Master the Eccentric Muscle-up for Gymnastic Strength and Upper-body Growth

·1-min read

Gravity is a fickle friend. It helps you build strength, but it can humble you, too – especially when you’re challenging yourself with a move as tough as the muscle-up.

The ‘eccentric’ version is the simplest way to turn gravity into an ally. Here, the focus is on the lowering phase of the movement, so you overload your triceps, shoulders and core to add size and develop strength for the real shebang: a favourite show-off move for the recreational gymnast, rivalled only by the handstand press-up.

‘The eccentric part of the muscle-up is under-utilised,’ says MH fitness editor Andrew Tracey. ‘You’re stronger through the lowering portion of a movement, so by jumping over the bar and slowly controlling yourself down, you’re building strength... and drilling the movement pattern.’

Aim to perform each rep over five seconds to truly test your muscles. Just remember to hold on tight – this is falling with style.

From the Top

Jump up on the bar. Hold yourself above it and extend your arms. Keep your core braced and legs out straight beneath you.

Drop it Down

Slowly lower into a dip with good control. Keep your elbows close to your sides, so you can target the muscles you want to work.

Get a Leg Up

Lean back and slowly lift your legs parallel to the ground. Keep your palms facing down. This ‘false grip’ will increase the pressure on your forearms.

Finish Strong

Straighten out your arms to lower your body into a dead hang, with your legs in an L-sit position. Feeling the strain?


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