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The muscle up is considered one of best moves in calisthenics to illustrate sheer strength. It gives you an indication as to where your upper body is at strength wise and allows you to track your progression as you train over time.

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The muscle up uses a variety of muscles throughout your body, mainly in your back and shoulders. If you can’t do a muscle up right away, don’t worry! It’s a tough move and can take a significant amount of training to get there.

If you haven’t heard of calisthenics or body weight training, it may be something you want to check out. It’s becoming quite popular these days for a number of reasons. It’s extremely fun and challenging, and it builds your strength very quickly. Of course, you can build a ton of muscle doing calisthenics as well, but let’s focus on health here more than anything else.

Personally I began doing calisthenics because I was tired of the gym. I didn’t like the feel, clientele, or environment and I was getting bored just lifting weights. I’m a sports guy! I like moving my body, having a good time and challenging myself with cool things in between my sets. So I built a little bar set up in my backyard and began doing calisthenics. This allowed me to work out outside and actually enjoy what I was doing. Calisthenics is fun and it’s giving me the health results I was looking for.  You can read more about why I chose this path here.

How To Do A Muscle Up

We met up with Carlos from Body By Chosen and he showed us what the muscle up looks like and how to progress to being able to do it. Check out the video below for his tutorial. You can follow Carlos on Instagram at

1. Get comfortable doing about 10 pull ups. Work on doing explosive pull ups as well. Try to get your pull up to go as high as your belly meeting the bar.

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2. If you can’t do a pull up, begin with getting yourself up on the bar and work on your negatives slowly. This will help build strength.

3. Work on your straight bar dips. Try to get to about 10 – 15 of these.

4. Work on pull outs. Pull outs will give you the motion of pulling your body out to get your muscle up in the right motion.

5. You can also work on negatives from the top of a muscle up. Get to the top of a muscle up and slowly bring yourself down.

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