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How to Improve Ring Dips

how to improve ring dips

There are many exercises in functional fitness that can be frustrating and testing for all kinds of athletes. One of them is the ring rip.

The ring dip exercise is one of the more common movements in CrossFit workouts, and a staple exercise for gymnasts. As the name suggests, the exercise requires athletes to perform a dip, using gymnastic rings.

As is the case with all dips, your shoulders must dip below the top of the elbow at the bottom of the dip, and your elbows must be fully extended at the top of each rep.

Now, if you’ve never done a ring dip before, you might think the exercise is relatively simple and easy to master. While this is the case for some people, for others it can be a very tough movement that causes plenty of frustration.

Unlike bar dips, ring dips are performed on unstable objects (rings), and therefore requires you to use more stabilizer muscles in your core and shoulders.

Ring dips are a great way to improve your overall core strength, and each rep targets your triceps, chest and shoulders.

But while the exercise has many physical benefits, it can also be a very tricky one to master.

Beginners can often have trouble mastering the movement Rx, while many advanced athletes will find it difficult to maintain solid ring dip form during a long workout.

Michael testing rings

Here are some simple tips on how to improve ring dips:

Maintain Good Form –The better your form is, the easier each rep will be. The best way to perform each ring dip is to keep the rings close to your body, push your chest forward, and keep your elbows back while you lower down for each rep.

Scale – Just like many other exercises in functional fitness, not everyone will be able to Rx the ring dip straight away. If you’re having trouble with the movement then scale the exercise. Start off doing dips on a bench, then move onto bar dips when your confidence builds. Once your bar dips are at a solid stage, then try ring dips using resistance bands.

Practice Your Grip – It can take a little while to get used to using gymnastics rings. Therefore, it is a good idea to practice your ring dip grip as often as you can. Performing static holds for 30 seconds to a minute is a great way to not only work on your stabilizer muscles, but also to get you familiar with using rings.

Improve Your Flexibility – In some cases it can be your flexibility, and not your lack of strength that makes ring dips tough. Therefore, it is important you work on your shoulder and tricep flexibility as well as your strength.

Persevere – Perseverance is a key to succeedingt Every person will have exercises they will find tough and struggle with. The important thing is not to give up. With time, practice and a bit of perseverance, every exercise can be mastered.

Here is a video of six time CrossFit Games competitor Chris Spealler running through the ring dip movement:

  • Harry

    I start off doing ring holds and practicing dips on the bars, after I got used to that my transition was seamless.

  • Philip

    Banded ring dips are also good for the beginner

  • I dislike ring dips… or rather my shoulder dislikes them…

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  • i’ve got ring dips, they’re just very tiring! lol. for the last two weeks i’ve been working on butterfly ring dips, and i must look like i’m seizing when i try to do them, it’s very hard to get into a rhythm. i guess there’s always something to work on.

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The Rx Review is an independent fitness website, reporting on the Sport of Fitness, functional fitness news, The CrossFit Games, health and diet related information, and also provides reviews on sports performance products.