Muscle Up Mobility

The muscle up is a CrossFit skill that often takes athletes a long time to develop and perfect. I’ve previously published two articles (1 and 2) to help you develop a framework for developing this movement. The drills give you a great progression to get your first muscle up. BUT THERE IS ONE PROBLEM…WHAT IF YOU DON’T HAVE PROPER MOBILITY TO PERFORM A MUSCLE UP?

The mobility component of the muscle up is arguably the least assessed pre-requisite to this movement. Without sufficient mobility, the movement become significantly more difficult. Let’s break it down… 

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Step 1: Can you perform a full depth ring dip under control with the biceps coming into contact with the rings? If so, proper mobility for the muscle up transition is present. If not, we need to better pinpoint where to work on our mobility.

Step 2: Assess shoulder extension by having a partner lift your arm while you lie on your stomach. The partner must be sure to keep the arm in line with the body and not let any trunk rotation occur.

Step 3: Flip one onto your back and position elbow on a foam roller with the shoulder abducted to 90 degrees. Your partner then internally rotates the shoulder and assesses how much motion is present. Ideally, we’d like to see the hand reach the stomach as shown in the video.

 

If you need to improve shoulder internal rotation try this exercise set:

 

For shoulder extension deficits try crab walks to improve your mobility:

Once better mobility is in place, the transition from the pul-lup to the dip during the muscle up will be much easier. They you can work through transition drills to improve your technique and use this training plan to help get you there!

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