Olympic rings have been used in the training of some of the strongest athletes in Olympic history and continue to stand the test of time by being an amazing workout tool throughout almost two centuries of use. However, many people who have never tried Olympic ring training or any other suspended bodyweight training often wonder why they would even bother when they already get results from standard gym equipment. The reason to try them is that they will take basic exercises like push-ups, dips, and pull-ups to the next level.
Because Olympic Rings are hanging and not a solid structure (such as pull-up bar) they add the element of instability to your workout. Exercises tend to be harder because you are balancing throughout the movements, resulting in engaging your core and stabilizer muscles along with the targeted muscle in each and every exercise.
Researchers now believe that exercises that engage entire muscle groups (such as with ring training) as oppose to standard muscle isolating exercises are better for the body because entire muscle group movement is closer to the way our bodies engage in day-to-day tasks. (I.e. lifting a box) It has also been found that because of the added instability factor you can achieve better results with fewer reps when using rings over standard equipment.
Another great benefit of Olympic Rings is that because they are not locked into a static position they allow for the wrists to be able to rotate more naturally (as oppose to with standard gym equipment). This makes exercises more comfortable, easier on joints, and therefore less likely to cause injury.
Other benefits of ring training:
- Promotes the development of a lean, defined physique like a gymnast
- Develops high strength to size ratio
- Highly effective abdominal workout and excellent core workout
- Portable training method – all you need is rings and somewhere to hang them!
- Scalable training with exercises suitable for beginners and experts
- Good plateau buster
The main exercises that can be done with Olympic rings are: push-ups, dips, pull-ups, scarecrows and the iron cross. Ring training is a great addition to any exercise routine. It won’t develop an overly muscular frame, but a solid, well-rounded and defined physique. A functional body that not only looks athletic, but is able to perform.
Resources: artofmanliness.com fitstream.com