Welcome to our series featuring calisthenics expert Al Kavaldo. This week, Al walks you through a comprehensive tutorial to getting your first muscle up. By the end of his progressions you will be able to hang from a bar and pull yourself above it, tracing an S- shape in the air and locking your arms out at the top, thus demonstrating virtuosity and mastery of the muscle up movement.


  • First, you must develop crucial upper-body strength and movement patterns by practicing pull ups and dips on a straight bar.
  • When you feel ready, attempt a pull up where you focus on pulling up your chest, not just your chin, so that your collarbone is above the bar.
  • Move on to the modified muscle up, in which you squat down slightly and jump, using your leg power to assist you in locking out above the bar. Find a straight bar that is about chest height so that you can jump off the ground.


Over time, focus on relying less and less on your leg power. You can then move to a high bar where you can use the power of your hips and legs to help you into a kipping muscle up. When you can knock out several of these in a row, try performing a muscle up while keeping your knees straight!


Every Sunday, we feature a new bodyweight strength training video from calisthenics expert Al Kavadlo. Al is also famous for smiling while performing some of the most difficult bodyweight exercises imaginable!