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20 Highly Effective Ring Workouts for Bodyweight Strength and Conditioning

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20 Highly Effective Ring Workouts for Bodyweight Strength and Conditioning
Table Of Contents
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Gymnastic or Olympian rings are popularly associated with Olympians or circus acrobats. But gone are the days when this exceptional piece of equipment was handy for gymnasts only; it has now become a staple in all high-tech fitness clubs.

As a gym enthusiast, you are probably aware of the popularity of bodyweight exercises. Since suspension training has been around for decades, gymnastic rings are one of the simple pieces of equipment that can take your calisthenics game to the next level.

Whether you aim to build incredible core strength, improve coordination, or enhance upper body power, these rings could be the key to achieving your goals most efficiently.

These might appear intimidating and challenging, especially if you have seen a seasoned gymnast performing with them. But they can be utilized by any individual irrespective of their fitness level. Since these ring workouts require additional body stabilization, it sets a new stimulus. It focuses not only on a single group of muscles but also on different groups simultaneously.

Benefits of Gymnastic Rings Exercises

Benefits of Gymnastic Rings Exercises

There are numerous benefits of gymnastic rings exercises that will compel you to add them to your workout routine:

Works on Several Muscles

Gymnastic ring workouts target muscles that you wouldn't even know existed. No conventional training can compare to the deep stimulation of ring training. Due to the instability of the fitness tool, you have to push your body to a higher intensity level to perform a pull-up. This recruits way more muscle fibers and builds strengthin them. This workout requires more control and time during tension which stimulates muscle adaptations.

Improves Stability

Gymnastic rings offer ample opportunity to challenge yourself, enhancing strength and flexibility comparable to Olympic gymnasts. Their secure grip reduces wrist strain and fatigue while improving balance. Embrace gymnastic rings to elevate your fitness and experience remarkable transformations in your body, promoting health and well-being.

Enhances Mobility

These ring workouts increase your range of motion. Ring exercises are compound movements that challenge your ability to move through your range of motion.

The exercises prevent movement in the shoulder, making it tricky for you to grasp the rings securely and balance your weight. You will perform one ring exercise to attain the spectrum of your full-body benefits. But it will improve your flexibility, stability, and mobilitydrastically.

Prevents Inflammation

Since the ring workout stimulates the natural movement pattern in your body, it reduces stress on your wrists, elbows, and shoulders. These movements do not pressure your ligaments and tendons, reducing the risk of injuries and inflammation.

Supports Versatility

One of the best advantages of gymnastic rings is that they are supremely versatile. You can work out with these in a park, an urban area, or your home. Just hang them on a tree, staircase, or pull-up bar, and showcase your creativity.

The adjustable straps allow you to adjust the height per your preference and modify your exercises. Just ensure that the fixation of these rings is stable and the anchor point can handle the weight. To ensure a powerful grip, quality movement, and strength, gymnastic rings by DMoose are the ideal choice.

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Gymnastic & Workout Rings for Bodyweight Training

Gymnastics rings help you improve balance, flexibility, endurance, and power to your body so you could make your workouts more productive and thrilling. Workout rings also enhance your upper body strength.

Gymnastic Rings Exercises

1. Support Hold

1. Support Hold
  • Begin by adjusting the rings so they're at waist height, and ensure they are secure.
  • Stand between the rings, and grip them firmly with your hands. Your palms should be facing inwards towards each other.
  • Push down into the rings, straightening your arms, and lift your body off the ground. Your arms should remain straight and close to your body.
  • Tighten your core and keep your body straight. Your body should be in a line from your head to your toes.
  • Keep your shoulders down and back, away from your ears. Try to hold this position for as long as you can maintain good form, ideally starting with 10 to 20 seconds and building up over time.
  • Once you've held for your target time, or if you can't maintain form, slowly lower yourself back down to the ground.

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2. Ring Layout

2. Ring Layout
  • Begin by adjusting the rings so they're at a height where you can comfortably reach them while standing on your toes, and ensure they are secure.
  • Stand between the rings, and grip them firmly with your hands. Your palms should be facing each other.
  • Push down into the rings, straightening your arms, and lift your body off the ground. Your body should be in a line from your head to your toes.
  • Start by slowly leaning your body forward and lifting your legs behind you until you are in a horizontal position. Your body should be straight, similar to a plank position but in the air.
  • Keep your body tight, engage your core, and maintain a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold this position for a few seconds or as long as you can maintain good form.
  • Slowly lower your legs and return your body to the initial support position.
  • Repeat the movement for your desired number of repetitions.

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3. Bulgarian Split Squat

3. Bulgarian Split Squat
  • This excellent leg exercise works on your lower body strength and improves your body's overall mobility.
  • Balance your body on one foot and place your rear foot on the ring behind you.
  • Keeping your core straight, squat down with one leg, keeping your back foot in the ring.
  • Complete 4 sets of 20 reps each or as tolerated
  • Switch legs and repeat.
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4. Inverted Hang

4. Inverted Hang
  • Start by adjusting the gymnastic rings to a height where your feet won't touch the ground when you're hanging. Ensure the rings are secure.
  • Stand between the rings and take a firm grip on each ring. Your palms should be facing each other. Lift your feet off the ground, tuck your knees into your chest, and start to lean back, lifting your hips up towards the ceiling. Use your arms to guide your movement and control your balance.
  • Continue to lift your hips until they are directly above your shoulders and your body is fully inverted. Your legs should be straight and pointing towards the ceiling, and your arms should be fully extended, holding onto the rings.
  • Engage your core, and hold this position for a few seconds or as long as you can maintain good form.
  • Carefully lower your body back down by tucking your knees into your chest and gently lowering your hips, until you're back in the starting position.
  • Repeat the movement for your desired number of repetitions.

5. Ring Row

  • Start by adjusting the rings so they are about waist height, or lower if you need more of a challenge. Ensure the rings are secure.
  • Stand facing the rings, and step back until your arms are fully extended in front of you. Your body should be leaning back, supported by your arms, and you should be on your heels with your toes pointed up.
  • Grab onto the rings with your palms facing each other, maintaining a firm grip.
  • Keep your body straight and your core engaged. Pull your chest up to the rings by pulling your elbows back and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  • At the top of the movement, hold for a moment to ensure you're getting full engagement of your back muscles.
  • Slowly lower your body back to the starting position, maintaining control of the movement and keeping your body straight.
  • Repeat the movement for your desired number of repetitions.

6. Ring Pull Up

6. Ring Pull Up
  • Adjust the gymnastic rings so they're at a height where you can fully extend your arms while gripping the rings, and your feet are off the ground. Ensure the rings are secure.
  • Jump or step up to reach the rings and take a firm grip on each ring. Your palms should be facing each other or slightly turned inwards.
  • Begin in a dead hang position with your arms fully extended and your legs straight
  • Pull your body upwards by driving your elbows down towards your sides. Continue the upward movement until your chin is above the level of the rings.
  • At the top of the movement, hold for a moment, ensuring full engagement of your back and arm muscles.
  • Slowly lower your body back down to the starting dead hang position, maintaining control of the movement.
  • Repeat the movement for your desired number of repetitions.

7. Ring Push Up

  • Adjust the gymnastic rings so they are a little above the ground, ideally around knee height. Ensure the rings are secure.
  • Start in a high plank position with your hands gripping the rings, arms fully extended and directly below your shoulders. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, and your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet.
  • Take hold of the rings with your palms facing each other. Ensure you have a firm grip.
  • Bend your elbows and lower your body towards the floor, keeping your elbows close to your body. Go as low as you can while maintaining control and without compromising form.
  • Push your body back up by straightening your arms, maintaining the straight-line form with your body.
  • Repeat the movement for your desired number of repetitions.

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8. Ring Dip

8. Ring Dip
  • Adjust the gymnastic rings so they're at a height where you can comfortably jump or step up to grip them with your arms fully extended, and your feet are off the ground.
  • Jump or step up to reach the rings and take a firm grip on each ring. Your palms should be facing inwards.
  • Push down into the rings to straighten your arms and lift your body off the ground. Your body should be upright, and your arms should be tight against your sides.
  • Bend your elbows and lower your body down between the rings. Continue to lower until your shoulders are just below the level of your elbows, or as far as your flexibility allows.
  • Push your body back up by straightening your arms, returning to the starting position.
  • Repeat the movement for your desired number of repetitions.

9. Ring Fly

  • Begin by adjusting the rings so they're about chest height. Ensure the rings are secure.
  • Stand facing away from the rings, and step forward until your arms are extended in front of you. Your body should be leaning forward with your feet firmly planted.
  • Grab onto the rings with your palms facing each other, maintaining a firm grip.
  • Keeping your body straight and your arms slightly bent, spread your arms out to the sides in a wide arc, similar to a bird spreading its wings.
  • Continue the motion until your chest is level with the rings. At this point, your body should form a T shape.
  • Slowly bring your arms back together in front of your body by squeezing your chest and shoulder muscles.

10. L-Sit

10. L -Sit
  • Start by adjusting the rings so they're a little above the ground where you can comfortably place your hands on them while sitting. Make sure the rings are secure.
  • Sit between the rings and place your hands on them with a firm grip. Your palms should be facing downwards.
  • Press down into the rings and lift your body off the ground. Your arms should be straight, and your body should be upright.
  • Straighten your legs and lift them until they are parallel with the ground. Your body should now resemble the shape of the letter 'L'.
  • Gently lower yourself back down by bending your knees and dropping your feet back to the ground.
  • Rest for a moment, then repeat the movement for your desired number of repetitions or holds.

11. Skin the Cat

  • Adjust the gymnastic rings so they're at a height where you can comfortably jump or step up to grip them with your arms fully extended, and your feet are off the ground.
  • Jump or step up to reach the rings and take a firm grip on each ring. Your palms should be facing each other or slightly turned inwards.
  • Lift your feet off the ground, and tuck your knees into your chest. Begin to lean back, lifting your hips up towards the ceiling. Use your arms to guide your movement and control your balance.
  • Continue to lift your hips and rotate your body until your feet come over the top of your body and you are in an inverted hang position. Your legs should be straight and pointing towards the ground, and your arms should be fully extended, holding onto the rings.
  • Continue the rotation until your feet reach the ground, or as far as your flexibility allows. Your body should now be facing upwards, with your arms extended behind you.
  • Reverse the movement by lifting your feet and rotating your body back over to the starting position.
  • Repeat the movement for your desired number of repetitions.

12. Meet Hook

12. Meet Hoook
  • This rigorous exercise is designed to boost your total mobility and enhance the strength of your grip.
  • Begin by assuming a grip on a single ring with your right hand, while positioning your right foot directly beneath in a straight alignment.
  • Initiate a pull from one shoulder and proceed to twist your body. Continue the rotation until you find yourself in a compact position.
  • Aim to complete four sets, maintaining each hold for a duration of 30 seconds.
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13. Skull Crushers

  • Adjust the gymnastic rings so they're about waist high or a bit higher.
  • Face away from the rings, reach up and grab the rings with an overhand grip, arms fully extended. Walk forward a few steps so that your body is on a slight incline.
  • With a firm grip on the rings, your arms should be straight and angled backwards slightly, while your feet are planted on the ground.
  • Bend your elbows and slowly lower your body towards the ground. Keep your elbows in line with your wrists and avoid flaring them out to the sides.
  • Continue to lower until your forehead is just about to touch the ground, or as far as your flexibility allows. Your body should remain straight and your elbows close to your body throughout the movement.
  • Push your body back up by extending your arms, returning to the starting position.
  • Repeat the movement for your desired number of repetitions.

14. Shoulder Stand

14. Shoulder Stand
  • This is an exceptional workout designed to enhance your core stability
  • Start with a support hold position and bend your body to a 90-degree angle.
  • At the same time, bend your elbows to dip your shoulders forward and downwards.
  • At this point, your body should be inverted. Endeavor to maintain as straight a line as possible. Always keep the rings near to your chest and ensure your core remains engaged.
  • Keep the rings close to your chest and core embraced as you hold this position.

15. Y's

15. Y's
  • This is one of the best back ring exercises that advance your progression.
  • Grab the rings and start walking backward.
  • Extend your arms till your body gets at a 45-degree angle.
  • Pull the rings back and up and bring your body forward to make a Y shape.
  • Keeping your movement slow is the key to effectiveness.
  • Try to stand higher to make it easier as a beginner.

16. One Arm Chin Up (OAC)

16. One Arm Chin Up (OAC)

The One Arm Chin Up is a pinnacle of strength training that demands and develops considerable upper body strength, particularly in the biceps and the latissimus dorsi (back) muscles. Executing this challenging exercise on gymnastic rings adds an extra layer of difficulty due to the instability of the rings, promoting improved grip strength and overall body control.

  • Adjust the gymnastic ring so it's at a height where you can comfortably jump up and grab it with your arm fully extended. Ensure the ring is secure.
  • Jump or step up to reach the ring and take a firm grip with one hand. Your palm should be facing towards you, in a supinated (underhand) position.
  • Start from a fully extended position, making sure your body is straight, and your shoulder is engaged, not shrugged.
  • Pull yourself up by bending your elbow and retracting your shoulder blade. Continue pulling until your chin is level or above the ring.
  • Slowly lower yourself back down until your arm is fully extended again.
  • Repeat the movement for your desired number of repetitions, then switch to your other arm.

It is recommended to use good quality elbow wraps while doing all these ring exercises because they will protect your elbows from strain and strengthen your arms and elbows while exercising.

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17. Front Lever

17. Front Lever

The Front Lever is a highly advanced calisthenic exercise, often performed on gymnastic rings or a bar, that engages your entire body with a special focus on your core, back, and shoulder strength. It's an exercise that requires not just strength, but also balance, control, and patience to master.

  • Begin by adjusting the gymnastic rings so they're at a height where you can comfortably hang from them with your feet off the ground.
  • Jump or step up to reach the rings and take a firm grip with both hands. Your palms should be facing downwards, in a pronated (overhand) position.
  • Lift your feet off the ground and hang from the rings, with your arms fully extended.
  • Tighten your core muscles, keeping your body straight and rigid. This is similar to the body position in a plank, but in a vertical orientation.
  • Slowly lift your straight body up, while keeping your arms fully extended and your body straight, until you are parallel with the ground.
  • Try to hold this position for a few seconds. Your body should now be parallel with the ground, forming a straight line from your head to your heels.
  • Slowly lower your body back down to the hanging position.
  • Repeat the movement for your desired number of repetitions or holds.

18. Back Lever

The Back Lever is an advanced gymnastic movement often performed on rings or a bar that requires significant strength, flexibility, and balance. It works your entire body, with a particular emphasis on the shoulders, back, and core muscles. This exercise demands rigorous training and precise technique to execute correctly. Instead of the front lever, you will lower yourself from an inverted hang and horizontal position so that your body faces the ground.

  • Adjust the gymnastic rings to a height where you can comfortably hang from them with your feet off the ground. Make sure the rings are secure.
  • Jump up and grip the rings, assuming a pronated (overhand) position. Your body should be in a straight line, hanging from the rings.
  • Keeping your body straight, lift your legs and hips up towards the rings until you reach an inverted hang position.
  • Slowly lower your straight body towards a horizontal position, moving your feet forward while keeping your arms straight and your body in one line.
  • Continue lowering until your body is parallel with the ground, forming a straight line from your head to your heels.
  • Maintain this position for a few seconds. Your body should be parallel to the ground with your face towards the ground.
  • Gently and with control, lift your body back into an inverted hang, and then lower yourself back to the hanging position.
  • Repeat the movement for your desired number of repetitions or holds.
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19. Iron Cross

19. Iron Cross

The Iron Cross is an iconic and challenging gymnastic move, typically executed on rings, that demands a high degree of strength, especially in the shoulders, chest, and core. It's considered one of the most difficult strength moves, illustrating a blend of balance, control, and immense power

  • Ensure the gymnastic rings are secure and at a height where you can comfortably hang from them with your feet off the ground.
  • Jump up and grip the rings, with your palms facing inward.
  • Lift your body into an inverted hang, with your feet pointed toward the ceiling. Your arms should be straight and close to your body.
  • Slowly lower your body into a horizontal position by spreading your arms out to the sides, forming a straight line from one hand to the other. Make sure your arms stay straight, and your palms face the ground.
  • When your arms are extended out to the sides and your body is parallel with the ground, you're in the Iron Cross position.
  • Maintain this position for a few seconds. Keep your body straight and horizontal with the ground, arms fully extended to the sides.
  • Pull your body back up into an inverted hang, bringing your arms back to your sides.
  • Repeat the movement for your desired number of repetitions or holds.

20. Planche

The Planche is a highly demanding gymnastic exercise that requires significant strength, balance, and body control. Often performed on gymnastic rings or parallettes, the Planche engages the whole body, with an emphasis on the shoulders, chest, and core muscles. Mastering it is a testament to one's physical prowess and skill

  • Set the gymnastic rings at a height where you can comfortably reach them from the ground.
  • Position yourself between the rings, taking a firm grip with both hands. Your palms should face downwards.
  • Begin with your arms straight, directly beneath your shoulders. Your feet should be on the ground.
  • Gradually lean your body forward, shifting your weight onto your hands and arms. Keep your arms straight and strong.
  • Using your core and arm strength, lift your body off the ground until it's parallel with the floor. Your arms should remain straight and close to your body.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds. Your body should be parallel to the ground, held up by the strength of your arms and core.
  • Slowly lower your body back to the ground, maintaining control as you descend.
  • Repeat the movement for your desired number of repetitions or holds.

Conclusion

The benefit of incorporating gymnastic ring exercises into your routine is that even without a gym membership or much space in your home, you can still benefit from them.

Not only will it help you get stronger and faster, but they also help develop agility and coordination. In no time, you'll see vast improvements in your fitness levels. With these 20 gymnastic ring exercises, you have plenty of solutions to build upper body strength. Give them a try today and watch how they transform your body!

Readings List

Article Sources

  • Scharer, Christoph, et al. "Specific Eccentric-Isokinetic Cluster Training Improves Static Strength Elements on Rings for Elite Gymnasts." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 16, no. 22, Nov. 2019, p. 4571. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224571.
  • Skopal, Lauren, et al. "THE EFFECT OF A RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS-BASED POWER-FLEXIBILITY PROGRAM ON THE LOWER LIMB FLEXIBILITY AND POWER OF CONTEMPORARY DANCERS." International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, vol. 15, no. 3, May 2020, pp. 343-64. PubMed Central, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7297002/.

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