Muscleups are a notoriously hard upper body exercise, as they require you to both push and pull your bodyweight. Maksim Trukhonovets, an athlete from Minsk in Belarus, broke the world record for the highest number of consecutive muscleups in March 2018. He cranked out 26 reps in a minute and a half, a feat which nobody has been able to best in the last two years.
Before trying the muscleup yourself, you need to start by working on your pullups. “If you have a weak pullup, if you can only do chin over the bar pullups or eyeline to pole, it’s going to be very difficult to actually achieve the eventual movement,” says USA National Gymnastics champion David Durante.
You’ll need to perfect the false grip, a slight angle of the wrist between the forearm and palm that helps you pull yourself into strict muscle up position. Warming up your wrist (and shoulders) is crucial. Durante also recommends activation drills which mimic the pattern of the exercise:
“Movement pattern within gymnastics skills is one of the key components to being able to do these soundly, safely, and with good technique… Anytime we can take some of the strength out and we can focus completely on the movement pattern and better ranges of motion, it’s going to give your body a better understanding of how to do it naturally without you having to think about a thousand cues at the same time.”
Check out our complete guide to the perfect muscleup technique. Then, once you’ve mastered the muscleup, and you’re feeling like you might be able to bash out 2 minutes like Trukhonovets, check out the TRX muscleup, a variation which uses the lower body to assist in that push-pull pattern, allowing you to keep doing rep after rep.
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