Muscle-ups refer to a full body CrossFit workout which involves performing a pull-up either on a pull-up bar or rings and then followed by a dip. Compared to dips and pull-ups, there are lots of benefits attached to doing muscle ups, some of which include enhancing upper body strength and power. However, to reap these benefits, you should know how muscle ups are done the proper way.
Step 1 – Getting Mobile
Sitting behind a desk all day long limits your range of motion which is crucial when pulling your chest to the bar and when pushing your way out of the dip. The lack of shoulder mobility makes muscle ups a very difficult CrossFit workout which to some extent increases the risk of joint and ligament injuries. The fix to this is to add some wall slides into your schedule.
To do this, lean your butt, upper back, and head against a wall and then place your hands and arms up against the wall as if you are doing a high five. Your elbows must be bent at an angle of 90 degrees, and your upper arms should be positioned at shoulder height.
Step 2 – Pulling Like a Professional
Before you do a muscle up, ensure that you can comfortably do at least five strict pull-ups as you bring your chest closer to the bar with every rep. To execute this, get hold of the bar in an overhand grip and hang at arm’s length with your legs pointing slightly in front of you as if to form a wide C.
After that, press your thighs together and then brace your abs. During the whole of this time, your body should remain as rigid as it possibly can. As you pull yourself up, ensure you focus on gradually bringing your belly button up. This helps in boosting core stability as well as engaging your lats.
Step 3 – Demolishing the Dip
Before doing the dip, ensure you can comfortably do at least five triceps dips CrossFit exercises. In executing the dip, go as low as your shoulders can allow and when they begin tipping forward or rounding, stop and then press yourself back up. When you pause at this point, you will maximize the amount of your upper body workout without the risk of injuring your connective tissues or joints.
Step 4 - Priming the Pattern
While the dip and pullup are tough enough, the most challenging segment of the movement is when transitioning from one to the other. You will need a lot of timing and coordination hence the need to rehearse first. You can start by practicing on a low bar and allowing the flow to support a major part of your body weight.
When you finally do the transition the right way, you can proceed to increase the height of your bar until it gets to a point where you have to jump to reach it. This improves your muscle memory.