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Gymnastic Rings Training – New Exercises


I remember a few years back I went to the NSCA PA State Clinic and watched Mike Rankin, the head strength coach at Drexel University, present on how he used gymnastic rings with his athletes.  I was pretty blow away with how innovative he was and how many different variations he used.   Zach Makovsky, his assistant strength coach at the time and MMA athlete, demo’d the rings with Mike at the hands on.


Zach, if you remember, came to my house and hit a  triple clap push-up and one legged jump to a height of 48-50 inches (I think, I can’t remember the exact height).  Needless to say he was pretty explosive.

After that introduction, I bought a set of rings and we’ve been using them ever since.  But it wasn’t until a few weeks ago I had a thought.

It wasn’t what you’re thinking.  I didn’t get a pack of non-filtered Camels, put 3 in my mouth and start training on the rings.


You can see where Vince got him unmatched upper body development.

This idea was a little different.

Innovative Gymnastic Ring Training

The typical setup on the gymnastics rings is to anchor reach ring to a stationary object.  From there you can adjust the rings to different levels depending on the size of the athlete or the movement that you’ll be doing.

Some Basic Gymnastic Rings Exercises

  • Push-ups
  • Inverted Rows
  • Face Pulls
  • Chest Flyes
  • Roll-outs
  • Pull-ups
  • Curls
  • Tricep Extensions
  • Muscle-ups

Benefits of Gymnastics Rings

  • Versatile, many different exercises can be done and the rings can be adjusted for different sized lifters / athletes
  • Fast Setup and Flow, can flow between different exercises quickly which is great for circuits
  • Core strength and stability, many movements require a torso rigidity and bracing throughout the duration of the exercise
  • Adjustable, can use percentages of a person’s bodyweight, making a movement harder or easier, just by moving the lifter / athlete’s feet position for many movement

New Gymnastic Ring Movements

So here is my innovation.  Instead of anchoring the gymnastic rings to the stationary object, anchor them to each other.

This will create a pulley system that will allow you to incorporate alternating pulling and pushing movements!

The immediate view would be that fighters and all combat athletes would benefit, but these movements will benefit everyone.

A push-up on the rings now becomes alternating pressing and inverted rows become alternating rows.

Now if you don’t have gymnastic rings, no problem.  Just use a long towel or a thick rope.  It should still work pretty well.

Try these out and let me know what you think!

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4 Responses to “Gymnastic Rings Training – New Exercises”

  1. Jerry Shreck Says:


    Awesome, I never thought to use rings like that. I have done these same movements using jump stretch bands. The bands would be looped and in a fixed position like the rings normally would be. It is wild trying to do it with the bands. Tons of stabilization work. I love the recent videos !

  2. Johnny Says:

    I had never thought of securing the rings to each other. Those exercises look great and add an extra dimension to the required stabilization. My only concern is with doing these with rings tossed over a knurled pull up bar. Won’t a rough textured bar eat into the straps and weaken them?

  3. billy cortes Says:

    dang that looks pretty intense. this is why i love this site! where do you buy those gymnastics rings?

  4. Jim Smith Says:

    There are some good ones at and

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