Ring Push-ups : A Pushup Variation You Overlooked

Pushups are the most utilized exercise in fitness.

There are a few reasons for this, Pushups are safe, require no equipment and are an exercise that works many muscle groups at once.

However, an underutilized variation is the ring pushup.

Gymnastic Ring pushups are great because it incorporates a stabilization element and a pec fly element.


Ring Pushups Benefits

Increased Chest Activation

You chest has various function other than pressing such as turning your hand externally. In a ring pushup, you perform your arm is externally rotated at the bottom and is internally rotated at the top.

Furthermore, a ring pushup is a press, a flye and internal rotation of your arm all at the same time.

This means the ring pushup works providing your muscles an entirely new stimulus.

Increased Core Activation

Because the rings are unstable and free moving, your body wil have to stabilize itself. This will work your core and stabilzier much more than tradional floor pushups where you arms are fixed to the ground.


How to Set Up Rings For Ring Pushups

Place the Rings Over a bar.

The straps should be adjusted so that the rings are around 2 inches above the ground.

The two rings should be shoulder width apart.


How to Progress on Ring Pushups

Elevated Ring Pushups

To make the ring pushups easier, shorn the straps of the gymnastic rings so that the rings are higher off of the ground. Perform ring pushups now and it will be easier.

Band Assisted Ring Pushups

To make the ring pushups easier, loop the band around the bar and then place the other end of the band under your chest. Perform ring pushups now and it will be easier.

How to Make Ring Pushups More Challenging

Decline Ring Pushup

Place your feet on a chair, bench or plyobox to elevate your feet. Perform the ring pushups while your feet is elevated.

The great the elevation, the harder the exercise. However it will also place more emphasis on the chest.

Weighted Ring Pushups

Use a Weightvest to add weight. Then perform the pushup the same way you would perform a bodyweight ring dip.

You an also use a resistance band to make the ring pushup more challenging by place the band over your upper back.

Ring pushups with RTO

To make Ring pushups more challenging,  end each repetition with a RTO or Ring turn out. This mean at the top of each ring pushup, keep your arms straight and turn your hands so that your elbows are facing back.

This makes the ring pushup much more challenging and will also help translate to straight arm holds like the back lever and planche.

What Rings should I use for Ring Pushups?

We recommend a 32mm thickness for pushing movements like the ring pushup since the load is spread out on a wider surface area.

This will entail a more comfortable experience for you hands and wrist.

We always recommend wooden rings since they offer the level of best comfort.

The Neo-rings which are the 2-in-1 gymnastic rings that have allow you to switch between the 28mm and 32mm seamlessly by turning the rings 180 degrees.

We recommend this for anyone who can benefit from using both thicknesses.

dual-thickness gymnastic rings
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How Often Should I train Ring Pushups?

We recommend trainings the ring pushup as often as you train with the regular pushup.

However we know many don't always have access to gymnastics rings and they can be a pain to set up.

Therefore, at a bare minimum we recommend using the rings 20% of the time.


About the Author

Remy started calisthenics in 2014 and has mastered advanced movements such as the one arm pull-up, front-lever, one arm muscle-up and more.

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