For a complete killer workout in minimal time, get yourself a pair of gymnastic rings to build strength, endurance, and mobility.
When you look at gymnastic rings, the images that often come to mind are those of jacked gymnasts with impressive physiques. The majority of ring exercises are compound movements that recruit multiple muscle groups and joints. A basic gymnastic rings workout adds new stimuli and puts more demands on your muscles as they will have to act to stabilize you. This is how those professional gymnasts get so jacked using rings.
Gymnastic rings could be the most complete piece of bodyweight training equipment because they’re cheap, easy to set up, and portable. Simply sling them over a sturdy rafter or a solid tree branch and you’ll be ready to go! Try the following full-body gymnastic rings circuit below for three sets between 10-15 reps and you’ll see improvement in your physique.
Table of Contents
What You Need To Get Started
Before we dive into the full-body workout, here are the recommended must-buys in order to gain the most out of your workout, stress-free!
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A decent pair of wooden gymnastic rings does wonders for your body. They can help you build some serious upper body strength while improving your mobility and range of motion. Gymnastic rings can be packed into a gym bag and taken with you to attach to sturdy rafters or a tree branch.
If you’re like me and you have excessively sweaty hands whilst working out, liquid chalk can improve your grip whilst training so you don’t have to leave a bit of sweat to ruin your performance. I recommend you to check out the liquid chalk below for superior grip and reliable hands, that dry faster and give little mess.
Gymnastic Rings Workout
Use this essential equipment to transform your health and physique over the upcoming weeks. They will develop your strength, balance, and coordination. Do this workout twice a week to increase the effectiveness.
Also, If you’re unsure what type of gymnastic ring is right for you, check out this Ultimate Guide For Buying Gymnastic Rings article to make an informed buying decision.
Exercise #1 – Skin the Cat
Targets: Core, back, and shoulders
- Begin in a dead hang position.
- Lift your knees to your chest and thread them in between your arms.
- Lower down as low as you can, but don’t touch your feet to the ground.
- Reverse the movement by engaging your core and raising your hips.
- Repeat this between 3-8 reps.
Exercise #2 – Ring Rows
This exercise is otherwise known as the Australian pull-ups and it’s a great exercise for getting strong pull-ups. You can learn how to do this on the traditional horizontal bar by reading this Australian pull-ups tutorial.
Targets: Back, biceps, core, and rear shoulders
- Set the rings at around waist height and grip the rings.
- Lean back until your arms are straight and your body is at an inclined slope. Engage your core to ensure your body is in a straight line.
- Row up towards the rings by bending your elbows and pulling as high as you can.
- Slowly return to the starting position.
- Repeat this between 10-15 reps.
Exercise #3 – Ring Dips
Ring dips have many variations you can do to further stimulate your muscles, ranging from parallel dips, straight bar dips, and bench dips. Learn how to do them with the correct form by checking out this tricep dips tutorial.
Targets: Triceps, chest, core, and front shoulders
- Begin in a ring support position, holding yourself up with your arms straight, feet together, and core tight.
- Lower by bending at the elbows, keeping them tucked in until your elbows are at 90 degrees.
- Contract your chest and triceps and dip back up, rotating the palms outwards to the top position to work on the chest.
- Repeat between 5-12 reps
Exercise #4 – Ring Lunges
Lunges are great for building muscle mass and strength in your lower body. It also develops your unilateral strength which is essential for a balanced strength in both legs. There are six different variations you can implement in your bodyweight routine in this lunges tutorial.
Targets: Quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core.
- Set the rings at approximately 8-10 inches above the floor.
- Get into a split stance position by resting the front feet of your rear foot on the ring. Brace your core.
- Lower by bending the knees until your front thighs are parallel to the ground bringing your palms together at the center of your chest to help with balance.
- Drive through your heels and return to the starting position.
- Repeat this between 8-15 reps and work on both legs in a single set.
Exercise #5 – Ring Pike Push-Ups
The pike push-up is one of the ultimate bodyweight exercises for developing vertical pushing strength. They will build strength in your shoulders which is essential for the handstand and handstand push-ups. Find out how to do this on the floor by checking out this pike push-ups tutorial.
Targets: Shoulders, triceps, upper back, and core.
- Adjust the ring to manipulate the difficulty. Generally, the higher the rings, the easier it will be.
- Begin in a ring push-up position and gradually walk your feet towards your hands into a pike position where your body is at an inverted V-shape. Be on your tiptoes and squeeze your core and look in between your hands.
- Lower down by bending the elbows until your triceps are parallel to the ground.
- Repeat this between 5-12 reps and work on both legs in a single set.
Exercise #6 – Ring Jump Squats
Jump squats work on multiple muscle groups at once. They will develop your explosive power and increase the overall size of your legs. There are four other variations you can learn in this jump squats tutorial to elevate your bodyweight training.
Targets: Quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and core.
- Set the rings at approximately hip height.
- Grip the rings with both hands and take a couple of steps back.
- Lower down into a squat by bending the knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
- Drive through your heels and explode into a squat jump.
- Land softly into a squat.
- Repeat this movement between 10-15 reps.
Exercise #7 – Ring Support Hold
This is one of the fundamental gymnastic ring exercises and is an isometric exercise that will help to build stability, balance, and core strength.
Targets: Triceps, biceps, forearms, shoulders, and core.
- Grip the rings and push through your palms to hold yourself at the top position with your arms locked out and feet together.
- Rotate your palms outwards, shoulders rounded, and core squeezed.
- Hold this position between 10-30 seconds.
The Takeaways: Rings Workout
Gymnastic rings are great training equipment for implementing a simple, yet effective workout into your workout routine. They can be used as a beginner’s tool to reduce the load and help the body to get familiarized with the movement paths of pushing and pulling movements, or they can be used as a progression for more advanced athletes to enhance their range of motion and instability further.
With that said, if you’d like a personalized workout program that takes you through a measurable step-by-step process, then our online coaching services will be ideal for you. Simply book a consultation with an expert coach to get started.
I’m Pat Chadwick, a qualified Level 2 and Level 3 calisthenics coach and athlete from London, England, with six years of experience. I’ve competed in various UK competitions, including the Kalos Stenos Championships, where I achieved third place in the lightweight category. My passion is highlighting the beauty of calisthenics as an authentic and pure form of body expression. I believe that everyone has the potential to become a champion of their body and mind, and that calisthenics opens the door to personal empowerment.