T Nation

Power Straight


I just came across an exercise called a power straight. Anybody do these? It looks like a good compound movement to do with bodyweight or weighted. You get pull and push all in the same exercise.

Anyway, just thought I’d share. I’m always looking for new stuff to incorporate into my workouts.

I’ve done that movement climbing trees and getting onto a roof or someone’s second floor balcony.

These are called “muscle-ups” and are one of the common exercises in gymnastics conditioning. They have a wide range of applications in both sport and strength training as well as functionality in the real world: the ability to get up and over pretty much anything.

The following are a few “tips” on muscle-ups that I have previously written which you may find helpful in your training.

Muscle-Ups: How to Do a Correct False Grip

I would recommend trying to set your grip in the following way:

Your grip should be pressing on the ring in a diagonal from the bottom knuckle on your index finger, across your palm to the heel of your hand as well as somewhat on your wrist as well (this is where those wonderful blisters on your wrist come from). In the beginning, you will probably find it necessary to keep your elbows bent in order to maintain this grip.

As you reach the transition point from chinup to dip, roll your hands out and press down to rotate your grip from a pull to a support.


Muscle-Ups On A Straight Bar

Rings for muscleups, while preferable for comfort, are not necessary. It is also possible to perform muscle ups on a straight bar. For this you will need to use an exaggerated false grip.

At first, you will probably not be able to completely straighten your arms at the bottom of the movement and retain your false grip. This is fine, simply continue with the movement and, as you strength and flexibility improves, so will your bottom hang position.

The transition from the pullup to the dip is also harder as you are not able to lean forward, but this is actually preferable, as a perfect muscleup doesn’t lean forward anyway.

In the event of getting “rips” or blisters on your wrists from the false grip, a little athletic tape will take care of the problem.


Muscle Ups - Progressions to the Weighted Muscle-Up

Many people on completing their first muscle-up are excited and immediately want to go to weighted muscleups. Now weighted muscle-ups are an excellent exercise and a staple in the conditioning program of my advanced athletes. However, I think that it is first important to progress through the variations of the bodyweight muscle-up in order to maximize the benefits of the weighted muscle-up.

The easiest variation is to perform the muscleup with the hands pulled in toward the center of the chest. At this stage, be sure to use a false grip.

Also, in order to build the most strength with this movement strive to perform the muscleup without piking the hips or leaning the chest forward. The only movement should be in the arms. Once on top (support position) be sure that the elbows completely lock out straight with the hands turned out to 45 degrees. Until you can achieve the correct support position, I would recommend staying with the easiest version.

The next version is to perform the muscleup with the hands shoulder width apart. A false grip may still be used. Same form requirements apply.

Hardest version is to perform the muscleup with the hands out wide of the shoulders and without using a false grip. This one is brutal and begins to mimic the stress and strain of performing an iron cross.

Once all three versions have been achieved with a correct support position on the top, then in my opinion, a strong enough base has been built to warrant working weighted muscleups.

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

All articles Copyright ?2004, Christopher Sommer.
All rights reserved.

Yeah, I call the negative portion the “Oh shit, he’s home!” drop.

Man, I was wondering what the name of these was called !! A few years ago in a gym I was at some guy was doing this… he looked pretty solid, about 170 and 5’9… I thought he was doing killer chinups and did a triple take realizing that he was still going up past the cross beams into a press up dip… Shit… something else to aim for if only the cable stack machine at my gym now didn’t have such a low ceiling…

He was doing a bit more than a few reps and needless to say his shoulder, lat and tricep development was superb.

Thanks for the tips coach.

Do you have any more unique exercises such as this that you can share with us?

Used to do these all the time in my college days. Of course I was all of 145 lbs dripping wet at the time, and an up-and-coming triathlete. Haven’t tried them in years. Don’t have a ceiling high enough now. But damn… Careful with the shoulders though.

Do I have more exercises like this to share with you? I have three whole books full of them on the way!

In the meantime there is a collection of some more of my “tips” at Olympic Bodies.

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

I guess the best way to add weight would be an X-vest, or possibly a dipping belt worn backwards (weight hanging behind you so it doesn’t foul on the bar).
Old Dax

For muscle-ups, we generally add weight by hanging it from the ankles with a nylon strap. This keeps the weight(s) out of the way and doesn’t affect the center of gravity too much.

I recommend about 18"-21" of strapping sewn into a loop. To use, simply pass the loop through the center of whatever weight plates you are going to use and then place your feet through the loops that stick out of either side of the plate(s).

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer