Gymnastics rings are one of the most versatile bits of kit you can buy. Light, portable and user-friendly, they are a smart way to take your calisthenics skills to the next level.
Whether you train in functional fitness space, commercial gym, or have a home set up, here are 6 advanced exercises to master on your gymnastics rings.
First up, a quick reminder of why gymnastics rings are such a valuable addition to your training toolkit.
1 Targeted bodyweight and calisthenics training
2 Amazing upper body strength and control
3 Shoulder and wrist joint health and mobility
4 Improved co-ordination and control
5 Increased power output in upper body movements
Ring Press Ups Use your gymnastics rings for press ups and get a much better stretch and contraction than with regular press ups. Not only that, but you’ll build strength and stability through the upper body and core (including the important secondary stabiliser muscles). Play around with grip/hand position during ring press ups to challenge yourself.
Want more? Elevate your feet on a couple of bumper plates and you’re your body parallel to the floor.
Ring Y (Warm Up/Mobility Move) This might not be a challenging move, but it’s one you should put into your warm ups and mobility sessions. They’re a great way to warm up before pressing moves, helping to build stability and control in the posterior delts.
How to: hold the rings in front of you, arms straight and palms facing each other. Lean back slightly. Row the rings back and up with straight arms, until your body is standing up straight and your arms are overhead in a “Y” shape.
Ring Layout The ring layout is an intermediate move which challenges your entire core and puts a lot of work through your serratus, lats, shoulders, and triceps. Have your feet elevated on a couple of bumper plates or low box, so you are in a press up position with the rings under your shoulders. From here, slowly press the rings out in front of you, and pull them back to the start position.
Goal reps: 3 sets of 5 in this advanced position.
Ring Dips Possibly one of the most sought-after advanced ring exercises! The challenge comes from the level of stability and control you’ll need. Start with the rings low enough that you can touch your feet to the floor. Work up to the advanced move, on high rings with legs straight out in front.
Pro tip: keep your hands close into your sides, palms in a neutral grip position.
Archer Pull-Up You can do various pull-up variations on your gymnastics rings, including kipping and strict. But if you want to get advanced, you should try the Archer Pull-Up. It’s an alternating single-arm pull-up with one arm, keeping the other arm straight.
Shorten the straps so you can hang from high rings. Pull yourself up to one ring, using an underhand (chin-up) grip, and at the same time push down on the other ring with that arm straight. The end position for each rep is one arm straight out from your body, and the other hand under your chin.
Rep goal: these are tough, so aim for 2 sets of 6 (3 each side) keeping it slow and controlled.
Ring Muscle-Ups Here it is – the ultimate gymnastics rings movement which will challenge your strength, power, and cahones! You’ll start in a dead hang, do an explosive pull up, transition into a dip, then press your body up to straight arms. Easy…. right?
Make sure you can do muscle ups on a pull up bar/rig before you try them on the rings. Practice by lowering your gymnastics rungs and starting in a ring row position. Once you’ve mastered ring muscle-ups, make them harder by slowing everything down and eliminating the kip.
Our wooden gymnastics rings are designed for grip and comfort. Get yours at our online store here.
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