Hanging Around – Working out with gymnastic rings

I have a little secret… I love being upside down. That’s a little weird I know but it’s true. I’m mostly talking about gymnastics rings. If you’ve never tried them boy howdy are you missing out! This is a piece of workout equipment that will blow your socks off with how fun and different it is. Rings are a great way to open up your shoulders, improve your core strength, improve flexibility, improve full body tensional strength, give you better body awareness, and above all, test your body and mind in ways you’ve never done before! Plus it’s almost like playing it’s so fun!

Rings are a little intimidating, when was the last time you jumped up on the monkey bars at your kid’s school and flipped upside down? Probably never; but why not? Well, it’s a little weird to push 8 year olds out of the way so you can get inverted on some bars. But besides that, why not? I’m guessing it’s because you are scared and unsure of if you can do it and if you can then get down without making a scene. But I’m here to tell you that you most certainly can do it and you totally should!

When working with rings it’s extremely important to start with the basics and build up. You should always work with someone who knows what they are doing as spotting on the rings is of utmost importance. But if you have a good coach and a capable spotter the world is your oyster! Here is how a basic progression on rings works, this could take one hour, could take 2 sessions, or could take a month depending on your starting strength and your coordination with the rings;

  1. Pull ups, can also be done with assistance
  2. Getting upside down with your hips above your shoulders
  3. Getting upside down and then opening up into a straight line
  4. Getting upside down opening up and hinging from your hips and straightening your legs
  5. Getting upside down and dropping your legs over so that your hips are dropping behind you and you open your shoulders
  6. Getting upside down hinging from your hips so that your legs are straight and opening your shoulders

There are many more exercises to do inverted. The list above are the very basics, although, once you get on the rings they may not seem so basic. Part of the challenge of the rings (besides just getting yourself inverted) is staying in control, staying contracted through your core, and understanding tensional strength. Once you master the basics it’s all about building strength and flexibility at the same time. You will find this kind of combination no where else but in gymnastics. It’s fun, it’s different, and it’s a world you are really missing out on! If you are interested in trying out a workout on gymnastics rings contact Adriana Brown.

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