Fitness, Health & Sports, Visual Guides

How to Perform a Muscle-Up: An Illustrated Guide

1. grip. Use the false grip. Grip the rings slightly higher up, with the ring making a line from the bottom of the thumb, across the hand, and to where your wrist begins.  2. pull. Pull yourself up in a smooth motion. Keep elbows close to your sides throughout the movement. Start with feet slightly in front of you, then pull hard and think of getting your chest to rings and hands to armpits.  3. transition from pull to push. Keep yourself tight at the top of the pull and keep shoulders above hands. Do a strong pull as high as possible, then lean forward at the top to get into the right position. Keeping elbows close in to your sides, lift chest up as you prepare to push up to the top position.  4. push. Keep an upright posture and visualize your body moving as a solid unit as you push up to the top position, rolling your thumbs outward and locking your elbows out at the top.  5. descend. Lower yourself slowly, and focus on a controlled descent, basically reversing the previous steps.

During this Rings 101 week, we’ve covered the basics of equipment, how to grip the rings, and a beginner’s workout to get you started with using the rings to build strength and fitness. As you gain more skill and confidence on the rings, one likely goal you’ll start aiming for is successfully performing the muscle-up. It’s no easy feat. Being able to do one takes great strength, control, and coordination.

Don’t jump right into the muscle-up, but instead first work on transitional exercises that will get you trained and prepared to do one successfully. Here’s a guide to these preparation exercises, as well as a video on how to do the strict muscle-up once you’re ready to go.

Thanks to Ryan Hurst from Gold Medal Bodies for helping us put together this illustrated guide.

Illustration by Ted Slampyak

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