Ah, the elusive ring muscle up! It seems to be the last skill for many to achieve in the CrossFit gym. Many people are able to get themselves over the bar for a muscle up but the rings provide a different set of challenges, most importantly their instability. Here are a few reasons why you may still be struggling with the ring muscle up as well as some things to work on to finally check it off your goal list:
- Your pull is not strong enough. The vast majority of people don’t have the adequate amount of pulling strength needed to get over the top of the rings. Yes, a solid kip swing will help you, but only to a certain extent. We need to increase your pulling strength and power to help you master the ring muscle up. Work on your strict chest to ring pull up to develop that neutral grip pulling strength.
- Your core is not strong enough. How long can you hold a solid hollow body for? Your core plays an essential role in gymnastics, especially when we throw kipping into the mix. You need to be able to transfer your power from your hollow body to your arch position to be able to propel yourself up towards the rings! Work on hollow holds with weight to further develop your core strength.
- You haven’t taken the time to master the progressions. The ring muscle up is an advanced movement. The transition is complex and needs to be drilled to be understood. By failing to practice progressions that focus on the technique associated with the transition, you are missing out on a key component that may help you achieve the elusive ring muscle up. Take the time to go through different drills that work the transition phase of the muscle up and you may see that’s all the help you’ve needed!
- You’re not being explosive. The muscle up is, by nature, an aggressive movement. You need to be prepared to do an explosive sit-up over the top of the rings during the transition portion. If you miss this, you will most likely fail the rep! Think about throwing your head through a window, do your most aggressive GHD sit-up, and get over the top of the rings!
Most importantly, try not to put the muscle up on a pedestal. Yes, it is a cool skill that the most competitive athletes seem to post all over social media, but it is still only one small piece of the fitness pie! Remember to work on your weaknesses, develop your strengths, set goals, and have fun!