Sara Sigmundsdóttir Muscle up

“Thank you very much coach Age, you just made my childhood dream come true!” – Nikolay performed his very first muscle up!

Nikolay performed his very first muscle up and we caught it on video. “Thank you very much coach Age, you just made my childhood dream come true!” – Nikolay V

This week we experienced the unique chance to have in video the very first muscle up performed by one of our athletes. We won’t lie, it was AWESOME!

We find it hard to describe the happiness and accomplishment feeling we have when we see that our athletes manage to develop new techniques and perform complex exercises that require strength, coordination and lots of dedication.

Congratulations, Nikolay! Bar Muscle Up is one of the trademarks of Crossfit and most complex movements to execute, way to go, Muscle up on the RINGs are next!

And hereby we reaffirm our commitment to our athletes, it does not matter the level of fitness you are current at, it doesn’t matter if you are an elite – professional athlete, or if you had never been in a gym. We can help you!

This is SPARTA! Here, you only need to WANT it!

In our gym, we scale down – meaning simplify and adapt, each exercise, everyday, to make sure that all our members can not only perform the exercise safely and enjoy the workout, but also that they are making the time and effort useful, that they are developing skills, coordination, and pathing towards their goals.

Building the Muscle up… the scalability pathway

Technique development is not easy path, and absolutely no joke, it takes time and lots of hard work, effort and pain.

And of course, no one is able to perform, or even dream about performing a muscle up from day 1, or not even anything close to it, and that is just absolutely normal and ordinary. This is actually our mission, to help you improve, step by step, and in timely manner, in your own time!

In the beginning, you will only hang yourself on the bar, to get the your shoulder and back muscle started.

Then we will start learning to swing, in order to start approaching the momentum and correct usage of shoulders and arms.

Also you will go dipping, in the parallel bars and on the rings… all part of a very well planned process.

In parallel, we will add some calisthenics varied exercises… like doing some pull ups in the short bar, some negative exercises on the high bar (jumping from a box, and trying to hold up and slowly let the body go down), to slowly improve not only technique, but let the muscles adapt, grow and get more strength.

When you least expect, you will start doing pull-ups on the bar, with the use of the box only to aid a bit, or elastic band, that will remove around 15% of your body weight… and then one day, you will be performing 50 pull ups, no aid necessary, directly on the bar, and feeling very good about yourself, your performance history, improvement, and also watch the differences in your body.

Going back to the muscle up as an example, that is a very difficult complex movement, it is an advanced strength training exercise.  The muscle-up targets a very large group of muscle from the back, shoulders and arms. Mainly the pull up power involves the latissimus dorsi muscle of your back and biceps, once over the bar, most work is executed by the triceps, giving the final dipping motion.

After all that work, one special day, you will have the joy on your face that Nikolay had this day, and we will feel this accomplishment again!

The TO-DO list!

Few habits are neglected by many athletes, but they need to be worked on in order to achieve further and improve (in every aspect):

  • Mobility: Stretching is fundamental, if you can’t fold or extend your body, how will you perform complex movements towards your limits?
  • Pulling like a pro: don’t overthink, there are so many ways to improve the pulling in short and high bars, aided by elastic, box and inclination, and you have to practice them all!
  • Dipping like a master: dipping is the key for a good muscle up, and you gotta practice, from the parallel bar aided by legs and inclination, to rings aided by the box at first, and later without any aid.
  • Coordinating = timing + functionality: Practica leads to perfection, and this will take time, practice and patience, but the results are rewarding.
  • Jump into it… when all movements, and levels have been long practiced and mastered, it is time to do on the high bar, and later in the high rings!
  • ADD IT ALTOGETHER: And here it will be your final test, when only 2 results are possible – successful, and then congratulations, you rocked!; or, NEXT TIME it will be better!

In order to achieve a muscle up, few “easier” exercises should be checked from the “to do list” below (some of them as we described above):

  • Strict pull up: even though many times you won’t see crossfitters executing the strict pull up, specially in competitions, the strict pull up is fundamental movement in order to be able to evolve into a muscle-up.
  • Core Strength: Focus and Core Strength, proper swing (hollow rock, planks, arches, all count and help).
  • Kipping pull up: fundamentally easier, swing assisted pull-ups.
  • Chest to bar pull ups.
  • Box assisted Muscle Up or Elastic Band assisted Muscle up.

Join the Sparta Fit Bulgaria team!

If you also experience difficulties in developing snatches, thrusters, muscle ups, or other exercises, come to us! For sure we are able to help you achieve your fitness goals!

Schedule your free trial session (using the link above), or send us a message via our Facebook page.

3 comments on this post


    Doing a muscles up routine is quite difficult for me because my arm is very small and when I try raise my body (torso) over the bar, I experience my sharp pain around my biceps and this experience made me lose interest in working out. How do I make my arm strong enough for a muscle up routine or the routine is not just for me?



    I know mostly nothing about athletics or gymnastics, at that. But I must confess that gymnastics absolutely fascinates me. It’s amazing how near impossible things are done with the human body. 

    And I know that with such a high level of precision comes sacrifice, consistent training, discipline, sweat and pain. 

    Maybe, somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I must have entertained a childhood dream of being a gymnast. 

    I remember as a child, I’d watch them perform on TV and I’d imagine I was a gymnast and perform my own stunts in my head. 😂 



      Hey there Peace, thanks for taking the time to write us, we really appreciate.

      Well, even if you don’t really have the skills or knowledge, we are glad that gymnastics fascinates you and you are eager to learn more and develop, else you would not be here right?

      This fascination and motivation is what bring us together in trying harder and going beyond our limits in our gym everyday (and also share, stories, results, informations with our online community).

      Actually, that happens everyday in Crossfit, everyday we give one steo further, and that is what makes us happy and our customers see that. Our commitment to their development.

      Have you tried Crossfit? If not, we totally recommend you, you can also do a muscle up (of course it will take couple of months), but every day, step by step, you will develop and see differences, in your mind, in your body, and then, all of a sudden, you will be there, holding yourself up high against the bar, and willing to go all over again!



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