My Warm-up



Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Muscle-Up

A muscle-up is a pull-up immediately followed by a dip. It includes a difficult transition between the two that makes this exercise greater than the sum of its parts. It is a very functional movement. The muscle-up requires patience and dedication to master. When I first started Crossfit I had never done one before. But with my background in yoga, I was able to catch on pretty quick. I call it master of your own body wieght. Also muscle-ups require rings (note: they can be performed on high bar, but it's a bit different and harder). The general recommendation is that you should be able to do 15 pull-ups and 15 dips before you begin practicing the muscle-up. The first step to a muscle-up is learning the false grip. This grip is the secret weapon gymnasts employed during all strength skills. To set a false grip, you need to get the base of your palms on top of the rings. Your thumb will remain on the opposite side of your fingers. The importance of this grip is two-fold. First, it shortens your arm, so you have less leverage to deal with. Second, it allows you to push from the base of your palm as soon as you reach the dip position. The toughest part of the muscle-up is also the best part, which is why I have saved it for last. The transition phase is what makes this exercise truly wicked. Usually after a 30 muscle-up for time WOD I feel the area worked the hardest is between bicep and tricep. At the top position of the pull-up, you need to find a way to get into a dip position so that you can press up to support. To make the transition go smoothly, pull the rings to your armpits and then roll your shoulders forward. So wieght is back on pull-up and the transition is getting all your body wieght forward into a dip. As you roll your shoulders forward, your elbows will travel in a circle from in front, down to your ribs and then straight back behind you.

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