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.


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I’m a journalist with over seven years' reporting experience on four continents, with most of that spent covering health-related issues. My experience includes covering cholera outbreaks in Kenya and the clubbing scene in Shanghai, which is also where I wrote my first health article for an English language magazine. (It was on diarrhea.)After returning to Australia to finish up degrees in Journalism and International Relations I wound up in New York City, where I’ve worked for Men’s Health, VICE, Popular Science and others. I try to keep health relatively simple — it’s mostly vegetables and sweat — but I live to explore the debates, the fringes, the niche, and the nitty gritty.