What is a Muscle-Up?
The Muscle-up is an advanced calisthenics strength training exercise that requires immense upper body strength. It represents your capacity to lift your bodyweight using just your arms and hands. In terms of performance, muscle ups resemble pull-ups in that there is a bar which is located high above the head. When doing pull-ups, you usually hold the bar with your arms and then pull yourself up to the chin level or above.
However, when it comes to the Muscle Up CrossFit workout, you first pull yourself up to the waist, groin, or up until your hands can no longer extend forward. As you pull yourself up, you leave your legs dangling.
Muscle Ups Benefits
Up to this point, you may be wondering why muscle-ups are an essential addition to your workout? Some of the reasons behind this include:
Increased Grip Strength
If you want to lift heavier weights and increase your rep range, you will need to improve your grip strength. A strong grip is crucial for muscle-ups and other CrossFit exercises such as rope climbs, deadlifts, toes to bar, pull-ups, and farmer's carry. Chalking up a pair of hand grips will help to an extent but performing movements such as pull-ups, arm hangs, chin-ups, and inverted rows on a regular basis will tremendously improve your overall grip strength.
Building Arm Strength
In the first instance, the muscle-up is a perfect exercise for every muscle located in your arms. When you perform muscle-ups, you are not just targeting the biceps or triceps separately; you are indeed creating a balance between the growth of both muscles. The result is that your muscle growth will be symmetrical, and the growth will happen complete with strength.
Core Body Burn
When performing muscle-ups, the arms do the bulk of the work while the rest of the upper body contributes to the goal. When doing each rep, you will find that your upper body clenches and specifically your core muscles. The benefit this provides is similar to that provided by planking. In the end, your belly fat will be melted away, and abs will emerge. If there are a few inches left in the middle, muscle-ups should enable you to develop your core muscles and speed up fat removal around your belly area.
This is another set of muscles that can benefit immensely from muscle-ups. During this CrossFit exercise, your butt muscles clench as you move upwards. This provides a healthy burn. Although it doesn’t compare with crunches whose effects are more significant, it contributes to a much muscular and leaner posterior. This will give you a much better physique.
The beneficiaries of muscle ups are not just the front muscles. The back muscles, particularly along the shoulders, tend to be worked out a lot during this move. CrossFitters using muscle ups develop a much wider span of shoulders which may cause the V-shape when combined with a core workout.
If you are used to muscle-ups, you can include variations so that your results are boosted. Legs tend to be largely unused during muscle-ups. Through variations, leg muscles can be incorporated as well leading to a whole-body exercise.
One thing that you should note is that this exercise is not one that you will automatically pick up and do it well on the first try. You should start small with the bar as low as possible so that you can start building your upper body strength. If you are adding it to your CrossFit training routine, remember to go fast since muscle ups for beginners require a burst of energy.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 10 Jan 18