Gymnastic Rings: Perfect Gear for Calisthenics Beginner
The gymnastic rings are very versatile and can be used by all fitness levels.
Beginners should start with the basics; but there are so many different exercises that anyone of any skill level can do on gymnastics rings, for a total body workout.
Easier incline push up or hardcore iron cross are all perfect to perform with gymnastic rings.
Why gymnastic rings is beginner friendly in calisthenics
Working out with static high rise bar is the default option for calisthenics for most folks.
A static bar cannot move, and so we are forced to adapt our movements in order to do certain moves.
This is especially hard for beginners whose body is not familiar with those movements yet.
With gymnastic rings, it is the other way round.
Friendly to joints
The free-hanging gymnastic rings allows our joints rotating in a natural way.
Let's take the famous pull-up as example.
How is the typical bar pull-up looks like?
You grab the bar with palms facing out throughout the whole exercise.
Do it with your palms facing inwards? That's called a chin-up.
Not the same case with gymnastic rings.
Here is what going to happen in a natural manner when you are pulling up with a pair of gymnastic rings:
- At the initial (bottom) position, your palms are facing outward.
- As you pull your body up, the palms slowly rotate towards your face, making it a chin-up motion.
- At the top position, your palms are either in neural grip (palms facing each other) or chin-up grip. You can force it to pull-up grip by turning the rings out.
This is how your shoulder and arm supposed to be working in a typical pull-up exercise.
By locking the palm position static with bar in such exercise, you are actually putting a lot of pressure at the joints.
It's also perfect for those with old injuries on their arms or shoulders.
Easy to scale your workout difficulty
If you are a calisthenics newbie, chances are you doing pulling exercises with your feet on the ground, quite often.
Australian pull-up, vertical row, dip, head banger, and more.
Because you don't have the strength to handle your full body weight yet. Doing them with your feet on the floor is a good and easier progression.
There isn't many height option for bars in your park. So adjusting your training difficulty is cannot be straightforward.
With gymnastic rings hanging from the bar, you can adjust the height of rings to meet your level with ease.
You can also grab the gymnastic rings from different angles and positions, which is great for beginners who want to work their stabilizer muscles.
Higher body engagement
Training with gymnastic rings also allow you to master the essence of calisthenics from the very beginning:
Make your whole body to work as a unit.
You get to learn engaging your core from the fundamental movement from day one.
No matter what skills or movements you are training, you are going to combat the trembling all the time. This is how you are going to gain the strong body coordination over time.
You cannot slouch or cheat when you are on the rings.
The free motion of gymnastic rings also force you to perfect your technique constantly.
The moment you don't give your 100% concentration, you are going to shake uncontrollably on the rings.
Every second of the full mind body connection you spend on the gymnastic rings is going to build the neural adaption fast.
This is how you gain the functional strength (and muscles) in no time.
Get started from 5 fundamental skills
If gymnastic rings is your first time training, start from the fundamental skills.
Mastering the basics is the key to pave your way to progress safely and efficiently down the road to complicated movement like ring back lever or one arm chin-up:
Time to fire up your forearm. Grip strength is everything when performing on a pair of ever-moving gymnastic rings.
The false grip is a pronated (overhand) grip where each thumb is placed above the index finger and wrapped around the ring so that they are facing outward from their body.
The idea is to place your wrist on the rings. This creates a better angle for lifting gymnastics maneuvers and works well when performing gymnastics exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, dips, and more.
[picture: false grip vs regular grip]
In regular grip, the main contact surface is your fingers and top part of palm.
In false grip, the main contact area would be the bottom of your palm.
[picture: false grip palm contact area vs regular grip palm contact area]
How to practice
- Set up the gymnastic rings at a level that is high enough. Make sure you have enough room to fully extend your body in hanging position.
- Lower the rings and place your feet on ground to get familiar with the movement.
- Grip both rings with false grip with straight arm.
- Hold for 10 seconds at one go. Rest about 3 minutes.
- Once your get comfortable, add 5 seconds to the hold.
- The goal is to hold the false grip for 60 seconds.
- The moment you bent the elbow, you are transferring the pressure to shoulder and triceps. This is a sign that you should do a easier progression. Move your feet closer to your body.
- You can even lower the rings and practice it with sit position.
[picture: hanging false grip with feet on ground]
[picture: hanging false grip with butt on ground]
It will be hard at first, but as you get more used to it, your forearm will start bulking up fast.
This is one of the best way to train your wrist strength too. Which is highly transferable to other bodyweight skills like planche and handstand.
Ring Support Holds
Nothing stimulate your shoulder, biceps, and triceps better than static hold on rings.
- Set the gymnastic rings at your waist level.
- Rest your heel on the ground, straight out the legs, so you are not compensating the hold with leg strength.
- Keep your back straight, as if you are sitting on a imaginary chair.
- Hold the rings with both hand and straight arm.
- Keep your arm and rings close to body for easier control.
- Hold for 20 seconds. Rest about a minute.
- Repeat the hold as many times as you want or until failure.