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Neutral Grip Lat Pull Downs : A Must-Try Grip Variation

When it comes to lat pull downs we often think of two variations, the supinated grip and the pronated grip.

However there is a 3rd variation called the neutral grip.

The neutral grip also called a Swiss grip or hammer grip is where your hands are in a neutral position and are neither supinated or pronated.

In this blog post we will cover:

  • Neutral Grip Pull Downs Benefits
  • Ideal Grip Width
  • What to Avoid during neutral grip Pull Downs.

Neutral Grip Pull-down Benefits

Benefit #1: More Exercise Selection

Our bodies are amazing at adapting! Therefore, if you want to continue to get stronger, it is very important to keep switching up your exercise variation. Otherwise, you'll plateau.

Most people just flip back and forth between pronated and supinated lat pull downs.

However by adding the neutral grip, you add a third variation to the mix increasing your pulling exercise selection by 50%!

Benefit #2: More Fun

The best part about the neutral grip is that it is the strongest variation for the majority of people.

Since you will be able to lift more weight, it is a great way to get an ego boost and get motivated.

Benefit #3: Safer

A lot of people don’t have the full shoulder mobility to perform a full ROM supinated lat pull down, which can cause shoulder or wrist problems.

The neutral grip lat pull down is a more natural position for the joints and is great for those people with shoulder and wrist pain.

Benefit #4: The Squeeze

When performing a lat pull down with a traditional pronated or supinated grip, the bar can get in the way.

This limits your range of motion and prevents you from getting a nice squeeze and the top of the movement.

However in the neutral grip lat pull down, you can keep your chest up high and perform a nice squeeze since you don’t have this issue (if you use the right bar).

Benefit #5 Strongest Grip

The neutral grip lat pull down is the strongest variation and is the easiest to grip. If you don't have chalk its not a problem!


Ideal Grip Width for Neutral Grip Pull Downs?

Often for hammer grip pull downs you don't really have a choice in the grip width since the bars are fixed.

However, if you do have the option, we recommend shoulder width for the neutral grip lat pull downs.

Shoulder width offers you the largest range of motion, so you can get the most out of the exercise.

If you want to focus on your arms and forearms instead of your back you can make the grip closer.


No neutral grip bar? No problem!

Perhaps you have only a straight bar for lat pull downs.

Sadly a straight bar doesnt give you the option for neutral grip.

Don't worry we got you covered!

Check out the swissies, a hook-on neutral grip attachment.

You can quickly and easily place on a straight bar to transform it into a neutral grip bar!

Works for hammer grip lat pull downs but also for dozens of other exercises!

neutral-grip-attachment

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What To Avoid When Training Neutral Grip Lat Pull Downs

Here are some of the common mistakes we see in neutral grip pull downs.

They are generally the same mistakes we see in the regular lat pull downs.

  • Goose Necking
  • Not coming down to a dead hang
  • Using momentum
  • Not pulling yourself up high enough
  • Letting your elbows flare out
  • Not Controlling the Eccentrics

Conclusion

Neutral Grip Lat Pull Downs are an often overlooked exercise variation.

However, they are very beneficial and perhaps the most superior variation.

Anyone serious about improving their back development and having big strong lats should incoopertate hammer grip pull downs into their training regime.


About the Author

Remy started calisthenics in 2014 and has mastered advanced movements such as the one arm pull-up, front-lever, one arm muscle-up and more.

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