I got my first bar muscle up back in September 2011. Since accomplishing that long term goal I sort of moved more onto other things like trying to build up my BBR endurance, hand balancing and levers.
A couple weeks ago I committed myself mentally to continue working on my muscle ups which form-wise have never been good. My reps always have a lot of kip and the kip itself is often very ugly with one leg or the other flailing out of control. Last night I wanted to see if I could clean up the movement.
I would film a rep, watch it back and then try again with the goal being to keep my lower body under control and perform the movement explosively using mostly upper body strength. The first several reps weren’t good. Some I didn’t even get over the bar and the ones where I did, still didn’t look great.
Each fail or messy rep was turning up my internal frustration dial a few degrees. Finally on my 6th or 7th attempt I had a good strong pull that had a small but much more controlled kip. I tried to imprint that feeling in my mind so I can build upon it going forward.
Watching back the reps pointed out some more weirdness in my muscle up form. As I am hitting the transition, my left elbow is much higher than my right. They are supposed to be more or less aligned during the transition. This probably explains why I typically will do the left side first when my reps become “one overs”.
There are so many things I try to think about when I do my muscle up reps that they sort of start running together, pull hard, drive your shoulders over your wrists, exhale as you pull, control the kip, go around the bar…. now I need to add to that, keep your elbows even.
Anyway I was pretty happy with that last rep as it showed me that technique is my biggest obstacle to better reps instead of strength.
I wound up the session doing a few bar overs, another one of those moves that should be easy that I have struggled with in the past. After taking a few pointers I did a couple reps that weren’t beautiful as my ostrich legs flipped up and over the bar but still a big improvement from the video below where you see my starting point awhile ago.