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3 Worst Muscle-Up Mistakes!


Posted by Scott_Herman - March 14th, 2017

What’s going on Nation! Today I’m going to help you fix the three WORST mistakes holding up your Muscle-Up!

If you can currently perform 8 or 10 pull-ups in a row then there is absolutely no reason why you can’t do at least one (if not several) muscle-ups! If you CANNOT perform 8-10 pull-ups in a row check out the following video which will help you increase your total pull-ups, even if you can’t even do one! NO EXCUSES!

Now, if you CAN perform 8-10 pull-ups in a row but you CANNOT bang out 2-3 muscle-ups, you are probably falling victim to one (or all) of the following 3 mistakes!

MISTAKE #1 – Improper Hand Placement

The first mistake has to do with your wrists and your grip. This is very critical, as messing this one up means you’re doomed to fail before you even start swinging to try your first muscle-up!

The most difficult part of the muscle-up or the sticking point if you will, is the transition from the pull-up into the dip. Most people when attempting the muscle-up, grab the bar with a tight grip and at the same time their wrists are hanging directly underneath the bar.

These two in combination will make the transition to the dip portion of the lift IMPOSSIBLE. So:

  1. Don’t grip the bar too tight! Instead loosen up your grip and this will allow your hands to slide as you go up and over, setting you up for a successful rep.

  2. Don’t start with your wrists directly underneath the bar. Doing so will get you stuck as soon as you reach the top of the pull-up because your wrists will not possibly be able to bend more. Instead start with your wrists HIGHER and that is going to help you swing up and over. (see image below)

  3. If you are having trouble maintaining your grip, feel free to use some chalk, if your gym allows it.

MISTAKE #2 – Not Keeping Your Core Tight & Tension In Your Back

The second mistake is all about your starting position. The muscle-up is not a muscle-gain exercise, which means you do not have to maximize its range of motion, therefore don’t treat it as such. Even if your grip is relaxed and you are starting with your wrists a bit over the bar, if you are dead-hanging underneath the bar you are making the muscle-up way harder than it should be.

Starting from a dead-hang means two things.

  1. Your upper body is far away from the bar which means it will have to travel more distance to reach the bar.

  2. Your back muscles and especially your lats are not tensed up which means the energy you will have to expend to get your body up and over will be much greater than the alternative method I am going to show you.

So here’s what you do. Start by tensing up your back and getting your elbows slightly forward. Notice how much closer your upper body is to the bar just by doing that. You just shaved off at least 4 or 5 inches from the range of motion by doing nothing but simply altering the starting position of the movement.

This is going to make a huge difference in terms of how fast you go up and over and how much energy you save to perform more repetitions.


MISTAKE #3 – Not Taking Advantage Of Momentum At The Top

The third and final mistake is that you are not taking advantage of the momentum and energy you are generating at the top of movement to complete your repetition.

As I mentioned before, the transition part of the lift is very critical. When most people reach the top of the pull-up portion of the movement, they literally try to use their muscles to get up and over, not taking advantage of all the momentum they have created.

Here’s the obvious solution. As soon as you get high enough to be able to throw yourself forward and over the bar, that’s exactly what you need to do! Only once you have successfully thrown yourself over the bar, that’s when you perform the dip portion of the lift, completing one full repetition!

So don’t be afraid to generate and use as much momentum as you need to get yourself up and over the bar.

I guarantee that if you apply these 3 tips to your muscle-up and get rid of the mistakes, you will be able to do it in no time! Of course your ultimate goal as far as muscle-ups are concerned is to be able to do them without using as much momentum which will naturally come over time as you practice more and more!

For those of you who want to see a more in-depth video on how to progress with the muscle-up and look like a total badass while you’re doing it, here’s the link:

I hope you found this article to be informative and as soon as you come back from the gym, successfully having done one muscle-up (or more), be sure to let me know with a comment in the comment section below! Until next time!

Related Videos:


MUSCLE-UPS! Practice Makes Perfect! (1-17-2013)

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