How to Conquer Neutral-grip Pull-Ups With 5 Supportive Exercises

There’s no circumventing it - if you desire a muscular and stronger back, your workout immediately needs to include the Neutral-grip pull-up exercise, one of the best superb choices 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 because I had to lift up my own body weight over and over again.

However, I really was fascinated by the great benefits the exercise brings, so I tried to practice and then found out that they aren’t actually that hard to do.

Pull Ups Variations

Before we start, it is important for you to understand what Pull-ups are 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:

Chin Up

Chin Up

Neutral Grip Pull Up with your palms facing each other:

Neutral Grip Pull-Ups

Neutral Grip Pull-Ups -

Now, come back to Neutral grip pull-up. It performed by using a pull-up bar with parallel handles or an assisted pull-up machine is a calisthenics exercise for intermediate gymers onwards.

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 strength between traps and lats would be enhanced, so your arms will be stronger, which means you can push heavier weights and complete more reps. In addition, it contributes to increase metabolism and calorie consumption in your body.

On the other hand, there is the fact that this pull-up requires considerably advanced techniques, so you need to make extreme efforts until your upper-body muscles are enough robust.

Therefore, now I will provide you some effectively supplementary exercises to improve the strength of targeted muscles, which work for the neutral-grip pull-up exercise:

Conquer Neutral-Grip Pull Ups With 5 Progressive 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 one 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 yet, 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, please share it on


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