strength required for muscle ups?


First Post
People who have told me how to learn muscle ups have told me it’s mostly technique rather than raw strength although clearly you need a decent amount of upper body strength. I don’t want to invest time and effort into learning the technique if I’m simply not strong enough yet so basically I’m asking how many consecutive pull-ups should I be able to do to possess the ability to perform a muscle up?

Steve Freides

Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@WilsonPatel, part of strength is technique. If you'd like to post some video of you performing a pullup or a few, that might help. I'd say at least 10 pullups @ bw only would be the minimum to do anything beyond more pullups. And if you can do 10 pullups, then add some weight and see what you can accomplish that way.



Level 4 Valued Member
I got my first muscle up at 45 YO having never trained for more than 6 reps of pullups. I was doing weighted pullups though so my case was probably a bit different than most. As Steve wrote a base of 10 bodyweight pullups before starting training for a muscle up is probably a good idea.

For some of your pullup training practice some high pulls, start by pulling to the chest rather than just getting your chin over the bar and when you can do that focus on pulling as high as possible (bar to the lower chest or further) and really work on that explosive pullup.

That being said a muscle up is really about technique, if you get a slight swing going and bounce out of an arch at the bottom it makes it infinitely easier than a strict gymnastic muscle up on rings.

This vid shows what I mean about bouncing out of the bottom position and goes on to explain the transition and the dip once you've cleared the bar.

Peter Yeates

Level 6 Valued Member
What @Tarzan said, I also got my first muscle-up after regularly doing weighted pullups to the chest. I personally find the rings strict muscle-up easier then the bar muscle-up, maybe because I learnt the MU on the rings.


Halfling Monk, Chaotic Neutral
Elite Certified Instructor
I personally find the rings strict muscle-up easier then the bar muscle-up, maybe because I learnt the MU on the rings.
Same. When "strict" means STRICT, the rings are definitely easier because of how it allows the body to "go through" rather than having to move oneself around the bar. With momentum in the picture however, the bar takes it.
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