If you’ve seen guys press their bodies up to the ceiling at the top of their pull-ups, you’ve probably wondered about this seemingly difficult movement.

Exactly how strong do you have to be to complete one and how beneficial are muscle-ups?

Are You Strong If You Can Do A Muscle-Up?

Yes, a muscle-up is a very difficult calisthenics exercise that combines the pull-up and the dip. Very few people can perform one and if you can, you should consider yourself strong.

What Is A Muscle-Up?

The muscle-up is an advanced strength training exercise that is part of the calisthenics domain. Calisthenics is a form of strength training where the movements use body weight. They are intended to increase strength, fitness, and flexibility.

They require a lot of agility, balance and coordination. Push-ups, pull-ups, and dips are examples. They usually involve using bars or are done outdoors.

The muscle-up combine a pull-up, kip, and dip all into one exercise. They target the back, shoulders, arms and core to a great extent.

Being an extreme movement with a lot of force used, it is very important that you properly warm up and stretch out the muscles before attempting. Stretch out your shoulders, back, and legs thoroughly first.

You are jolting your body up quickly to try to get it above the bar. If done without warming up you can easily injure yourself, putting you out of the gym.

If you have rotator cuff issues, it may be smart to avoid this exercise all together.

How To Do Muscle-Ups

You must have a lot of pulling and pressing strength to performed a muscle-up. You also must be lean, the more body weight you have to pull up and get above the bar, the more difficult the movement will be. Learn how you can boost your metabolism to burn excess fat here.

First you must master the pull up. If you can do about 10 pull ups with perfect form, you are well on your way to completing a muscle-up. However, it takes more than just pulling strength.

Begin by trying to performed a hip to bar pull up. Similar to a pull-up, start with hands slightly outside shoulder width. Perform a pull-up but you must use your hips and legs to generate power to pull yourself up very quickly.

As you come up, you want to drive your hips towards the bar. This will take time and practice to master. Don’t expect to nail it the first few times.

Once you’ve got better at these, try to end the movement with your chest above the bar and your head looking down. To get stronger at this next part of the movement, straight bar dips are a great exercise.

Next you will do the bar muscle-up. So, once you’ve swung your head and chest over the bar, you now need to push your upper body up above the bar. You have completed the most difficult part of the movement and now you need to use some chest and triceps strength.

All you need to do now is performed a dip and push your body straight up.

You can then hop back down to the beginning of the movement and see how many you can do in a row.

Some other great exercises to strengthen yourself for the muscle-up are weighted pull-ups. They will allow you to add the explosiveness to your pull-ups required to get your body up to the bar. They will also further strengthen your back muscles.

Ring pull-ups and ring dips are great for strengthening the muscles required. Ring dips will build all the stabilizer muscles used in the muscle-up.

Standing straight bar pull downs are also great for helping you pull your body up above the bar.

Consider increasing your grip strength by doing deadlifts without straps, forearm exercises, and farmers walk’s. You can also purchase hand grip strengtheners to use. View the cheapest option here.

Are Muscle-Ups A Good Determination Of Strength?

Yes, majority of guys who can do muscle-ups are shredded. You need a strong back, core, and arms. If any of these are lagging behind, it will be difficult to perform one.

Having multiple exercises and body parts used in one makes it extremely difficult. Many people struggle just to do pull ups or dips, and this exercise combines them both.

If you can do a muscle-up you have not only impressive strength, but balance and coordination as well.

Also, take into consideration that about 1% of people can do muscle-ups. You probably don’t many people that do. And if you do, they have probably been lifting in the gym for years. This further prove that they are a great determination of strength.


Muscle-ups will improve your grip strength as you have to be able to not only hold up your weight, but also swing it up above the bar. Grip strength will help in most back movements and even the bench press.

They are also a great way to build up arm strength. Your biceps and forearms are worked when you pull yourself up towards the bar. The triceps then take over and are worked when you do the dip part of the movement.

You can also expect to build you core muscles as they are stabilizing your entire body throughout the exercise. By squeezing your abs through the movement, you will find that you can generate more power and keep your body more stable as well.

Muscle-ups can build some great glutes? Similar to the abs, the glute muscles also brace and help generate a lot of lower body power to drive your body up.

Your back muscles will benefit lots from muscle-ups. Pull ups are one of the greatest overall back builders as they target the entire back muscles. By springing up quickly you are activating a lot of fast twitch muscle fibers, resulting in a lot of back muscle growth.

This will help with getting the v-taper physique that everyone desires.

This is why muscle-ups are a great movement to master, they can build several muscles at once. They also require a lot of energy as you swing your body up and over the bar. This results in more calories being burned and helps promote fat loss.

How many muscle-ups can you do?

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