Close neutral grip pull-up exercise
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Close neutral-grip pull-up

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Latissimus Dorsi
  • Synergists: Brachialis, Brachioradialis, Teres Major, Posterior Deltoid, Rhomboids, Levator Scapulae, Middle and Lower Trapezius, Sternal (lower) Pectoralis Major, Pectoralis Minor
  • Dynamic stabilizers (not highlighted): Biceps Brachii, Triceps Brachii (long head only)
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Grasp the double pull-up bars and hang with your arms and shoulders fully extended.
  2. You can cross your feet, keep your legs straight, or bend your knees.


  1. Exhale as you pull your body up until your chin rises above the bars.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you lower your body until your arms and shoulders are fully extended.
  4. Repeat.

Comments and tips

  • Pull with your elbows, not with your biceps.
  • Make the close neutral grip pull-up easier by bending your knees and getting someone to hold your feet. You can also use an assisted pull-up machine.
  • Make the exercise more difficult by holding a dumbbell between your feet (weighted close neutral-grip pull-up), or by wearing a weighted vest or a dip belt (see second video).
  • The close neutral grip pull-up is a major compound exercise that will help you to develop functional upper-body strength. The close neutral grip places emphasis on the lower fibers of your latissimus dorsi, helping you to develop lats that run farther down your sides. To place emphasis on the upper fibers of your lats and thus develop a wide v-taper, use the standard pull-up.
  • With the close neutral grip pull-up, your biceps act as dynamic stabilizers, along with the long heads of your triceps brachii. Flexion of your elbows is primarily undertaken by your brachialis and brachioradialis. That is not to say that your biceps don’t get a good workout! They do, but it’s not as great a workout as you would get with the standard pull-up.
  • See also the self-assisted pull-up and the mixed-grip pull-up.

Close neutral grip pull-up videos

Close neutral grip pull-up with dip belt


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