The muscle-up is one of the most coveted movements in CrossFit. Unfortunately, this also means people don't tend to use their brains when it comes to achieving this skill. I can't tell you the number of times I have witnessed an athlete swinging aimlessly on the rings, hoping to get their first one. If you're serious about getting your first muscle up, heed this advice.

A muscle up will not simply happen for you, you need to work for it in a variety of areas. First and for most is a strength. You need to have the physical strength to perform a muscle up. If you cannot complete a bodyweight dip or a bodyweight pull up with relative ease, you are not ready for the muscle up.

Ring Muscle Up CrossFit.jpg

Body position, specifically gymnastic arch and hollow. If you struggle to maintain the arch and hollow positions and apply them to more rudimentary gymnastic skills, you will struggle. Work hard on your mobility and strength in these positions, as these are the foundations of gymnastic movement.

Muscle memory. Your body will respond much more adequately if you have felt positions before. The catch and press out of the ring muscle up are famous for being the "deepest, darkest dip" you will ever attempt. It's true, and you need to be ready. Try to find scales and lead up drills that will get you ready for this feeling, so you can be prepared. 

Finally, self-belief. There comes a time, especially in the ring muscle up, when you need to commit to the movement. It can be scary, and yes even dangerous if not performed correctly, so you need to believe in yourself and commit. 

Strict Muscle Ups CrossFit

Muscle ups are not only cool to claim success in but are also a fantastic way to build full body strength. In fact, true story, the muscle up causes the secretion of more testosterone in males per rep than any other movement in CrossFit (shout out to Coach Eric for that fact). It has a plethora of benefits and is a great goal to strive for. Just make sure you are being smart, taking your time, and teaching yourself how to complete this movement the right way.