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Peter Marshall

Bar Muscle Up Predictors

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Peter Marshall

I started GB one week ago with the Handstand 1 course. For some time prior to that have been doing push ups, pull ups, dips, frog balance, tuck planche and wall assisted handstands. A couple of weeks ago I began recording my pull ups, dips and a few other simple moves with the aim of logging improvements with the ultimate aim of doing a muscle up on the bar, preferably without assistance of momentum.

Are there any predictors using the pull up, dip, or other exercise that give an indication if a person is capable of a muscle up? For example 20 explosive pull ups means a muscle up is likely for that person. What I find interesting and helpful is looking at the HS 1 course, I can appreciate how each step in each exercise is a building block for a stable free standing handstand. For me the HS now looks achievable as long as I dutifully do each step in the journey and never sacrifice quality of movement. But though my dips and pull ups are improving in quality and quantity the muscle up seems like a fantasy that I will not achieve with the body I inhabit. The transition from pull up to dip phase in the MU just doesn't seem possible, though it is only a lowly ranked gymnastic exercise, not  even a skill as I understand it. I am very willing to be patient as I'm in this for the journey more than the destination, but the MU to me is an appealing aesthetic movement which I would love to one day perform with grace. Any advice from coaches of course I welcome, but if there is anyone out there who has taken the journey as I describe, would love to have your input also. (I did search the forum contents, but didn't find anything, maybe my search was not the best).   

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Pauline Taube

Hi Peter,

Thank you for reaching out and welcome to the GB community! 

In order to do muscle ups, it's not enough only to master pull-ups and dips. First of all it's important to build strength in the full range of these exercises, secondly you will need to practice your Falsegrip and transition.

The transition is not complicated once you have the Falsegrip and strength/mobility to do the transition. The transition do require strength and mobility in shoulder extension.

My advice is to continue working on H1 and also master the Foundation series. These will help you build the strength and mobility you need in order to do ring work and muscle ups :) 

Feel free to share your progress on the forum, we'd love to follow your training :) 

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Nick Murray

This is just my experience, Peter. I can do a wobbly ring muscle up. I can't quite do it on a bar, though. There's some technique involved, as Pauline mentioned, primarily around how and when to shift weight, and also some basic strength at the transition point AND the mobility to get your shoulders into the correct position for the transition. If an old guy like me can do a MU after 2 shoulder reconstructions (in the joint, not 'merely' the rotator cuff), you can too. Just be consistent with your training and you'll get there.

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Peter Marshall

Thanks for advice Pauline. Keep going on the bar MU Nick, let's see who gets there first. I have just done HS for today and off to the park for some MU practice now on the push bike. Gives me about an hours good exercise all round.

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Scott Rose

I got my first bar muscle up last week. I use a light kip with straight legs.  I can say that the bar muscle up requires more technique that many realize. After having a spotter watch me, I realized I was not releasing my grip to allow the wrists transition over the bar. I would get stuck. Even after being aware of this, I frequntly grip the bar too hard with my strong arm. I have to concentrate on the movement and visualize it. When I reset and try again, I usually get it.  If you can do 10ish pull ups and have been working on explosive pull ups you probably can achieve a muscle up. That is if you willing to take a careful look at technique and understand the different parts. My advice is film yourself or have a spotter watch you. I'm not sure the best way to train the transition, but for now I try to get a clean form MU and slow the descent as much as possible. Hope this helps. 

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Alessandro Mainente

Bar muscle up is not suitable for people who do not have already mastered a decent amount of connective tissue preparation. there is no number of pull-ups or dips which gives you a certain level of preparation or which ensure that you cannot take an injury. what constitutes a decent level of security? A journey, a progression of a good number of exercises with the correct gap of intensity.  This is necessary for basic strength development. There is no accelerated or explosive work without basic strength. period.

The biggest part of the elbows injuries in the fitness enthusiast world of calisthenics and street workout comes from approaching the bar muscles up with explosive work. and this is the most stupid approach invented.

 

 

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Kasper Stangerup

I can't do muscle ups yet (well, I haven't attempted them in a long while), but I am currently working on Russian L-dips, and I have a feeling that they will help a lot with the transition. For me at least, the transition is the only problematic thing, so if I were to work specifically towards a MU, excercises that develop that would be my tool.

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