In the world of calisthenics, there are a vast array of different movements and holds. Some are extremely simple and can be done by anyone and others, well, let’s just say that some of these other movements will require months or even years of practice.
Among this array of very difficult movements, you will find the muscle-up…
If you’re fairly well-versed in the area of calisthenics, then chances are, you’ve heard of the muscle-up. If not, let’s just say that the muscle-up is one of the more advanced movements you can do. It requires an extremely strong physique and perfect form to execute.
However, while this is certainly one of the more difficult movements, there is a variation of this movement that is far more demanding. It takes the muscle up to the next step in terms of difficulty and it is called the slow muscle-up. So, if you want to learn how to execute the slow muscle-up step by step, then keep on reading!
The slow muscle-up:
First, master the muscle-up before the slow muscle-up!
Listen, the slow muscle-up is no joke. Anyone new to the area of calisthenics will have great trouble indeed trying to perform it. Because of this, anyone attempting to complete their first slow muscle-up must first master the baby brother of this movement – (the muscle-up).
The standard muscle-up is the bread and butter of the slow muscle-up. It requires a very similar form but with a smaller degree of strength, which is why the muscle-up should be practiced first!
The standard muscle-up will allow you to learn and master the form whilst being able to develop the strength you need from this movement to advance to the more demanding variation – (the slow muscle-up).
All in all, before even attempting the slow muscle-up, perform the standard variation of this movement until you are confident enough to move to the next level.
The pseudo false grip method
After you’ve mastered the standard muscle-up variation, you will undoubtedly feel as though you are ready to take on the slow muscle-up. However, even though you may have mastered the standard variation of this movement, you may still struggle with the slow muscle-up…
While this may or may not be the case with you, it certainly has been for many in your shoes as the slow muscle-up is a very demanding movent. That being said, there are ways to get around this!
With the pseudo false grip method, you have a slightly easier version of the slow muscle-up. This slightly easier version means you can practically cheat your way into mastering the movement. So, let me quickly go over how to utilize this method!
How to execute the grip
As stated by the subtitle, this method involves nothing else but an altered grip. This altered grip should still be an overhand grip but it is the placement of the fingers and your hand itself that is different.
More specifically, to execute the pseudo false grip, you must ensure that your hands are curled over the top of the bar – (not your fingers). Whilst your hands are curled over, complete the motion resting your bodyweight entirely on the thickest parts of your hands.
This changed positioning of the hand means that you do not have to rotate your hands during the pushing up part of the movement, therefore making this exercise easier.
The overhand grip method
When referring to the difficulty of this grip, you should remember it as a slightly more advanced version of the pseudo grip. However, assuming you have successfully mastered the pseudo grip method, I would say you are qualified to take it up a notch!
Before I get into how to execute this grip method, you should know that the standard muscle-up grip doesn’t really work for the slow muscle-up…
Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t impossible to do the slow muscle-up with a standard grip. It is, however, significantly harder to do and there is a potential for injuries to your wrist.
How to execute the grip
As mentioned earlier, this grip does make the exercise a little more demanding, so keep this in mind when you apply this grip variant. So, to execute this grip, you must ensure a completely curved wrist on both arms.
This curved wrist posture must also be paired with an extended grip that sort of overlaps the bar.
When done correctly, your hands will present a sort of curved appearance, almost like you are hooking onto the bar. Keep in mind, while the pseudo grip does not require a wrist rotation towards the top of the movement, this grip does, therefore making it harder.
Things to keep in mind with the slow muscle-up…
Like all exercises, there are many factors at play. With regards to the slow muscle-up, let’s just say that there are quite a few and if they are not understood along the way, you may have trouble even being able to do the slow muscle-up.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some key pointers you should keep in mind when trying to do a slow muscle-up.
Keep your elbows pointed in. When performing any of the grips listed above, be sure to keep your elbows pointed in. This actively helps to engage your triceps and this drastically helps towards the end of the movement.
Practice the grips before the workout. Since it is highly likely that you have never done these grips before, you would greatly benefit from practicing them before doing the workouts. This will help prevent wrist injury and will help improve performance.
Keep your arms at shoulder-width apart. The last and final tip on this list is to make sure that you keep your arms shoulder-width apart. This not only allows for the most comfortable experience but it will help prevent any shoulder injuries.
All in all, with the tips provided above and the two best grip variants for the slow muscle-up, you should now possess the means to effectively and efficiently master this fantastic movement!