Muscle-Up Virtuosity: Part 1

By Laurie Galassi

In CrossFit, Gymnastics/Tumbling, Reference, Videos

February 19, 2012

Video Article

CrossFit Santa Cruz’s Laurie Galassi is a gymnast and CrossFit coach. In this instructional video, she breaks down that most challenging CrossFit movement: the muscle-up.

Focusing first on body shapes and hand position, Galassi explains how very small adjustments can make a big difference on the rings.

Of course, the false grip is critical to success, and no, it isn’t very comfortable. For those who tend to get red and raw wrists, Galassi has a quick-and-easy taping technique that will help you avoid leaving blood on the rings.

8min 4sec

Additional reading: The Muscle-Up by Greg Glassman, published Nov. 1, 2002.

Free Download


16 Comments on “Muscle-Up Virtuosity: Part 1”


wrote …

Thanks for the taping tip-can't wait to try it!


wrote …

Hey Laure: My wishes I have been heard! Loved part one and looking forward to part 2. Quick question: when I miss my MU, I noticed my hands come loose very easily. Is this because my grip is not tight enough?

Hoping you will do some seminars soon!

thanks again and I hope you will do a tutorial on bar muscle and hand stand pushups as well.



wrote …

Can't wait to watch the rest of the series! I just got my first muscle up this past week, but I know I need a LOT of work on my form and technique, so Im super excited to see what she has to say!


wrote …

Thanks for the taping tip ... Going to try it that way!


wrote …

Mind = Blown on taping the wrist! I've always taped it around but would bother me if I had to do push ups or something.


wrote …

Great session Laurie. Thanks!


wrote …

Excellent , looking forward to part 2.


wrote …

This question should probably be posted to the pullup video from a week or so ago but....Does anyone have any suggestions on how to develop the "hook grip" this video talks about? Specifically as it pertains to bar work, ie pullups, toes to bar etc. I can hold a false grip on the rings but when I go to a bar I struggle to keep my hands on top of the bar and usually end up using a fingers only grip. The only practice I can think of is to just hang on the bar in that pseudo false grip position until failure, which for me is not very long.

Just to be clear I'm not talking about using a hook grip on a barbell.


replied to comment from Kevin Seaman

And farmer's carries. I know you're talking about the pull up bar, but the strength gained will transfer. And just keep practicing that false grip on the bar. You'll get better at it. Constant vigilance is the only way to get better.


replied to comment from Kevin Seaman


Funny you should ask, Rogue Fitness just posted a video to youtube (link below) featuring a world champion arm wrestler about ways to build false grip strength. Arm wrestlers use a false grip when grabbing the competitor's hand so his suggestions are probably worth trying. I will admit that I haven't been able to try them because the video was just posted to their facebook page today.


replied to comment from Brent Willey

Interesting. That advice to grip things way back in your hand is very different from what Rippetoe said about how grip when pulling on a bar:

That said, I think I'm starting to understand this stuff. During one of these journal videos, someone pointed out that you must always ask, "What's the purpose?" For me, I want to get a muscle up. I don't think I have experienced callus problems during MUs, so I guess I'll go ahead and grip the ring way back up in my hand.


wrote …

feels blessed for taking an decision of subscribing Journals...


replied to comment from larry walker

good one larry...


replied to comment from larry walker

Larry great video, its good to get another opinion especially from such a knowledgeable coach. I think however a distinction needs to be made between pulling on a barbell, versus pulling on a gymnastics bar. Gymnastics bar pulling is very dependent on how far away that bar is, the farther away it is the farther we have to travel. For barbell pulling it seems less important how long our arms are. What really matters is that the force we produce translates from our body into the bar. I use a fingers grip when doing deads and oly lifts and feel strong with it. For pullups I have always done a fingers style grip but I tear a lot and my fingers are weak and are usually the limiting factor in determining how long I can stay on the bar. For gymnastics bar work I will take Coach Galassi's advice. For barbell work I will continue with what has been working.

Also Coach Rippetoe didn't flex his wrist when he grabbed the barbell with his palm. This is a different grip then what was previously recommended by Coach Galassi so its sorta comparing apples to oranges. I guess I just shouldn't do a palm grip with a soft wrist on a gymnastics bar or barbell, which is intuitive.


Frank DiMeo wrote …

Always great coaching!


wrote …

Hi, great tutorial. Saw a lot of other videos, but this one did the trick:-)
Great build-up and coaching!

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