The Muscle Up Deconstructed

Swim night at 7:30pm at Culver City Plunge. All levels welcome!

Thursday, December 11


Bird Dogs
Wrist Mobilization
Foam Roll Thoracic Spine (upper back) and lats (your “wings”)

Warm Up

AMRAP 1 minute single unders
1 minute passive hang
9 lat activations- 3 pullup grip/wide/narrow
6 hanging hip touches (alternating)
AMRAP 1 minute double unders

Cool Down

Foam Roll Thoracic Spine (upper back) and lats (your “wings”)
10 Wall Extensions
Calf Stretch



Perform 3 Rounds of each for :30 for quality:

Ring Support with turnout
Bottom of the Dip
False Grip Hang
Arch to Hollow Swings on rings

Notes: Rest as needed within each :30 working set and rest :30 between movements, feel free to start at any station. Scale the ring support and bottom of dip by using a band or setting up boxes. Ideally the False Grip hang will be with straight arms, but feel free to scale by keeping your arms bent or on rings with your feet on the ground. You do not need a false grip for the swings, but try to hold a deep mid palm grip. Prioritize a quality arch by thinking about keeping your legs straight and butt squeezed tight.


Complete as many rounds as possible in 18 minutes of:

30 Double Unders
10 Dumbbell Box Step Overs
2 Rope Climbs

Notes: Prescribed is 50/35 Dbs, 20”/16” and 15’ rope climb. Scale the double unders down to 1 minute of effort or 90 singles. Scale the rope climb height as needed or perform 3 Rope Lowers.

Beginner false grip work on bar

Intermediate false grip work on rings


Aerobic Restoration

25-40 minutes of one of the following performed at 60-70% effort – easy, restorative pace:

* Swim (this is my first choice, and if you have an ocean, even better)

* Row (focus on mechanics, smooth and efficient with a very low stroke per minute pace)

* AirDyne (keep the pace conversational and relaxed)

* Cycling (get outdoors and enjoy the scenery as you ride)

* Hike (nothing crazy here, find a nice easy slope and go for a walk outdoors)

NOTE ABOUT ACTIVE RECOVERY – The activity selected must be restorative for you. It can also be an opportunity to work on a skill (like swimming or rowing), but the effort expended should leave you feeling energized at the end of the session, not depleted. I would also always prefer to see active recovery done as soon after rising as possible on the active recovery days. It’s an opportunity to start some blood flowing and aid your recovery.

Although this isn’t exactly a muscle up, the video deconstructs the pieces needed to succeed in the front uprise which is a similar movement with many of the same pieces and body positions.

Today’s fitness strength portion should be approached with the idea that these are some of the fundamental pieces of the muscle up. Take notice of which piece(s) you struggle with. This/these are the pieces you will need to improve to get your first muscle up, or start stringing them together. I wrote a post a while ago that you can read here about using accelerated learning techniques to master the muscle up. The concepts in the post apply to skill acquisition in general, and is a good starting point for creating a plan to achieve any 6-8 week goals you have set. It is titled “How do You Eat an Elephant”

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