Bar Muscle Up Basics


The bar muscle up is an upper-body-strengthening gymnastics exercise where the athlete hangs from a bar, and then pulls his/her torso up above the bar with arms locked out.  The bar muscle up is complex in nature and normally requires that the athlete achieve various progressions, such as the chest-to-bar pull-up, in order to ultimately achieve correct form and complete the movement. Athletes should feel the shoulders, back and core muscles activated as they complete the bar muscle up.

Watch the video clip below for a full explanation of technique, tips and tricks for performing the movement with efficiency, as well as precautions for staying safe.



  1. All About the Kip: For the bar muscle up, the kip you will use is a little unique from a traditional pull-up, as you will need to be a bit more patient and allow your body to get further behind the bar so that you can fully swing yourself up and over the bar. With your body further behind the bar, you will generate more momentum that will help get you up and over the bar.
  2. Throw Feet Down: As you move through the kip and your feet come up, focus on throwing your feet back down. This opens your hips for a second time allowing you to almost feel as though you are throwing your hips up toward the bar.
  3. Pull Up: As you would with a standard pull-up, focus on pulling up with your arms right as you throw your feet down. The simultaneous pulling and momentum of your feet being thrown downward will shoot your hips up toward the bar and help you get over it.
  4. Do a Sit-Up: As your hips reach the bar itself, attempt a sit-up to push your torso further forward over the bar. This will help your center of gravity get above the bar correctly so that you can fully push up with your arms and achieve lock out in the arms.
  5. Press and Lock it Out: Once you’ve above the bar, press and lock out your arms to complete the rep.

QUESTIONS: Ready to get started, or curious to learn more about how Fierce Play can help you meet your health and wellness goals? Contact us for more information. Also feel free to check out more of our videos series to learn how to perform the basics with solid form and efficiency.


Fierce Play’s Hanging Gymnastics Series focuses on proper technique, as well as tips & tricks, to master some of the foundational movements that will be integrated into many of the workouts you will perform. Start your next workout with the confidence and skills to do the movement safely and effectively.