Gymnastic Rings are one of the best, but hardest pieces of equipment to master. There are thousands of exercises to perform on them, with experts able to do spins, flips and holds that seem to defy gravity. The problem is where to start, as Rings can seem daunting, complicated and tricky to get started.
We will look into the Top 5 beginner Rings exercises, and how to advance them to the next level.
Holding this top support position may not look like much, but you will be very shaky and unstable the first time you try it. Hold yourself at the top position, arms locked, legs slightly pointing forwards and the abdominals engaged. This works the core, shoulders, arm and back muscles and is a key ring exercise to nail – from this you can move into dips, L-sits, and holds.
Pro Tip – To increase the difficult of this exercise, try turning your palms to face forward.
Tuck progressing to L-sit
Once you have mastered the Ring support exercise, you can increase the difficulty and engage the abdominals into a tuck position. By raising the knees towards your stomach, you will engage the abs in a crunch position. Strong abs and core are very important, not just for using the Rings but in everyday life.
Pro-Tip – To increase the difficulty of this exercise, straighten those legs and point your toes, making sure your legs are horizontal and parallel to the ground.
Rows progressing to Pull ups
Inverted Rows are a fundamental back exercise no matter how strong you are. If you are a beginner, they are the perfect exercise to perform to build up to pull ups. Rows are great because you can easily increase or decrease difficulty by changing your body position. The further away your body is from the anchor, and the more vertical you are, the easier it is as there is more weight on your feet and less on your arms. If you are almost horizontal, directly underneath the anchor then your upper body will be taking most of your bodyweight, making the rows much harder.
Chest Press/Press ups
Press ups are a fantastic beginner exercise for developing chest, shoulders and tricep pressing power. The body position for the beginner variation would be around 45 degrees, with most of the weight still taken by the legs. To advance, lower the Rings down so the arms take up progressively more load, until your body is horizontal and you are almost directly under the anchor point.
Pro-tip – To make these even harder, place your feet in the rings, so the arms take even more of your weight, helping to progress to a handstand push up.
The extended plank exercise works your body from head to toe, using shoulder strength and stability and core flexion to hold your body straight. The longer the straps are set, the harder it becomes as the closer to the ground you must lower your body. Begin with straps hanging around shoulder height, stand underneath the anchor point, extend your arms and lean forward till your body is in a straight line from fingers to toes. You can lean out, hold and bring back in and repeat, or hold the end position for time. Once this becomes easy, lower the straps and continue. The ultimate aim is to finish with the ring handles almost touching the floor.