The Muscle Up

Heidi and Kyle; deep in the WOD.

Heidi and Kyle; deep in the WOD.


The ultimate pull combined with the ultimate push. A huge pullup and an incredibly deep dip. It is one of the biggest standards in CrossFit. Few accomplishments feel better than a first muscle up.

Strength, power, flexibility, speed, coordination; the muscle up employs nearly all of the Ten Attributes of Fitness espoused by CrossFit. One of the most important aspects of the muscle up is its many levels. The muscle up progresses from a kipping muscle up to a full extension muscle up to an L-sit muscle up. The strength required for a dead hang L-sit muscle up is incredible.

Still, there is something about the much simpler kipping muscle up. The way the power transfers smoothly from the feet up the body until the chest snaps up and over the rings and suddenly the body is suspended between the rings with the hands deep in the armpits. It’s a beautiful movement; almost like magic.

The muscle up has many variations. A muscle up without a false grip, the bar muscle up, the straight-arm gymnastics’ muscle up, a muscle up from the skin-the-cat, and others. It really is a versatile movement.

Congratulations to Golden on his first muscle ups today.

For a great example of multiple muscle up reps, check out Vyasa doing 12 reps on the Kick Ass Videos of Kick Ass Achievements page.


30 Muscle Ups

There are a couple of ways to scheme this workout. If going for the fastest time, work the kipping muscle up. Go for as many reps as you can until you start to struggle, then hop off the rings, shake out your arms, and do more reps. If going for full extension, don’t worry about the clock, just finish the WOD. If you can’t do a muscle up, use a box and jump through the movement. Use as low a box as you can.

Post WOD and score to Comments.