Learning the Kipping Ring Muscle-Up

Learning the Kipping Ring Muscle-Up

Learning the Kipping Ring Muscle-Up

The foundation of a Kipping Ring Muscle-Up is the Strict Ring Muscle-Up, but many athletes have difficulty making that transition. The top 3 issues we see with athletes are their difficulty in transferring to a different grip, controlling the swing, and retraining the timing of the skill. Let’s attack these common mistakes and show you how to train this dynamic and complex movement.


During strict ring muscle-ups, a false grip is necessary to reduce the range of motion the athlete must pull through to help the muscle-up transition from pulling to pressing in the dip position. Many athletes don’t understand how to say goodbye to a false grip during strict muscle-ups and say hello to a regular grip as they move to the kipping version. But this is where the misunderstanding happens.

Holding onto the false grip, rep after rep can be difficult [ohhh…and painful!]. But we can do a “hybrid” style grip, which I call a “meaty” grip. The palm is fully over the rings, making the pull to transition easy, but you still have little work to do with “changing” grip because you’re in complete control with this meaty style grip.

kipping ring muscle-up grip


Sometimes, less is more. What does that mean?

Remember, our athlete has amazing strength with this strict skill, so they don’t need a gigantic, out-of-control swing to maximize the kip. A tight, global extension and flexion (hollow position) to create the kip swing is all we need. The athlete can control the dynamic movement of the rings as they swing when they have a tight, tense shape. Tension equals power and power equals efficiency. BOOM!

So here we look at a drill where we start in the front “lever” type position to gain tension. Get a tight backswing and drive from that arch to hollow to generate the power to begin the pull.

This technique will help you learn more of a “hybrid” kipping muscle-up.


Since the Strict Ring Muscle-Up is more of a static skill, we don’t have to incorporate the timing of the swing, pull, and transition.

The athlete who makes the transition from Strict to Kipping will want to keep their eye on the horizon, so they have a connection of body to brain. The timing of holding tension in the swing is key to maximizing the power.

Think how you would pull back a bow while shooting an arrow. Pull back to hold tension then release the arrow to maximize speed. They can see when their feet hit the hollow position as they rise into the transition. This will help the athlete know when they need to begin the speed of the turnover. Once the turnover happens, the athlete will want to stabilize the rings by continually pressing tension down through the palms and shoulders.

Watch the timing

Here is an Overview of the full transition from Strict To Kipping Ring Muscle-Up. As you move into this new style of grip and controlled swing, you will build more confidence and understand how to implement the points of performance, strong grip, tight arch to hollow, and pressing down in the catch to control rings by the side.

Check out our programs HERE for more awesome Ring Training, including Ring Muscle-Up Endurance.