Image Source: Getty / Rob Tringali
Basic fitness moves have generally agreed-upon names (think: squats, planks, push-ups). But as moves get more complex and creative, the names start getting more convoluted — and sometimes, don’t even exist.
For example, celebrity trainer Ben Bruno, who comes up with his fair share of creative exercises, shared an Instagram video of his longtime client model Kate Upton doing a move that you’ve probably never seen before: it’s performed using a pair of gymnastics rings and a workout bench, falling somewhere between a pull-up, a glute bridge, a hamstring curl, and an inverted row — and it’s nameless, aside from being called the “pull-up mega hip thrust thingy,” Bruno wrote in the caption.
“We’ve been doing it for 10+ years without knowing what to call it,” he wrote, prompting commenters to share ideas: “so whoever comes up with the best name in the comments wins a prize.”
And his Instagram followers did not disappoint. The most popular suggestions included genius ideas like “the muscle Upton,” “the pull-Upton,” the “Upton funk,” and “the ring worm.” (Bruno hasn’t yet declared a winner, but we’re partial to the first — and it got the most likes.)
Name aside, the move is a powerhouse for strengthening muscles all along the back of your body, aka your posterior chain. “This nifty exercise truly works the entire back side of the body, all with very little stress on the joints,” Bruno wrote in the caption. He said Upton makes it look easy, but “it’s a toughie.” Sure enough, as he coached her through a sixth and final rep, Upton let out a little yelp of exhaustion and stepped out of the position to take a break.
“From an upper body standpoint, it starts off as a pull-up but turns into an inverted row at the top,” Bruno continued in the caption. “From a lower body standpoint, it starts off as a leg curl but turns into a hip thrust at the top. So, a whole lotta good things happening here. Plus it gets the heart rate up like crazy, too.”
That means it works your core, back, biceps, hamstrings, and glutes — and it’s so challenging, it adds a cardio element, making it a veritable total-body strength and cardio move. What more could you want?
How to Do “the Muscle Upton”
If you want to try it yourself, you’ll need a set of rings or a suspension trainer like a TRX ($180), plus a workout bench or other platform, like a plyo box. Set up your space so the rings or TRX handles hang a few feet above and behind the top of the bench or box.
You can do this move as part of a full-body circuit workout, add it to your next back workout, or even throw it into your leg-day routine. Just make sure you do a thorough warmup before trying it!
- To get into the starting position, stand directly under the rings, and hold one in each hand. Slowly lower yourself down until your arms are extended overhead. From this hanging position, step both your feet onto the bench in front of you so your heels are resting on the bench and your legs are extended, your body forming an “L” shape. (Depending on the height of your rings, your glutes may be touching or just hovering off the floor.)
- To start the move, rock onto the soles of your feet, so your shins become perpendicular to the bench. To do so, you’ll need to bend your knees to about 90 degrees and use your hamstrings to pull your body closer to the bench.
- Then engage your core and glutes to lift your hips, and do a row, pulling your chest up between your hands. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to knees.
- Hold this position for one second, then slowly reverse the movement to return to the starting position: slowly extend your arms to lower your chest, then straighten your legs and bend at your hips to hang below the rings with arms and legs fully extended. That’s one rep.
- Do six reps. Try three to four sets.