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What pull-up exercises will help me get a muscle-up? – N&P


What pull-up exercises will help me get a muscle-up? 

Rings pull-ups and bungy/band assisted movements are great ways to practice and learn the muscle-up. However, these exercises will never built the basic strength that’s required before you can string together repetitions during a WOD.

Luckily, we’ve got a much better strategy for you…

1. First, check your strength.

Perform a strict pull-up while maintaining good body position. At the end of the rep, hold your chin over the top of the bar for 60-seconds.

If you struggle at any point in this test, consider moving forward by going back and working on your basic pull-up strength and mechanics. That will allow you to progress and avoid injury in the muscle-ups to come.

TechniqueWOD’s got your covered.

Nail the basic progressions first!


2. Work the rope!

Rope climbs, both with and without legs, are an amazing way to build transferable muscle-up strength.

Start “climbing” by pulling your body weight from the ground or a bench with leg assistance, just from the ground. With a little practice you be able to do leg-assisted climbs, then later on leg-less climbs.

All varieties of work rope are great because it build unilateral arm strength, along with the ability to pull towards the midline of the body in a controlled manner. That’s an often overlooked skill component of the muscle-up.

In part, that explains why so many athletes struggle on the rings.


3. Finally, practice your kipping.

Get on the rings, but don’t worry about the pulling. Just hang there, in good position, while you squeeze and hold a towel between your feet, just out in front of your body.

As you kip, focus on shifting from an arched to hollow-body position…arch/hollow, arch/hollow. Focus on building a rhythm and making this art of the motion automatic.

If work on all three of these points you’re sure to make solid progress in the muscle-up.

Go see for yourself,



Chris Moore is a writer, recovering meathead, fledgling raconteur and rabid imbiber. He's also cohost and resident potty mouth on Barbell Shrugged, a weekly podcast devoted to Crossfit, strength, fitness and all things brash. His experience is drawn from over twenty-years spent training for and competing in American Football, Powerlifting, a bit of strongman and a dash of mixed martial arts. Also, it's possible that he's had one too many cups of coffee. A caffeine fever is a hell of a thing, you know?

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