TUTORIAL: How to muscle up

A post shared by Neill Timms (@incitefitness) on

This is how to get your FIRST muscle up, not a clean muscle up.

To avoid any confusion:
- CLEAN is keeping your body straight and not using any momentum. 
- NOT CLEAN is tucking your knees up and using momentum to help you get over the bar.

Your arms have to go over the bar at the same time. Once you start leading with one arm and doing "chicken wing" muscle ups, it's going to take even longer to get clean muscle ups. If you're not going to get both arms over the bar at the same time, fail the rep. Don't get one elbow up and fight your way over.

The steps:

1 - Grip further over the bar than you usually would for a pull up. Aim for your knuckles to be facing the sky. A false grip isn't necessary, but the further over your grip is, the easier the transition will be.

2 - Stand around 30cm from the bar and jump on to it. Use the momentum from the jump to swing forward. Do not swing your whole body forward, though; your chest should swing through, but pull your lower body backwards.

3 - This is the part that may take some getting used to. After swinging through, when your momentum is carrying you backwards, PULL! It may take some practice to get your timing right. At this point, you also need to tuck you legs towards your chest. This momentum will help you get more height on your pull up and the higher you get, the higher the muscle up will become. If there's a pause between you swinging forward and starting to pull, it's likely that your timing is out. Try to start the pull a split second later and don't fight the swing.

4 - Once you're pulling high enough, pull your chest over the bar. If you're used to performing clean pull ups, you have to kind of forget that part of your training. It sounds counter-intuitive, but you have to come AROUND the bar when you're learning to muscle up. Instead of pulling towards the bar, pull up and away from the bar. You want to arc around the bar. Once you've got this part down, you can start cleaning up the form and eventually coming up and over. 

5 - This is the easy part. Once you're over the bar, all you have to do is a straight bar dip and you've done a muscle up. Easy.