How to use Gymnastic Rings in a proper way ?
If you are planning a home gym, then you should consider including a pair of Gymnastic Rings in it. Fitness rings have been around way longer than modern gym equipment.
They take us back to the initial 20th century days of organized workouts. Back in the forties and fifties, hand-balancing and Gym Ring workout was a popular method to get super-fit, but over time, it lost its edge. Thanks to CrossFit, rings have made a homecoming.
The best part? ANYONE can learn how to use a gym ring workout routine to get in great shape. Yes, you too. How to use gym rings, you ask? We’ll be telling you exactly that in this article.
Benefits of Ring Training
If you’re looking to build up some muscle strength, mastery over your own body and a killer shape along the way, training with fitness rings is something you should seriously think about. Sure, bodyweight exercises and lifting weights do make you very strong, but gym ring workout mixes muscle-power and coordination to your routine in a manner no other equipment or method can help you accomplish.
You might be able to perform pull-ups and dips on a fixed station, but using gym rings adds an element of instability and combination of movements which brings a different dimension to your training and pushes you that little bit further. Even athletes, who have worked on their body strength with weights and machines over a long period of time, are zapped by how hard it is to train with gym rings.
So, why should you be ring training? Many reasons:
- Because it’s functional training that builds superior upper body strength. The coordination and dexterity you attain doing gym ring training are an added bonus!
- It gets you that lean, defined physique- just like the gymnast in those Olympic-clips.
- It builds a great ‘strength to size’ ratio.
- It’s so kind to your joints! Natural, compound movements of fitness ring workouts are more comfortable and safer for your joints than a fixed path of motion- the value of proper biomechanics should not be underestimated when working out, fellows.
- Gym Ring workouts are a highly effective abdominal and core workout.
- This modest piece of equipment is so portable and easy to set-up! All you need is rings and somewhere to hang them!
- It is concentrated training which will, in a handful of moves, give the same results as a workout routine in a gym. It gives you a good deal on your money as far as training time is concerned.
What muscles do Gymnastic rings work?
Ring training won’t develop an overly muscular frame, but a lean, solid, well-rounded and defined physique, with a rock-solid core- a functional body that not only looks athletic, but is able to perform too. The muscle groups that will be taxed are:
- Shoulder Muscles
Because gym ring workouts revolve around the movement of the body via the arms, all your large muscles across the shoulder joint- your rotator cuff and deltoids will primarily get used.
- Arm Muscles
Gym ring workouts are performed manipulating your body around the rings with the help of your hands that hold onto the rings. The muscles you use are your forearms and triceps.
- Back Muscles
Your back is doing a lot of work on gym rings. The large latissimus dorsi, which is the main muscle moving the arm extension, is employed when reaching the overhead and forward position, while the rhomboids and spine muscles are working in tandem to steady or move the shoulder blades.
- Abdominal Muscles
You are relying entirely on your abdominal muscles to maintain the stability and balance of your torso during the workout with fitness rings. Regular gym ring workout will help you develop stronger muscle-power in the abdominal area.
How to Exercise with Gymnastic Rings?
Now, you might have watched all those CrossFit rings videos and said “Uh…There’s no chance I could ever do that! It’s only for gymnasts!”
Well, you were WRONG!
Whether you are a guy or a girl, old or young, huge or petite, you can start training with rings successfully- by fixing a set of gym rings and starting on some very basic ring workout for beginners. There is a wide range of body toning ring exercises and Pilates ring exercises that you can work begin with. Let’s get you started on how to use gym rings for your routine workout.
Gym Ring Workouts:
Exercise 1: Top Position Hold with Gymnastic Ring
Holding this position in the correct manner itself will work out your triceps avidly. To keep the rings stable as you’re pulling your body weight upwards to meet them, will make you exercise intense control, concentration, and effort. This move is a fabulous way to begin your workout session; it is like a wake-up call to your abdomen and core, readying them for the effort that lies ahead.
Exercise 2: Gymnastic Ring Dip
The unstable nature of the rings is what makes this exercise radically harder. Be prepared for significant triceps contraction and pectoral involvement. Fatigue will start getting to you, but keep at it! This is when the muscles start reaping the benefits.
Exercise 3: Reverse Row Sit-Back with Gymnastic Ring
This exercise is a pull-up marrying the classic rowing movement. The tension generation in the muscles strengthens practically every tendon in your arm and abdomen. It requires a lot of body control and coordination- making all of your back stronger too.
Exercise 4: Gymnastic Rings L-sit/Tuck
This workout routine is the most competent way to toughen your entire upper body and core. Just when your arms and shoulders are working to their max, enhance it all by lifting your knees up, or lifting your entire legs out. Tighten your calves and butt as you do it for the extra cheese!
Exercise 5: Gymnastic Rings Push Up
Bring the fitness rings really nice and low, and begin by kneeling and doing push-ups from this position. As you get used to the instability of the gymnastic rings, take it a step further by getting your knees off the ground, and moving into a push-up position.
In the beginning, you may be holding for a smaller duration, and doing more sets, just to get accustomed to the ring workout. You could start slowly, and work up to this routine 3 times a week and voila, very soon you’ll be reaping the unique benefits of rings training.
How should I go about it all?
So, if we’ve convinced you on adding gym rings to your very own home gym, you’d need to know how to get started, what to look out for when buying a set of Gymnastic Rings, and also, how to install them. Don’t worry, we have you covered.
Other Alternative Best Gymnastic Rings
There was a time when gymnastic training rings were kind of difficult to find. Wooden gymnastic rings were too highly-priced. The available choices were sub-standard plastic rings or common playground variety of metal rings. Thank heavens, times have changed, and a better choice of rings is available at affordable costs. Here are some points to chew on, while choosing your gym rings:
- Texture- the ring material should not be slippery
- Straps- their adjustability, length, and stretch
- Buckling System – A cam buckling system may lead to difficulty with getting the straps to line up. A carabineer-style system would be a lot quicker and easier.
- Wooden, PVC or metal rings?
Now, between the many kinds of rings, the metallic rings would not be a great choice, if you’re hoping to do more than basic dips and pull-ups. They lack the traction you’ll require to move from below the rings to above.
Plastic rings have the same issue when it comes to traction and sturdiness- they are rather slippery and light- they feel frivolous in your hands. On a better note, plastic rings are definitely cheaper and they’ll last forever.
Wooden rings not only feel better in your fist, they are very sturdy. They are pricier than plastic or metal, but at the end of the day, we would recommend getting wooden gym rings for the home. It’s worth it if you intend to use them for a while.
If you prefer to go for Wooden Rings, then the top brands in the market to choose from right now are Emerge, Rogue Fitness rings and Titan. However, if something that’s easy on the wallet is what you prefer, Yes4All and Dynamis ring sets will be very cost-effective.
Rogue Fitness Rings
Rogue Fitness Rings are a preferred brand, because of the heavy-duty straps and professional design. Rogue Rings are carved out of top quality classic American wood and have that solid feel that plastic or steel rings cannot boast of. Rogue Rings have the best grips and, they look professional and stylish.
The rings come with ample strap length that is adjustable for a personalized workout tailored to your unique body and your workout requirement. This sometimes leads to a load of extra strapping that tends to come in the way while working out. Rogue Fitness rings have a quick-adjust buckle system and Velcro fasteners that hold the extra strapping at bay.
Nayoya gymnastic rings
If PVC Rings are your choice of gym rings for the home gym, then we can safely vouch for the Nayoya Gymnastics ring set as the sturdiest, most versatile PVC ring set. Nayoya gymnastic rings are heavy-duty fitness rings with a durable textured surface for a more secure grip. They are able to support 2000 lbs., making them the strongest fitness rings on the market.
Their heavy-duty 38-millimeter straps have quite a length and 38mm is the perfect thickness that won’t let the strap dig into your forearms and wrists when you perform chin-ups and dips. Significantly, the Nayoya straps have almost no stretch to them, preventing dissipation of the force of your exertion through the strap.
Where to hang gymnastic rings at home?
There are countless methods of making robust structures in your plot and home for gym rings- they actually require very little space. Children’s swing-sets can be used, if they’re high and stable. Strong tree branches can do the trick if they are really strong. But when you get gym rings for home use, you’ll see that though this equipment so versatile, not just any old homemade gymnastics bar will do. Before you start hanging your gym rings, there are some points to mull on:
- You will be hanging your gymnastic rings from the ceiling, so you’ll need a flat ceiling that doesn’t slant. The spot you choose should be far away from lighting fixtures or ceiling fans, obviously.
- Look for a spot or ceiling that’s solid enough to take the weight of an adult body. There are a few different installation techniques that we will be getting to later in the article, but basically, make sure that the spot where you are fixing the rings is in sound structural condition, and has the resilience and smack to support your routine.
- Hang ‘em high, so that you have strap-length to play around with. How high is high enough? Ten to thirteen feet, or at least three to four meters high.
- If possible, choose a location that’s going to be permanent. Think about your space– do you have ample space? What about plank and push-routines? Climbing rope? Get a dedicated area for each of these exercises on gym rings.
- Set your rings about as wide as your shoulders and keep enough free space around so that you can manage all movements.
Here are some possible locations for mounting gymnastic rings:
- Exposed Floor Joists
Joists are quite like garage rafters, only they are packed closer, and they have some decking overhead. If the location is a heated basement, it would be a perfect place to train on rings, because it’s usable throughout the year. The trouble is that more often than not, the overhead height is nominal, thus curbing your routine. Also, the rings require a mount.
- Garage Rafters
A pretty convenient place to hang fitness rings from, actually. The plus is that garage rafters would not need either tools or skills to install. Beams are ample in the garage, so you can really choose your scene.
- Bar joists
Bar ceiling joists are steel beams that support horizontal roofs, and they are perfect for mounting fitness rings because they’re super-high above the ground, especially if you’re looking at a commercial space. The only glitch is that sometimes they’re too high, which means you cannot lower your rings, or change their position for pumps etc.
- Hard Ceilings
If the ceilings of a Garage or Basement is drywalled, which happens quite often, they drywall conceals the joists. No sweat, they are very much there, but you’ll have to find them before you can start fixing rings. This kind of fitting takes the maximum time, though, and needs mounting hardware. Firstly, acquire a stud finder and locate the joists. A good gymnastics ring hanger comes with a dedicated ring mount and also spaces the rings optimally, so it’s the best choice when you’ve got this type of setup.
The Tools you will require to Hang Gymnastic Rings:
- If the ceiling is high, a ladder or Stool
- Stud Finder for Hard Ceiling areas
- Cordless Drill set with ¼ inch bits
- Gymnastics Ring Hanger
- 3 lag screws with large washers, each 3/8″ diameter by 4″
- Wrenches, preferably a Ratchet set
- Bar Soap for rubbing on the lag screws, just to make the screw-in easy
How to Hang Gymnastic Rings?
- A Ring Mount has three mounting holes that are 16″ apart. You’ll be needed three studs to install the rings. Use the stud finder to mark 3 places that are in a straight line, and are 16” apart. If you have Exposed Joists, you can very well skip this step.
- The marks for your studs should match with the holes in the mount. Hold up your hanger mount to the marks to check that.
- Drill the three holes with a 1/4″ drill bit.
- Rub the bar soap onto the lag screws, and start ratcheting in the first bolt. Someone will have to hold the ring mount in place for you while you do that.
- Ensure that the washers are on the bolts when you screw them into the joist. You should not tighten the screw all the way. Halfway is enough, until you have the other two bolts in as well. This is to make sure all the holes you drilled coincide with the mount-holes.
- The second and third bolts can go in. Ratchet them all the way, so that the ring-mount is cozy next to the ceiling. Don’t make them too tight.
- Adjust the height of your rings. Make them low enough so that you can saddle in your feet. Hang onto the strap for support, and test the rings by shifting your weight, and yanking them with small jumps. Don’t forget to check the ceiling to see if there are any cracks appearing and that the mount is secure. If the mount is shifting away for its hold, this is obviously a bad spot, and you’d had to relocate the gym rings.
Keep at it! Practice makes perfect
Okay, the initial days won’t exactly be fun. Gym rings can take the juice out of you. Your efforts have to be dedicated. You may be strong, but you’ll be required to use your body in a different way than what you’ve been doing. Choose the ring workouts for beginners one at a time, and patiently do them for a month or so, before moving to a new set. It’s a slow but sure process. Enjoy your rings!