Ring Rows, what are they and why do them?
Do you see these as part of the workout and think, “yeah too easy, I’ll use the bands instead”? I used to think that way myself. But what if I told you this was the basis of a pull up? And the very first steps of learning a ring muscle up?
A bit more interesting right?
Ring rows are not only a great tool for beginners to use to develop the strength required for a pull up, but they are also a great tool for those who have experience with a pull up (chest to bar, bar muscle up, ring muscle up).
Done correctly these will tone your arms (who doesn’t want that?) increase core engagement (think popping abs and helping to alleviate back pain) and above all else, put you one step closer to that first pull up!
So what is a ring row?
A ring row is a horizontal pull movement which begins with squeezing your abs (core engagement) to ensure your back is flat and there is no break in your hip or upper back.
Implementing both horizontal and vertical pulling (band pull ups) will help improve your upper back both structurally and muscularly. The upper back is important as it helps keep your shoulders in the right place. Nobody likes shoulder pain. Nobody, and this can help build the muscles around to protect them.
Want to know EXACTLY what a ring row looks like?
Take a look at the video below from CrossFit’s youtube channel.
When to “insert” the ring row into your training.
A good way to mix things up is to swap out using bands and implement using ring rows. You can alternate between bands and rings for your workouts something like this;
workout #1 pull ups with bands
workout #2 ring rows
workout #3 pull ups with bands
workout #4 ring rows
(these workouts would be the ones that include pull ups).
This is a very basic way to switch things up to ensure you are hitting all the right muscles.
Just like with band tension there are ways to modify the rings to first suit your current strength, and ways to increase the level of difficulty as time goes on and you get stronger.
These are just two methods to help you build strength to help you with a pull up but there are ALOT more things that can be done (high volume band work, partner assisted pull ups, WYT’s, prone rear lateral raises etc etc etc …..)
Think. Many moves may not appear challenging, however each move is an important part of strengthening the WHOLE body.
Efficient PAIN FREE movement is a thing of beauty & building the basics is your key to get there!
So next time you see ring rows as an option or want to switch things up a little, give these bad boys a shot and feel the difference.