Hi I've been wanting to do a muscle up ever since I knew they were possible and was wondering what muscles and how you should train for one at home. I occasionally go to a gym with a pull up bar with weight assistance but I prefer to do my pull ups at my house. I was wondering how and what I should train to be able to do a muscle up.

I have dumbbells, barbells, a bench, and a pull up bar

2 Answers 2


The hardest part will be the transition when you are at the top of your pull up. To start, do this motion in reverse. Start by jumping up and getting yourself in the position that you would be in at the top of the muscle up, with your arms locked looking down on the bar. Then, slowly lower yourself down into the position you would be in at the top of the pull up. It's the same concept that is used for training to do pull ups by doing them in reverse to start.

Another thing to do is get a stool or something stable and high enough that when you stand on it, you are just over the height of the top of your pull up. From here, you will practice the transition from the top of your pull up to the muscle up part. The idea here is that at first, you will be pushing off with your feet a bit. Gradually, you will want to use more and more of your arms until you no longer have to use your feet (think about how an assisted pull up machine works, same concept).

Start each session by trying to do a muscle up from beginning to end. Eventually, after doing these exercises enough, you will start your session with a full muscle up. And it will be awesome.

  • Remember to let your hands rotate on the bar as you reach the top of the pull up. This enables your hands / wrists to be in a good position to enable you to execute the push up part.
    – james508
    Oct 24, 2013 at 6:57
  • You kind of forgot to mention that you should try to go for being able to do atleast 10 pull ups and 20 dips in a row. Those 2 exercises give the basic strength you need for a muscle up. After that you can start doing the reverse movement, even though I personally never did this to learn it and don't think it's necessarily the best way to learni I can see why one would try it.
    – MJB
    Dec 12, 2017 at 7:49

Get some cheap pull up rings from ROGUE or cheaper somewhere like eBay and practice, at the park or something, and try low-to-the-ground ring muscle ups (just YouTube that search term) with less and less help from your legs. Basically, lower the rings to about belly button level, then squat down and lift yourself up with a "false grip" (Google that search term) and using your legs slightly to push yourself up from your squat position, keeping the rings close to your chest, and once you get the rings to your chest start to transition to vertically push yourself up emulating a bar muscle up. Keep doing that raising the rings every so often. Try that and also just some calisthenic L-sit hanging from the rings where you start on top of a box or something (rings in hand), pull them to your chest, get your legs out straight, and then just slowly drop holding on to the rings. It'll be hard, but keep doing it day in day out.

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