How to do a SHIELD PULL UP - VAHVA Fitness

How to do a SHIELD PULL UP

How to do a shield pull up. This special variation of a pull up will target the chest and brachialis muscles.


ull up is considered one of the best upper body exercises out there and it really is one of the best exercises you can do to add strength and size to your back, biceps and forearms.

There are many ways to do pull ups or chin ups and different variations will hit your muscles in a slightly different fashion. 

One of the biggest mistakes trainees make is that they pick 1 variation of a pull up and do it for years and years.​

They do it because that's the variation where they are the strongest and that's the variation that feels the most comfortable to do.

Doing just 1 variation of a pull up is the recipe for structural imbalances, because certain muscles will get overly strengthened while others are overlooked or less worked.

This is the main reason why in Movement 20XX pulling work mostly consists of rows and pull ups where you hit your muscles from all the possible angles.

Generally speaking, when your grip is wide you will hit more the teres major and latissimus dorsi muscles of the back. When your grip is narrow you will hit more the muscles of your arms such as the biceps, brachialis and brachioradialis.​

The great thing about pull ups is that they offer endless progressions: when the normal pull ups get easy, you can start working on one arm pull up progressions, rope climbing or weighted variations.​


shield pulls ups

Shield pull up is a special variation of the pull up where you pull your elbows in

Shield pull up isn't the same as the close-grip chin up. In the shield pull up your arms travel in the front of your body, whereas in the close-grip chin up your arms go to the sides past the body.

Keeping your elbows together will fry your chest muscles which isn't common with pull ups or any pulling exercise.

Your chest muscles like the pectoralis major will get stronger and bigger, but the best benefits will happen to your arms.

Your arms stay in a nice line during the repetition, which ​means you will hit more the brachialis muscle of the arms. Brachialis is the muscle on the side of the arm beneath the biceps. Your biceps are also heavily worked.

Brachialis is often poorly trained and shield pull ups should strengthen them very effectively with any grip. You can do shield pull ups with a supinated grip, a neutral grip or a pronated grip. 

The biggest difference is that the pronated and neutral grips will target more the forearm muscle brachioradialis and also hit slightly more the brachialis muscle.​

shield pull ups

You may find that doing shield pull ups is very tough (they are actually very hard). In this case it's possible to do the same movement on a lat pulldown machine.

Using elastic bands or a lat pulldown machine can produce good results, but you should eventually work towards mastering the bodyweight shield pull up because that's where the real progress is made.​

Because the real shield pull ups are so tough, you don't need to do high repetitions of it. Doing 3 to 5 sets and 3-5 repetitions per set is plenty​ for a workout. 

Train hard, stay safe.