5 Steps to Your First Ring Muscle Up

5 Steps to Your First Ring Muscle Up


Training on gymnastic rings is by no means an easy task. They are uncomfortable to hold, unstable and humbling. Working with gymnastic rings is a serious challenge, they are unique in that they immediately expose your weakness. For this reasons, with the appropriate education, there is no better tool for the development of the upper body strength.

Ring muscle ups allow you to train pull ups and dips at the same time. The movement demands a mobile, strong upper body and core. In many athletic and gym circles, a strict muscle up is regarded as a good display of strength.

If you have the ring muscle up on your to-do list you should be hitting the following exercises 2 or 3 times a week, building your strength and mobility slowly and safely. The process will take as long as it takes. Do not feel tempted to rush into the muscle up movement, it will likely end in a shoulder injury. Instead build the strength the mobility slowly and when you are ready – be sure to work with a spotter or coach.

Before you attempt your first ring muscle up you should be able to complete the following

Step 1 – False Grip Pull Up

Be able to complete 5 sets of 5 reps, starting with straight arms ensuring the thumbs touch the chest at the top of the pull.

Step 2 – Ring Dip

Be able to complete 5 sets of 5 reps, ensuring arms are locked out at the top and the rings touch the front of the shoulders at the bottom of the dip

Step 3 – False Grip Bent Arm Hang

Be able to hang under the rings in false grip with the thumbs touching the chest. You should find a 10-second hang in this position easy.

Step 4 – Transition Ring Rows

Be able to complete 5 sets of 10 reps. This exercise will teach you to transition from the pull up to to the dip.

Step 5 – Russian bar dip

Be able to complete 5 sets of 5 reps. This exercise will strengthen your ability to transition from the pull up to the dip.


Work hard to make each one of these steps feel relatively easy and you will be well on your way to completing your first strict ring muscle up.

See you in class,


Calisthenics Coach

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