View Full Version : Substitute for muscle up?

Per Nyberg
09-04-2003, 12:35 PM
I donīt have access to any rings so I canīt do muscle ups. What would be a good substitute for this exercise?

Jon Pappas
09-04-2003, 01:26 PM
One minute of pull-ups and dips = 1 muscle-up

Tyler Hass
09-04-2003, 07:45 PM
Practice your pullups with a false grip. Until you can set a decent false grip and maintain it, you shall have difficulty with a muscle-up.
One week of these is what it took for me. No trouble since then.

www.ringtraining.com (http://www.ringtraining.com) - Affordable gymnastics rings for strength training. Note: they're currently backordered (9/4/03), but more will be available in a couple weeks.

Emil Berengut
09-05-2003, 11:34 AM
Ok, I looked around my gym today-there's no way i can do muscle up on a bar-the ceiling is too low. if i bought those rings, can i do them from a kneeling position?perhaps, like a hanging kneeling position. does any have experience with the vertical challenge?

Per Nyberg
09-05-2003, 11:56 AM
Tyler, what is a false grip on pullups?

Tyler Hass
09-06-2003, 02:00 PM
It's a little bit tougher if you started from a kneeling position, especially if the rings are very close to the ceiling. The shorter the straps are, the harder it is to move the rings. As a result, MU's are harder and less comfortable.
However, you can lower the rings down to about eye level, which will help you set your grip. You can also spot yourself with your legs by adding in a little jump.
Brad Hirakawa did muscle-ups with his rings attached to one of those chin-dip towers. So it can definitely be done.

A false grip is when you flex your wrist to ~90 degrees and then hold the ring in the crook of your wrist. It is similar to a gooseneck pullup, except that gooseneck pullups utilize a thumbless grip.
Having a strong false grip is the key to get the muscle-up. The best way to strengthen it is to practice false grip pullups. I would start practicing these as soon as you can get 12-15 pullups. You will know when you are ready to muscle up.
The other day I worked out with a group of formerly competitive elite gymnasts. We had an impromptu muscle-up competition. One guy got 10 of them without a false grip! I think he could have done more.

Brad Hirakawa
09-06-2003, 07:45 PM
10 w/o a false grip! Man.. gymnasts are so impressive.

09-07-2003, 08:00 PM
The muscle-up is the easiest to learn of perhaps a dozen approaches to getting on top of the rings.

Believe it or not, it is so easy it is regarded as a junk move and you'll never see one in a meet.

The "backuprise" is a substantially more efficient move for surmounting the rings and traditionally the first meet worthy approach for a first time competitor.

We've got a lot to do!!


Roger Harrell
09-08-2003, 07:46 AM
IMHO learning a backuprise early is a disservice to anyone trying to learn rings. In encourages poor technique on the rearward swing as the shoulders will tend to be lifted early. It's more developmental to learn a shoot to support first and develop a backuprise once the rear swing is properly driving the heels, and their inlocate is sufficiently strong. That way their backuprise can develop into a front giant. If the backuprise is learned too soon habits can be developed that are tough to break later on.

09-09-2003, 08:14 PM
Hi Roger,

We taught a sufficiently powerful rearward swing and tap before attempting the backuprise so that leading with the shoulders (pulling early) was nearly impossible.

We also didn’t use a shoot to support in meets though I think I’ve seen it in little guys meet before. Our gymnasts caught there shoots high enough, due to our insisting on strong swing fundamentals, so that driving to the handstand came instinctively.

Developing a powerful swing led to nice inlocates, dislocates, giants (early locked arms), and dismounts.

My point was more to the efficiency of the backuprise (done right, of course) as a means to surmounting the rings, but I agree with you about teaching the shoot to support first - it's a lot easier, no?

Roger Harrell
09-11-2003, 07:28 AM
I wouldn't say a shoot to support is easier to accomplish. A proper shoot is probably easier than a proper backuprise, but a crappy back uprise is easier than a crappy shoot. Does that make sense?