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Muscle Up Series | Part 3

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Turnover and Transition Muscle Up
The final  component of the muscle up puzzle comes down to the transition of getting up and over the rings.

Usually the athlete may have the strength of both the push and the pull but can find it quite difficult to piece it all together.

There are a few different variations of drills to practice this transition step, however, the major key is to be fast, aggressive and to use the momentum from a powerful hip drive rather than pulling from the arms.

It is best to think about keeping the rings close to you, so that you are able to catch yourself safely on top of the rings before driving out of the bottom of the dip position!

Drill 1 – Master the False Grip Aka Broken Wrist


False-grip in gymnastics is a special grip, where the wrist is already on top of the rings. The best part about the false-grip is that there is no need to rotate your hands in order to get your body into a good ‘catch’ position — which makes it easier to perform muscle-ups without your hands tearing to shreds.

Training your false-grip is a great way to strengthen your grip, wrists, and improve your wrist and elbow mobility!

At GW Performance, there are a few different steps we like to take our athletes through when starting to practice the false-grip, as this is a movement it can be quite uncomfortable to get used to.

Step 1- False Grip with Knee support on Low rings 

Step 2- False Grip with bent arms and extended legs


Step 3- False Grip with extended arms and one foot off box

Step 4- False Grip On high-rings in extended position

Drill 2- Mastering the Kip

Do you know the difference between a kip and a swing?
The kip is a gymnastics movement which we hold control over, where a swing is controlled by gravity, and you have the ability to control and alter your position dramatically.

The two most important positions which make up the kip swing for the muscle up are the hollow and superman holds. When we translate these two positions to the rings, we want to begin with small tight kip for about 4-5 reps hitting each position as best as possible. The kipping movement should generate no bent knees and maintain tension within the body the entire time.

We want to generate the movement from our hips (although we also need to present power towards the push and pull on the rings themselves) so we can continue to stay in a nice strong position the entire time.

A great way to keep tension between swings is to place a playing card or a piece of paper between your feet, allowing you to keep a locked position throughout the entire skill.

Drill — Feet assisted transition on low rings

Using a set of low rings about belly button height set yourself up as you would for a ring row

Start with your legs bent, your feet planted on the ground in front of you and rings over your shoulders at arm’s length (similar to setting up for ring rows, just with bent legs).

  • Pull yourself into the rings keeping a nice tight position, before throwing your shoulders up and over with your chest coming through at the top to finish in the bottom of a drip position
  • Remember to think about pulling your rings down towards your hips, and not too high into your armpits.
  • Feet stay on the ground throughout the drill, think about using your hips! Not jumping yourself upwards.
  • Think about pulling yourself high and fast enough so that you experience a split second of weightlessness throughout the transition, find your wings and fly!

Once you’ve mastered this drill with your feet flat on the floor we can challenge ourselves throughout setting up a box to put your feet on. This uses more gravity as resistance, providing an even greater challenge version of this drill.

Drill 4– Band assisted transition on low rings

Once you have become more comfortable with the false grip and the kip on the rings the next phase is working on the hips to allow the powerful drive getting you up and over into a good catch position.

  • Using a set of low rings attach a small band to one and loop into the other to provide seated assistance. The band should be sitting nicely across your butt like a swing as you lay back, as you hold the rings with straight arms and a tight hollow body position.
  • Get into your false grip as best as possible allowing your arms to stay straight whilst you lay back.
  • Push your hips down against the band to allow the reflex reaction to assist popping your hips up to the rings. After you have had a few attempts pop your hips up while quickly pulling the rings down towards your hips, then throw your chest and shoulders through like the fastest sit up you have ever done. For females we like to say smack your ponytail into your face!
  • It is important to keep the rings close and pulled into your sides as you catch yourself in the bottom of the ring dip. We like to call this the superman transition! Think about ripping your shirt apart as you as you transition, not allowing those rings to come away from the body. By the end you should be clearly over the rings with your chest towards the floor, in the bottom position of your ring dip, ready to kip yourself into an extended position.


The final step is putting everything together and finding the courage to attempt that first muscle up! Before going for your first attempt go through stages 1-4 thinking about how you can portray each step in your final attempt!

Find some aggression, don’t overuse your kip for too many attempts. Don’t burn yourself out! You do not want to practice muscle ups under muscle fatigue, if it isn’t happening after the first few attempts then leave it for the day and come back another to try again!

Watch the demonstration video below of the drills, to see which stage you’re up to!

If you’re looking to master this movement with the help of a coach, just send a message to me, at, or send us a message on our Facebook page.