The Ring Muscle Up, considered a high level gymnastic exercise. A lot of people struggle with it, and it is seen as a big milestone for beginning Crossfitters when you’ve achieved your first rep. Today we will discuss the movement of the rings during the transition from the hanging position to the catch position in the dip.
One of the most basic drills that people use for their muscle up is doing a exercise called the ‘Body Row’ where they rotate the rings from internal position* (backside of hands facing to each other) to external position palmside of hands facing each other). From a biomechanical point of view this is a very efficient way to be ‘stronger’ in the Body Row, since this rotation causes you to flex your elbows in a suppinated position which will give more focus on your Bicips Brachii (because suppination and flexion are the functional components of the Biceps Brachii).
If you look at the first(left) video you see that in the final fase of the pull the rings have to rotate 180° internally to get into the catch position. There is enough time for this transition because the speed is not limiting the rotation. That being said, for a ‘Strict Muscle Up’ this drill can give you a lot of advantage.
But today we’re talking about the ‘kipping Ringle Muscle Up’.
It is suggested that these same drills where you rotate the rings in and out are a progression for the kipping Ring Muscle Up. If you would use these drills exactly how they are being told, you would have rotate the rings in a split second to ‘catch’ yourself in the dip position. In combination with the speed this looks pretty clumsy, believe me.
Turns out in practice that it is common te keep the rings neutral during the swing and rotate them only on top for 90° to get into the dip position (often even less, about 45-60°). So what is different? The amount of rotation of the rings during the transition! In the second video you can tell the difference. Even though that the Biceps can produce less force in this position, turns out that this way of doing kiping Muscle Ups is better in the long run.
If you’re still in doubt, just look up some competition videos how the big dogs are doing their muscle ups.
*Definition coordinate system
If you hang on the rings, use the standard anatomic designations. So, for example on the right arm the external rotation is rotating the rings clockwise (if you look from underneath). On the left arm the external rotation is counter clockwise. Exactly other way around goes for the internal rotation.
– Dick Nieuwendijk
Reebok Crossfit 020