Rings are versatile, easy to transport, easy to set up and incredibly challenging for your body and fitness.
For full technique tips watch the video below.
Benefits of Training with Gymnastic Rings
Training with gymnastic rings offers a wide range of benefits, making them a versatile and effective tool for improving overall strength, stability, and body control. Here are some of the benefits of training with gymnastic rings:
Full-Body Strength: Gymnastic rings engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, providing a comprehensive strength workout. You can target the upper body (chest, back, shoulders, arms), lower body (through exercises like ring dips and leg raises), and core.
Increased Stability and Balance: Ring exercises require constant stability and balance as you work against the instability of the hanging rings. This can improve overall body control and coordination.
Functional Strength: Ring training promotes functional strength, as it often mimics real-world movements, such as pushing, pulling, and stabilizing. This type of strength is valuable for everyday activities and sports.
Core Development: Many ring exercises engage the core to a high degree for stability. As a result, you can expect improved core strength and better posture.
Scalability: Rings are highly adjustable, allowing you to modify exercises to suit your fitness level. You can make exercises easier or more challenging by adjusting the height of the rings or your body angle.
Joint Health: The free movement of the rings reduces stress on joints, making them a good option for individuals who may have joint issues or injuries.
Variety and Creativity: Rings offer a wide range of exercises, from pull-ups and dips to muscle-ups and advanced movements. This variety keeps workouts interesting and challenging.
Mobility and Flexibility: Ring exercises often require a greater range of motion in the shoulders and other joints, helping to improve flexibility and mobility.
Injury Prevention: Ring training can help balance muscle development and improve joint health, potentially reducing the risk of injuries, especially in the shoulders and lower back.
Minimal Equipment: Gymnastic rings are portable and easy to set up, making them accessible for home workouts or outdoor training.
Calisthenic Progression: Rings are a key tool for calisthenics and bodyweight training, allowing you to progress from basic movements to advanced, impressive feats of strength and control.
Enhanced Grip Strength: Holding onto the rings challenges your grip strength, which can benefit other exercises and daily activities.
Mental Benefits: Ring training can improve mental focus, as it requires concentration and mindfulness to maintain proper form and balance.
1. Archer Push Up on Rings
The Archer Push Up on Rings is a challenging variation of the push-up exercise that involves using gymnastics rings. It’s an advanced bodyweight exercise that primarily targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps, while also engaging the core and stabilizer muscles. Here’s how it’s performed:
Hang gymnastics rings from an overhead support, such as a sturdy pull-up bar or a gymnastics ring frame.
Stand facing the rings, and adjust their height so that they are approximately chest height when your arms are fully extended.
Grasp one ring with your hand, and position yourself at an angle to the ground, similar to a regular push-up position but with one arm extended straight and the other bent at the elbow.
The extended arm will be the “working” arm, and the bent arm will be the “supporting” arm. The working arm will do most of the pushing while the supporting arm helps with stability.
Lower your body down by bending your working arm while keeping your supporting arm slightly bent and your core engaged.
Go down as far as your strength and flexibility allow, ideally until your chest is close to the ring or touching it.
Push your body back up to the starting position by extending your working arm.
Repeat the exercise for the desired number of reps on one side and then switch to the other side.
The Archer Push Up on Rings is a unilateral exercise, which means you work one arm at a time, and it requires a great deal of strength, stability, and control. It’s crucial to use proper form and gradually progress to this exercise to avoid injury.
If you’re not already proficient in standard push-ups and other ring exercises, it’s a good idea to build up your strength and stability first. Always exercise caution and consult a fitness professional if you’re unsure about your ability to perform this advanced movement safely.
2. Hamstring Curls on Gymnastic Rings
Hamstring curls on gymnastic rings are an advanced bodyweight exercise that targets the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back muscles. This exercise involves using gymnastics rings to support your body while you perform a curling motion with your legs, working against gravity. It’s an effective exercise for developing hamstring and glute strength and is commonly used by gymnasts, calisthenics enthusiasts, and individuals looking to strengthen their posterior chain.
Hamstring curls on gymnastic rings require significant core and lower body strength and balance. They are also challenging for your stabilizing muscles. It’s essential to use proper form to avoid straining your lower back and hamstrings. If you’re new to this exercise, start with your feet on the ground and practice the movement in a controlled manner to build up strength and stability before attempting the full movement with your feet in the rings.
3. Ring Roll Outs
Ring roll-outs on gymnastic rings are a challenging core and upper body exercise that offers several benefits:
Core Strength: Ring roll-outs engage the entire core, including the rectus abdominis, obliques, and transverse abdominis. The exercise requires core muscles to stabilize your body as you extend your arms and roll the rings forward. This helps to build strength and endurance in the core muscles, leading to better posture and reduced risk of lower back pain.
Shoulder and Chest Development: The anterior deltoids (front shoulder muscles) and chest muscles play a significant role in the stability and control needed during ring roll-outs. Over time, this exercise can contribute to improved shoulder and chest development.
Balance and Stability: Ring roll-outs demand a high degree of balance and stability. The instability of the rings forces your body to work harder to maintain balance and control. This, in turn, enhances your overall body stability, which can translate to improved performance in various activities and a reduced risk of injury.
Functional Strength: Ring roll-outs mimic real-life movements where you need to extend your arms and engage your core. The functional nature of the exercise makes it valuable for activities outside the gym, such as lifting objects, sports, and everyday movements.
Improved Flexibility: Ring roll-outs require a good range of motion in the shoulders and the spine. Over time, performing this exercise can contribute to increased flexibility in these areas, which is important for injury prevention and overall mobility.
Posture Improvement: Building a strong core and enhancing shoulder stability can lead to improved posture. A strong core helps support the spine, preventing slouching and rounding of the shoulders.
Full-Body Integration: Ring roll-outs engage multiple muscle groups, promoting full-body integration and coordination. This is especially beneficial for athletes and individuals looking to enhance their overall physical fitness.
Variety in Workout Routines: Adding ring roll-outs to your workout routine can provide variety and challenge your muscles in different ways. This can help break through plateaus and keep your fitness routine interesting.
It’s important to note that ring roll-outs are an advanced exercise and can be quite demanding, especially for those new to gymnastic rings or core training. It’s essential to start with proper form, perform controlled movements, and gradually progress as you gain strength and stability. If you’re new to this exercise, consider working with a qualified trainer to ensure you perform it safely and effectively.
4. Ring Rows
Ring rows, also known as body rows or ring pull-ups, are a great bodyweight exercise that primarily targets several muscle groups in the upper body and also engages the core for stability.
The main muscles worked during ring rows include:
- Latissimus Dorsi (Lats): The lats are the largest muscles in your back and are heavily engaged in the pulling motion of ring rows. They help with shoulder extension and adduction.
- Biceps: The biceps brachii muscles in the front of the upper arm are responsible for flexing the elbow and play a significant role in the pulling motion of the exercise.
- Rear Deltoids: The rear deltoids, located in the back of the shoulder, are responsible for shoulder extension and help stabilize the shoulders during ring rows.
- Rhomboids: The rhomboid major and minor muscles, situated between the shoulder blades, are important for scapular retraction, which is a key movement in ring rows.
- Trapezius: The trapezius muscle is engaged for scapular stabilization and control during the exercise.
- Biceps Brachialis: This muscle, located beneath the biceps brachii, also contributes to elbow flexion.
- Forearms: The muscles of the forearm are used to grip the rings and control the movement.
- Core Muscles: Ring rows require a stable core to maintain proper body alignment during the exercise. The rectus abdominis and obliques, which make up the abdominal muscles, are activated to support the movement.
- Scapular Stabilizers: Muscles like the serratus anterior and the muscles around the scapula play a role in stabilizing and controlling the movement of the shoulder blades.
Ring rows are an excellent exercise for developing upper body and back strength, especially when you may not have access to traditional pull-up bars.
They also provide a scalable challenge, as you can adjust the angle of your body to make the exercise easier or more difficult. Additionally, ring rows are a useful exercise for improving posture and shoulder health by strengthening the muscles that support good alignment.