3 Common Issues When it Comes to Ring Muscle-ups

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3 Common Issues When it Comes to Ring Muscle-ups

Ring Muscle up!

The elusive muscle up. The movement that has frustrated CrossFit athletes everywhere, perhaps keeping them from checking “RX” on the daily WOD, plummeting them down the Open leaderboard or spending half their workout staring at the rings. If you are reading this and want to get your first muscle up, you’re in the right place. If you have done one or two but can’t string them together or have days where you can’t get over the rings at all, you’re also in the right place.


1. You aren’t strong enough.

2. You haven’t practiced the basic drills enough.

3. You aren’t spending enough time on the rings.

You need foundational strength.

A base line of strength to support yourself in such an explosive and dynamic movement. The ring muscle up requires a lot of strength to keep your body safe while doing it. We usually set a base line of 5 strict chest to bar pull ups and 10 ring dips in a row to have a go. This will ensure that you are strong enough to look after yourself when you pull, catch and dip.

Its like any workout, you wouldn’t do “Fran” RX if your 1rm thruster was 30kg and you could only do 1 pull up. You build and build until you are able to get to that next level- RX.

Practice makes perfect

There are levels when it comes to learning complex movements. Breaking movements down to simpler and less taxing exercises will help you master each phase of a movement before stringing them all together. There’s no point in attempting a ring muscle up if you have no idea or aren’t 100% sure how to transition… OR how the kip is meant to feel and look like?

These complex movements need 100% confidence in each phase to keep yourself safe and complete the movement.

Get on those rings!

You may be strong enough, worked for months on all the simple drills and maybe even scored yourself a ring muscle up or two, BUT you cant consistently get them… Some days you have a good run and some days you cant even get one. TIME on the rings is your answer. If the movement pattern is good and the strength is there, then your looking at the building volume phase. Get on those rings at least 2-3 times a week- practicing drills, strength, kipping, anything. The more you get on those rings, the more your building endurance on them. Its like the snatch, if you only do it once a month it feels foreign, like your getting no where and usually you aren’t able to lift as much. Every movement is the same!

Everyone will be at a different stage with the ring muscle up. Figure out where you are and make sure you have mastered the basics at the start before going to the finish line. There is no secret recipe or quick fix.

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