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Want To Learn To Muscle-Up Like A CrossFit Games Athlete?

Posted by: Emily Beers


So do I! That's why I turned to Miracle-Worker Gymnastics Coach Louise Eberts.

When it comes to gymnastics, Louise has helped many athletes go from good to great. One simple cue she gave to CrossFit Games veteran Emily Abbott ("Look up on your bar muscle-ups") made all the difference in the world for Abbott, whose bar muscle-ups now appear effortless.

One thing I particularly respect about Louise is her ability to create patient athletes. Whenever you see videos of her athletes getting their first muscle-up, it's always a very pretty first muscle-up. This is because she doesn't let people get ahead of themselves. Everyone she works with builds the necessary strength first, so when they do get through the rings they're more than ready!

I'm not naturally a patient person, but whenever I work with her I feel patience seep into my body.

Truth is, muscle-ups have always been a weakness for me, and they might always be to a certain degree, but the times they have felt the best have been whenever I work with Louise. After spending 6 months marathon running and losing pulling strength, I am determined to improve my muscle-ups again, so I turned to Louise.  Her technical advice is unmatched (and her high-energy, yet nurturing voice helps build my confidence).

Top Muscle-Up Drills

Without further ado, here are some of my favorite muscle-up drills Louise has added to my gymnastics program this month:

1. Ring Rows

Ring Rows with rings facing forward, no false grip, and pulling with elbows out to the side (as you can see, I'm not very good at these, but I can feel myself getting stronger when I do them):

2. Spotted Muscle-ups:

Having a spotter allows you to do bigger sets, keeps your body position in check and helps build confidence. Louise is a big fan of spotting on both kipping and strict muscle-ups, even for athletes who can do them already.

3. Banded Transition Muscle-up:

These guys really helped me HAVE to use my lats. They're also good for realizing how much you can use your hips on a muscle-up, too. 

4. Banded Lat Pulldowns

I have a massive lat activation issue, so these are helpful for me to do at the start of the day to ensure my lats are firing. AS SLOW AS POSSIBLE is the key. And again, keep the elbows out to the side. 

If you're looking to activate your lats too, you can check out these simple lat activation drills to add to your warm-up.

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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