This Will Help You Achieve Your First Muscle Up

Get tips, exercises and motivational advice to achieve your first Muscle Up.

November 12, 2015
This Will Help You Achieve Your First Muscle Up

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No matter how long it will take you to master the Muscle Up - once you get that victorious feeling it will be worth every moment of struggle.

Here's what you will need to start training:

  1. a couple of strengthening exercises
  2. some technique tips
  3. workout plan
  4. general motivation and extra advice

Scroll down for details or check the summary in the video below:

1. Exercises to build strength

For developing the strength required for the pull and the push part of the Muscle Up you can use exercises such as:

Dip on a straight bar

Pay attention to your shoulders. If you're a beginner you might need to stop at the 90 degree angle, then gradually go lower as you get stronger, until your shoulders are comfortable doing deep dips, with your chest on the same height as the bar. (Available in the Madbarz app)

Incline pull up

Try to really feel the activation of muscles behind your shoulders. Squeeze the glutes. You can start with your hips higher than your toes, forming an angle with the ground, and then progress until you can begin the movement with your body parallel to the floor. No matter what your starting position is, your body should always form a straight line and keep the core tension. (Available in the Madbarz App)

Explosive high chest pull up

The goal is to pull yourself up as high as you can - aim for the height of your lower chest touching the bar. Train your explosiveness by pulling up as fast as you can. Eventually, as you progress, you will be able to let go of the bar at the top and even spice it up with a clap to get the clapping pull up. (Available in the Madbarz App)

2. Technique tips for faster success

These tips ARE MEANT TO help beginners do their FIRST Muscle UP easier and thereby achieve it sooner.

Try the False Grip

Position your wrist over the bar before you start to pull by grabbing the bar from above, with your palms facing the ground .

Practice the false grip on pull ups to get the wrist at the optimal position to continue the pull with a push once you're over the bar.

Use your legs

Either by using leg drive or by kipping. You can use the leg drive by standing a foot away from the bar and then jumping to catch it. The distance of your body from the bar will create a swing in your legs. At the highest point of your swing raise your knees to get the drive. Experiment to get your own perfect timing.

Kipping, on the other hand, is a skill on it's own. If you are interested you can find out how to do it safely in this detailed instruction video.

3. Workout Plan

Theory is great - but practice is much more important.

Muscle Up Training Plans are available in the Madbarz App. Just a click away!

  • It doesn't matter where you start
  • The plans range from Beginner (can't do much or any Pull Ups) to Advanced
  • Statistics and progress tracking included!

For workout plans, nutrition and all you need to train at home check out Madbarz Premium.

4. Extra advice and motivation

Do the exercises at the beginning of your workout

If your goal is to get the Muscle Up as soon as possible then focus on it as the first thing in your workout. That way your strength is still optimal and your central nervous system is fresh – it's very important for learning new skills. But don't forget to warm up first.

Try the old school Madbarz Muscle Up Hunt routine

Many have managed to get their first Muscle Up with this Madbarz classic.

Right click and Save as to get a bigger picture of the workout

Don't give up, it's not impossible

After trying a million times one day it will And when it does maybe it won't even be just the first one. Some people do 3,4,7... in a row on their first day.

Once they made it, a lot of people get the „How come it took me so long?“ feeling. A new skill requires a lot of work in your brain, but once it's there, everything falls into place.

Lose some weight

If you have extra fat to loose it can help you get the Muscle Up faster. Basically you'll be pulling up less weight, so taking care of your strength and weight issues first will give you a solid base for better progression in the Muscle Up. For faster fat loss try the high intensity workouts that have an after burn effect.

Visualize your success

With new skills it's really helpful to spend a lot of time watching others do them and use your imagination to promote creating new images in your brain. Watch videos to get hyped up on the Muscle Up before your training.


There's no magic trick. Muscle Up is a combination of your strength, technique and character. It's a tough skill to develop but you won't fail unless you give up. Stay dedicated and let us know when you succeed!

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Post a comment

  • madbarz 111 workouts (level 10)
    @skeletonics The detailed step-by-step tutorial for Muscle Up is included in the Platinum Pack ;) February 24, 2016
  • madbarz 111 workouts (level 10)
    @falamarzian false grip is not a must, but it can help you get over the bar. February 24, 2016
  • skeletonics 0 workouts (level 1)
    Soon!!! This simple article gives me lots of motivation! How many times per week should I train the exercises? February 16, 2016
  • falamarzian 14 workouts (level 8)
    also can you make a article about how to get over the bar for the muscle up, or does that come naturally as you get stronger? January 20, 2016
  • falamarzian 14 workouts (level 8)
    you do not need the false grip to achieve the muscle up, strength is the only thing that matters for the muscle am I right? January 20, 2016

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