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Article: Getting started and progressing on the Olympic rings!

Start and progress on the Gymnastic rings!

Do you really need more than two small wooden gymnastic rings to effectively train your entire body? I'm not sure. Besides, I've heard that it's very practical, these things that can be quickly attached anywhere.

Gymnasts do inhuman things with the rings; but that doesn't mean that it's not possible to start and progress as a beginner. I propose a complete routine to start with and which will also evolve with your level. The goal of this routine is to gain strength and mass.

On the program: 5 basic exercises + 2 bonuses that will help those who wish to attack more advanced figures later on. I will provide you with all the information for each exercise. The idea is to reach the top of the given repetition range; then you will be able to move on to the higher progression of the exercise in question. But don't worry, no need to write anything down. I'll give you the entire routine at the end of the article.

I won't go into too much detail about the execution of the movements and I will present some of the progressions available to you because I have put them all in my 100% free directory.

Exercise 1: Vertical Pull-Ups

Let's start directly with the first exercise, the vertical pull-ups. If you are not able to do complete ones yet, the easiest way is to start with negative pull-ups which consist in doing only the descent of each repetition that we will try to slow down as much as possible before starting again. To go further, you can then start by blocking at the top of the repetition before starting the descent. All of this should quickly strengthen you and allow you to succeed in your first pull-up!

From there, you can start your sets with your maximum full reps before ending them with negatives. You can vary your sessions a bit and also train the pull-up of each rep. It is also possible to do assisted pull-ups either with a rubber band; or possibly by keeping your feet on the ground and helping yourself just enough to be able to do it.

The big advantage of the bodybuilding rings is that you can easily adjust the suspension straps to the height you to the height you want.

Once the pull-ups become too easy to chain, you can continue to progress with variations that work one arm more than the other, such as the arching pull-ups, or you can start weighting yourself down if you have some equipment.

And if you need anything at all: gymnastic rings, elastic bands, weighted belts or more, you'll find all this equipment in my store, which I designed myself with the same high standards of quality that I apply to my videos and the rest of my work.


Exercise 2: Gymnastic Rings for Dips

For the second exercise, we would like to be able to do dips, but clearly, it will first go through the active support of the gymnastic rings, an essential step to master the instability that makes them unique and that complicates things a lot. Moreover, keep in mind that the longer the straps are from their attachment points, the more unstable the rings will be, and therefore by adjusting them at hip height, the first progression will be to hold in support with the arms stretched out and to assist you if necessary with the tip of the feet until ideally succeeding in holding on your own and without shaking too much for at least 15 to 20 seconds in a row

From there, it's the same as before, again, you can start by doing slow negatives to build up strength before achieving your first dips, just as you can also do assisted dips with an elastic band or by keeping your feet on the ground. But in general, I'd tend to recommend the feet-assisted method as a last resort, because it's not really practical to know exactly how much you've helped yourself.

An important note, even more so if your goal is to progress to Street Workout more advanced, you will quickly become familiar with the so-called RTO this will complicate things and put more stress on your biceps. The best thing to do is simply to start working on the active support again, but this time in RTO, before tackling this version of the dips which consists of quickly turning the rings outwards between each repetition.

And finally, once you're comfortable with it all, the best way to continue to gain in force in muscle with dips as well as to progress in bodybuilding is to weigh yourself down more and more.


Exercise 3: Hanging Knee Lifts

 The third exercise will be hanging knee raises to work on the abs and other areas. A good progression goal would be to aim to raise them higher and higher! You can even hold them for a good second in the middle to force yourself to control the movement.

From there, to progress further, you can start to unfold your legs, more and more, you can also do your lifts from the active support position which is more difficult, so as to build all the foundations you will need to learn to hold the L-sita very beautiful first figure.

And alternatively, before or after that, you can continue to raise your knee lifts even higher until you end up going backwards and learning to control the Skin the Cat a complex exercise will be very useful to progress to other figures later on.


Exercise 4: Horizontal pull-ups with Olympic rings

For the fourth exercise, horizontal pull-ups, for which you can vary the difficulty in a very practical way by adjusting the height of the rings. The more vertical you get, the easier it gets. To progress further, either find a way to get your feet higher than your hands, or tackle the one-armed version where you can again adjust the height of the rings.



Exercise 5: Pumps

For the 5th exercise, the push-ups, of course, which are even more difficult on the Olympic rings and for which, as for the dips, the first step will be to manage to hold the standard active support position solidly and in RTO, which will also make your sheathing at the same time. And as usual, you can simply put the rings higher to simplify the exercise.


If you have a particular problem with the ring pumps you can also progress very well on the floor, which will transfer quite well. Even if everything that is RTO, it remains very specific to the rings. And afterwards, just like on the floor, raising the feet a little bit and working on one-armed progressions will be a very good way to increase the difficulty.


Bonus Exercise 1: The False Grip at the Olympic Rings

We'll now move on to the first bonus exercise which is important for the rings, and especially necessary if your aim is to achieve the famous muscle up, the false grip, which is a way of catching the rings, which actually consists of resting and holding the top of the wrist on them in this way. And if you don't want it to slide too low, a little chalk will help a lot.


So you can start training your false grip at the end of the session; staying in suspension as long as you can, which will be easier with your arms bent. Ideally you will soon like to be able to hold with your arms extended as well.

From there, if you want to work towards the muscle up, you can start by replacing the first exercise of the routine with false grip pull-ups, and once you have a dozen or so in a row, you should be able to attack the negative muscle ups during which you will want to try to keep the false grip from start to finish, while slowing down the transition between the dips and the pull-up as much as possible. All this will allow you, with enough effort and time, to succeed in your first muscle up on the Olympic rings, the first of a long series.



Bonus Exercise 2: The German Hang

The second bonus exercise that you can do at the end of your session or at the beginning to warm up because it works very well is simply the German Hang which you will already be familiar with when you train the Skin the Cat. Holding and maintaining this position will benefit your shoulder mobility and strength. It will lay a good foundation to go after a new trick like the Back Lever.

As promised, here is the complete Olympic rings routine, summarized in one page. Don't hesitate if you need it, it's there for that !


I recommend that you write down your results somewhere so you know what you did last time. This will motivate you to break your records!

This is one of the best ways to progress quickly, in my opinion, even if it may seem obvious.

You can also view the video of the rings.

Thanks for reading, take care, see you soon! 💪

Eric Flag

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