Work On Your Muscle Up At Home Without Rings

Even if you don’t own a set of rings at home, you can still work on your muscle up through the positioning of the hollow and arch.

You can read our prior posts about the direct importance of the hollow and the arch or superman in the muscle up.

The hollow and arch go beyond just the muscle up, so here is a break down so you can practice at home:

First, the hollow:

  • Lower back remains completely on the ground at all times
  • Shoulder blades lift off the ground
  • Glutes engage
  • Legs lift completely off the ground
  • Head is in neutral and eyes look down at the toes
  • Legs and shoulder blades are about half a foot off the ground
Photo by


The Arch/Superman: As mentioned in the previous post, the arch position is not a flexibility measure.

  • Core and glutes are engage
  • Pinch shoulder blades together
  • Legs squeeze together and touch your heels together, if possible
  • Arms and legs are as straight as they can be and directly out in front of you. We see athletes with bent arms or arms out to the side all the time. Bent arms or legs would be the preferred modification.
  • Head is in neutral and eyes look at the hands. Having your head out above your shoulders depresses the angle of your shoulders and puts stress on the neck.
Photo by The Skill WOD Elements


Start with attempting to hold each position with a 1:1 work to rest ratio. Hold for 10 seconds, then 20, then 30 and so on. If you want to challenge yourself further, try doing the hollow or arch for a round of tabata (20 seconds on/10 seconds off, 8 times for a total of 4 minutes). 

Next, try “rocking” in place. If you’ve mastered holding, you can move on to rocking in place to engage those tiny stabilizer muscles. Start with 10 reps of rocking in place, then 20, then 30 and so on. Rocking in place should be explosive as we are trying to mimic momentum, but do not sacrifice your position. 

Practice this as a warm up or cash out, or while you’re at home and have a few minutes to spare.