Find them swinging at the back of the gym, or take your own outside to the streets, ‘the rings’ are gaining more notoriety as the go-to universal training apparatus for compound strength and upper body muscle development. We linked up with Peak Pro and callisthenics athlete, Wolf Adams, to get up to speed with the basics and see how to promote all round shoulder stability and enhance an array of other movements.

_____ Before You Start


It is particularly important to warm up before a ring session to ensure the joints and muscles are prepared for the stabilisation they are going to battle for.


_____ The Grip

False Grip

False grip; a technique used on rings to generate maximum force as the body travels through a vertical position.


01. Align the ring with bottom part of the palm - the part just before the wrist but furthest away from your thumb.

02. With an open hand begin to wrap your fingers around the ring ensuring the alignment from step 01 is still in place.

03. Close hand and grip the ring maintaining the same alignment throughout.


_____ Exercise One

One Arm Assisted Pulls


01.  Adjust the rings with one ring at the height of an extended arm and the other at head height - the lower ring is going to help with getting from a standing position to the top position.

02.  Start in a full locked out position with the arm you are going to lead with in pronated, false grip (palm facing out) and the other arm relaxed.

03.  As you start to pull through your extended arm, transition your pronated grip into a supinated grip (palm facing in).

04.  Pull through to the top position, where your chin meets the top of the ring.

05.  Throughout the movement use the lower ring to add assistance in pulling from a standing position to the top position.

06.  When at top position ensure a controlled pace is used on the way back to a standing position.

Teaching Points:

  • Engagement of the core and glutes are vital for progression in this movements & eventually developing into advanced movements such as the ring muscle up.

_____ Exercise Two 

Bulgarian Dips


01.  Jump up to start in a fully locked out top position, using a false grip with rings facing outwards -ensuring core and glutes are engaged.

02.  Turn rings in as you begin your dip.

03.  Keep the rings away from your torso and dip down to 90 degrees.

04.  After reaching 90 degrees head back up to top position and turn rings out to complete the rep.

    Teaching Points:

    • When at top position (ISO-metric or end of a movement) rings must be turned outwards with your arms in a locked out position (see final image in sequence above).
    • Core engaged alongside glutes (If hard to engage these muscles work on transverse core engagement.


    _____ Exercise Three 

    Front Lever Progressions


    01.  Start with dead hang and raise knees up till they reach the rings.

    02.  To ensure progression retract and depress scapula whilst in this hold & compress core.

    03.  To progress this movement move your knees further from your core for advanced tuck lever.

    Teaching Points:

    • Ensure your back is straight when in tuck or full lever hold.

    • Breath through the transverse core.

    • Retract and depress scapula - avoid scapula protraction.


    _____ Free Guide

    If you are interested in a free, three session plan to progress your introduction to rings, drop us an email at

    Ring Basics is brought to your by Peak Pro wolf.adams, shot on expired 35mm film in London, United Kingdom.

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