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Alex Schaalo's Magic Muscle-up Tape Job

Posted by: Emily Beers

Whether your muscle-ups are so good you don't need to false grip, like phenom muscle-upper Alex Schaalo, or you struggle along with the false grip like myself—which often leads to ripped skin on my wrists—a good grip is important when it comes to any ring work, especially big swinging movements like muscle-ups.

Alex has developed a tape job that adds friction, almost mimicking gymnastics grips, keeping you glued to the rings.

It's a little bit unconventional-sounding, but it really works!!

The steps:

1. Make sure your skin is dry and chalk-free.

2. On the first wrap of the wrist, make sure you bring the tape up and slightly over the wrist at the hinge spot (where you false grip), and make sure it is stuck on well.

3. While keeping a little tension around the back of the wrist, loosely wrap the tape around the front, creating small wave-like folds (leave them loose).

4. Repeat this two or three more times, depending on how far you false grip down you wrist. Each time, make sure the tape is tight on the back, loose in the front.

5. Press/Squeeze the tape folds around your wrist so it flattens out against the skin (although it will still be bumpy on the front).

6. Do awesome muscle-up!

create a friction-type of assistance when she’s doing high reps of muscle-ups.

She explained that the reason she does this is to create a friction-type of assistance when she’s doing high reps of muscle-ups. It helps prevents rips as it’s a thick extra layer on top of the skin. Also, because the ridges/folds sort of stick to the rings when grip starts to fatigue, it helps secure a better grip throughout the workout. 


Finally, this tape job also helps if you’re going into muscle-up workout with pre-existing rips (think redo-ing 15.3 three days later) as it adds an extra layer of protection and cushion on the skin.


Posted by Emily Beers on

Emily Beers, hailing from Vancouver, crosses bridges by being not only a CrossFit athlete, but also a journalist. She has been a regular contributor to the CrossFit Journal since 2011. She qualified and competed at her first CrossFit Games as an individual athlete in 2014.

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