This article discusses ring-dips and how to execute them properly. Throughout this article we will be discussing several aspects of ring-dips such as the muscles activated by doing ring-dips, the benefits of doing ring-dips, assisting exercises you can perform before doing ring-dips, the difference between ring-dips and bar dips as well as several tips to make ring-dips easier. We will start by looking at what ring-dips are and how to execute them the right way. Then, we will highlight several aspects of ring-dips as well as a couple of tips that can help you do these without having to break a sweat or getting yourself injured.
What are ring-dips?
Ring-dips are one of the toughest training exercises you can perform on gymnastic rings. Not only do you require amazing strength to perform a set of dips, but you also need to keep yourself in balance at all times which requires great control of your own strength and proper physique to do ring-dips properly. Ring-dips in general is a great exercise for developing your triceps and shoulder flexibility. It essentially involves the usage of gymnastic rings, which you use to dip on. Given the volatility of the rings, it is considered to be a very demanding exercise and a target for many who are building strength and muscle.
Which muscle groups are trained with ring-dips?
Most people starting out find it difficult to do ring-dips as it is a difficult exercise. Nonetheless, ring-dips is an excellent exercise for building your triceps, chest and shoulder muscles. This is mainly due to the volatility and instability caused by gymnastic rings, essentially forcing you to use your muscles to stabilize yourself constantly on the rings. Lack of muscle and strength control coupled with relying on ligaments for example often times results in severe injuries which can be avoided if you are able to strengthen your joint muscles. In addition, if you intend to perform more gymnastic exercises in the future, then ring-dips are a great way to enhance your skills of using gymnastic rings.
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What are the benefits of doing ring-dips?
In addition to building strong muscles around your shoulders, arms and chest – ring-dips are great for joint health, body control and enhancing your gymnastic skills. Ring-dips help your body in building injury resistance around your joints. This is due to the force that is applied to your joints throughout the exercise, which results in stronger muscles being built coupled with better body and strength control. For someone who is unfamiliar with gymnastic rings, it can be tough to get a good grip on the rings and keeping a straight posture as performing exercises on these rings relies heavily on your strength, control as well as skill for controlling movements being made while on the rings. An exercise such as ring-dips greatly improves your control and skill, which is the perfect combination for doing exercises on gymnastic rings as well as Calisthenics.
Executing ring-dips the right way
To start with ring-dips, you need to begin by adjusting the height of the rings to make sure your feet are not touching the ground when performing the exercise. Your starting position should be to get above the rings with your arms stretched and supporting your body on them whilst having your legs bent or straight to do the exercise. This is also called the ‘support hold’ position. To start, lower yourself down by bending your elbows and keeping your shoulders and hands close to your body. It is important that you keep these movements controlled in order not to lose your posture. Thus it is important to have a really good grip on both rings to avoid losing your posture and breaking the exercise midway. If you want to activate your triceps more, make sure that your body is moving straight up and back down. The more you lean forward the more your chest muscles will be activated, so make sure you consider this when performing the exercise.
Assisting exercises before doing ring-dips
There are a handful of exercises you can do before doing ring-dips. These can help you get adjusted to using gymnastic rings and improving your body control. One of the first exercises you can try is doing ring push-ups. To perform one, simply lean downward on the rings (make sure to adjust the rings’ height) and perform a regular set of push-ups as you would on push-up bars or on the floor. In addition to ring push-ups you can also try doing negative ring-dips which we’ll get back to later on.
In general, it is recommended to take on exercises in your workout plan that promote muscle growth around your arms and chest if you are aiming to take on ring-dips. Push-ups, pull-ups or normal dips on a static dip bar for example are simple yet effective exercises which you can perform to help you build muscle and strength before taking on a much more demanding exercise such as ring-dips.
Ring-dips vs. bar dips – is there a difference?
We have already discussed ring-dips, however it is also possible to perform another dipping exercise known as bar dips. Bar dips essentially means dipping on a dip bar, which is very different from doing dips on gymnastic rings. The main difference between these is that a bar is stabilized and does not require you to constantly focus on muscle control to keep your posture (on the bar) as it is the case with ring-dips. However, if you are looking to build more shoulder strength then it is best to perform ring-dips instead of doing bar dips. When it comes to building additional muscle strength it may be an option to do bar dips as this allows for more intensive training and higher amount of sets and reps per workout in general.
How to make ring-dips easier?
To have an easier time doing ring-dips, we suggest taking the following into consideration:
First, start by making sure that the rings are set at shoulder-width and that you have a full-grip on both rings when executing the exercise. Then, as we have covered before - begin with your arms extended and push down into the rings. At this point your chest should incline forward as your elbows move back. This requires great physical control and a very good grip on the rings. Your shoulders should then descend lower than your elbows. It is very important that your hands stay close to your body as a means to keep the right posture throughout the exercise. Finally, you finish things off when you’ve fully extended your arms on the rings moving you back to the initial support hold position.
In addition, if performing ring-dips is too challenging at the beginning then you can always choose to ease your way in by making use of resistance bands. Simply setup a band over the bar where the rings are fixed and place your knees in them before you start with a set of ring-dips. This should make it less demanding for your muscles to hold your body up as you dip on the rings. This is also known as a band-assisted support hold position. You can gradually try to dip without making use of the rings once you stat getting a better grip on things.
Another tip is to do negative ring-dips. This means that you fully drop down from the gymnastic rings after each rep, which lessens the strain on your arms and shoulders to keep you up in position throughout the whole exercise. This is very useful if you want to try things out and progress slowly until you have more confidence in being able to do non-assisted ring-dips.
So, are you ready to do ring-dips now? If you are then make sure you try some of the assistance exercises we discussed throughout this article and use the band-assisted support position as a first step. Ring-dips remain a difficult and challenging exercise to master for many. Thus some assistance in the beginning is expected. However you choose to begin, remember to have fun on the rings and to not overdo things with an injury. It is always better to be safe than sorry later on.
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