Global Bodyweight Training - Mike Fitch
Full body extension is integral to the Kipping Pull-Up

Welcome to Part-Two of our series, “Lead Up Exercises to the Muscle-Up”! This week’s exercise is the Kipping Pull-Up, an absolutely essential technique in learning the first phase of the Kipping Muscle Up. As I had mentioned in Part 1, you will strive to use less and less momentum or “kip” as your technique improves, but in the learning stages it’s a must.

The Kip is the phase of the movement that begins your momentum arch. This allows you to generate enough power to get your upper torso above the bar. When doing the Kipping Pull-Up, this is as far up as you will be going. But with the full Muscle Up, you’ll continue on by simply flipping the elbows, pulling yourself into a dip position and pushing out of it (but we will explain more of the second phase in our next post).

Global Bodyweight Training - Mike Fitch
Once over the bar, you are in the perfect position for the full Muscle=Up!

This is an explosive and extremely integrated movement. The upper and lower body must synchronize so quickly that I usually make the comparison of an Olympic lift (Snatch or Clean) to explain the timing.

Be sure to pay close attention to the angle the body starts and finishes in. There are different styles of kipping, but this is the one we’ve seen work best at the GBT Gym. Give it a shot for yourself and get ready for the third installment of Lead Up Exercises to the Muscle Up!

Check out the other parts to this series here:

Published by Mike Fitch

Mike is the founder of Global Bodyweight Training. He has more than 12 years as a fitness professional encompassing a wide range of disciplines which he draws upon to create the GBT system.

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  1. Thanks for the progressions; I’ve been wanting to do a muscleup ever since I first saw one on youtube.

    1. Awesome! Once we’ve posted all of the parts and you get your first one, be sure to post a video on our facebook page!!!

  2. Great video, Mike.

    BTW, what about those gloves you’re wearing in the video? What are they made of and where did you get them?

    All the best.

    1. Hey Daniel, the gloves are just leather batting gloves. I’ve found that these work best for bar work. We are actually in the process of manufacturing two different types of gloves. One will be specifically designed for the Animal Flow and the other for bar work. Keep an eye out, should be after the new year.

  3. As always, a very informative video! Btw, where did you get that pullup system? I want one!

    1. Hey thanks Steve! The cage is by a company called Sorinex. I love that thing! So many possibilites

  4. Great progressions to the Muscle Up, Mike. Like the new gym set up you got going on. Also, do you recommend learning the muscle up on a solid bar first versus something like O-rings?

    1. Hey Brandon, you could go either way with your muscle up progress. There are very different techniques between the bar version and the gymnastics rings. You can use the same lead up progressions but with the rings you must get used to a false grip. We are about to start adding in a lot more rings videos, so stay tuned!

  5. Awesome progression! Will try tomorrow! I did 5 Jumping Muscle Ups at the playground the other night on the bar! I also did the monkey bars 2x with only 1 hand on each bar, and 5 pull ups, none of which I could do before I started GBT last Spring!! Thanks, Mike! (Of course, I took a fall from 6 feet off the ground tonight at the rockclimbing gym while bouldering, and hit the mat flat on my back and hit my head, so we’ll see how the old body feels tomorrow!) Hope you have fun in Tampa!

    1. Wow! That’s some serious progress Ann!! I’m going to expect a video from you soon. Oh, and i’m glad to hear you didn’t seriously hurt yourself from your bouldering fall. Take care of that body of yours Ann!

  6. This is really informative! Was just wondering..what’s more important in doing the muscle up, strength or technique? If strength, how strong must I be?

  7. Mike, first of all great videos!!! I’ve recently moved away frow weight training as it seems to cause so many injuries or niggles in my pursuit of the body excellence. Currently my main goal is to crack the bar muscle up by the end of the summer. However I’m struggling with the KIP Pull up. I just seem to lose momentum after about 3 or 4 pull ups. Is it just practice or are there common mistakes people make? The rest of the muscle up breakdown I’m pretty strong with. I wish i had a gym and a coach like you in the UK.


    1. Hey Jon! Thanks for the kind comments! Remember, the Kipping muscle up is a very high neurological exercise, that requires just as much skill as strength. So this is were consistency and practice play a major role in executing this movement. If you loose momentum at 3 or 4 reps, then this is exactly where you should stop the exercise. Otherwise, if you start to slow down, then you are training your body to move slow. Just keep practicing each of the movements, then start integrating them. It will eventually “click”! Good luck my friend!

  8. Great video! thanks for making it! Quick question – why don’t you straighten your armns and have a slight break in the elbows?


  9. I’m up to 7 Kipping Pull-Ups. Time to move onto the Jump Muscle Up. Great instructional videos. Thanks Mike!!


    1. Excellent! I absolutely love the jump Muscle Ups, and I’m sure you will as well! Keep up your practice man.

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