Why jerky muscle ups don’t cut it, friend.
- But I never told him ...

Admittedly, this dude I keep seeing out there in the park isn’t half as loony as some of them out there – think bodybuilder dude who showed up uninvited when I was doing high rep squats “ass to grass” claiming “he taught yoga” and that squats are meant “only for the thighs” … or, the idiot who claimed I shouldn’t be doing pull-ups because “why am I not working my brain more”.

And he’s in pretty good shape as well.

Stays to himself for the most part too, so I dont intefere either.

But watching him do pull-ups, it’s those classic mistakes people make a lot of times.

First off, the thumbless grip – I’ve never understood why someone would want to do that, even if just to “increase reps”?

The natural way to grip is with all five digits, my friend – sure, to TEST yourself you could take a few away – either on the floor, or on the pull-up bar, but for the most part, the meat and potatoes – well, have you ever seen a wild ape or chimp do “just finger hangs” unless they have to?

I dont think so and chimps, by the way have far longer fingers than we do, as opposed to homo sapiens where the THUMB is longer (than most apes).

I dont know, I’ve never quite figured that one out, along with the jerky “crossfit style” pull-ups people do – or the pushups, like this dude was doing, where he is barely going halfway down.

I dont get it, what is the point of half reps as a workout??

All that aside, it was his muscle ups, replete with oohs, aahs, and feigned grunts that got my attention, and more than a few giggles from the kids nearby.

“Making a show of himself literally he was”, I would say, as he “swung himself up” literally by kicking and with momentum, somehow managed to reach the top position of the muscle up, did a few quarter inch or so reps, and then flew back down (literally flew).

Man, I thought. That must be wearing his joints down real quick!

Of course, I said nothing.

But doing them – or pull-ups – this way is an open invitation to injury – weak connective tissues/ligaments – or both – or worse.

Again, dont get me wrong – dude’s in pretty good shape that he can at least DO a muscle up, or something close to it.

But it should be more like the other dude I saw years ago in Southern China, tall, strapping guy who would do a dead hang – albeit without the thumb – and then slowly pull-up in perfect form, then push, and then do a 360 on the bar after completing a rep.

Now that (the muscle up part) was good form!

And thats how all exercises should be done – in good form.

This guy’s hanging leg raises are done all the way up to the bar, but with knees bent – which takes away half the “fun”.

The legs need to be ramrod straight to get max benefit out of the movement.

Alright, enough preaching from me you might say

But really, carping on form – well I consider it my “birthright” to do so, if just to “defend” the great exercises that are so often mangled by the majority of people out there.

Bottom line, do it with good form, friend.

Your body and results will thank you down the line.

And God knows, I’ve earned the right to say that, because I am even more hard on myself in terms of form!

Alright , thats it for this one.

Back soon!

Best

Rahul Mookerjee