Most cross fitters have witnessed the humiliation of the first muscle ups attempted by newbies. They always seem to have a pal along that says “go ahead, just grab that bar and go for it”, only to laugh when they fail. This amusement is often replaced with concern as shoulder injuries are quite common.
So What are Muscle Ups?
First, let’s say they are not that easy. This is one of the most difficult challenges of any of the CrossFit exercises. It demands strength, skill and an enormous amount of power, both mental and physical. Muscle ups increase the strength in the upper arms and grips with practice.
Muscle ups are compound pulling exercises that target the upper body in whole. The average person doesn’t naturally have the upper body strength to do more than one strict muscle up without training.
The strict method builds muscles and strength through constant tension on the muscles plus contractions which increase control of movements. Most professionals believe mastering the strict method is crucial before moving on to the kip method. This will reduce the roar of hilarious laughter in the gym too.
That being said, many skip this all together leading to the lack of discipline in keep movements. These guys are easy to spot as the wild out of control kicks often draw a crowd of amazed onlookers. For unknown reasons the learning process is restricted to strict first and kip later, it doesn’t work well in reverse.
The kipping method employs a well-controlled swinging leg to thrust the chin above the bar so as to reduce the amount of upper arm strength required to complete the task. Even the basic description of this exercise paints a humorous picture in one’s mind – however, it is a favourite of many cross fit competitors.
How To Do Muscle Ups’s
There are about a million videos on how to do muscle ups, few muscle bearing men will miss the opportunity to show off their accomplishments. It is more efficient to simply tell you what videos to scout for.
The ring muscle ups with a normal grip versus a false grip. These demonstrate exactly where to put your elbow and your pinkie finger for safe execution. The false grips are known for building up strength. There is also a muscle up using the bar which also recommends the false grip for beginners.
Don’t panic when you see some guy flailing around on the bar kicking and grunting like he is drowning. He is simply learning how to do the kip method and trying to kick himself up to the bar. The false grip is not recommended for this highly active exercise, especially for newbies. For those who can’t kick hard enough try swinging your legs without hitting the spectators. These videos demonstrate how effective a swing can propel your chin over the bar.
It’s a challenge many will avoid, don’t if you are serious about gaining skills and strength.