During your first muscle up lesson- you should find out about a peculiar new grip that is important for muscle ups- it’s called “false grip.”

The first time you try it, you will likely feel very uncomfortable and confused about it.

What does it look like?

Why do I need to use it?

It accommodates for two things.

  1. Using this grip will allow you to have FULL HAND plus PARTIAL WRIST contact with the rings to allow for a Stronger grip.

  2. It shortens the lever for pulling.
    Yes- that means when using false grip you don’t have to pull as high. (you will still need incredible pulling strength, you just won’t require AS MUCH as if doing muscle ups in neutral grip).

What does it require?

  • Mobility in the wrists
  • Ability to flex the wrist whilst keeping the elbow straight.
  • Grip strength

These two are not as easy as they seem on paper..

Luckily we have some easy to implement exercises to get you on your way.

Wrist stretches

Stretch your wrists and forearms in both extension and flexion, as shown in the images. 

Incorporate this in your warm ups so that you get it done every day. You will need consistency if you want to make progress with mobility. 

2 sets of 30 seconds each direction- every day!

Side note: this will also have great carry over to other movements, such as front squats!

Strengthening using a light dumbell

Once the wrists are stretched, its time to do some strength work. There is no use getting access to new range of motion if you aren’t going to build strength in that range of motion. 

Instructions: Keep your elbow locked in place (as shown below). Then flex and extend the wrist slowly. Start off with just a light DB or fractional weight plate.

Start with 3 x 5 reps per side, 3 times per week. 

False grip hang in L sit position

Instructions: To get your hand into the right position, start by placing the nook of the wrist on the ring (directly under the ring strap). Then turn the hand in

Building up to full body weight is not easy, you may need to start scaled, with one foot resting on the floor to assist you. 

Start with 5 x 5- 10 seconds only once per week. 

Warning- at first this drill will not feel very nice on the skin of the wrist. As you get more exposure to it, your skin will toughen slightly and you will get used to it to the point that you no longer experience the discomfort. 

Let us know how you are going with your false grip development by tagging us in your videos and photo’s on instagram @crossfitvolume. 

We received many requests for information on building a strong pull, how to transition and when to progress to kipping. Stay tuned, we will cover those topics in the next blog posts. 


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