The end of the year is upon us which means getting through the holidays. How we manage our physical and emotional stress will dictate a happy holiday for sure. Here’s a tip: Try Gymnastic Rings! Not only are they a great way to add something new to your workout routine, they have a lot of benefits too. Check out my top 5 reasons everyone needs a set of rings below. Need a set of your own? I also talk about my top two choices at the end.
#1 – Reduce Potential Injury from Barbell Dominate Programs
The rings are an amazing tool for quick warm ups and the perfect exercise choices to pair with a barbell exercise for an amazing super set.
Upper Body Warmup
1A. Ring Row – 3 sets of 10-15 reps
1B. Ring Push up – 3 sets of 10-15 reps
1C. Lunge Yoga Rotations – 3 sets of 8 each side
Upper Body Super Set
2A. Barbell Incline Bench Press – 8,6,4,4
2B. Ring Dips – 6-12 reps each set
#2 – Reduce Joint Stress
The Rings are an amazing tool to allows your joints (especially your shoulders) to move in a more natural path versus the barbell. This is especially important for older lifters. For those with 20 + years under the barbell like myself, replacing the barbell shoulder press or barbell bench press with ring push ups or ring dips once in awhile with my shoulders are telling me they need a break is invaluable.
#3 – (Re) Build Your Core Stability
(Re) build your core strength in less than 10 minutes a day. Core strength has never been more important. We are all forced to be at home sitting all day. Sitting all day severely diminishes your core stability.
BONUS POINTS – The Rings allows you to focus on building the core in which it is designed to work! Your core muscles are designed to keep your spine and lower back neutral while doing the things you love.
Core Stability Workout #1
1A. Front Plank Alternating Fallouts
1B. Single Leg Bicycle Crunch
1C. Side Plank HOLDS
#4 – Get Back to Having Fun in the “Gym”
Learning new exercises or introducing a new piece of equipment into your routine hopefully interjects a bit of “fun” into your exercise routine. Also, as we approach the colder months, Rings have the option of getting hung inside, keeping you warm for a full body workout. Warm = fun. Cold = not fun.
#5 – Manage Your Emotional Stress
This could probably have been reasons #1-4 as well. Our emotional stress is at an all time high. For me, my wife is working from home. I am home schooling my kids 3 days a week. We are seeing way too much of each other! We all need a release. My garage gym has been my sanctuary. For you? A set of gym rings could do just that. In 20 minutes, you can get a full body workout AND reset mentally.
Gym Rings Options
A quick Amazon search for “Gym Rings” yield 215 results of all different materials (plastic, metal, and wood), all different price points, and all different pros and cons. How on earth do you choose? Create a list of criteria important to you and filter the rings down to a pairs that makes sense to you.
Here is my criteria:
- Heavy duty strap, handles, and cam buckles. I want a weight rating of ATLEAST 600 hundred pounds. If the rings do not give you weight rating, walk away.
- Wood handles. Wood has the most natural feel. Plastic can get slippery. Metal can get cold. Although, I would go plastic if I planned on leaving them outside 24/7.
- A double anchor point. With a single anchor point (think TRX), the straps and buckles can rub against your arms during push ups and dips.
- Foot cradles for lower body exercises
- Great reviews.
- Budget Friendly.
I love gymnastic rings so much I have two sets! I have the Rogue Fitness Gymnastic Wood Rings and the Lifeline Jungle Gym Suspension Trainer. Both under $100. Both heavy duty. Both double anchor points. Both easy to use.
Let’s gym rings help you survive the holidays and get you motivated for the new year. If you like to learn more, please check out my book Gymnastic Rings Workout Handbook: Over 100 Workouts for Strength, Mobility and Muscle.
MICHAEL VOLKMAR, MS, CSCS, PES, CPT, received his master’s degree in Exercise Science with a specialization in Exercise, Nutrition, and Eating Behavior from George Washington University (GWU). In 2001, Mike started his well-traveled path in Sports Performance Training at the Junior College level (OCC, Onondaga, NY) working with the baseball team. He worked for three years as the Strength and Conditioning Coach at GWU, first with the Single A affiliate (High Desert Mavericks) of the Milwaukee Brewers, and later season with the Double A affiliate (Harrisburg Senators) of the Washington Nationals, before moving on to spend one year at the International Performance Institute of IMG Academies, FL. Mike continued his professional development by becoming the Director of Strength and Conditioning at the APEX Academies. Currently, Mike is the strength and conditioning coach at the Peddie School. A Division I baseball player during his undergraduate career, Mike is an amateur powerlifter with a passion for all things fitness. Mike has advanced specialty certifications in strength and conditioning, post-rehab exercise, athletic development, and sports medicine.