Strict Muscle-Up Progressions: Good ‘Cheats’ & ‘Negatives’
Video by Travis Ewart

The ability to execute a strict muscle-up is by no means a simple task. It requires flexibility as well as a great amount of strength in both your ability to pull and your ability to press out of a very deep ring dip. It also requires quite a bit of body awareness and control. 

If you aren’t quite to your goal of achieving a strict muscle-up, try these ‘cheats’ help learn the movement pattern and how to shift the bodyweight for the strict ring muscle-up​.

How to Safely Cartwheel Dismount from a Handstand
Video by Travis Ewart

Are you afraid to work on your freestanding handstands or handstand walking because you aren’t confident with safely getting your feet back to the floor? Or maybe you’ve crashed and rolled a few times and are looking for an alternative dismount. You are not alone! Many have failed a handstand or handstand walk. Many have also injured (or frightened) themselves when crashing to the floor when they do. But fear no more – we have a solution for that!

Handstand Cartwheel Drill

In this video,

Handstand Walking Tips for Competition
Video by Ricky Moore

Handstand walking is already hard enough for most people without having it thrown into a workout for time. Here are some tips to keep you moving forward instead of falling all over the floor in 20.3.

Tips for Handstand Walking
Head position for Handstand Walking

Don’t crane your neck or try to look too far out in front of you. Instead, look 2-3 inches in front of your fingertips.

Let the Finish Line Come to You

Don’t rush to the finish line or look for it.

Toes-to-Bar Mount
Video by Travis Ewart

How hard are toes-to-bar? Well, it depends on how difficult you make them…

At Invictus Gymnastics we have seen so many great athletes struggle on many gymnastics movements in the gym and competition, and toes-to-bar is no exception. Difficulty of the toes-to-bar can escalate quickly if your body is swinging in a rhythm that isn’t supported by physics and balance, but rather raw strength. Though we may pride ourselves on how strong we are, there is no reasonable excuse for doing things the harder way when trying to complete a speedy task.

Bar Muscle-Up Swing: Slack is Bad
Video by Travis Ewart

Do you struggle with keeping in rhythm on Bar Muscle-Ups because you have a choppy swing? Do you feel like you might rip your shoulders out of their sockets when going for a big enough kip to get yourself over the bar? Even if it’s not all the way to dislocation status, just a little jarring can be concerning, especially if you are spending a lot of time and doing a high number of reps to practice the movement.

For the purpose of this video,

How to Start a Kip Swing from a Dead Hang
Video by Travis Ewart

Sometimes you don’t have the advantage of the perfect height pull-up bar. You know the one – where you can hang and kip without your toes touching but you don’t have to jump too far to get there. When forced to use a bar that isn’t within easy jumping reach, some resort to shimmying over onto the bar from a box or the j-hook on the upright. But that not only takes time and could be hazardous to the clumsy athlete, but it also puts you in an awkward position for starting your kip since you are unable to use the bar mount like you’re used to. 

Comparing Kipping Pull-Ups
Written by Hunter Britt; Videos by Travis Ewart

In the world of CrossFit, there are multiple ways to skin a cat when it comes to performing a kipping pull-up. Many of us have faced the challenge of transitioning from a standard kip to the butterfly pull-up. Often, when I am watching people try to get the butterfly-like motion down, I can tell that people are overthinking the movement and they are making butterfly pull-ups much more complicated than they need to.

Pull-Up Motion

So let’s talk about the motion for both the regular kip and the butterfly pull-up.

Kipping Handstand Push-Ups: Tips for Competition
Video by Ricky Moore

You might have noticed that we don’t usually program kipping handstand push-ups in our programs at Invictus. This is because we care about your cervical spine and because you can get much stronger doing the strict version anyway. But with the Open on the horizon, it’s time to start practicing your technique with this movement.

We do not recommend you kip your handstand push-ups until you can safely complete at least 5 handstand push-up negatives @ 31A2 tempo where you are able to GENTLY touch your head to the ground (not crash down on it).

Bar muscle-ups can be a difficult movement for even the most seasoned athletes to link together. When it comes to stringing more reps of this movement together, the drop-down swing is an important piece to examine.

Bar Muscle-Up: Tips for the Drop-Down Swing 
Video by Travis Ewart

The bar muscle-up is many-a-CrossFitter’s favorite movements! If you already have bar muscle-ups but are struggling to do more than one at a time, here are some tips to help you start stringing together multiple reps each set.

Now, before you try to attempt this,

Gymnastics Drill: Target Reach Swing for Bar Movements
Video by Travis Ewart

Invictus Gymnastics Coach, Travis Ewart, shares tips and this drill for perfecting your kip swing for bar muscle-upstoes-to-bar, and pull-ups. The purpose of the drill is to finding that perfect, consistent position when you mount the bar to guide your feet into the same spot each rep so that you set yourself up for success with the rest of the movement.

What you’ll need is a bumper plate and a bar with a height that allows you to swing without touching the floor or the plate.

Handstand Tip: Don’t Squeeze!
Video by Travis Ewart

Tight!” You hear that cue used when coaching pretty much every movement in the gym whether it be clenching the midline for the deadlift, pressing up on the bar when receiving the snatch, or when you’re inverted in the handstand…Wait, NOT the handstand too!

Although it might seem counterintuitive at first, Invictus Gymnastics Coach, Travis Ewart, explains why it is actually more beneficial to be less tight when walking on your hands and how that little bit of slack in your body can be harnessed and used to keep you in position and moving forward without fear of crashing heavily to the floor.

How to Butterfly Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
Written by Travis Ewart

I love checking the Invictus blog every night to see what the workout is for the next day. I don’t know what it is, but when I see that the workout has pull-ups or chest-to-bar pull-ups, I get very excited. I know it’s not the same reaction for everybody, but I feel like that’s usually because they aren’t familiar with the feeling of swinging continuously, smoothly and rhythmically in their pull-ups. Many struggle with the movement of the butterfly technique even though they are strong enough for strict chest-to-bar pull-ups or regular pull-ups and that can be frustrating. 

Breaking Down Handstand Walks
Video by Travis Ewart

In this video, Invictus Gymnastics Coach, Travis Ewart, breaks down handstand walks from hand placement to the kick-up and taking that first of many steps – he has tips for both beginners and competitive athletes to make sure you keep moving forward.

For more drills and progressions and to get personal feedback from Coach Travis, join our Invictus Gymnastics online program. It doesn’t matter what level your skills are, we have a way to customize your programming to be just right for you.

Breaking Down Bar Muscle-Ups
Video by Travis Ewart

In this video, Invictus Gymnastics Coach, Travis Ewart, breaks down bar muscle-ups from the kip to the turnover and even the drop-down into the next swing – he has tips for both beginners and competitive athletes to make sure your reps count.

For more drills and progressions and to get personal feedback from Coach Travis, join our Invictus Gymnastics online program. It doesn’t matter what level your skills are, we have a way to customize your programming to be just right for you.