A1 Front Squat 3-3-3-3-3
A2 Floor Press 3-3-3-3-3
This time last year… we featured GinaP as our Member of the Month!
Muscle ups vs. No False Grip Muscle ups
Muscle ups in gymnastics are nothing more than a means to get from hanging position with your body below the rings to a support position with your body above the rings. From a skill level according to gymnsaticsbodies.com, they barely register. Since most of us are not gymnasts, we would disagree with this thought and in fact it place it as one of the most advanced gymnastics skills we use in our training, right up there with pistol squats and freestanding handstands. A true muscle up, has no kip, it is as its name implies a m-u-s-c-l-e up not a kip up. For body weight strength development, achievement of a kipping muscle up should not be viewed that as the end goal, but a progression toward L-seated muscle ups, strict muscle ups, and weighted muscle ups.
That’s not to take away from all the 1st time muscle ups we’ve been seeing lately, I think it’s great. Getting a kipping muscle up requires a great deal more strength than a dead hang pull up or chest to bar pull up and should be viewed as a great achievement. But if you’ve gotten there, know that there’s more on the body weight strength side of things.
In addition, if you’re viewing CrossFit as a sport and not just a training method, there is a better technique for performing high reps of muscle ups than using a false grip, kipping or strict. We teach the false grip because it is the gymnastics method and puts your hands in the proper position for the bottom of the dip. In other words, this is what you should be doing if you’re working toward a strict muscle up. The other option is a kipping muscle up without a false grip, and if you’re a Games athlete you should have these in your tool box. These should be viewed as two distinctly different movements for different purposes just like the dead hang pull up and kipping pull up.
Why should a Games athlete learn a no false grip muscle up?
1. Multiple false grip muscles are slow because you have to reset the grip either at the top or the bottom, whereas with a no false grip there is no grip reset allowing you to quickly transition to the next rep.
2. Kipping as we know from Drywall is another word for cheating, and if you’re going to cheat you may as well not half a$$ it. Holding the rings in your fingers is a stronger more secure grip and also lengthens your levers allowing you to create more momentum in your kip. You will not be able to hold onto a false grip and kip as aggressively as is being suggested in the video below.
3. The skin on the pads of your hands (no false grip) can take a lot more abuse than the skin on your wrists (false grip).
4. It makes the dip far easier because you’ll be reducing the ROM.
The progression I used to teach myself the no false grip muscle up is based on Carl Paoli’s series on gymnastics wod. He goes through a 4 part progression that I highly encourage you to watch. This is link to the 1st progression: http://gymnasticswod.com/content/no-false-grip-muscle-progression-pt1
Carl does a great job walking through this, so I won’t regurgitate entire tutorial, but will give some color to the discussion. The key to the no false grip kipping muscle up is the pull and where you pull to. Think about which is the easiest option, a dip where the bottom is your arm pit, rib cage, or hips? Of course hips would be the winner and rib cage isn’t all that bad. Unfortunately, the rite of passage most of us have gone through on our first muscle up is only pulling toward our chest, which if you’re able to achieve the muscle up at all, results in the deepest dip you’ve ever had to do. This is not ideal and puts a ton of stress on your elbows and shoulders and failing half way through that turnover hurts even worse. On the hand, if you can pull toward your belly button you have the opportunity to transition into a much more comfortable dip that is not near as taxing on your body, making high volume far easier. Some of this is mindset of where you’re pulling to, but make no mistake, there’s a strength competent to pulling this deep that may need to be developed. Whatever your deepest pull up is, bottom of rib cage, belly button, hips, this should be your target when on the rings. If your target is lower than what your strength can get you to, you will not get your chest through on the transition. If these are in line and you can at least pull to the bottom of your rib cage you should be able to pull these off with a little work.
From a strength development point of view the kip will take away the initial pull, but it only gets you so high, finishing the pull toward your hips will require some pretty decent strength development. The carry over to the false grip muscle up is that you will have developed the ability to pull higher, with the goal being to pull to the bottom of your chest / middle of your rib cage area before your transition. Getting this high puts you in a more normal bottom of the dip versus that super low and deep turnover dip position that puts so much stress on the elbow.
I’m not in a ton these days, but I’d be happy to work with folks before my 6 a.m. class on Mondays or on the weekends on both strict muscle ups or these no false grip versions.