The muscle-up, also known as the bar muscle-up or the strict muscle-up, is a calisthenics exercise that uses your bodyweight to activate muscle groups throughout your body. Perform muscle-ups by grabbing hold of a pull-up bar. Use a false grip with your thumbs above the bar. Keep your body in a hollow hold position with your lats engaged, legs straight, and toes pointed. While maintaining a strong core, lift your body with a movement pattern similar to a pull-up. Once your chest is higher than the bar, lean forward and push into the bar to lift your body up with a [dip movement](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/bench-dip-exercise-guide). Lower yourself carefully and repeat this movement for the desired number of repetitions. \nMuscle-up training can add several benefits to your workout routine.\n\n1. __Muscle-ups can increase your upper body strength__. Muscle-ups activate your triceps, lats, deltoids, and pectorals. \n2. __Muscle-ups can enhance your grip strength__. With practice, muscle-ups work your forearm muscles and strengthen your grip for other compound exercises like bar pull-ups, [chin-ups](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/chin-up-guide), and deadlifts. \n3. __Muscle-ups can improve your mobility__. The muscle-up movement pattern includes a transition phase between a pull-up and a dip, moving your elbows and shoulders through a full range of motion. \nFor muscle-ups, begin by performing 2–5 sets of 3–10 repetitions. Choose your sets and repetitions based on your ability to maintain good technique throughout.\n\n1. Grab the pull-up bar with a false grip with your thumb above the bar or a full grip. Your hands should be about shoulder-width or slightly wider than your shoulders. If you’re unable to grab the pull-up bar, stand on a plyometric box or a secure flat bench. \n2. Step off of the box and allow your legs to hang. Your arms and legs should be long. Your elbows should be slightly bent. Squeeze your glutes and quads. Engage your core. Your ribs should be down and your pelvis should be slightly tucked.\n3. Rotate your shoulders outward to engage your lats. Your shoulder blades should be upwardly rotated away from your spine. Your chin should remain tucked throughout the movement, as if you were holding an egg under your chin. All repetitions should begin from this starting position.\n4. Initiate the upward movement by quickly pulling down on the bar by using your lats and arms. Your pull should be fast and strong. Allow your legs to travel forward as you pull on the bar. Lean back slightly as your upper body travels toward the bar.\n5. Continue to pull yourself up until your chest is higher than the bar. Once your chest is higher than the bar, lean forward slightly and quickly push your upper body forward.\n6. Push yourself up by straightening your elbows as if you were finishing a dip. Your shoulders should finish slightly ahead of the bar.\n7. Begin the downward movement by bending your elbows to lower your chest toward the bar. Your shoulders should be slightly ahead of the bar.\n8. Allow your legs to travel forward and once your chest reaches the bar, rotate your upper body back and down around the bar.\n9. Lower your body back to the starting position.\nTry some of these muscle-up progressions to build strength. \n\n1. __Hollow body position__: Practice this beginner-level bodyweight exercise by holding your body in a dead hang position while keeping your core engaged and your pelvis tilted forward.\n2. __Band-assisted muscle-up__: For your first muscle-up, try wrapping one end of a resistance band to the pull-up bar and standing on the other end for support.\n3. __Straight bar dips__: If you’re having trouble with upward motion of the muscle-up transition, practice this variation by holding yourself at the top of the bar in a dip position with straight arms. Lower yourself slowly, activating your triceps, and lift back to the top position on every rep.\n4. __Negative muscle-up__: For a slightly easier variation than the traditional muscle-up, practice the negative muscle-up by focusing on the eccentric phase of the exercise—or the part of the exercise where you lower yourself. Start above the bar and focus on lowering your body carefully through a full range of motion. \n5. __Gymnastics ring muscle-up__: If you have access to gymnastics rings, practice this variation by lifting your body with the same strict muscle-up form as a bar muscle-up.\n6. __Kipping muscle-up__: Perform this advanced variation by using momentum to swing your body to the top position on the bar.\nIf you have a previous or pre-existing health condition, consult your physician before beginning an exercise program. Proper exercise technique is essential to ensure the safety and effectiveness of an exercise program, but you may need to modify each exercise to attain optimal results based on your individual needs. Always select a weight that allows you to have full control of your body throughout the movement. When performing any exercise, pay close attention to your body, and stop immediately if you note pain or discomfort.\n\nTo see continual progress and build body strength, incorporate proper warm-ups, rest, and nutrition into your exercise program. Your results will ultimately be based on your ability to adequately recover from your workouts. Rest for 24 to 48 hours before training the same muscle groups to allow sufficient recovery.\n\nThrow on some athleisure, fire up a [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com), and get ready to sweat it out with exclusive instructional videos from Nike Master Trainer and *GQ* fitness specialist Joe Holder. Want to improve your cardiovascular endurance? Give Joe’s HIIT workout a go. Trying to get a little swole? He’s got a strength training workout for that. From fitness tips to nutrition hacks, Joe will have you feeling healthier in no time.\nIf you’re looking for an advanced bodyweight exercise to include in your strength-training program, try muscle-ups.