Why You Should Value Ring Rows

  2018-05-21 10:00AM
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The ring row is an inverted row variation where the athlete uses their upper body, feet on the ground, to pull their torso upwards. In our world, it is typically performed using gymnastics rings, which provide a dynamic pulling environment for the athlete. It is often used as the main scaling option for those who cannot perform pull ups, but don’t let this trick you into thinking ring rows are simply a “scaled movement.” Ring rows are highly beneficial for everyone regardless of your level or ability. Here are a few reasons you should value ring rows:

  1. Increases stability, core strength, and body awareness. By using two gymnastics rings, we are forced to stabilize the body throughout the motion as we hold on to unstable objects. This helps us develop our understanding of our body in space as well as the core strength needed to keep our body straight.
  2. Builds unilateral strength and stability. Since the rings are not connected, the ring row forces us to use both arms simultaneously but also independently. Implementing variations such as the single arm ring row allows us to build both unilateral strength and stability through a full pulling range of motion.
  3. Develops upper body strength. The horizontal plane in which you are working forces you to utilize the muscles in your back as you pull. If you are looking to build pulling strength or capacity, the ring row can be a very beneficial tool. You can alter the degree of difficulty by changing the angle you are pulling at to best suit your own needs.
  4. Translates to higher-level skills. The ring row is a necessary accessory movement for most pulling and muscle up variations, as athletes need to have body awareness and strength when in the supine position (think: horizontal position right before you pop your hips to the rings on the muscle up.) Additionally, this horizontal pull translates well to the muscles needed in the Olympic lifts; therefore, many lifters use it as a tool to build their Snatch and Clean and Jerk.


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