Gymnastics may not be everyone’s favourite sport, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t provide the right workout for everyone.
When you ask anyone how they imagine the ideal gym to be, they would say it’s one with the usual equipment, like dumbbells, barbell, benches, kettlebells, battle ropes, stability balls, leg presses, rowing machines, treadmills or elliptical, and the last thing on their mind would be gymnastics.
However, thanks to the popularity of CrossFit, gymnastics made its way into the gyms through the gym rings. Though an old concept, rings today are designed to be comfortable, with wood being the preferred option instead of the traditional plastic in terms of grip, and the exercising potential and benefits they offer should be enough to get your attention.
They may be simple, but gym rings are more versatile than they appear, inspiring you to be creative with your training and increase your strength as well as your muscles (building lean mass), because it’s not just the upper body that can be included in the workouts.
There are positions where the focus is on the legs, such as the maltese, pseudo-maltese, and planche. The best part is, ring training is ideal for beginners too, all you have to do is focus on controlling your body to get the needed balance, letting the legs be your adjusting force, with the low-skill L-sits being among the first exercises you do.
Think of it as a mind-body workout where you get the great training for your core that wouldn’t take up as much of your time as other workouts. This is so since there are more muscles being engaged at once in the strength training session.
No matter what the exercises are, be they push-ups, chin-ups or pull-ups for example, all you have to do is practice with lowered rings, as well as standing on a surface, anything to help you until you feel you have the necessary strength to handle it like a gymnast.
It’s necessary to avoid having a great range of motions in the early days of gym ring training to prevent ligament injuries. This isn’t to say rings are bad for the joints altogether, and you should thank the freedom they allow with the movements!
The more challenging the exercises, the more fun you’re going to get, and a sense of accomplishment for pushing your limits, having in mind nothing kills the willingness to reach your body goals like boredom does.