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Teaching the Muscle-up to a Large Group: Part 2 by Pat Sherwood, Chuck Carswell and Chris Spealler - CrossFit Journal

Teaching the Muscle-up to a Large Group: Part 2

By Pat Sherwood, Chuck Carswell and Chris Spealler

Video Article

The muscle-up doesn’t have to be some mystical beast tamable only by the elite. Anyone can learn and perform muscle-ups using progressions and scaling. In this video series, learn how HQ trainer Pat Sherwood coaches his athletes through the gymnastics movement.

In Part 2, Sherwood continues his discussion on how to coach athletes through the progressions for a muscle-up. First, he gets his athletes practicing the movement on the low rings using leg assistance. He walks the athletes through the positions, starting below the rings and working on pulling the sternum to the rings before adding a dive through the rings and then a press to push the whole body up. Sherwood also goes over the common faults a coach should look for and how to fix them. Fellow HQ trainers Chuck Carswell and Chris Spealler join Sherwood to help demonstrate some helpful coaching cues.

Sherwood shares an analogy used by HQ trainer Adrian Bozman: the high rings are the test and the low rings are where you study and practice the movement. This is especially important for athletes who attempt muscle-ups on the high rings and fail.

“They need to come back down here and study so they get better at that technique,” Sherwood says.

6min 53sec

Additional reading: Muscling Through It by Dave Whitty, published May 1, 2009.

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13 Comments on “Teaching the Muscle-up to a Large Group: Part 2”


wrote …

Great comment at the end Chris. Really helps. Thanks!


wrote …

awesome! thx so much guys!


EC S wrote …



Dane Thomas wrote …

Wonderful technique cues from everybody here, should help bring this skill to a much wider range of people.

Another thing that I have found helpful on the low rings is doing reps of very slow negative transitions from the deep ring dip to the hands-to-sternum position. It really helps lock in a solid understanding of the false grip, as well as building strength in all of the necessary positions. Anybody can be taught to go through the motion safely and correctly. As the strength builds the progression is from slower eccentric contractions, to holds in a variety of different positions, to momentum-assisted concentric movements, to slow concentric transitions from a static position.

I've got a kipping MU now but it has been about 25 years (and 25 pounds) since I could do multiple slow static ones. Looking forward to getting those back!


wrote …

like zidane at the last fifa world cup, try to hit with your head at the top of it.....that really helped me!!


wrote …

like zidane at the last fifa world cup, try to hit with your head at the top of it.....that really helped me!!


wrote …

Great video. What a session. Imagine having Pat and Chuck teaching you, and oh, by the way - Chris Spealler is sitting in the corner and has a little more advice for you.


wrote …

Great video. I have been working on strict muscle ups and those tips on the progressions and Chris' tip for leaning back on the pull were very helpful.
Thanks you.


Chris Sinagoga wrote …

awesome video.

Pat, how bout some more Zone Chronicles?? those are great.


wrote …

Thanks Pat.

Some great tips to keep in mind and take with me to the gym to work on.


wrote …

For a long time I had a MU, then I didn't have an MU, I would have it... blah blah blah. I had no idea why I had it sometimes and not others. Since watching this I haven't missed. That head drill of passing/pressing through versus UP was my dilemma. Thank you for not ever watching me do a MU, but pegging my problem. :)


wrote …

"I usually demo that, too..." classic Pat Sherwood!


wrote …

Thanks so much. I'll be working to get my first muscle up for the next few weeks!

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