The muscle up is one of my favourite exercises, maybe because it combines two of my other favourites the dip and the pull up! The muscle up is one of the best upper body exercises you can possibly do, it hits just about every single muscle in your upper body. It also combines both pulling and pushing movements, making it a balanced exercise. Today we'll be talking about how to perform a muscle up on a set of rings (Muscle ups can also be performed on a bar as I have written about in the past).
Getting Stronger: First things first, you need to get very comfortable performing both chin ups/pull ups and dips on the rings. You're dips should be deep and you should be capable of performing pull ups/chin ups high enough to touch your chest to the rings. Once you can perform multiple reps with control and tight form, you can move onto muscle up progressions.
False Grip: Before you attempt your progressions you need to be familiar with a false grip on rings. The false grip will allow you to transition from your pull up into your dip. To perform the false grip on the rings, curl your hands in towards in the inside of your fore arms, then grip the rings and allow your the side of your wrists and hands to rest on the rings. Then hang from this position, it may take time to get comfortable holding this grip. See the video above for visual.
Progressions: Once your performing multiple pull ups and dips it will be time to try some progressions to help you achieve the muscle up on rings! A few that I used for myself and also use for my clients are, jumping muscle ups, knees to feet muscle ups, and negatives. Jumping muscle ups are performed by setting the rings just above head height, gripping them in a false grip, and giving a light hop up to help perform the muscle up. Knees to feet muscle ups are performed by lowering the rings to shoulder height and gripping the rings in a false grip, then kneeling down and sitting on your feet. From that position you pull up, and transition into the dip phase by allowing your legs to support your slightly, then finally finishing with a full dip. Negatives are performed by jumping up into the fully extended dip position and then slowly lowering down to the dead hang pull up position. All of these are excellent progressions to help you become comfortable with the muscle up and help you on the path towards performing the full muscle up on rings. Try combining them together.
The Muscle Up On Rings: Now that all the progressions have become a little too easy, it's time to try the muscle up on rings! Remember, keep your elbows tight to the body and don't let them flair out, a kick is ok to help you transition, over time you'll need less of a kick to transition to the dip. Remember to pull to your chest, and get a slight lean back. Most importantly, give it some time ... the muscle up will come and you don't want to rush it and risk injury.