Strict Muscle Ups – Making It Look Easy!!

Kat Dalecki, Australian CrossFit Regional Athlete for Reebok CrossFit GCS, demonstrates how to do strict Muscle Ups.

Points to note:

1. From the dead hang, Kat is in complete control on the way up and down — no hinging or wasted movement, flexed/flat spine throughout — it doesn’t change angle very much at all.
2. Her shoulder control and stability means that she doesn’t jar her shoulders at the end of the Muscle Up. She also doesn’t lose control in the bottom of the ring dip which is where lots of athletes come unstuck

Progressions to Consider:
1. Strict pullups on rings

2. Reverse transitions — use a box, jump up or keep your feet on the floor and get to the top of the muscle up or the bottom of the ring dip. You then go from the bottom of the ring dip (with your thumbs on lateral chest wall) to tracing your thumbs where the underwire of a bra would be to the sternum. From there you can go back to the start or continue to practice.

3. Strict Ring Dips

4. Negatives — eccentric loading throughout the whole movement. Again, use a box or jump up into the final extended position. Then lower slowly to the bottom of the ring dip. Then slowly lower back down to the ground.

5. Strict Muscle Ups with a band

If you can avoid kipping for now and just work on your strength, technique, and positions, you will go further in the long run 😉

Please post your comments, questions or links to other examples below! Thanks!


About Antony Lo
Antony Lo is an APA Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist based in Sydney. His website is He specializes in the management, treatment and prevention of pain and dysfunction, particularly of the pelvis and ribcage. His sub-specialties include Crossfit and Exercise Performance Optimization, Ante-Natal and Post-Natal Care and difficult cases that have failed treatment elsewhere.

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