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One of the most obvious things you can do with rings is the dip. A dip simply involves gripping one ring in either hand and then gradually lowering yourself in the middle. This is an excellent way to train the pecs, shoulders and triceps and it also requires a lot of balance and stability.
What’s interesting about dips is that you actually can’t do them as well on TRX – despite it costing a lot more!
You might not have expected this but you can actually perform flyes using gymnastic rings. All you need to do is to lean forward holding one in each hand with your arms apart in a cross position. Now bring them together in the middle to push your bodyweight back up. This is an excellent way to train your pecs and your grip at the same time.
Using rings to perform pull ups is quite a lot different from not using rings. That’s because this has your hands facing inward which makes it a neutral grip pull up instead of a regular pull up. As a result, you’ll hit the lats at a different angle, while the wobbly nature of the rings will force you to engage your stabilizer muscles to keep the rings steady and prevent your body from rolling.
Inverted Push Ups
Inverted pushups are surprisingly not a form of push up… but rather another form of pull up! The reason they have this name is that they are effectively push-ups turned upside down. Here, you’ll hold onto the rings which are dangling a bit lower and then perform pull ups for your upper body only, with your heels resting on the floor. This allows you to lift a smaller amount of weight during pull ups, which thereby trains your lats but also allows you to use this as part of a drop set. In other words, perform as many regular pull ups as you can, then switch to this to carry on.
Performing a lunge with one leg looped into a gymnastic ring is a great way to make it a lot more difficult. This requires more balance again and stimulates the production of more growth hormones as a result.
Other Forms of Exercise That Incorporate Bodyweight Training
Bodyweight training has a great number of advantages. This is a way to work out that will allow you to increase your ‘strength to weight ratio’ thereby becoming more agile, more acrobatic and more powerful. You’ll be fast like a coiled spring and strong in a functional way that equates to real-world usefulness.
But there’s no such thing as a perfect training modality. And one of the biggest complaints you’ll often hear from people who use bodyweight training is that they don’t like it because it’s ‘boring’.
Doing press ups can get old fast and unfortunately just isn’t quite so challenging or exciting as lifting 100K over your head. It doesn’t turn heads in quite the same way and the progress can often feel a lot less rewarding.
But that’s why it’s such a good thing that you can use bodyweight training as part of a more fun or interesting activity or even sport. Let’s take a look at some of the great ways you can incorporate bodyweight training into your routine without it feeling like a dull workout. Here are some great examples…
Rock Climbing (Bouldering)
Rock climbing is one of the most fantastic bodyweight workouts there is and it’s incredibly fun and rewarding whether you’re going to do it seriously or just as a fun hobby. Rock climbing involves using your forearms and grip strength in order to cling to the tiny cracks in the rocks and this can quickly build you Popeye-like proportions.
From there, you’ll then be using your lats and your biceps to pull yourself up the wall and scale it like Spider-Man. Better yet, you’ll also be holding yourself in position for long periods of time using your legs alone. This quickly builds a lot more quadriceps and hamstring strength so that you’ll be getting a truly full body workout.
Bouldering is a great way to get started with this. Bouldering effectively means that you’re climbing smaller rocks that present a challenge for how to get to the top. There’s no rope and you use a crash mat – so you can turn up at a climbing center and just get started!
Other Forms of Climbing
Don’t have a climbing center near you? Not sure you fancy the idea of climbing up the nearby cliffs? A great alternative is something called ‘traversing’ which is essentially sideways rock climbing. Here you never get that high up and as a result you don’t need a rope. As long as you have some kind of natural cliff or wall you can try it yourself!
Or how about climbing a tree?
Hand balancing is a lost art that is highly rewarding and challenging. Being able to go from a pike position to a handstand requires a ton of muscle power and control, as well as balance. When you pull it off though, you’ll have a party trick that’s far more impressive than lifting 100KG and that you can actually do at a party!
Why Bodyweight Training Outdoors is the Ultimate Workout
A word that gets thrown around a lot at the moment when it comes to working out is ‘functional’. What is ‘functional’? Well essentially, this term refers to the idea that some types of exercises provide real-world and usable strength, whereas others do not.
One of the exercises often called functional is the deadlift because it involves squatting down to pick something heavy up off of the ground using all the muscles in the leg in unison as well as muscles in the back. We pick things up off the floor all the time in real life and every moment is compound in this sense – meaning that we use all the muscles together rather than in an isolated fashion.Other Details
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