The Crossfit bar Muscle Up is a difficult movement to achieve. The bar is a non-moving object, which can make it especially difficult for the athlete to get into the position to press out. Unlike the rings, which can move out of the athlete’s way, the bar requires the athlete move around it.

Before you try to attempt this, you should be proficient with:

  • kipping pull-ups,
  • kipping chest-to-bar pull-ups and
  • dips but overall:
  • And especially with strict pull-ups.

If you don’t have a strict pull up yet, then a Bar Muscle Up will be more than difficult to accomplish. Development of the latissimus dorsi, trapezius (upper and lower), supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis are important, not just for strength, but also for protection of the rotator cuff muscles and the back. Working on the above exercises will help to strength these muscles and they are particularly important in allowing you to successfully Bar Muscle Up.

hydration for crossfit athlete doing bar muscle up

Keep trying, you will make it!

© RX'd Photography

GRIPPING THE BAR

Practice to attempt to grip the bar with the thumbs under the bar and progress to end the movement with a False Grip.

A bar muscle-up is a complicated enough skill without adding the additional task of rotating your hands around the bar as you transition from pull-up to dip.  Using a false grip eliminates the need.  It also feels stronger at the top of the pull-up when using a false grip.

GRIP TECHNIQUE THROUGHOUT THE MOVEMENT

You want your thumb above the bar, and the bar resting on your palm, not in your knuckles.  In doing so your wrist will be bent forward a good bit. To get the benefits of the false grip, it is unnecessary to go to that extreme, at least when working on an explosive muscle-up (the easiest variation).  You really just want to be sure your palm is on top of the bar (or close enough that it will naturally rise during the transition).

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