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How To Do a Muscle-Up

How To Do a Muscle-Up

The muscle-up is one of the most functional and coveted feats of strength a lot of guys strive for. It takes some flexibility, practice and power to pull one off. A perfectly executed muscle-up isn’t that difficult in the technical sense. But if you don’t get your hand placement and footing right, it’s going to be near impossible for anyone trying their first time. The muscle-up is a fluid movement from a pull-up into a dip in one sweep on a bar. Here’s The Beard Club’s very own on how to do a muscle-up.
Man with beard doing monkey bars by the beach
First things first, get ready for a workout. All you’re going to need is a pull up bar and your body.

The Three Steps to a Muscle-Up

Step One:  Dead hang from a straight pull-up bar with a false grip – your thumbs placed on top of the bar, not wrapped around it. Pull yourself to the top in a normal pull-up position until your chin reaches the bar.
Man with beard doing monkey bars by the beach
Step Two:  Roll your chest up and over to transition from a pull-up into a dip.
bearded man in monkey bar
Step Three: Press downwards and drive yourself up top.
Man gripping the monkey bar
(Re)peat. For massive gains. 

Gaining Strength for a Muscle-up

[embed height= 800 width= 800][/embed] This entire movement has to be explosive or else you’ll find yourself stalling midway each time and unable to transition. Keep your elbows tight and make it feel like you’re trying to pull the bar down to your midsection, while blasting off your energy from your hips and legs. Always make sure to press up your arms to their full extension in the final move.
  • Muscle-ups certainly require a lot of strength, but it gets way easier when you have your form and technique down. There’s a few ways to build your muscle-up skills.
  • Start with basic pull-up reps between at least 5 to 10.
  • Make them more challenging by dangling weights between your feet or with a weight belt.
  • Practice the pull-up to dip movement on olympic rings or lower bars.
  • Increase your shoulder mobility by doing wall presses. (Head and upper back against the wall with your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle. Press the back of your hands against the wall and raise up and down.)  
  • Go deep with your dips with reps ranging from 10 to 15.

The entire exercise is incredibly rewarding as you’ll need to use a lot of your core, hips, shoulders, chest and triceps all in one super engaged movement. The most challenging aspect of the muscle-up is the transition from pull-up to dip, once you’ve got that locked down you’re good to go!