In the realm of bodyweight training, being able to perform a Muscle Up is like a badge of honor. And rightfully so: there are few exercises that require so much strength, power and skill. Learning the Muscle-Up is a serious challenge, so we’ve broken it down into a four-part series of lead-up exercises, which we’ve been posting over the past month. Now we’ve reached the final installment which completes the series – the full Kipping Muscle Up. If you’ve been following along with the first three video installments, you should be ready to put it all together. And if you missed the first three videos, we’ve made it easy for you by combining everything into one comprehensive video that includes all three Lead-Up Exercises and then the full Kipping Muscle-Up itself.
Mastering the Kipping Muscle-Up: The Complete Series of Lead-Up Exercises
(Note that if you prefer to watch just the final installment on the Kipping Muscle-Up as a stand-alone video, we provide that option at the bottom of this post).
The Many Benefits of Muscle-Ups
Like most bodyweight training enthusiasts, I love the Muscle Up for many reasons. In addition to is impressive combination of overall strength, power and skill, it is a perfect example of a Push and Pull Combo exercise that involves an incredible amount of trunk strength. After performing just a few reps, you’ll notice there are few muscles that didn’t play some sort of role in getting up and over that bar.
I also have to mention the psychological aspect of performing this exercise. It can be a daunting feeling when you are first hanging from that bar, knowing that it’s about to take everything you’ve got to over come this obstacle. It’s like a metaphor for conquering any goal, whether it be in exercise or in life. But once you do get that first one, you’ll never forget that feeling, and who knows, it may actually give you the courage to attacking other obstacles in your life!
The Muscle-Up Components and Lead-Up Exercises
I’ve divided the Muscle Up into three component phases:
- 1) The Kip-The initial movement that begins the momentum
- 2) The Flip and Kick-The second explosive movement used to get the elbows above the bar
- 3) The Push-Out-The final phase, moving from the low dip position to the lock out
And in order to strengthen each phase I’ve put together three exercises that are specific to improving your performance in that area. These are what I teach as the Lead-Up Exercises in the video:
1) The Kipping Pull-Up (for the kip)
2) The Jumping Muscle Up (for the flip and kick)
3) The Muscle Up Dip (for the push-out)
These three exercises are not only perfect for learning the Muscle-Up, but they are incredible exercises all on their own. We use them in the GBT System to achieve a variety of results. For example, the Kipping Pull-Up is a super effective power pulling exercise. The Jumping Muscle-Up is considered a power endurance exercise for your squat, pull and push patterns. The Muscle-Up Dip is a killer strength push pattern exercise. One of the foundations of the GBT system is learning skills or exercises that unlock your ability to perform more advanced exercises later on. So, becoming proficient in each of these exercises on its own not only helps you with that specific movement, but also makes it that much easier to put them together to perform the Kipping Muscle-Up.
The Kipping Muscle-Up – Stand-Alone Video (Part 4 of the Series)
The video at the top of this page presents the entire series of Lead-Up Exercises and Kipping Muscle-Up. If you’d like to watch just the section on the Kipping Muscle Up, here it is below: