Check this out: http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFitEndurance_WhyPose.wmv
Why do CrossFitters so adore the Ring Muscle Up?
The simplest answer I’ve come up with is… It’s difficult. A ring muscle up is hard to do. And CrossFitters are driven by challenge. The ring muscle up is certainly challenging, but is it really functional? If we define a functional exercise as a movement or movements that we (human beings) do in everyday life, is the ring muscle up functional? Nope. Not even.
So in a program (CrossFit) that always screams functional fitness is it’s foundation, why is the ring muscle up so everpresent? Why is this one excercise so enticing to the newest of CF athletes. Trainers new to CF push thier clients to learn it. But those ring muscle ups are about as functional (again, I’m broadly defining functional as a movement we do in everyday life) as crunches on a stability ball or a bicep curl. I heard Coach G. say the excercise has no real everyday application. He says in a CF journal article about it that the reason we do the ring muscle up is that it’s the most difficult variation. Yet, the ring muscle up is, at best, only a test. A "man test" with bragging rights at worst
I am not saying it doesn’t have athletic, transferable skills. The strength and coordination the ring muscle up requires is certainly qualifiable and quantitative. Or in other words, one must have alot of upper body strength to do one.
Athletes and trainers new to CF find it an intrique because it’s new to them. Just like Fran or Murph, it’s something they’ve never done before. But since the inexperienced trainer/athlete hasn’t learned how any of these excercises transfer into life, advanced sport performance, or tactical engagements they don’t quite understand that the ring mu isn’t that important to human performance. The allure of the ring muscle up and the pursuit of the accomplishment is almost as addictive as CrossFit itself. It’s almost like there’s another recipe of "Kool Aid" just for the muscle up!
But seriously, the more functional variation of the muscle up is from the bar. The most functional, and certainly just as difficult as from the rings, is on a ledge. They’re more functional becuase we’re more likely to have to do muscle up over a fence, wall, or up onto a ledge than we are to randomly encounter a perfectly adjusted, taped, and spaced set of rings that we seriously need to negotiate a muscle up on in the real world.
So is there a difference? Yes, there is a huge difference between the two types of ;muscle ups. The difference is mostly in form and biomechanics. On the rings, the transition from pull up to dip requires the elbows to stay close to the body and the hands to pass behind the chest. On the bar/ledge, the elbows must flare out and the hands cannot pass behind the chest… because the bar/ledge cannot. On rings all force and effort can be exerted directly upwards. However, on the bar/ledge variations, the torso has to gain forward momentum and get over and in front of the bar or the edge of the ledge. Then you have to get your lower body up and over. That’s a functional movement.
So give both variations a try. Just be careful not to get caught up with them. And when you get your first one, you’ll be happy. But then you’ll be a bit let down. It’s not as difficult as you thought and the allurement will be gone. Then you’ll realize, like I did, there are more important things we need to train. Like everything, the muscle up is mostly technique. – t.
I love our monkey bars!
WOD: "A little heavier than" Heavy Fran.
12 – 8 – 5 reps for time of…
- Squat Thruster (m – 185lbs / f – 115lbs)
- Weighted Pull Ups (m – 45lbs / f – 35lbs)
Today’s WOD is a bit heavy and advanced. For all our new members and those of you that haven’t done "Fran" yet, let’s do it today instead.
FRAN: 21 – 15 – 9 reps for time…
- Squat Thruster (95/65)
- Pull ups