A Inexperienced persons Information To Exercising With Gymnasium Rings (Get A Ring Exercise Right this moment)
If you want to train with gymnastic rings, you've come to the right place!
We teach many of our coaching clients how to incorporate gymnastic rings into their workouts, and today we're going to be sharing the same lessons with you!
Let your nerd fitness coach help you get started with gymnastics rings! Find out more here!
We're going to cover the following so you can start training with gymnastic rings:
If you are interested in training with gymnastic rings (which you are because you are here), you can try our new app! It contains workouts that you can use to train with rings. No guesswork required, just log into the app and follow the next few steps.
You can sign up for a free trial here:
What are the benefits of gym ring training?
Show me someone, male or female, who exercises with wrestling and I'll show you a healthy, bad person!
I used to think rings were only for gymnasts. But similar to other bodyweight exercises, rings are a great tool for beginners too.
Young or old, male or female, tall or short, you can just start by spending a few dollars on a set of gymnastics rings and working on some very simple moves.
It doesn't matter if you're a beginner or a highly developed, eccentric person (and it certainly doesn't matter if you're "thin" or "stocky", male or female, Gungan or Wookie): Everyone at every level of experience can train successfully – and safely – with Rings.
How do I know so much about rings? Because I never leave the house without her!
My love affair with gymnastics rings began many, many years ago as a simple crush. I watched Olympic gymnasts do crazy things on the rings and said, "I want to do crazy things on the rings one day too, but I don't know how."
It was around this time that I had just moved to Washington DC and discovered that one of my fitness heroes, Jim Bathurst of BeastSkills, was ALSO in Washington DC. Finally, embarrassed, I asked him if he could show me the rings and he taught me how to start with them.
In fact, he helped me build my first muscle (review of Skinny Steve in 2011):
After that I fell in love with the ring training and they never leave my side. For the past four years I've been using my rings and training under the guidance of an online trainer (my friend Anthony Mychal) – the results have absolutely blown my mind.
That's why I throw a couple of rings and some chalk in my suitcase every time I travel, knowing that I have portable gym everywhere I can find a branch or swing to hang them on!
I firmly believe that my quest for Captain America was aided by my ring training – it helped me build functional strength, bigger arms, wider chest, wider shoulders, and more. Also, I can now do cool things like this:
And rings aren't just for boys! You know Staci from Team NF, right? Here she makes muscles with extra weight:
Besides ring pushups:
And ring l-sits:
Maybe you watched all these videos and then looked at your stomach and said, “Uh, yeah. There's no way you can ever do that stuff! "
As with any video game, there is a level system that you can follow. You start with basic movements like hanging on the rings:
Or keep in the push-up position:
You can then move on to slightly more difficult things like a pull-up:
Or full push-ups:
And they end up doing all sorts of crazy things like muscle ups:
And iron crosses:
If I haven't scared you off yet, let's go on your way to rule of the ring. You know my friend / hero Jim whom I mentioned earlier? He's now on the Nerd Fitness team (and our head coach!), and he helped us put together a pretty killer resource to help you …
The Lord of the Flies rings
(Keyword the Rivendell Music)
What are the best gym rings to buy? (4 things to consider)
You may be lucky enough to work out at a Crossfit gym or commercial gym where gym rings happen to be available.
However, if you're like me, you can work out at home or at a gym without rings, which means you will have to buy your own.
Rings are cheap (especially if you're just starting out and don't need anything special). I've probably gone through 6-10 different pairs of rings to test them all and I'll share my thoughts with you below.
For starters, you can either use plastic / composite rings or Wooden rings. Jim, Staci and I all agree that wooden rings offer a better experience than plastic rings, but if plastic is your only option, go for what you have!
When buying gymnastic rings, the following 4 points must be observed:
# 1) CHEAP AND EASY: If you're not sure if rings are right for you but are curious about rings, I would consider starting with a set of wooden rings like these Peak Fitness wooden rings for less than $ 30. I guarantee the last thing you spent $ 30 wouldn't change your life the way these rings will.
# 2) HIGHER QUALITY: My friend Peter runs FringeSport.com and I can testify that his wooden rings are the highest quality rings I have ever used. If you know you are going to love rings and want a great pair that will last forever, go with these.
# 3) QUICK SETUP AND REMOVAL: I use Rogue Competition Rings these days for one reason. I have to assemble and disassemble my rings every time I exercise, and the carabiners and segmented straps allow for quick assembly and disassembly.
# 4) SMALLER HANDS ?: Look for "FIG" size rings. These rings from the International Gymnastics Federation are slightly smaller and thinner, which allows for better control for smaller hands.
How To Set Up Gymnastics Rings (How To Hang Your Rings)
If you are responsible for hanging your own rings at home or at the gym, there are a few important things to keep in mind.
Where are you going to hang them to start?
Depending on your clearance or where you want to exercise, ANY of the following can be anchor points for you to hang:
- A branch in your local park (Be sure. If in doubt about stability, go ahead!)
- The top bar of a swing in the playground down the street
- The tallest pull-up bar in your gym
- The bar on top of your gym squat rack
- Two eye bolts in your garage ceiling or rafter / i-beam in your basement or garage.
- Hang on the pull-up bar on the door frame
The first thing to do when you have rings with proper clips is learn how to hang them properly! I've seen MANY people hang rings incorrectly and can be very dangerous.
Here is a video on how to hang up your gymnastic rings step by step:
If you are hanging them over something square or rough, it is recommended that you put down some old towels first to minimize wear and tear on the straps.
What's this? Don't have space to hang your rings at home? Do you have a door frame? If so, MacGuyver can set up a setup like Jim here in his house with a door frame chin up bar! (His chin-up bar is this one.)
Depending on how much play you have, you may need to adjust the ring height a few times so that you can work above or below the rings. (Exercises such as plunging, props, and L-seats require different heights than rows and front lever handles).
What about gloves? When you work with rings (and barbells), some calluses inevitably form on your hands. While we here at Nerd Fitness will simply pumice or shave the extra skin, this might not be attractive or an option to you.
You can certainly wear gloves during your ring work, but we recommend against it.
A better alternative?
Take care of your hands and hold on with some chalk!
Exercise chalk can be easily applied to the contact points (fingers, palm, and wrist) to absorb sweat and oil for a better grip. There is even a “liquid chalk” product if your gym doesn't allow regular chalk!
- Chalk bag (I use this for my hands when I work out)
- Liquid chalk (which Jim uses in gyms where conventional chalk isn't allowed)
The 7 best gym ring exercises for beginners
The following exercises can help anyone start wrestling TODAY. You don't need a childhood full of gymnastics.
Here are the 7 best gym ring exercises for beginners:
# 1) Hang on the rings
One of the easiest exercises? Hang on the rings! This exercise is accessible to beginners, but not kidding.
It will help you build the grip strength required for future skills and you may not have a long walk in the beginning.
If hang on your ring is too difficult for you:
- Just adjust the rings so you can hang by your arms and have part of your feet on the floor.
- Don't worry if you feel like 99% of your weight is still in your feet, there is still 1% in your hands and arms, and that will definitely improve over time!
For those who can easily hang on the rings, you can practice hanging scapular retractions. This is a fancy way of saying we're going to pull our shoulders and shoulder blades (shoulder blades) away from our ears.
Do this with your elbows completely straight so that all movement goes through your shoulders. Withdraw, relax, repeat. Hard stuff!
Here is a video of Jim and me going through the movement:
# 2) Support position
If you've never used rings before, just holding yourself up with your arms straight is a challenge! The rings want to move in all directions.
Just like hanging on the rings, you can also adjust the rings to a height that allows you to help with your feet on the floor.
And even if you feel like 99% of your weight is in your feet, we can still work and improve the 1% that you take in your arms!
# 3) ring lines
Rows of rings are a classic exercise to build yourself up into a pull-up. You can place the rings anywhere around your waist to knee level. Then take the rings and sit back to begin the exercise.
By moving your feet forward or away from the anchor point, you can position your body in an infinite number of angles (which adjusts the level of difficulty).
- Make it easy for yourself by leaning back slightly.
- Make it difficult for yourself by putting your feet on a bench and starting horizontally.
An infinite number of angles allow you to position your body (to adjust the level of difficulty), they are suitable for absolutely everyone.
Make sure everything your rings are attached to is tight before you sit back with your arms and body straight. Then blow your chest up and pull it towards the rings!
# 4) Pull-ups ring
Pull-ups on rings work the same as they do on the bar. You can also easily move your hands to different positions (palms forward, inward, and backward).
Not quite a pull-up professional yet?
Adjust the height of the rings to support your feet! Or use a box like this:
# 5) Ring pushups
Ring pushups are much more difficult than floor pushups because you need to stabilize the "floor" before you even move!
Just like with rows, you can adjust your body at an infinite number of angles to the floor to make the exercise easier or more difficult.
# 6) ring dips:
Ring dips are one of my favorite exercises for the great challenge they offer. Lower yourself down until your chest touches the rings (yes, that deep!), Then push up until you are in a straight armrest position.
As with many other ring exercises, you can easily adjust the height of the rings so your feet can help a little or a lot.
# 7) Incorrect grip practice
The wrong grip is one way of holding the rings so that your wrist touches the inside edge of the rings. This way we can build more advanced skills like building muscle! (Aka a ring pull-up that turns into a jump!):
Think of the wrong grip like a hook on the rings: between forearm and hand.
How to perform a wrong grip:
- Place your wrist on the inside edge of the ring with the small side and just below the crease of your wrist.
- Bend the forearm tightly.
- The support point is on the wrist with the hands firmly holding the ring.
Any of the pulling and hanging exercises we've gone through can be done with a wrong grip. Just be warned they get a lot harder!
Would you like to help bring it all together for a full body workout? Our new app does it all for you so you can get the most out of your rings:
4 tips and tricks for using gymnastic rings
Keep the following four points in mind as you begin your gym ring workout:
# 1) Your relationship with wrestling isn't going to be "do this and do it for a month." This is a lifelong relationship – if you like it, put a ring on it. Got it? Because Beyonce and gymnastics too.
Get used to playing with rings as often as possible. Wake up your inner child again and enjoy moving on the rings.
As a small child in a playground you didn't think about structured training. You just moved and had fun. And as you rediscover that fun, your grip, muscles, and joints get stronger.
# 2) "What if I don't have rings?" If you want to learn to swim, you have to go to a pool at some point, right?
However, if you are at home waiting for your rings to arrive, there are a number of these exercises you can still do! Pushing and supporting exercises can be performed on two stable chairs or on the floor. Pulling and hanging can be done in a jungle gym (even the wrong grip can be practiced on a bar!). Be sure, but get creative!
# 3) BE SLOW AND PATIENT! I know people who started getting really sore muscles before their bodies, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons were ready … and they got hurt pretty badly.
I even struggled a bit with elbow tendonitis because I was pressing myself too tight on the rings too soon. So slow down, slowly build up your strength in each exercise and …
# 4) Have fun with them. Remember, our goal is to find a workout that not only we not fear, but that we can look forward to! Exercising without realizing it is a surefire way to get involved in the long term.
I want to mention that one of the benefits of our coaching program is helping people find workouts that they enjoy. If you're scared of going to the gym to jump on a treadmill, maybe we can help!
We build fun workouts for our customers. Find out how here!
Getting started with exercise rings
You now know everything you need to get started with gymnastics rings: what rings to buy, how to set them up, and how to exercise with them!
It's time to shine my young padawan!
Would you like help with progressing your gymnastics ring training from here? I have 3 great options for you!
# 1) Working out at home and needing a plan to follow? Check out Nerd Fitness Journey!
Our fun habit-building app will help you exercise more, eat healthier, and (literally) improve your life.
Try your free trial here:
# 2) If you want to know, step by step, how to build up a gym ring workout, get stronger, and even eat better, check out our killer 1-on-1 coaching program:
Our coaching program changes your life. Learn how!
# 3) Join the rebellion! We have a free email newsletter that we send out twice a week. It contains lots of tips and tricks to help you get strong, get healthy, and have fun doing it.
I'll also send you tons of free travel guides like ours Strength training 101 eBook upon registration:
Download our comprehensive guide
- Everything you need to know to get strong.
- Exercise routines for body weight AND strength training.
- How to find the right gym and train properly in one.
Okay, your turn
I would like to hear from you:
- What questions do you have about getting started with rings?
- What's the biggest thing stopping you from giving them a chance?
- Have you trained with them yet?
PS: I enjoy this gif way more than i should:
I told you gym rings are for everyone!
Photos: Gymnastic rings, Small children's gymnastics rings, iron cross, gymnastics rings, three rings, gymnastics murals, rings.