Ah, the muscle-up. Symbol of strength. Of power. Of, as the name implies, Muscle!
If you don’t know what a muscle-up is, it’s like pullups on the “s” word my trainer and editor told me never to use. Basically–though you’ll soon find out it sounds easier than it is–a muscle-up is an exercise where you pull your body up on a pullup bar, then over the top. Like a gymnast.
The muscle-up is a terrifically difficult maneuver to do that works out your entire upper body, engages your core, requires tremendous grip strength, and , perhaps most importantly of all, looks pretty damn impressive.
In the video below, the man himself, Mr. Scott Herman breaks down the four necessary steps to mastering the elusive muscle-up. Now, this is a pretty advanced maneuver so I’m going to add my own “pre-first step” here and say you should probably be able to do at least a few pull ups before going at this. You don’t need to be as shredded as Scott, but this isn’t a “how to do 1 push-up” tutorial.
Step # 1 You have to learn to do and master a hanging knee-to-elbow leg raise. This is key because as you are doing your first muscle-ups you will be using the momentum you gain from this move to get up.
Step # 2 Practice rotating your wrists as you swing up past the knee-to-elbow leg raises you learned in step one. It’s important to rotate those writes so that your hands are in the right place when you go to push yourself up over the bar.
Step # 3 Practice the maneuver with an exercise band on your feet so that you get the proper technique of pushing yourself up over the bar down before you do the muscle up for real. Technique is crucial here.
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You can learn the rest of the steps and watch a few proper muscle-ups in the Scott Herman Fitness video below: