down under control.
  • Keep the body completely at 90 degrees to the ground and never move back and forth.

Five common pull-ups mistakes to avoid from professionals: 

Notes: If your workout now is full or you just begin to practice this exercise, three sets of eight to 10 reps two or three times per week is suitable. After that, you should gradually increase the numbers of sets and reps.

The number of male neutral-grip pull-ups sets is between 8 and 15, about 12 reps for each set. However, the figure for female is between 7 and 10, about 3 reps for each set.


No pain, no gain! If you cannot perform neutral-grip pull-ups , I suggest you focus on developing your upper strength with recommended exercises, and you will absolutely obtain a perfect V-shape back someday. 

Before you go, please leave a comment below to discuss your progression with the exercises. Also, if you find this article helpful, share it on your favorite social media network.


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