The 6 Craziest Muscle-Ups We’ve Ever Seen

California-based powerlifter and rings training guru Anna Culbertson has taken the muscle-up to a place we never thought we’d see.

She demonstrated some seriously superhuman muscle control in this super slow-mo, minute-long muscle-up below. She incorporated a ten-second pull, ten-second hold, ten-second transition, ten-second hold, ten-second dip, and a ten-second hold. We’re pretty confident that for her, this was the longest minute in history.

A video posted by 🦁 (@annaczeno) on

For the general population, the muscle-up is a relatively advanced gymnastics move that uses a lot more than raw pulling and pushing strength. It requires serious stability and a lot of technique work to successfully transition from the pull-up to the dip. Anna inspired us to hunt down the craziest, weirdest muscle-ups we’ve ever seen. If you’ve yet to master the muscle-up—or even if you have—you might not have known that the feats below were even possible. Use them as inspiration for your next gymnastics workout!

Zeke Grove: 30 Unbroken Ring Muscle-Ups

Zeke Grove has always been particularly comfortable with bodyweight and gymnastics movements, and we have a feeling he could be the first Games athlete to perform this many unbroken ring muscle-ups.

J-Starzz: The 275-Pound Muscle-Up

This is a little dark, but the feats accomplished by the pull-up powerhouses at Barstarzz are worth believing. With J-Starzz’s bodyweight and the weighted vest, this clocks in at an astonishing 275-pounds up and over the bar.

Jarryd Rubinstein: The World Record for Consecutive Muscle-Ups

Who thought twenty-five bar muscle-ups could look so easy? This workout landed the Sydney-based ex-Special Forces soldier Jarryd Rubinstein in the Guinness World Records—and this was after completing twenty-three in a row the previous day.

Sean Velas: Front Levers to Ring Muscle-Ups

A video posted by Sean Velas (@soulsean) on

Sean Velas grew up learning kung fu and Chinese kickboxing, ultimately earning the title of Florida’s kung fu “Eagle King” grand champion in 2005. He has since translated those gymnastic skills into CrossFit and is a CrossFit Gymnastics Seminars coach, photographer, and co-owner of CrossFit Soul in Miami.

Yury Tikhonovich: The One-Armed Muscle-Up to Handstand

When we started looking for examples of one-armed muscle-ups, we weren’t even sure if it was possible. But Germany-based circus acrobat Yury Tikhonovich took the exercise much, much further. The one-armed muscle-up to handstand needs to be seen to be believed.

Honorable Mention: The Donut Muscle-Up

Chase your muscle-ups as hard as this little critter, and nothing is impossible!

Featured image: @zekegrove on Instagram

Nick English

Nick English

Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of things.

After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.

No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?

Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.

At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.

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