The One-Ring Muscle-Up Challenge Is Going Viral

Why use two when you can use one? After watching Dmitry Klokov PR his one-armed snatch and Yury Tikhonovich manage a one-armed muscle-up this week, we knew we had to post this when we saw it: the one-ring muscle-up, pulled off by Kyle McDermid, a CrossFit® trainer and owner of Vitality Health & Fitness in Mindemoya, Ontario.

Since this was posted on reddit earlier this week, the “one ring muscle-up challenge” has been spreading across Instagram, and there are plenty of videos of athletes attempting the movement with varying degrees of success.

It might be even harder than it looks.

Keep trying!

Almost there.

Look, one-ring muscle-ups are really, really hard.

“The hardest part about this is weight distribution because you only have one point of contact,” says Eric Brown, a trainer at CrossFit Union Square in New York City. “How you’re kipping is actually the same as a normal muscle-up, but the bottom and top of the dip are non-existent.”

Brown goes on to say that he doesn’t personally find it to be a valuable movement because he doesn’t feel there are any moments of complete control.

But if you want to train for it, you might want to do more than simply get more efficient at stringing together regular muscle-ups.

“It’s actually kind of like a close-grip bar muscle-up without the stability of the bar,” says Brown. “For those who are efficient on the bar, you don’t see much of a catch and dip. So actually, it would make more sense to do those as a training routine for one-ring muscle-up, and bring your grip in as you get more comfortable.”

That one probably counts, right? CrossFit HQ hasn’t exactly endorsed the challenge and the movement might carry more risk than it’s worth.

But if you’re dedicated to achieving the one-ring muscle-up, stay on the bar until you can accomplish it there.

Featured image via @coach_k_mcd, @misiekcf, @maddelisk_workout, @crossfit227 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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