This came through the comment section yesterday and has been part of the discussion at Outlaw HQ for a few weeks now-

Hi Kaitlin,
Hopefully you could answer a question for me..
I’ve been working some Front Uprises into my ME sets on The Way’s Tuesday work. Should I stay away from these and focus on receiving the rings in a dip position? Or is it a non-issue?


My official position is that once you reach a certain level of proficiency of movement, you have both the skill level and proprioception necessary to, “tweak” the movement to cater to your specific needs. This holds true for every single movement in Crossfit. For example, if you have been Crossfitting for a significant amount of time, have become proficient in the snatch, and are about to attempt ‘Isabel’ odds are that your plan isn’t to set up perfectly and catch every single snatch in the kind of beautiful overhead squat position that makes Rudy tug on his beard. Your plan is likely to catch your snatch in a comfortable power position and probably even plan some kind of touch-and-go rep scheme depending on your strength level. It’s important to note here that this ability to tweak a movement comes from the time and effort put into learning the movement perfectly, not your ability to jumping-jack weight over your head.

My go to example is watching gymnasts turned exercisers compete in Handstand Walk events. After spending years in a leotard mastering the perfect handstand walk, they have become so proficient at knowing exactly where their body is that they have the ability to bend their knees and over-extend their hips to build forward momentum. They are not falling fast, instead they retain control over their bodies for however long it takes to win handstand walking events. Again, mastering the movement perfectly comes first, tweaking it to cater to a specific exercise goal comes second.

There are multiple ways to perform muscle-ups depending on your goal. If I had to do small sets of 3-5 in a conditioning piece mixed with other elements I would try to work straight up and down as quickly as possible and not waste any time on the big swings that we’ve been practicing. When we went through the muscle-up biathlon and I wanted to make my sets as large as possible, I used a big swing on every single muscle-up and began with a few front uprises so that I wouldn’t have to exert as much energy in completing the movement. During 14.4 there was no chance that I had the energy left to front uprise and I wound up taking a huge swing, catching low anyway and having to struggle through a full dip.

For ME sets on The Way, do whatever you need to do to stay on the rings for as many repetitions as possible. If this means starting with a front uprise, so be it. All of your connectivity work however should be done with the goal of looking like a gymnast. When I assign muscle-ups for form, I’m looking for straight knees, pointed toes, an effective tap swing, and passing through a slight dip on the way to front support.

Active Shaping
3×8 PVC Shoulder Raises

Static Shaping
2×1:00 Front Box Hold
photo 2-4
2×1:00 Back Box Hold
photo 1-4

Skills and Drills
3 attempts at max distance Handstand Walk

5 thoughts on “140823

  1. Hey Kaitlin, I have been really enjoying the programming and making good progress however I am finding myself lagging my right arm and shoulder over the rings on my turnover when into my 5th or 6th muscle up. Any idea how I can fix this as it is ultimately ending my Max unbroken sets. Thanks.

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