Lockdown has affected us all in a number of different ways, but one of the most common challenges is finding ways to stay in shape without access to the gym.  Of course, there's nothing to stop you from building strength with kettlebells and dumbbells, but these options can only go so far as to take advantage of the benefits of a 120kg squat! And that's if you can get them: Many of these tools sell out very quickly for obvious reasons.
Instead of trying to recreate the gym in your own home, you may want to instead focus on alternative forms of
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A fantastic option to consider is a gymnastics ring workout!
Gym rings are affordable, they can be used anywhere (as long as you have a bar or a tree) and they open many doors for interesting and unique forms of training. What's more is that gymnastic rings are niche enough that they are still largely available online!
Gymnastic Rings – The Basics
Gymnastic Rings are wooden or plastic rings attached to a piece of material that can be hung from a high anchor point. These tools are used by gymnasts for many incredible achievements, such as the Iron Cross and the Maltese. This is what most of us think of when we hear the term, and so many people will never think of using them for home training!
Many people will never consider using gymnastic rings for home training!
But gymnastic rings can also serve as the perfect way to make bodyweight training more challenging and therefore more effective.
If you've ever seen suspension straps like TRX in your gym, you have a basic idea of the concept. Hanging straps are usually hung from the ceiling and used to perform push-ups, dips, body weight rows and hanging shelves.
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So why would you choose a gymnastic ring workout instead? Well, while suspension straps usually come from major brands like TRX and cost everything up to a hundred dollars, gymnastic rings are generic and available for significantly less.
Not only that, but gymnastic rings actually offer many more training options. That's because rings, unlike belts, are designed to support your entire body weight. That means you can now hang your whole body, instead of just a part of it!
To use it at home, just look for a tree branch or a chin-up bar to which you can attach the rings. Make sure that both rings are at the same height and that the anchor of the support can support your weight. Then you are ready to go! Most rings allow you to adjust the height, which means you can change the resistance angle and quickly switch between exercises.
Benefits of Gymnastic Rings Training
Whether you choose gymnastic rings or suspension straps, you will get most of the same benefits. These mainly fall into three categories:
- Increased range of motion
- New range of motion
Increased range of motion means you can move the muscle further under tension than you normally could. An obvious example is something like the push-up. Pushing on gymnastic rings allows you to dip your upper body much lower than your hands. This results in more microtears, more tension and more time under tension. In other words? More development of the pec! options for exercises that would otherwise be impossible. For example, you can perform a body weight pec fly by leaning your arms wide apart in the rings and then pressing them together.
Similarly, hanging mountaineers work the body in a significantly different way from their grounded counterparts.  The inherent instability of gymnastic ring exercises
But the last and most important piece of the puzzle is instability. A gymnastic ring workout places you on a surface that wants to squirm and move under you. This makes it challenging to try to keep your body stable as you perform the movements, which in turn includes the "stabilizer muscles" in the shoulders, core and hips.
When you push a gymnastic ring up, the shoulders should click to prevent the rings from slipping under you.
When you push up a gymnastic ring, you need to fasten the shoulders to prevent the rings from slipping out from under you. The goal is to get stiff to keep them in a "stacked" position.
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At the same time, you need to tilt (muscles on either side of your body that allow us to flex and twist our torso) to prevent your the whole body will rotate when the rings come out of the stacked position under the elbows and shoulders.
The Best Gymnastic Ring Exercises
Here are just some of the best Gymnastic Ring Exercises:
For all of these moves, the rings will be about 50 centimeters above the ground. You can change the difficulty of gymnastic ring exercises by setting them higher or lower.
- Ring Pushups – Perform pushups with your hands supported by the rings. Use your stabilizers to avoid planting the face and descend lower than parallel in the downward motion.
- Tricep dips – Rest your hands in a supine position (fingers away from you) behind you. Keep your heels on the floor, then perform slow, thoughtful dips to lower your buttocks, bending only at the elbows.
- Mountaineers – Stand in a push-up position on the floor, but with your feet on the rings. Now bring your knee to your chest, switch sides and repeat.
- Hanging shelf – Stand in the same position but keep your feet fully stretched and try to maintain a stable position for as long as possible. Concentrate on gripping the core and prevent your spine from sagging.
- Rows of Body Weight – Lie on the floor, hold the rings in your hands and pull yourself up towards the rings. Lower until your arms are straight, then repeat. This should challenge the slats and serve as an easier alternative to a pull-up.
- Hanging Gluteal Bridges – Lie flat on your back with one foot on a ring. Now curl your leg towards you to raise your lower body and buttocks off the ground.
If any of these need more explanation, YouTube and Instagram have you covered!
Advanced Gymnastic Ring Workout
As you build confidence and stability, your Gymnastic Ring Workout can grow with you.
For example, you can start using the rings to support your entire body. For example, you can do this by performing a full ring pull-up, which requires you to perform the movement with more stiffness in your core. In fact, a ring dip, where you rest your hands on the rings and then lower your upper body. Beginners should not try this, as a lot of control is needed to avoid injuries.
For those interested in advanced gymnastics movements, you can also experiment with exercises such as the "ring bleaching push-up" (RTO push-up). This means twisting the rings while pushing yourself up to get into a supine position (palms facing down). That puts a strain on the biceps tendons. Once you have developed strength in this area, you can dive into even more advanced gymnastics moves like the planche.
Your workout with gymnastic rings can grow with you.
Different grips like the false grip open up completely new ways to explore, like the ring muscle up (a true feat of strength and control).
In short, a gymnastic ring workout can be as challenging or as simple as you want. It's great for creating core strength thanks to its unstable nature and great for making your workouts more fun and varied. Why not try a few gymnastic ring exercises?
3 Recommendations for gymnastic rings
Convinced? Check out one of the following rings to install at home. Just remember: gymnastic rings cannot be patented and they are only wooden or plastic rings. In other words, don't spend a lot of money and don't worry too much about your choice!
A few simple wooden gymnastics rings with a smooth structure. You may want to use some chalk when you start, but this is the authentic experience!
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Gymnastics rings for fuel purification
Very similar to mine: plastic with a light texture to help grip.
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PACEARTH Wood Gymnastics Rings
A Great Compromise Solution for Gymnastic Ring Workouts: a smooth wooden ring with an extra grip.
Buy now from Amazon