May 23, 2011
May 27, 2011
Ring-A-Round The Rows(y)

After pounding everyone’s central nervous system on Sunday, class took a turn for the gymnastic on Tuesday.

Part 1: Ring Work with 2 x Inverted Hangs & 2 x Pull Through to Skin-the-Cat

Every time we jump up on the rings, I attempt to direct our collective blog-focused-attention towards the website “Drills and Skills,” and especially this article entitled “Got Rings?”

While the Drills&Skills website does have a heading entitled “Rings,” it is geared towards more experienced gymnasts. The Got Rings? article however, is aimed directly at athletes like us, who are not specialized gymnasts but do want to incorporate the rings into our workouts. The article includes twenty-one (21!) different exercises, including ring rows, ring push-ups, L-sits, the dreaded muscle-up, and two versions of the ‘Skin-the-Cat’ maneuver. Take the time, make the jump to the article, read through the exercises, and then sound off in the comments section what movement you would either (A) like to see incorporated into class in the near future, or (B) work towards accomplishing yourself. (Be forewarned, if you don’t comment, you just might get stuck with someone else’s goals!)

Part 2: 21-15-9 Ring Push-Ups/Push-Ups & Box Jumps

Remember, ALL Push-Ups require MLS (Mid-Line Stability, also known as a tight core). Ring Push-Ups will really emphasize MLS because of the instability introduced by the rings; however, regular push-ups also require you to maintain MLS. Without it, your hips will simply sag to the ground, causing your chest to remain off the floor and your coach non-repping your every attempt.

Part 3: 5 x 5-8 DB Romanian Deadlifts & AMRAP Single-Arm Rows

We’ve visited the intricacies of the RDL (and it’s brethren, the Good Morning) on many occasions (e.g., RDL, RDL, GM, GM, GM), including proper form execution of both (hint: it’s all about the hips).
However, the combination of RDLs & Single-Arm Rows highlight a common theme: Keeping the back locked in extension to maintain a tight, but not excessive, arch. Failing to maintain that arch from the lower back to the upper back results in poor form – i.e., a lack of hamstring involvement in the RDL and a lack of trapezius (upper back) involvement in the rows.

Part 4: To Be Continued…

Time was running a little short with such a large class in attendance, so the last workout of the class has been bumped to this coming Thursday. Instead, everyone got a little leg stretch going, hitting the hamstrings and IT Bands.

Nice work everyone. It’s getting warm out, so be sure you’re getting plenty of fluids in. This means before class, not after. See you all Thursday.



  1. Steph says:

    So when are we instituting the if-your-picture-is-on-the-blog-and-you-don’t-comment-you-do-burpees-as-punishment-next-time-you-show-up rule? 😉

    I was impressed by the CFDCers’ abilities on the rings! I think everyone was able to do the inverted hangs, some with a little help from Chris and Tom for stability, but still. Well done!

    Congrats to Mark on getting his L1 this past weekend!

    Looking forward to Thursday!

  2. SaltyHat says:

    Well, since you didn’t choose a ring exercise, as per the blog post, perhaps you would like to join in some burpee punishment???

  3. Tom Brose says:

    The rings have a lot of value beyond being able to do the occasional movements that come up in a workout. Body awareness and control will translate into better position and correction in almost everything you do. Ring work can also help to teach how to use the core effectively.

    Steph, thankls for getting the ball rolling on the comments. maybe we can “mention” that idea in class.

    Chris…thin ice, beware!

  4. Erica says:

    As I’m in a pic and will do (almost) anything to avoid extra burpees, I’m happy to comment! I actually love the rings. When I do them, even though my form is far from perfect (no cats were skinned my first attempt) I feel like I’m doing something that requires a lot of strength, finesse, and coordination all of which I don’t usually feel like I have. And considering a gymnast I was not as a child, it’s as if I’m getting a part of my childhood back 🙂

  5. SaltyHat says:

    Erica, you picked things up quite quickly on Tuesday; the strength is there, I think you probably just need a little more time with the rings in order to get comfortable.

  6. Tom Brose says:

    So burpees for Min Suh, McKenzie, Greg, Mark, Scott and Alden?

  7. Steph says:

    Mwahahahaha, yes, burpees for them!

    New strategy for picture-taking – include as many people in one picture as possible!!

  8. Steph says:

    Erica, you did great on the rings on Tuesday! Much better than I would’ve done!!

  9. Maiko D. says:

    Has anyone tried the inverted pull-up before?

  10. SaltyHat says:

    Yes, as a matter of fact: Tom once challenged people to give them a try when we were working on inversions. As I recall, the higher you pull, the more unstable it becomes.

    Personally, I want to work on the front lever (especially after reading the article and trying to raise into it, as opposed to lowering), but also want to give the Forward Roll to Inverted Hang a try as well at some point.