The muscle-up is an advanced strength and core training exercise, within the domain of calisthenics and gymnastics. It is a combination routine of a pull-up followed by a dip. Variations exist for the rings as well as the bar.

  • Bodyweight
  • Compound

It is one of the most coveted CrossFit exercises that take a ton of practice, strength, and endurance to master. A perfectly executed muscle-up exercise, may not look all that difficult to learn; however, the grip and the movements often prove a bit unusual for anyone trying it for the first time. A muscle-up is basically transitioning your body from pull-up to dip in one fluid movement. It is different and hard because many can do a dip and many can do a pull-up, but transitioning between the two movements takes a certain level of strength and coordination.

Similar Exercises to Try

Equipment Required

Benefits of Muscle-Ups

  • You will enjoy better core and cardiac strength because your heart is more capable of circulating oxygen-rich blood to all of your organs.
  • You will notice increased flexibility and stability, besides the increased physical strength and endurance capability.
  • You will also enjoy psychological benefits from the release of endorphins, such as serotonin and dopamine, which are known to improve your mood and combat depression.
  • It affects the body’s ability to burn fat more quickly and efficiently, which can lead to a long-term fat loss.

Muscles Worked

  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Pectoralis Major
  • Anterior Deltoids
  • Lower trapezius

How to Do a Muscle-Up

  1. Grab a bar using an overhand grip that is shoulder-width apart. Hang at arm’s length, legs pointing slightly forward to form a wide C.
  2. Now press your thighs together and tighten your abdominal muscles. Your body must remain rigid through movement.
  3. Slowly pull yourself up, imagine that you are pressing down on the top of the bar, and concentrate on increasing your abdominal strength. Both steps will contribute to engaging your lats and core to boost stability.
  4. Look forward and pull until your collarbone hits the bar.
  5. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.