This guest post comes courtesy Andrew Fox, see full bio below.
Are you looking for a complete tool to strengthen your biceps, triceps, deltoids and pectorals? Say hello to the gymnastic rings.
By using the infamously unstable gymnastic rings, people can bring their balancing and core exercises to a new level of difficulty past the static pull-up bar or parallel bars. One such famous exercise is theIron Cross. The Iron cross is a high level exercise that involves strength and stability in the shoulders, arms, chest and core.
If you think ring exercises can only be performed by gymnasts and CrossFit athletes, think again! While exercises on gymnastics rings require a good amount of strength, they can be worked up to through consistent effort and discipline. You will find that once you’re able to perform exercises on the rings with sufficient ease, your upper body strength will be at a whole new level, and your confidence will reach new heights! Let’s look at some specific benefits to training with the gymnastic rings:
Gymnastic Rings enhance strength, flexibility and balance:
Ring exercises s involve movements in all four directions. Like we mentioned before, inorder to perfrom exercises on the rings, one has to engage a lot more muscles in trying to balance as compared to exercising with a fixed bar. This balancing act that one is forced to engage in, helps build greater strength in the muscles and connective tissue as well enhances flexibility and stability. Among th various ring exercises that help in improving balance, the dips and shoulder stands are the best. While the reverse row sit-back, the chin-up, and the L-sit are the best exercises for enhancing strength and flexibility.
Gymnastic Rings are an excellent core workout:
In comparison to traditional upper-body exercise equipment, the gymnastic rings offer a more enhanced core workout. By the core workout, we mean strengthening of the abdominal muscles, back muscles and the muscles around the pelvis or oblique. To strengthen your core, you can perform the following three key exercises:
- Tuck to Inverted hang: Start with straight arms holding the rings and your feet on the floor. Next, lean back pull your knees into an inverted tuck position. Finally, straighten your legs straight above you, while maintaining a strong hollow body position. Return to the starting position by folding your knees down in to the tuck and then back on the floor.
- Mountain Climbers: If possible lower your rings to floor level. Get into a plank position with your hands gripping the rings, and your toes on the floor. Tighten your core and bring your knees to your chest, alternating legs as you would for traditional mountain climbers.
- Dead Hang L-sit: Start by hanging from the rings with straight arms. Lift your legs up to a 90-degree angle, by engaging your abdominals and hip flexors to bring them parallel to the floor.
Gymnastic Rings exercises can be used to target several different muscle groups:
Ring exercises target various muscles simultaneously, so you can work the chest, shoulders, biceps, deltoids and abdomen muscles. According to your fitness level, you can try practicing the following ring training exercises:
- The Ring Row: if you want to strengthen biceps and back muscles.
- The Ring Rollout: if you want to build abdominals and shoulders.
- The Ring Fly: if you want to target the chest, shoulders, abdominals and biceps.
- The Iron Cross: if you want to work the chest, forearms and shoulders.
- The Ring Muscle-up: if you want to strengthen the back, shoulders, biceps and triceps.
Gymnastic Rings are safe and effective:
Unlike hanging from a pull-up bar, with gymnastic rings, you can easily move in different directions. These rings offer free natural movements. Unlike the straight bars, you can perform dips and chin-ups with less risk of stress and injury to the joints. According to your preference, you can rotate the palms or maintain a grip at different times. However most basic exercises such as pull-ups, chin-ups that were easier on the bar become much more difficult when performed with free and moving rings. This is because your core has to work a lot harder to stabilize your body as opposed performing the same push and pulls movements on a fixed bar.
Gymnastic Rings offer Portability and Scalability:
The gymnastic rings do not weigh much and so can be easily transferred to different places. According to your preference, you can use them at the gym or home. At the gym, you can hang them on a squat rack or pull-up bar. Don’t worry if you are a beginner; gymnastic rings offer adjustability and scalability. Anyone can scale dips, push-ups, and chin-ups on the rings by changing the incline of your body to the floor (for example: you can adjust the difficulty of a ring row by stepping back and becoming more perpendicular to the floor, or walking forward and positioning your body more parallel to the floor). The Gymnastic rings offer workouts for people of all sizes.
No doubt, the gymnastic rings are among the best tools for training the upper body. They offer massive free and rotational movements, and bring a fun, new challenge to your existing upper-body training routine!
About the author: Andrew Fox is the founder and CEO at Aim Workout. As a passionate fitness professional and triathlete, there is no adventure he won’t embark on. From mountain biking, deep sea diving, rock climbing and cycling to boxing and mixed martial arts, Andrew has a penchant for the wild and extreme.