If you are looking to do more demanding bodyweight exercises, then a ring muscle up is something to definitely consider. Using gymnastic rings on its own can be intense on its own already. So adding muscle ups to it gives us an exercise that is very demanding. Let’s start by looking a bit closer into what a ring muscle up is.
What is a ring muscle-up
A ring muscle up is an exercise that uses gymnastic rings for doing muscle ups onto them. To do one, start by grabbing the rings with a strong grip and hang below them. Then, proceed by pulling yourself up in a smooth manner in order to avoid any injuries. The idea here is to place your upper body above the rings. It can also be helpful to lean your upper body forward in order to get into a dip position. Once you are on the rings, do a muscle up and lower your body back down.
When going back down you can choose to use an L position by raising your legs up. This ought to help you balance yourself while being on the rings. Remember that gymnastic rings require a lot of strength and balance to use, thus this can be helpful. Furthermore, ring muscle ups can be done in a vertical position or by making use of a swinging motion, otherwise also known as kipping, in order to transition on the rings to do the muscle ups.
Now that you have a better idea on what ring muscle ups are, let’s take a look at how to master the exercise.
Mastering Ring Muscle Ups
There are several things that might make it difficult to perform a ring muscle up. One of these tends to be the transition between pulling up on the rings and doing the actual muscle up on them. The key thing to keep in mind here is that you are essentially pulling your body up. It is also essential to have proper shoulder strength in order to make a smooth transition on the rings.
Another key point is the grip being used on the rings. You can choose to use a regular or standard grip or use a false grip when going ring muscle ups. To do a ring muscle up using a standard grip, simply grab the rings with your hand with your fingers holding onto the rings. You are essentially placing your hands on them. This is very straightforward and is essentially based mainly on strength as a means to perform the exercise.
Alternatively, you can also make use of a false grip. A false grip tends to be applied when making use of kipping during ring muscle ups. A false essentially means placing your wrist over the ring (bottom of your palm) and grabbing it entirely with your fingers (with your thumb being outside the ring). Doing so can help you avoid potential injury to your wrists when making the transition, thus allowing for a smoother motion.
Top Tips for Ring Muscle-Ups
In the following section we will be highlighting some tips for doing ring muscle ups which should help you improve your technique.
#1 improve your muscle strength
A key factor that will affect your ring muscle up experience is muscle strength. Make sure you train your arm, hand and back muscles sufficiently before trying this exercise out. This also helps to avoid injuries as a lot of strength is involved during the exercise. If you intend to use false grips, then we recommend improving your wrist strength by using a false grip when doing regular pull-ups on a pull-up bar.
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#2 Make use of pull-up bands
A good option for improving your ring muscle ups is to make use of pull-up bands to assist you when going through the transition stage. Start by looping the band through the rings in order to make a seat for you to sit on. Follow by grabbing the rings and taking a seat on the band with a straight position. You can potentially also use a false grip here as it facilitates the transition. Finally, get yourself onto the rings and do a muscle up. The band should help to keep you stabilized while taking on some of the stability issues you may face when starting out.
#3 Gain stability on the rings
Gymnastic rings are very flexible. They can swing in any direction and can rotate at anytime. As such, it is key to have a solid control over the rings and be in a stable position when doing ring muscle ups. Without it, you are very likely to face a problem of stability. Achieving this however is most likely easier said than done. Practice is your best friend in this case, and as such it is a matter of becoming more familiar with gymnastic rings. With proper stability and balance, you will be able to perform much better ring muscle ups, transition through each stage without any major issues.
Doing a ring muscle up is not easy to perform. As such, it is not an exercise to do early on if you have not prepared for it. We very much recommend strengthening your muscles as a first step, and doing pull-ups to be more ready. Having proper muscle strength helps to not only do ring muscle ups but also to avoid injuries. Being able to do pull-ups properly also helps when performing this exercise. Ring muscle ups as discussed be done with or without kipping, and by using different grip techniques. By using kipping you are essentially working out in a much more fluid motion, which may be tougher to coordinate at the beginning. However, it could be a great goal to have in mind when starting out.
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