Author Topic: Muscle ups?  (Read 8404 times)

Offline Sombrero

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Muscle ups?
« on: July 11, 2008, 08:48:14 PM »
I cannot seem to get OVER the bar. I feel a lot of pressure in my elbows, an alarming amount. I am not sure how to thrust my chest over the bar.

Any tips on doing the muscle up?

Offline Adam McC

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Re: Muscle ups?
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2008, 04:22:16 PM »
Over and over. Keep trying. The more you try, the more muscle builds and also the more you become aware of the timing needed to start doing muscle ups.

Just keep trying. You'll get your first one with a struggle, getting one arm over, then the other. Just keep doing them or trying to do them until your arms don't work any more, then come back the next day and try again. You'll progress, I promise. There's no secret to it.

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Offline Charles Moreland

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Re: Muscle ups?
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2008, 05:03:04 PM »
Over and over. Keep trying. The more you try, the more muscle builds and also the more you become aware of the timing needed to start doing muscle ups.

Just keep trying. You'll get your first one with a struggle, getting one arm over, then the other. Just keep doing them or trying to do them until your arms don't work any more, then come back the next day and try again. You'll progress, I promise. There's no secret to it.

As much as this may work, I'd say it's ill advised. Doing pull ups until your arms don't work anymore is a great way to set yourself up for an overuse injury.

The transition of the muscle up is the hardest part mainly because by regular exercise methods, short of ring training, you probably won't develop the proper adaptation to the required muscles integral in the transition period (the period where your elbows make their journey and circumvent the bar or rings).

Learning how to properly kip will help you initially get over the bar, but you also want to do dip and pull ups with an added step. On pull ups, think about keeping your elbows out away from the bar. On dips, once you allow your body to descend, slowly allow your elbows to rotate downward. You can also transition "dips" where you keep yourself over the bar and raise and lower your elbows.

Trying to do a regular pull up and getting your self over the bar may eventually work...but is the wrong approach to getting your muscle up.

Offline Adam McC

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Re: Muscle ups?
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2008, 06:26:37 PM »
Over and over. Keep trying. The more you try, the more muscle builds and also the more you become aware of the timing needed to start doing muscle ups.

Just keep trying. You'll get your first one with a struggle, getting one arm over, then the other. Just keep doing them or trying to do them until your arms don't work any more, then come back the next day and try again. You'll progress, I promise. There's no secret to it.

As much as this may work, I'd say it's ill advised. Doing pull ups until your arms don't work anymore is a great way to set yourself up for an overuse injury.



Within reason, of course. This goes without saying. But a proper workout is pushing yourself to the limit, especially when you're trying to reach a goal such as a muscle up. The rate of injury on a pullup bar is pretty low, my friend. I don't see, nor have experienced, how one could injure themselves doing their maximum effort of pullups/muscle ups without a certain amount of stupidity involved.

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Offline Charles Moreland

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Re: Muscle ups?
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2008, 06:50:24 PM »
Please educate yourself on the effects of overtraining. I didn't fully disregard your method, I mentioned it was ill advised especially for someone I believe to be new.

Also, never under-estimate the power of human stupidity.

Offline milffhater

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Re: Muscle ups?
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2008, 07:27:05 PM »
Get over the bar and do the movement the oppiste way as slow as you can.  You'll feel where you need more strenght (about from the belly button to nipple).  Over time of doing this you will learn some muscle memory and it will come easier. Dips and pull ups will also help, along with a very thin bar so you can get a better grip (it will make it a lot easier). Good luck.

Offline Ozzi

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Re: Muscle ups?
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2008, 07:27:38 PM »
It is obvious that when he said, "until your arms dont work anymore" he meant  work up to failure not muscle spasm or elbows destruction. So taking a comments like that so littleral is human stupidity. Sorry, but it is the truth.
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Offline Paul Bischoff

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Re: Muscle ups?
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2008, 07:47:54 PM »
im also working on my first muscle up.  try doing your pull ups and dips a little bit further each time you train.  for example, do pull ups up to your collar bone instead of your chin, and do dips down to just above the nipple instead of below.  work up to it slowly until the lowest you can dip is the same as the highest you can pull up.

remember im no expert since i cant do muscle ups either, but i thought you might like some advice from someone in the same situation  :).  i can feel myself getting so close.
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Offline Steve Low

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Re: Muscle ups?
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2008, 07:48:09 PM »
Working arms to failure is not a good way to train muscle ups.

Working strength and power is a good way to train muscle ups. You're better off trying to:

1. move explosively and stop after you get tired (so you don't change your power adaptations into weak endurance adaptations from training to failure) OR
2. working you way up in strength concurrently for example with something like 1.2x bodyweight dip and 1.2x bodyweight pullup (if you weighted 100 lbs strap on 20 lbs to yourself).

As for technique, get up above the bar and do it in reverse. I would NOT advise working flipping elbows up one at the time; bad habit that is extremely hard to get rid of. Ask any traceur who can do muscle ups with that habit.. they probably hate it.
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Offline Zachary Cohn

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Re: Muscle ups?
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2008, 08:49:41 PM »
It is obvious that when he said, "until your arms dont work anymore" he meant  work up to failure not muscle spasm or elbows destruction. So taking a comments like that so littleral is human stupidity. Sorry, but it is the truth.

Actually, when an inexperienced person asks for advice, and more experienced people respond, they often will follow you to the letter. It is your job as a teacher (which is the role you're assuming when you give someone advice) to make sure (especially because this is the internet, and you cannot supervise their activities) that they understand, 100%.

Telling someone to go "until your arms don't work" will be taken as "do as many as you possibly can, as often as you can." This kind of advice is dangerous because it WILL cause injuries - long term, repedetive stress injuries. This can not be contributed to "human stupidity," it's attributed to someone asking advice from someone more experienced, and then being given information that is worded in a way that is dangerous and unsafe. Being casual and funny in your wording is fine, but you cannot be lazy.

Assume people will follow you to the letter- that's the responsibility of being a teacher.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2008, 08:52:00 PM by Zachary Cohn »

Offline Adam McC

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Re: Muscle ups?
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2008, 04:03:56 PM »
And I will repeat myself. To the word. Practice muscle ups until your arms no longer have the strength to continue. Then stop, let your muscles recover and build, and repeat the process until your body progresses. It's simple workout routine. You don't stop when you're a little tired. You've got to push the bar if you expect to improve yourself and reach new goals. Ever study anatomy? Know how muscle grows? It tears upon stress, then it rebuilds stronger so that it can withstand the pressure that damaged it. If you don't push your muscles, they don't tear. If they don't tear, they don't rebuild. If they don't rebuild, you don't gain strength very well.

Whaddya wanna do bro? What's your point? Did I say three words imperfectly according to you? My bad, every word I type may not be perfect. Maybe I should put a disclaimer up because the occasional pair of words may not be the best chosen possible. I'm not claiming to be a teacher. I am a fellow traceur, a brother. Who can do muscle ups, who is progressing to 10 muscle ups in a row, and I am sharing my training method which has worked well for me and people I know.

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Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Muscle ups?
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2008, 06:37:56 PM »
HOLY TAKING THINGS PERSONALLY BATMAN!

Now I digress, and respond  ::)  No offense is intended by any of this response - it has been posted simply in the interest of correcting error and propagating fact

And I will repeat myself. To the word. Practice muscle ups until your arms no longer have the strength to continue.

This is a good way to go nowhere fast.  This has been explained by others, but I will explain again.

Doing the same things over and over again incorrectly, without proper range of motion or attention to "prehab" and avoiding injuries will get you nowhere.  Your body adapts to the stress you place on it.  You can't simply stress a muscle over and over one way and expect it to translate 100% into another movement.  Normal pullups are nothing like muscle ups and doing normal pullups until your hands bleed (or even just 'till muscle failure) will get you nowhere.

By your logic, training for endurance is going to get you strength and technique.  Can't put it any more simply than "Sorry, not true."

Then stop, let your muscles recover and build, and repeat the process until your body progresses. It's simple workout routine. You don't stop when you're a little tired. You've got to push the bar if you expect to improve yourself and reach new goals. Ever study anatomy? Know how muscle grows? It tears upon stress, then it rebuilds stronger so that it can withstand the pressure that damaged it. If you don't push your muscles, they don't tear. If they don't tear, they don't rebuild. If they don't rebuild, you don't gain strength very well.

Have you ever studied anatomy?  Physiology?  Exercise Science? Human Performance? Trained anyone casually or professionally?  Produced results? Done independent or sponsored research into any of the aforementioned fields?

I would suggest not taunting people - its a good way to get burned and regress back into being scared to talk.

A sign of maturity isn't saying "I'm right and your wrong", nor is it saying "I'm wrong, Im sorry" - its saying "Oh really?  Why do you say that?".  Keep this in mind, please.

You need to train to produce the results you want to see.  Senselessly doing absurd amounts of pullups won't get you a muscle up.  Without the technique, you are going to just keep banging your head into the bar.

Whaddya wanna do bro? What's your point? Did I say three words imperfectly according to you? My bad, every word I type may not be perfect. Maybe I should put a disclaimer up because the occasional pair of words may not be the best chosen possible. I'm not claiming to be a teacher. I am a fellow traceur, a brother. Who can do muscle ups, who is progressing to 10 muscle ups in a row, and I am sharing my training method which has worked well for me and people I know.

Grow up.  Just because you can do something doesn't mean you know what you're talking about.

This board isn't for measuring people's...ego.  Its about helping others.

I welcome you here, since you seem to be passionate about our sport.  But please realize that you may not always be right on your methods despite your abilities.

It is obvious that when he said, "until your arms dont work anymore" he meant  work up to failure not muscle spasm or elbows destruction. So taking a comments like that so littleral is human stupidity. Sorry, but it is the truth.

Working pullups to failure daily is a bad idea.  If you are doing pullups in absurd quantities to failure (and/or doing them incorrectly) you will most definitely see at least one of the following:
1)Tendonitis/Tendonosis
2) Rotator Cuff Pulls/Strains/Tears
3) Shoulder Girdle Instability
4) Strength imbalances between pulling and pushing muscles (leaving you prone to dozens of other problems)

Now, aside from correcting all of these details - back to the original problem.

----------------------------------------------------------

 Sombrero, here are some things that you may want to do (probably in series) to get your muscle ups, if this is your major goal.

1) Pullups on a bar.  1 rep is when the bar touches the nipples
2) Pullups on rings.  1 Rep is when the middle of the rings touch the nipples
3) Dips on a bar.  1 Rep is when the nipples are even with the hands.
4) Dips on rings.  1 Rep is when the nipples are even with the hands.
5) Muscle up negatives.  Start on top of the bar and lower yourself down slowly though the transition then to the hang.  Get up, jump back on top of the bar and repeat.

I highly suggest you work both the pullups and dips together.  Here would be a sample routine if this is the only goal you are working on.

Workout A
Pullups Bar/Rings- 5x5 Kipping/Strict (alternate this every other day it comes up)
Dips Bar/Rings- 5x5

Workout B
5x5 Muscle Up negatives

Week 1 - Mon = A
              Wed = B
              Fri = A

Week 2 - Mon = B
              Wed = A
              Fri = B

May seem light, but ID some other goals and the schedule will fill up fast.  That will be a great start.  If you can do 5x5 without much of a problem, then you need to determine if you want to be stronger (weighted MU) or more endurance (high reps of muscle ups).  If you want to be stronger, add weight to the PU and Dips.  If you want more endurance, increase the reps.

At the end of every week, try to see if you can make the transition.  If you can pullup to the nipples and dip as deep as your hands comfortably then you are physically strong enough to muscle up.  If this is the case, and you still cannot do it, work the negatives to facilitate motor pattern changes and make a Workout C that is dedicated to MU attempts.  At that level of strength, you should have it in no time.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2008, 06:40:38 PM by Chris Salvato »

Offline Charles Moreland

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Re: Muscle ups?
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2008, 06:59:37 PM »
By your logic, training for endurance is going to get you strength and technique.  Can't put it any more simply than "Sorry, not true."

In Adam's defense Chris, training for reps will in fact get you technique. I think you mean that by training just in the ROM of a simple pull up you won't be learning the proper technique needed for the muscle up.

Offline Shae Perkins

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Re: Muscle ups?
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2008, 07:02:34 PM »
I have found that if you can around 15 pull ups and have are able to do about 10 dips on bar it's probably not really strength, it's technique. All I did was every other day or so I would commit 30-45 minutes to trying to do them and eventually I got it down. So good luck man. :D  
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Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Muscle ups?
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2008, 07:27:02 PM »
By your logic, training for endurance is going to get you strength and technique.  Can't put it any more simply than "Sorry, not true."

In Adam's defense Chris, training for reps will in fact get you technique. I think you mean that by training just in the ROM of a simple pull up you won't be learning the proper technique needed for the muscle up.

Yeh, thats what I meant, pretty much.

Thanks for the clarification.

I have found that if you can around 15 pull ups and have are able to do about 10 dips on bar it's probably not really strength, it's technique. All I did was every other day or so I would commit 30-45 minutes to trying to do them and eventually I got it down. So good luck man. :D  

Agreed.  The only caveat here is to make sure that you are able to pull up to the nipples and dip as low as nipples-to-hands.  A MU is a pullup all the way up into a ROM that most people ignore, sadly.

Other than that, I am in complete agreement :)

Good luck and train hard for that MU!

Offline Adam McC

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Re: Muscle ups?
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2008, 11:24:43 PM »
Don't worry my friend. If I sounded personal I didn't mean it. No offense taken or intended. If we were having a conversation in person, we'd be smiling, laughing, discussing it maturely. The internet is a dread-able thing.

Wait wait wait. Wording correction here, my friend. I did not say to do pull ups until the arms go dead. I do not think drilling pull ups will benefit a muscle up very well. As you said, it's a different motion. What I said was "train muscle ups". Which means progress your muscle ups, not pull ups. Train them means doing jumping muscle ups, assisted muscle ups, wall up motions on a wall, or even just hanging there and struggling your way up. I am in no way proposing doing countless normal pullups. If I said that earlier, then I apologize for mis-wording my statement.

No I have not. Which is why I do not claim to be a teacher, merely a brother traceur. I do not mean to brag or show my ego. That's not why I'm here. I did not mean to taunt you, there was no sarcasm or demeaning tone intended in my statements, I'm sorry if it came out that way. You know how debates are. ;) Once aaggaaaiiinn, I am not saying to do absurd countless amounts of normal pullups. I mean to "Train muscle ups" until the arms give out. I still stand by that statement, I believe that to physically progress, you must push your muscles to the (sensible) limit, this is based on the things I have learned in my life and my experiences. I am not trying to show off my skill, I am trying to show off the training I am suggesting, which has benefited me enough that I can perform muscle ups. It's not about me, I don't intend it to be.

As for growing up, well.... that's cruel. Who the heck wants to grow up?

Again, I'm sorry if it seems like I'm trying to boost my ego here. I am not, I am trying to help this person achieve their muscle ups. I am not arguing for the sake of being right, I am arguing because I believe the training method, which has worked for me and my friends, will also work for him.

As for your training course, I definitely like it. I did not have easy access to rings, or a gym, or time to create a reasonable schedule, so I just stood infront of a bar when I was learning them. If he has access to better things, by all means, using them would be very smart.

Aaaaand once again, no offense intended or taken. Simply, as you said, discussing fact and error.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2008, 11:29:06 PM by AdamMcC [Feng] »

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Offline Ozzi

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Re: Muscle ups?
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2008, 11:37:53 PM »
Everyone seems to be fighting to see who is right and who is wrong.

This guy typed "Any tips on doing the muscle up?"

He didnt ask for a legit, law way to get muscle ups. If I tell you suggest grabbing one of those elastic bands, placing them on a bar to pull down and simulate the muscle motion up because it worked for me that would a valid suggestion (that was only an example, which I did use but dont account to success). lets all get our head our of our butts and give friendly suggestion without criticizing other's unless completely absurd please.
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Offline Steve Low

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Re: Muscle ups?
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2008, 10:15:33 AM »
I do not really advocate training to failure because it limits the frequency you can do stuff without burning yourself out.

But that's up to the people in this thread if you think it applies to you. well actually, it does apply to you.. but depending on your training regime it might not matter but then if it doesn't matter you're not making good progress probably unless your strength level is fairly low. And by "low" I mean you can't do muscle ups with an additional 25% of your bodyweight.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2008, 10:17:59 AM by Steve Low »
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Offline Adam McC

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Re: Muscle ups?
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2008, 12:40:43 PM »
I do not really advocate training to failure because it limits the frequency you can do stuff without burning yourself out.

This is true, it takes a while to heal up from pushing yourself over the top, but in your opinion and experience, would they reach a muscle up (if that is their main goal) faster (and better) through this method, or through easier more consistent training?

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Offline Chris Salvato

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Re: Muscle ups?
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2008, 01:33:19 PM »
I do not really advocate training to failure because it limits the frequency you can do stuff without burning yourself out.

This is true, it takes a while to heal up from pushing yourself over the top, but in your opinion and experience, would they reach a muscle up (if that is their main goal) faster (and better) through this method, or through easier more consistent training?

Have you ever done a strength routine like that?  It's not easy at all! :P

In my opinion, the type of training I recommended (and steve is advocating..) is more directed and will have a direct translation into strength through the applicable ranges of motion, throughout the whole movement.

In my PERSONAL experience, it took me 5 months of aimlessly trying muscle ups over and over again before i got it.  Once I struggled through my first one, I did a lot more training in the ROMs necessary and I improved from making my muscle ups inconsistent to maxing out at around 7 in a much shorter period of time.

Having a more structured program will almost always yield faster, more efficient results for your goal as well as a lot of carryover into other domains, as well.