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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 04-17-2006, 08:17 PM   #1
Matt Stanley
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I’ve been Crossfitting for over 6 months now and in the last month I’ve made a concerted effort to improve my muscle-ups. I’ve gotten to the point where I can comfortably do a handful of them. By comfortable, I mean 100% max effort with lots of grunting and thrashing. While I can consistently get from a hang to a support, I ‘transition’ one arm at a time—I can’t seem to roll my shoulders simultaneously. I can ‘lead’ with either arm (although leading with my right is easier). Is this a common newbie problem that goes away over time? If so, I’ll just push on. If not, any advice on correcting my form will be very much appreciated.

I have a couple of hypotheses as to why this is the case:
1. I come from a climbing background where the hands tend to move sequentially rather than simultaneously. My hands are ‘trained’ to operate independently rather than cooperatively.
2. One thing that I’ve been doing to train is to set my rings at slightly different heights—in order to get my chin above the higher ring, the lower hand essentially does the transition movement of the muscle-up. I’ve been careful to keep my training balanced when I do this but it clearly has reinforced my tendency to ‘lead’ with one hand. Incidentally, I think that this approach has been a great way to develop the rather specific strength required to do a muscle up.
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Old 04-17-2006, 08:39 PM   #2
Craig Van De Walker
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I'm in the same boat as you. I can do 12 bar MU without dropping from the bar. I still can't get one with both arms transitioning at the same time. I am not sure why but will watch the thread for an answer. If I was weak in either dips or pullups I could understand it but I'm quite strong on both just not the transition.

I have a suspicion I am weak in some of the odd accessory muscles surrounding the elbow area but maybe not. I have resigned myself to continuing to work on things and hope I can gradually get through this shortfall. I have so many things I am working to improve on, and this is just one of them...
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Old 04-18-2006, 05:29 AM   #3
Cole Hanley
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How's your false grip? Everything you've ever read about the false grip is true: it hurts, it feels wrong, it's hateful, you need to practice it specifically, and IT'S ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE. There is an article in the CrossFit Journal about muscle-ups that has everything you need to know. For less than the price of a Venti Latte it will reveal all the secrets. I read and re-read it one day on a plane and the next day I went out to the garage, followed the advice exactly, and did one. Then I lowered myself down and just stood there with a dumb, stunned look on my face. That was going to be a goal for the year and it was mid-March. So the goal now is 10 without touching down, I'm at 5 so it won't be too much longer.
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:09 AM   #4
Roger Harrell
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Don't blame your one arm at a time transition on climbing. It's most likely as Cole said, your false grip, and a bit of technique. If you can do it one arm at a time, you can do it with both simultaneously. Make it happen. It's not going to happen on it's own. Get a good false grip, pull hard and get your shoulders over your hands.
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Old 04-18-2006, 06:18 PM   #5
Jerry Hill
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The false grip is the most foreign feeling grip in the world...until you realize exactly how it needs to be in order to muscle-up...then and only then does it feel natural.

Get someone to look at your grip or record it and send it in.

Good luck!
-Jerry
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Old 04-18-2006, 07:41 PM   #6
Matt Stanley
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Thanks Cole, Roger, and Jerry. I'll focus on my false grip and let you all know how it goes. If I don't see improvement in a week or so I'll take Jerry's suggestion and post some pics. I appreciate the insights.
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:03 PM   #7
Travis Hall
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do people here use a false grip on bar muscle ups?

i just use a regular pullup grip, minus the thumb-wrap-around.

t.
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:05 PM   #8
Chris Jordan
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The April CFJ front page shows the false grip. I looked at that, went home and did my first muscle up. I just have trouble maintaining my false grip between mu's.
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:50 PM   #9
Blair Robert Lowe
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You can use a falsish grip on bar muscle ups. It's not entirely necessary for rings but you better be able to pull, roll and push very fast.
Are you swinging or kipping your muscle-up?
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Old 04-19-2006, 05:17 AM   #10
Cole Hanley
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With 100 pullups to do for Murph today there is a nice chance to sub in a good number of false grip ring pullups. It won't help your time for Murph but it will help you get used to maintaining that grip for multiple reps. You should notice it getting easier even before you finish today.
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