If I would say the muscle up is the most desired skill for beginners to learn, I won’t exaggerate. If I would say the most common tutorial about calisthenics in the web is about muscle ups, chances are high. However, I am going cover a few points regarding the muscle up. Like in the all calisthenics exercises your weight and height will have a big impact on your performance, even in the muscle up, the longer your limb, the longer the way you need to go. Your explosive strength and flexibility will have an impact to. Well, the chances are that you are heavy, long and inflexible, but don’t worry it is still reachable for everyone, you’ll need to put the work on.
There are no real prerequisites for being able to do the muscle up, to master the muscle up, train the muscle up. Yet still, my advice to you is to build a good foundation of strength before attempting the muscle up. If you can do 10 pullups and 30 pushups, all strict (that’s a topic for another blog) then you have a good foundation of strength to start attempting more advanced exercises.
Now I want you stop thinking about when will I master the muscle up, if you’ll be patient than soon enough. Incorporate some muscle up progressions in your routine, and do them in the beginning of every workout. I’m more an advocate of practicing skills daily, yet you don’t want to overdo it, a few sets with low repetitions is enough. Yes, keep the repetitions low, you don’t want to exhaust yourself, you want your body to adapt to this movement.
What progressions should you use? there are many ways to learn the muscle up, I really like using resistant band for this matter. Start with a thick resistant band and when you at the level where you can do 5 nice repetitions, then you ready for the next progression – thinner band. Don’t be too eager trying it out to early go on with the progression until you are doing it with a thin band, this has an advantage you will learn a form muscle up, without kipping too much. If you will try it too soon, it won’t look nice, and I guess you want it to look aesthetically, additionally you will be prone to injury if you try too soon.
I don’t really talk about form in this blog, that’s a theme for itself, but in shortly I am going to touch some points:
- I want you to use both arms while pressing up, don’t do “chicken” muscle ups
- Try to grip the bar with your palms as high as you can, almost in a false grip
- When you’re pulling, don’t pull straight up, instead try to create a C form, if not your chest will hit the bar
- Don’t lean on the bar and push, instead push before you lean with your chest on the bar. In you can’t, you not strong enough, regress or keep working on it
Keep working on it, be patient and you will get it!