Workout Tips

Muscle-Up

Get up close and personal with CrossFit’s most technically demanding, ego-fortifying exercise.

muscle-up CrossFit moveTHE MUSCLE-UP. The name stops well short of being illustrative of what is required. Indeed, the muscle-up is about much more than muscle. This CrossFit staple is a benchmark for success in boxes everywhere, separating members into two groups: those who can and those who wish they could.

A dynamic hybrid of the pullup and the dip, the muscle-up hits the chest, back, biceps, triceps, forearms, as well as countless other stabilizer muscles that help to amplify caloric burn. Typically performed on rings, we demonstrate here how to do a muscle-up on a pullup bar.

Step 1: Hang from the bar and generate a strong kip, opening your shoulders and thrusting your hips.

Step 2: As your body rises, kick your heels back and punch your head and shoulders forward, bringing your chest above the bar.

Step 3: If there is an easy part of a muscle-up, this is it. From here, you just need to perform a dip to lockout.

Prerequisites

You might think that you need to be a pullup pro to hoist your body up above the bar, but that’s not entirely accurate. Being proficient at pullups helps, but it’s more about your technique: the kip, transition, and lockout.

Muscle-Ups in Context

Try muscle-ups in an EMOM (every minute on the minute) workout, doing three every minute for 10 minutes, working up to six. Follow this with strict dips and pullups if you’re training purely for physique.

Challenge

Once you’re proficient and can do six EMOM for 10 minutes, try a set of 30 muscle-ups for time. Need a frame of reference? Top CrossFit competitors manage this feat in fewer than five minutes.

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