Want Ring Muscle Ups? Start Here.

As you start to look for muscle up tips and guides, do you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with information? There are so many different perspectives on how to get that coveted first ring muscle up. Do you start with bar muscle ups? Do you start with strict muscle ups? Maybe just stick to pull-ups and dips? Although the path to success may differ slightly depending on the athlete, our goal today is to provide a comprehensive guide that will make you feel confident enough to stick with one plan and see it through until you reach your goal.

However, let’s back up a moment and start with the basics...

What is a muscle up?

A muscle up is a gymnastics movement that allows you to lift your body from below the rings or bar to on top of said rings or bar. You can do this either strict or kipping.

Within the context of CrossFit, this movement is considered “advanced” and should only be attempted after having a solid foundation with pull-ups and dips.

What is a false grip?

A false grip is the recommended method for performing ring muscle ups. However, muscle ups can be accomplished without the false grip. It essentially is a form of hand placement on the rings.

Why should you use a false grip for muscle ups?

You should use the false grip technique because it allows you to set up in the most optimal wrist position for ring muscle ups. It allows the turnover to happen more naturally and with slightly less distance from the wrists to rings.

Let’s watch what the strict muscle up looks like for a quick visual:

Free 4-Week Strict Muscle Up Program

Now that we have level set on some of the basics, it’s time to start thinking about a plan. To start, you’ll want to download our free strict muscle up program. This will guide you through 4 weeks of progressions or 12 sessions. We’re not just saying this -- the guide is as thorough as you’ll need to get your strict muscle up.

Our recommendation is to have 5 strict pull-ups (on a bar) and 5 strict ring dips before proceeding to muscle ups. Why? It helps ensure the proper pulling and dipping strength that is needed to safely perform a muscle up.

Set Realistic Expectations

Assuming all of the prerequisites are nailed down (e.g., pull-ups and dips), the key to this protocol is consistency. You can’t do the program on and off and expect the same results as when you are 100% dedicated. If getting your strict muscle up is your goal, keep the goal front and center with every session. We’ll help guide you along the way.

If you are weaving this training in with your standard WODs, you’ll want to be mindful of not overtraining your shoulders. It’s important to keep your shoulders healthy not just for the purpose of attaining your muscle up, but also for longevity.

Remember to be patient. This movement is advanced for a reason. It takes practice and dedication to do strict muscle ups properly and safely. Always strive to make the movement “look pretty” in the sense that the prettier it looks, the more likely you are to be using the proper movement mechanics.

Ready to get started? Don’t forget to download our free PDF copy of the program.