Beginner Gym Ring Exercises

Beginner Gym Ring Exercises

Garth Stivey

Beginner Gym Ring Exercises

While gymnastic rings may appear quite daunting, they can be used by beginners and those who have never used gymnastic rings before. In this article, I will lay out a complete gym ring workout for beginners. I’ll show you how to do the exercises, how many sets and reps to perform and how long to rest between sets. In short, I’ll provide you with everything you need to get up and going with your gym ring workout.

Straight Arm Hold

How to RING SUPPORT HOLD (Beginner guide) - YouTube

The straight arm hold is a great exercise for strength and shoulder stability. To perform this  exercise, position the gym at about the level of your ribs. Grab the rings with an overhand grip and pull yourself up with a full arm extension so that your feet clear the ground. Your hands should be at the level of your pockets, with your body in a hollow position and shoulders down. Hold this position for 30 seconds or as close to 30 seconds as you can get.

Do three sets of 30 second holds.

Inverted Row

How To Do Inverted Rows  On Gymnastics Rings - YouTube

The inverted row is an excellent exercise for the back and biceps. To do this exercise, grab the handles with an overhand grip and lean back so that your body is at a 45° angle to the floor with your arms extended. Now row your body back up to an upright position. Lower and repeat. Pull from the elbows and do not arch your lower back.

To make this exercise harder, walk forward so you are more horizontal. To make it easier, walk backwards so you are more vertical.

Do three sets of 12 reps.

Leg Assisted Dip

Assisted Ring Dips - YouTube

The leg assisted dip places the focus on the triceps. Begin as if you were in a seated position holding the handles, which are lowered to the level of your knees, and your feet about 2 feet in front of you. Start with your arms fully extended and then bend your elbows to bring your butt down toward the floor. Keep the elbows tucked in as you drop them back. In the bottom position, the rings should touch your bicep. From there, press back to the start position.

To make the exercise more challenging, walk your feet further out.

Do three sets of 12 reps.

Ring Assisted Pistol Squat

How to do Pistol Squats using Rings - YouTube

The pistol squat is a challenging unilateral bodyweight exercise that targets the glutes and quadriceps. Set the gym rings a little higher than waist level and stand just in front of them. Grab the rings with an overhand grip then raise your left straight and leg off the ground as you lower down into a parallel squat position. Now push through your right foot to come back to a standing position. Make sure that your right heel stays down on the ground at all times. Minimize the amount of upper body assistance as you come out of the squat.

Do three sets of 6-8 reps.

Ring Push Ups

Gymnastics Course - Ring Push-Ups - YouTube

With the rings set at waist level, stand behind them grab them with an overhand grip. Lean your torso forward at a 30° angle with your arms straight out from your body. Now lower your upper body down as far as you can. This will give you a full pectoral stretch. Push back through the chest muscles to return to the start position. Rotate the rings as you perform this action.

Do three sets of 12 reps.

Hanging Knee Raises

Hanging Knee Raises Rings - YouTube

Set the rings slightly higher than the level of your head and stand beneath them, grabbing the rings in an overhand grip. Hang from the rings with your knees bent and arms fully extended. Now hinge at the hips to bring your knees up as high as possible toward your chest. Slowly lower and repeat. Keep your arms straight at all times, avoid using momentum and lower under control.

Do three sets of 10 reps.

Workout Summary

  • Straight Arm Hold – 3 x 30 seconds
  • Inverted Row – 3 x 12 reps
  • Leg Assisted Dip – 3 x 12 reps
  • Ring Assisted Pistol Squat – 3 x 6-8 reps
  • Ring Push Ups – 3 x 12 reps
  • Hanging Knee Raises – 3 x 10 reps

Wrap Up

Perform this workout 3 x per week on alternate days. Make it your goal to increase your rep count or make the exercise slightly harder by adjusting your body each week. After six weeks, move on to our intermediate level gym ring exercises.

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