Gym rings are often very underrated in calisthenics, although they offer endless training possibilities. Initially, rings were mainly used by gymnasts, but now more and more athletes are discovering the benefits that a ring workout brings.
Due to the additional stabilization of the body required, new stimuli are set in the training. In this type of training, not only one muscle group is used, but often many different groups at the same time.
This has advantages in functional strength building, building muscle endurance and fat burning. The strength gained in the training with rings is perfectly adaptable to workouts on Parallettes.
Let's move on to the most popular exercises on the gymnastic rings:
Exercise 1 - Ring Rows (Beginner)
Rings Rows are similar to classic rowing.
Here you attach the rings for example with a door anchor between the door. The difficulty level can be adjusted here (the more upright the body, the easier the execution).
The ideal exercise for a ring workout for beginners
Important: In the starting position, the arms should be stretched and the body on tension.
Exercise 2 - Assisted Ring Dips (Beginners)
Ring Dips are a popular exercise for beginners and advanced athletes to build strong triceps and as an assistance exercise for push ups or dips.
The higher the hands are here, the easier the exercise, as more weight lands on the feet.
Important: Arms extended at the top position, elbows bent back and not out. To complicate the exercise can be used either weight vest, weight discs on the legs. Also, the rings can be placed lower.
Exercise 3 - Ring Push Ups (Beginner)
Push Ups may not be missing in a ring workout full body workout of course.
The advantage of the rings here is that you can adjust the height of the rings as desired, and thus influence the degree of difficulty.
Here applies again:
The higher the rings or hands, the easier the push ups.
Important: The elbows remain close to the body and bend backwards and not to the side. Having scratched on the arms doing push ups? Elbow Sleeves help to bring stability into your workout and to avoid scratches.
Exercise 4 - Hanging Knee Raise (Beginner)
Hanging Knee Raises are ideal for strengthening the lower abdomen. In the starting position you keep your body under tension and then pull your knees up to hip height in a controlled manner.
Important: lower the knees back to the starting position in a controlled manner.
Exercise 5 - Biceps Curls (Beginner)
The Biceps Curls also work very well on the gymnastic rings. The further you move your feet towards the attachment point, the more difficult the biceps curls become.
Important: The arms must be fully extended in the starting position, and the body must be under tension. The height of the rings can also be adjusted to make the workout easier or more difficult.
Exercise 6 - Ring Pull Ups (Advanced)
Pull ups are one of the most important bodyweight exercises and are also ideal to incorporate into a ring workout routine.
Normally these are performed on a pull-up bar, but can also be practiced very well on the gymnastic rings. More body tension is needed and this also adds a new stimulus to the workout. You can also increase the intensity by using a dip belt. Read more about this topic in our Blog about the dip belt.
Exercise 7 - Ring Flies (advanced)
With the Ring Flies, especially the chest is strongly stressed and a certain body tension is required. Again, the higher the rings are set, the easier the exercise will be.
Important: The arms remain extended throughout the entire movement.
Exercise 8 - L-Sit (Advanced)
The L-Sit is an aesthetically pleasing, beautiful exercise and uses many muscles in the upper body such as shoulders, triceps, core (abdominal and lower back muscles) and even the legs are under tension.
A level of strength and mobility are needed for this exercise to be performed cleanly. It is one of the basics in calisthenics.
Important: The arms should be extended and the shoulder blades contracted downwards, so that you push yourself upwards and remain stable.
On the rings this exercise is even more difficult than on the floor or parallettes.
Exercise 9 - Pike Push Ups (Advanced)
Pike Push Ups is the best pre-exercise for handstand push ups, but involves a few things that need to be taken care of. The arms are bent backwards and stay close to the body.
It follows from this movement that the head goes far forward and the nose does not touch the floor between the hands, as the exercise is often mistakenly done, but further forward. Leaning forward stresses the part that we later need for the HSPU (Handstand Push Up).
Again, by adjusting the height of the rings, the difficulty can be adjusted. One of the must-do calisthenics exercises.
Important: legs stay straight, core stays active.
Exercise 10 - Ring Dips (Advanced)
An extension of the ring dips shown earlier.
This variation of the ring dips is similar to the one on the parallel bars, but more body tension and stabilization is needed on the rings. This makes the exercise more difficult.
Important: Arms extended at the top position, elbows bent backward and not outward.
To make the exercise more difficult, either weight vest, weight discs can be used on the legs.
Exercise 11 - Toes to Rings (advanced)
Toes to Rings is one of the most challenging exercises for the core. A certain amount of flexibility, mobility and strength is required, which also makes this exercise a very effective addition to a full body workout on the rings.
Important: try to use as little momentum as possible to get the most success out of this exercise.
The legs should be pulled to the rings from muscle power.
Exercise 12 - Triceps Extensions (Advanced)
As the name suggests, the focus here is on the triceps. From fitness you know this exercise as French Press or triceps press. The execution is the same.
The arms are extended in the starting position and the difficulty can be adjusted here by adjusting the height of the rings.
Again, the lower the rings, the more difficult the exercise.
Important: The elbows are bent backwards and not outwards.
The body should also be under tension and form a straight line.
Exercise 13 - Frontlever (Pro)
The frontlever is one of the most popular exercises in calisthenics and is also the result of hard training.
The core and back areas are each put under a lot of strain here, as the body is held parallel to the floor. This requires a lot of strength and body tension.
Important: The arms should be fully extended and the torso must not sag.
Exercise 14 - Backlever (Pro)
The Backlever is also one of the most popular exercises around Calisthenics, which can not be achieved without hard training.
Unlike the frontlever, it is not the back that is heavily used, but the shoulders. The core area again provides the necessary body tension to keep the body parallel to the floor.
Important: Keep the arms extended and do not let the torso sag so that the body remains straight.
You are looking to improve your rings workout even more? Make sure to check out our YouTube video with 31 exercises on workout rings.
More interesting topics about Calisthenics:
- One Arm Pull Up - Why most exercises don’t work?
- 13 Calisthenics Exercises on Parallettes | GORNATION
- The 7 most useful calisthenics equipments - and how to use them
- Creating your own Calisthenics Workout Plan - 4 Essential Steps