Here's the muscle-up progression I've been taught at my CrossFit affiliate:
- Start by learning how to hold the pair of Olympic rings using a false grip.
- Then, lean back, keeping your back and legs in a straight line and your heels on the floor directly under the rings. Pull your body up to vertical like you're doing a ring row, with your elbows tucked tight against your ribs. As you go vertical, keep your weight on your heels so that your body hollows out and your back sort of rounds out, causing your shoulders to roll or lean forward over the rings, so that you're in the "ready" position for a ring dip. Your elbows always stay tight against your body. Practice this movement a few times.
- Now, do the same thing as before, but start from your knees instead of your feet, and finish with a ring dip. In other words, pull yourself up off your knees -- your feet can stay on the floor -- and then transition to the dip position and explode up, lifting yourself entirely off the floor. At the top of the movement, keep your body hollowed out, so that your feet, shoulders and head are slightly in front of the rings. Practice, practice, practice.
- Now, reposition the rings, raising them until they're just above arms' reach. Practice doing pull-ups using a false grip.
- Then, grabbing the rings with a false grip, jump up and -- using the same transition movement learned in the previous progressions -- quickly pull and push your way up to a full muscle-up.
After working on muscle-ups today, we did the "Jackie" workout:
45 pound barbell thrusters, 50 reps
It took me 10:03 to finish -- mostly because I had to take a crapload of breaks during the thrusters and pull-ups. I need to work on my pull-ups if I want to get better at this.