Why the muscle-up exercise helps you climb

Static and precise climbing is important. But sometimes you need dynamism. In today's post, Christoph Völker shows you why the muscle-up training exercise is important for climbing.

A contribution by Christoph Völker - target10a.com

In this post, I want to advertise again for an exercise that was personally a key exercise for better climbing and bouldering - namely the muscle-up - a very explosive pull-up, in which you are over the bar in the support suppressed. The main focus of the article is on how you can learn the muscle-up. But first I want to explain to you very briefly why this exercise brings so much for climbing and bouldering.

Why is the muscle-up so helpful for better climbing?

This is because climbing is largely a relatively static and slow sport. At least as a beginner you learn that mostly all trains are statically feasible and you quickly get used to this climbing style. Even more so if you are climbing with rope - the fear of falling often prevents a dynamic pull.

However, if the levels of difficulty increase, a more dynamic climbing style is unlikely to contribute to climbing efficiency, even if the trains could also be solved statically. With dynamics, the effort of a train is usually lower, and in addition, you also progress faster and have a time advantage. In my opinion, the less effort is more important than the time advantage.

Training exercise muscle-up

Since the explosiveness, the speed, the dynamics, or whatever you call it, is hardly or not at all practiced by everyday climbing, exercises are required for this - and the muscle-up is simply the exercise to pull the train -Explosiveness in the shoulder girdle.

Now, admittedly, muscle-up is a very demanding exercise that very few can master. Fortunately, there are a number of easier exercises so that you can slowly approach the muscle-up.

The path to muscle-up

Form the basis for this Pull-ups, pull-ups and pull-ups again, If you can't do at least 10 to 15 pull-ups, you don't have to try the muscle-up yet. But what you can already do in this phase is to make the pull-ups increasingly dynamic. That simply means pulling yourself up faster and more explosively.

If that works quite well, you can try the two best direct exercises for muscle-up: The Chest Bump Pull-Ups and the Flying Knees.

With the chest bump pull-ups you do a very explosive pull-up with the aim of touching the bar with your chest. If that works well, you can also briefly detach your hands from the bar at top dead center.

The Flying Knees work in a similar way, except that you are not trying to touch the pole with your chest but with one or both thighs. So you get maximum momentum from your arms and at the same time pull one or both knees up and can also quickly release your hands from the bar at top dead center.

With both exercises you learn very nicely not only to generate the dynamics from the arms and the back, but to get the momentum out of a pre-stretch with the whole body in a kind of wave. So you learn to use the stretch reflex in the shoulder area at the bottom dead center of the exercises, which helps you to start the new repetition explosively.

Exercise for the muscle-up

As soon as you master these two exercises, it's time to try the muscle up. The big challenge with muscle-up is to put your hands on the bar at the top dead center of the explosive tightening so that you can push yourself all the way up in the support.

To create the necessary swing, you can also use your knees to help by pulling them jerkily at the right moment and then abruptly blocking them shortly before the 90 ° bend of the thighs in order to create an upward swing.

The muscle-up step by step

  1. At the lowest point of the movement we build up a pre-tension by pushing your chest forward and swinging with our feet from behind - our body then makes an arc, like the letter C!
  2. Then we pull ourselves up on the pole as explosively as possible and at the same time cause an upward swing with our feet and legs by pulling them towards the rod.
  3. However, you stop or block your legs halfway up to have the momentum to help you with the most critical and difficult part of the exercise:
  4. Namely, that you then turn your hands at this point to finally get the center of gravity over the bar.
  5. The repositioning of the hands looks so that you are almost momentarily in a kind of weightlessness due to the generated swing from arms and legs, in the moment of which you take advantage of turning the hands on the bar by almost 180 ° forwards!
  6. At the end of this maneuver, the elbows are almost directly over the bar and depending on how much momentum you have left at this point, you either fly to the end position or you have to push yourself up from the arms into the support !
  7. From there you start immediately with the rapid lowering down into the body tension in order to start the new repetition there.

It is all very difficult at the beginning, but luckily there is still a way to get in easier. And that in which you have a not too high chin-up bar, where you can still jump off the floor a little. The distance can also be fine-tuned with a box or pedestal.

By jumping off, it is easier to learn the movement of the grip on the pole at the beginning, since you need a little less explosive power.

In addition, it is also okay for the beginning if you bring the arms asymmetrical, i.e. unclean, first over the bar and then the other arm.

As a motivation, I want to tell you that it is definitely worth working on to learn the muscle-up - even if it is a long way for one or the other to get a first muscle-up on the way there you will do a lot for your explosiveness and athleticism, which will definitely help you with climbing and bouldering!

With this in mind, I hope to have motivated and inspired you for this exercise - do it well until next time!

That might interest you

You want to know more about the training?

Other Training tips can be found here.

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You can find articles for your personal training www.target10a.com

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Credits: Cover picture WILLPOWER STUDIOS

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