How to do a Muscle-Up

The muscle up is a pretty badass way to exercise your entire upper body. You’re working out your abs, back, chest, biceps, triceps and shoulders all in the same exercise and it only requires a pull up bar!

So how do you build up to being able to add these into your fitness routine? Here’s a step-by-step breakdown that should help:

1. Build your pull up strength

  • You should be able to complete at least 8 chest-to-bar pull ups before attempting a muscle up.

2. Build your dip strength on a lateral bar

  • You should be able to complete at least 10 dips on a bar.

3. Learn to do “Clap” pull ups.

  • Try doing clap pull-ups to work on the explosive motion required to perform the muscle up.

4. Train the “wrist-twist” technique

  • Use a shorter bar to jump into the Muscle up (you can also use bands)
  • Have a workout partner assist you, with a push so you can work

5. The MUSCLE UP break down

  • Start in pull up position
  • Explode your chest up towards the bar, while lifting your knees up.
  • Twist your wrist and pull your chest over the bar
  • Perform a dip
  • Drop back down into hanging pull up position
  • Repeat as many times as possible.

Some quick tips:

  • In a muscle up, you are pulling yourself up, out and over. Most people skip the “out” part (moving away from bar before going over), which is one of the most important elements.
  • The better you are at pull-ups, the easier this will be to perform.

Let us know when you stick your first one!


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About the Author


Max is the founder of BEAR SQUEEZE. He is obsessed with nutrition, fitness and discovering new ways to improve performance. Max lives in Los Angeles and in his spare time you can find him surfing along the pacific coast.

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