Muscle it up!
Muscle ups, they look like a simple enough movement until you actually attempt them. Plus you just might get a tiny peep through the key hole as to how hard those dam gymnasts have it and how bloody strong they actually are.
Here are a few weighted ones with me wearing a 10kg vest and at a weight of 89kg.
There are three main aspects you need to work on to be able to do effortless muscle ups -
1. You are not as strong as you think. This part is key as I see guys attempting muscle ups when they can’t do strict chins or pull ups with an added 20kg weight or ring dips with at least 30-40kg added weight. Yes there are plenty of guys that are able to hit a few without having these numbers but I gurantee that if you put muscle ups into a metcon e.g. Crossfit Nate, 20mins 2 muscle ups, 4 handstand press ups, 8 KB swings then they break down quite quickly because they can’t just get by with swinging the crap out of them and they don’t have a big enough strength base. If you are a woman then stop attempting them and get at least 8-10 strict chin ups/pull ups and ring dips with an added 10kg for 5reps and you might be getting closer to hitting good muscle ups. Guys and gals, in my honest opinion, you are wasting valuable time attempting muscle ups until you hit these numbers. Solution - get stronger.
This is what strong looks like. Think any of these guys struggle with the targets suggested?
2. You need more mobility work. In a muscle up you need to be very comfortable pressing out of a very low bottom position as you would be in for ring dips, again another reason to get low on those ring dips. The massive issue I see here is winging of the elbows (elbows move out) when people are doing not just ring dips but even their press ups. YOU WILL NEVER GET MUSLCE UPS PROPERLY IF YOU KEEP DOING THIS!!!! You are stutting off the shoulders, there is no help from the triceps and you are setting yourself up for injury if you keep this up. Solution- Look at any of the Kelly Starrett videos on shoudler mobility and watch the video below (4 parts which you will probably skip over and go back to trying muscle ups or thinking you are hot shit because you can do a few of them, refrain from doing this please!!)
3. Work your pull more. Many people that train crossfit or are training just to look good naked often times over emphasise pressing movements. Work your pull movements more and in a 2:1 ratio favouring the pulling movements. Use movements like renegade rows, standing rows, one arm rows etc and not just vertial plane movements e.g. chins and pull ups. Making this mistake will feed into excessively tight shoudlers (I am fighting this all the time so I am that guy that needs to constantly work this also). Solution – more pull than push and more mobility work.
Finally, the muscle up is a pretty cool exercise to be able to do and show off to others but for some elite it’s having the consistency to be able to do them over and over again in a metcon that will make you an ass kicker and for others it’s a massive goal that will be more easily achieved by following all of the above.
Just to impress upon you, 8yr olds are doing them now -