You don’t always need fancy equipment to get in a quality workout. The gymnastic rings have been around since the dawn of physical training and to this day represent some of the best upper-body training tools money can buy. Just look at any gymnast in the Olympics, and what you’ll find is ripped abs, massive biceps and a truly incredible strength to bodyweight ratio. Before suspension training equipment was cool and functional fitness was all the rage, people were getting strong and shredded using gymnastic rings. The best part is, you can take this amazing tool anywhere, all you need is a monkey bar or tree branch to hook them up to. Try this upper-body ring workout to pack on some lean muscle to show off on the beach this summer.
- Grip a ring in each hand, and then take a small jump to help you get into the starting position with your arms fully locked out.
- Bend at the elbow to begin lowering your body until your arms are at 90 degrees. Lower yourself in a controlled manner to avoid swinging.
- Reverse the motion by extending the elbow, pushing yourself back up into the starting position.
- Maintain a tight core at all times. Legs can be bent or straight, depending on the height of the rings.
NEUTRAL-GRIP RING PULL-UP
- Grip a ring in each hand with your arms fully extended overhead. Initiate the movement by pulling your shoulder blades together before using your arms to assist with the pull.
- Pull until your chin rises above your hands.
- Maintain tension in your glutes and core throughout the entire movement.
- Lower yourself back down in a controlled manner to full extension before performing your next rep.
- Grip the rings, keep your torso straight and your legs fully extended behind you.
- Your palms can either face inwards toward each other, which puts more focus on the triceps, or facing back behind you to increase the activation of your chest.
- Slowly lower yourself down towards the floor by bending at the elbow.
- Pause at the bottom of the exercise then push yourself back up to the starting position by extending your arms.
RING INVERTED ROW
- Grip a ring in each hand, palms facing inward towards each other, and lower yourself so your arms are fully extended below the rings with your torso off the ground and legs stretched out in front of you.
- Initiate the movement by retracting your shoulder blades, then bend at the elbows to pull your chest up towards the rings.
- Maintain a neutral, straight neck and torso throughout the movement.
- Reverse the movement by straightening the arms until they are fully extended again before performing your next rep.
RING TRICEPS PRESS
- Start by standing tall with forearms flexed at 90 degrees in front of you while grabbing a ring in each hand, palms facing away from you.
- Lean forward, so your weight shifts to your arms and your toes, while keeping a tight core. Your head should be close to your hands at the starting position.
- Now extend your elbows and push your head away from your hands until your arms are straight and pause for a moment to squeeze the triceps.
- Bend your elbows and lower yourself back to the start under control.
*For many of these exercises you can adjust the difficulty by changing the angle of your body with the ground. For example, with inverted rows, the higher your legs are in relation to your torso, the more difficult the movement will be. Once you progress you can also increase the difficulty by using a weighted vest or using a weight belt to add on extra weight.