Mastering the Bar Muscle-Up: A Visual Guide

Written By Ben  |  Bar Muscle Ups 

Hey, it's Ben from WODprep, and if you're eager to learn how to perform the elusive bar muscle-up, you're in the right place. This quick guide will break down the key elements of a successful bar muscle-up, catering to visual learners who prefer to see things in action. So, if you're ready to soar over that bar, let's dive in!

Unlock the Ultimate Guide to Bar Muscle-Ups:

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, I want to let you know that there's an extensive step-by-step progression available for you to master bar muscle-ups.

To access the complete guide, head over to our website,, where you can sign up to receive the "Ultimate Guide to Bar Muscle-Ups" for free.

Demystifying the Bar Muscle-Up:

At first glance, many people mistake the bar muscle-up for a mere pull-up. They're not entirely wrong, but there's more to it than meets the eye. The critical difference is that with a bar muscle-up, you need to get your entire body behind the pull-up bar to clear it successfully.

The Starting Point:

Mastering the Lever Position

Big Hollows and Arches:

The foundation of a bar muscle-up lies in your ability to execute big arches and hollows. This dynamic movement generates the necessary momentum. Practice your arch and hollow kip swings until you can generate substantial force.

Mastering the Lever Position:

To ensure your success, you must transition from the arch and hollow positions to what I call the "lever position." In this phase, you'll engage your lats and pull down as hard as you can on the bar, raising your head and shoulders high. The key is to achieve a straight-arm lat pull-down effect before bending your arms.

The Pop and Pull:

Once you've perfected the lever position, it's time for the "pop and pull" phase. In this step, you'll generate additional momentum by driving your hips forward. As you reach the peak of the lever position, execute an aggressive pull, almost like a barbell row, and begin the transition.

The Transition:

The Transition BMU

Getting Over the Bar:

The transition is the magical moment when you propel your head through and over the bar. What's often overlooked, especially in kipping bar muscle-ups, is the necessity of allowing your hands to slide around the bar. A fixed grip will prevent you from getting into the dip position required to complete the movement.

Watch and Learn

Pay close attention to how aggressively I drive my head through and slightly release my grip, allowing my hands to slide around the bar. It's this combination of actions that gets you over the bar.

Unlock Your Potential with WODprep:

We hope this visual breakdown has shed some light on the elusive bar muscle-up. If you'd like further guidance, remember to visit to get our "Ultimate Guide to Bar Muscle-Ups" for free.

Take Your Skills to the Next Level:

For those who are serious about mastering the bar muscle-up and other CrossFit® skills, our Bar Muscle-Up Mastery program is designed to deliver results in just eight weeks. If you're ready to accelerate your progress, click this link for more information.

Bar Muscle Up Breakdown Hit These Key Positions!

Join the WODprep Academy:

If you're hungry for more and want to excel in various CrossFit® skills, consider joining the WODprep Academy.

For an affordable annual fee, you gain access to a plethora of courses covering everything from bar muscle-ups to double unders and snatches.

Elevate your performance by enrolling today.

Next Steps…

I hope you found this visual guide helpful in your quest to conquer the bar muscle-up. Before you go, please leave a comment and let me know which tip or technique resonated with you the most.

Your feedback will not only help you but also other aspiring athletes looking to master this challenging move.

Stay tuned for more exciting tutorials, and I'll see you in the next one!

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