Written By: Casey Hogan
With the December Hang Challenge coming to an end our grip strength is probably as good as it has ever been gym-wide. We have built 69 combined muscles in the hand, palm, and forearm which will allow us to lift heavier weights, get a few more reps, and prevent injury.
With this new found strength we can achieve new things like, say, using the rings to get a strict muscle up! In this blog let’s take a look at, in my opinion, the best way to get a muscle up…master the False Grip.
There are three types of grips for the rings.
- Neutral (below rings)
- False Grip (for transition)
- Above the rings
Neutral grip and the Above The Rings grip have many different functions. False Grip is a grip that allows you to move your body from below the rings to above the rings without moving your hands. Just as hook grip for weightlifters is difficult and painful at first so is the false grip but with a few drills and consistent practice you can effectively use it to achieve that muscle up.
Why use it? Key word, transition. The false grip elevates your wrist allowing you to transition your forearms from below the rings to above without moving your hand. Neutral grip does not allow this making it more difficult to get your forearm above your wrist.
To get into a false grip, try this with some rings from the floor:
- Place the rings further into your palms than a neutral grip. Rings should rest in the base of the palm, right in the crease of the wrist and hand.
- Wrap your hand and your Thumb around the rings.
- Allow some body weight to settle the rings into your wrists.
It should look this…
I’ve heard a few members telling me they want to use the false grip but lose it when their body weight takes over on the rings, or they can only hold it for a few seconds.
This is where the drills and practice come in. I like to start from the floor and work my way up.
Drill 1 – Low Rings
Sit on the floor under some rings you would use for ring rows. Adjust the rings so when you reach overhead you have a bit of slack, your arms don’t have to fully extend to reach the rings. Lock in the false grip and pull up your arms at a 90 degree angle. Keep your feet on the floor. Hold for 20 seconds. To increase difficulty give more body weight, use a box, or L-sit until the false grip is supporting your entire body weight.
Drill 2 – Low Rings
False grip ring rows. Lock in false grip. Do some ring rows. Sets of 10. Adjust feet to increase difficulty. Add a box to elevate feet.
Drill 3 – High Rings
False Grip pull ups on the rings sets of 5. Strict.
Drill 4 – High Rings
False Grip kip swings from the upper rings. Sets of 5. For these try to maintain a tight hollow-body. Think super-man/banana. The false grip is usually meant for strict muscle ups. This drill is just to see if you can hold it while your body is moving.
If you have problems locking in the false grip throughout these drills backtrack to a previous drill and stay in that area. You can also try the false grip with a kettlebell or on the bar (rig), but see a 4B coach for tips on those, because this blog is meant specifically for rings.
Once you have mastered the False Grip you are on your way to getting your first strict muscle up. Remember this grip allows the easiest transition for you to do that. Check with me or another 4B coach and we’ll help you reach your goals!
About the Author
Casey Hogan is a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer at 4BFit. He’s an elementary school teacher by day and coach by night. He has a passion for helping people reach their goals, whether its getting their first pull-up or mastering the muscle-up. Casey always wants the athletes he coaches to succeed.