Build Positional Strength For Your Muscle Up

What if you could build strength on the rings without ever doing a single movement? Check out these isometric holds to help build your strict muscle ups!

Wow, that guy/girl has solid muscle ups! They look effortless.

Have you ever wondered why people just make things look so effortless? Well, it's very likely because they have their positions nailed down and have what I call "positional strength."

Positional strength?

Yes, it means that they have this large complex movement broken down into smaller movements and positions that they have mastered and that is why their effort is so efficient and looks effortless. I'd guarantee that every high level athlete does some level of practice of perfecting their positions in some form or another.

One of the best ways to get positional strength is to do isometric holds. Isometric holds are another forgotten strength secret (read my post on negatives which is my other strength secret) that I've used for ages. The most unique thing about isometric holds is that you are going to be building strength in the exact position that you want to get strong in.

I like to think of isometric holds like the connect-the-dots drawing games you did as a kid. If you build strength on those "dots" you'll simply connect the dots in order to build the full movement!

The strict ring muscle up is broken down into two large parts; the pull and the dip. The false grip and transition are obviously two important elements, but they lie within the larger pull and dip elements.

So, if we were to take a look at what isometric holds would be beneficial for the strict ring muscle up, we would see the following:

Dip phase:

1. Top of the dip

Note - I am trying to keep the body in as straight of a line as possible while pressing my shoulders away from my ears. It's common to '"pike" the hips here as well as have the shoulders shrugged into the ears. Also, you'll see that I'm using a band. I HIGHLY recommend new users utilize a band to ensure they can maintain a better body position on the rings.

2. Bottom of the dip

Note - It's super important to go to full depth where your shoulders touch the rings. Your head and eyes stay oriented forward toward the horizon. Again, I am using a band to ensure I am holding a better position.

Pull phase:

3. Top of the pull

Note - You'll see that I'm doing this drill on low rings, which is not only convenient, but preferred because it allows me to use my feet for assistance on the ground so I can hold the rings further down my torso and in the correct position.

4. Bottom of the pull

Note - You'll see that I am holding a false grip (on the False Grips), which is going to help me build wrist strength for the strict muscle up. I would recommend that beginner athletes maintain a slight bend in the elbow in this position; this makes the grip easier to maintain.

    My preference is to do these drills in this order and for 2-3 rounds of 5-10 second holds or longer while maintaining perfect position. I do them as a ''cash out'' or immediately before doing any muscle up work (it is beneficial before strict or kipping). 

    I have done these drills for about 10 years and am confident they have helped keep me from getting injured or losing my muscle up strength. I encourage you to give them a shot and see for yourself!

    By the way, if you haven't checked out our NEW AND IMPROVED False Grips Strict Ring Muscle Up Program, download it now. It's 65 pages of muscle up madness! Read it and let me know what you think. While you're at it, go ahead and invest in a set of False Grips and save yourself a lot of heartache by using a tool that was designed to help you get your strict muscle up faster.