What Muscles Do Hammer Pull Ups Work? Muscles Worked While Doing  A Pull-Up With Hammer (Neutral) Grip

What Muscles Do Hammer Pull Ups Work

What Are The Primary Muscles Used When Doing Hammer Pull-Ups?

The primary muscles used when performing hammer pull-ups are the latissimus dorsi muscles, biceps brachii, and brachialis muscles. These are muscles located in the back as well as the front of the upper arm.

What Are The Primary Muscles Used When Doing Hammer Pull-Ups
Latismus dorsi located in the back are the main muscles working during this exercise

The grip used during hammer pull-ups as opposed to that used during the traditional pull-up exercise targets the muscles in a slightly different way, engaging the biceps and brachialis muscles to a greater extent.

Although the latissimus dorsi, or lats, is still the top muscles used in both variations of pull-ups, they are responsible for the majority of the pulling motion.

Taking all this into account makes this an excellent exercise for both building upper body strength and developing a well-rounded physique. 

What Are The Secondary Muscles Used During Hammer Pull-Ups?

Although the primary muscles used during hammer pull-ups are the latissimus dorsi, or lats, and the biceps there are also secondary muscles that are engaged on top of these muscles for support.

In addition to the lats and biceps, key secondary muscles used during hammer pull-ups include the posterior deltoid, teres major, as well as triceps brachii.

What Are The Secondary Muscles Used During Hammer Pull-Ups
Triceps and rear delts (shoulder) muscles are secondary muscles which still support this exercise

These muscles are responsible for humerus extension and adduction as well as elbow extension which is done primarily by the triceps and is particularly important during the eccentric portion of the hammer pull-up.

Furthermore, the core muscles and forearm muscles are also worked during hammer pull-ups to stabilize the body and maintain control throughout the movement.

Overall, hammer pull-ups engage a combination of muscles, making it an effective exercise for targeting the back, arms, and core. 

What Are Hammer Pull-Ups?

Hammer pull-ups are a variation of the traditional pull-up exercise that specifically work to further target your biceps and brachialis muscles along with your grip strength better than a traditional pull-up would.

In a regular pull-up, you typically use an overhand grip where your palms face away from you. However, in a hammer pull-up, your palms face each other in a neutral grip position.

What Are Hammer Pull-Ups

This slight change in grip not only recruits different muscles but also engages your forearms and biceps to a greater extent which is why the exercises work these muscles more effectively.

By incorporating hammer pull-ups into your routine, you not only work your back and arms but also push your muscles to adapt to different movement patterns. 

How To Perform Hammer Pull-Ups?

To perform hammer pull-ups, you will need a pull-up bar that is designed with the ability to let you use a neutral grip.

Start by standing beneath the pull-up bar and reaching up to grab it with your palms facing each other in a neutral grip. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart.

How To Perform Hammer Pull-Ups
Make sure to keep your body straight and your legs down while performing this exercise!

Allow your body to hang straight down with your arms fully extended. Engage your back and arms as you exhale and pull yourself up towards the bar.

Keep your elbows close to your body when at the top of the movement trying to bring your chest as high as you can being as close to the bar as possible.

Pause at the top of the movement and then slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Remember to maintain proper form throughout the exercise and have full control of the movement with your muscles rather than relying on momentum to help you do the rep.

Hammer pull-ups are a pretty challenging exercise but the challenge pays of by the extent they help improve upper body strength and muscular endurance. 

Are Hammer Pull-Ups Effective?

 Many fitness enthusiasts wonder if hammer pull-ups are as effective as traditional pull-ups.

Are Hammer Pull-Ups Effective

The neutral grip of the hammer pull-up places less stress on the shoulders and can be more comfortable for individuals with shoulder issues making it extremely effective for them in particular.

Additionally, the grip used in hammer pull-ups engages different muscle groups, such as the brachialis and brachioradialis in the forearms also making it extremely effective for people looking to really work these muscles.

While both pull-ups and hammer pull-ups are effective at targeting the upper body muscles, some argue that neutral or hammer grip pull-ups are more effective as they engage a broader range of muscles.

However, it is important to note that different variations of pull-ups can provide similar benefits. Ultimately, incorporating both traditional pull-ups and hammer pull-ups into a routine can help push your muscles to their fullest potential.

Are Neutral Grip Pull-Ups Better For Shoulders Than Wide Grip Pull-Ups?

There is a debate among fitness enthusiasts about whether neutral grip pull-ups are better for the shoulders compared to wide grip pull-ups.

Pull-ups are an excellent exercise for targeting the back and shoulder muscles.  While both variations provide a good workout for the back and shoulder muscles, some argue that the neutral grip pull-ups are more effective for shoulders, as they also engage the rotator cuff muscles, promoting better shoulder stability and health.

However, it should be noted that the wide-grip pull-ups still help strengthen and develop the shoulder muscles, albeit with less emphasis on the rotator cuff.

Ultimately, the choice between the two grip variations like most choices in fitness depends mostly on personal preference and specific training goals.

So, Are hammer Pull-Ups Good?

Hammer pull-ups if nothing else are definitely good in fact they are great. One of the greatest things this exercise offers is something that was mentioned already and that is a variation to pull-ups for those with shoulder problems.

This benefit can not be mentioned enough as the shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body and shoulder injuries are one of the top problems those who train or partake in athletics experience.

Having the ability to perform pull-ups is important for everyone as they are one of the top exercises and are often considered on par with the Golden 5 exercises (see Golden 5 Exercises The Only Exercises You’ll Ever Need).

Overall, hammer pull-ups offer an effective alternative and a unique twist to the traditional pull-up exercise, providing a varied stimulus for all the muscles talked about in this article and it effectively helps to enhance total upper body strength and stability.

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