Bodyweight Rows on Gymnastic Rings are an incredible exercise for the whole back. It is simple to make the exercise harder or easier and are perfect to help progress to pull ups and muscle ups. Using Rings for Bodyweight Rows also makes it very easy to change the area of muscular focus, moving from the Traps and Rear Delts, to the mid and lower back. Here is a quick and easy guide on how to perform them, what to look out for, and how to modulate the difficulty.
It is best to use a high anchor point or door frame when performing Bodyweight Rows as this gives you a larger working range possibility. A lower anchor point will restrict movement and make it more challenging to modulate the difficulty level of the exercise.
Set the Rings so the straps are long and hanging low. As a guide begin with them hanging around waist height.
How to perform Bodyweight Rows
Take hold of the Rings, lean back and bring tension into the straps. Ensure to keep your Scapula retracted and shoulders squeezed backwards throughout the movement.
Pull your hands towards your ribcage, pulling from your elbows and ensuring they stay tucked and close to your body. Stop when your hands are in line with your lower chest and upper ribcage, squeezing your elbows back and inwards.
Reverse and lower back to the start position – ensuring to keep your shoulder blades squeezed together.
Beginner (as pictured above)
Stand further away from the anchor point, with your body more vertically, so there is more weight on your feet.
Intermediate (as pictured below)
Place your feet closer to the anchor point so there is more weight on your arms.
Allow the Rings to hang down, and have your chest directly underneath the anchor point, so you are pulling vertically. You can even elevate your feet on a box to place even more weight on your arms.
How to change the muscular focus
By rowing your hands higher up your chest, towards your shoulders, you will focus more on the Rear Delts, Traps and Rhomboids of the upper back.
By rowing your hands towards your waist, you will focus more on the lower Lats and the Spinal Erectors of the Mid/Lower back.