Getting Your FIRST Bar Muscle-up #3 Kipping Pull-Up

This list of “Prerequisites"

Last week, I gave you guys the tools to hit your first Strict Pull-up

This week, I’m giving you guys the tools to get your first toes to the bar!

The Toe to the bar, like the strict pull-up, requires a focus on certain muscle groups to achieve a successful rep.

Bar Muscle-up Photo 1

Strict Pull-Ups and Toes to Bar: In the last two weeks, we focused on building the strength required for our first strict pull-up and toes to bar. These exercises serve as the foundation for the subsequent steps towards achieving the bar muscle-up.

This Week’s Focus: Kipping Pull-Ups: Now, it’s time to work on stringing together those kipping pull-ups. The kipping pull-up helps develop the necessary movement patterns and pathways used in the bar muscle-up, albeit at a lower level of difficulty.

Bar Muscle-up Photo 4

Key Elements: Arch, Hollow Positions, and Repetition: To master the kipping pull-up and progress towards the bar muscle-up, three key elements need to be incorporated into your training regimen:

  1. Large Beat Kips: This exercise will enhance the development of the arch and hollow positions at a higher velocity. It strengthens the necessary pathways for the bar muscle-up.
  2. Pull-Up Top Holds: Focusing on the top phase of the pull-up, these holds improve strength and stability. Pausing momentarily in the top position reinforces the transition back into the arch position, a crucial aspect of the bar muscle-up.
  3. Jumping Hip to Bar: This drill enhances your understanding of the movement and generates more power through the hips. It directly translates to the later phase of the bar muscle-up.

Closing the Gap and Progressing Forward: By incorporating these three protocols into your training routine, you will effectively close the gap between the kipping pull-up and the elusive bar muscle-up. Consistent practice and dedication to these exercises will bring you closer to achieving your goal

The biggest supporting muscle during the toe to bar, our lats are what’s going to control our upper body on the rig, through the arch and hollow positions. The lack of activation and tension in the lats can cause our kip swing to be unstable, our hip flexors and hamstrings will have far more demand placed on them.

Getting your first pull-up gets you most of the way there, however, developing the shapes of the HOLLOW and ARCH positions, combined with more specific strength for the HIP FLEXORS, LATS, CORE and GRIP can rapidly improve our toe to bar ability

Bar Muscle-up Photo 5
Muscle Up Pre Requisite
Free 2 Week Sample

Hollow/Arch Positions

  • Strong Shapes = Easy Toes To Bar
  • Developing these positions will have a massive carryover to our bar muscle-up, as the bar muscle-up utilises the Hollow and Arch positions 
  •  Building Strength from the floor, and on the rig will be key

Lats, Core & Hip Flexion

  • Developing Strong Lats and core, just like the pull-up, allows us to maintain the shapes of the hollow and arch positions while on the rig. Hip flexion and extension are what generate the power in the Toe to the bar.
  • I like to think; Arch generates momentum, Hollow Closes the gap, and having strong lats, core, and hip flexion can allow us to do this
  • GHD Hollow/Sorenson Holds, Kneeling Lat Pulldown, and Inverted Toes To Bar are just some good exercises I like to use


  • Can’t hold your body weight for the 20s? How do you expect to do more than 20s of toes to the bar?
  • Developing your grip allows you to focus more on your shapes, and less on holding on!

Pinch Grip Plate Carries, Farmers Carries/Holds, and Large Beat Kips are my favourite for this!

The journey to your first bar muscle-up may seem daunting, but with the right approach and focused training, it can become a reality. By fulfilling the necessary prerequisites and honing your kipping pull-up technique, you’ll build the foundation and skills needed to conquer the bar muscle-up. Stay committed, be patient, and trust the process. Success is within reach!



Coach | Beast | Trainer


We are a functional fitness facility and understand we have biases like everyone else, we have attempted to be as objective as possible when creating this guide. Understand that what is valuable to one person may not necessarily be valuable to another. Thought and planned out choices always lead to better decisions. It is ok to invest in yourself and you can create your own change, you are always in control just take the wheel. If you have ay questions about Personal Training, get in touch with us today. We are happy to help!

Have you seen our other blogs?