TMA Introduction to Ring Dips

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What are ring dips?

If you want to build upper body strength and muscle using calisthenics,  you must try ring dips.☝️

Ring dips are a great addition to any workout routine. Not only it will improve your chest, triceps, and shoulders, other strength, mobility, and skill component transfers to other calisthenics skills for a complete body mastery.

👇With this article, we will explore the benefits that come from adding ring dips into your routine.

💥Ring dips offer a challenging yet rewarding workout experience for both men and women of all fitness levels.

Gymnastics rings create instability

support dip position

Before we move any further, you might ask why do dips on rings if you can do them on parallel bars or at a dip station?🤔

One major difference that sets gymnastics ring training apart and why it is superb upper body training tool rings create instability.

Gymnastics rings are suspended on a high and sturdy anchor. As they hang down towards you, they are free to move to create an unstable surface for you to do the dips on.

To be able to do the dips on the unstable rings, you must have enough upper body strength 💪 to even just stabilize them at the support dip position.

Your shoulders, chest, arms, and core will all work together to hold you in position for the support hold, and then you’ll need to continue stabilizing yourself while performing the dips as well.

👊The added instability increases the intensity of the dips that even if you already have mastered the parallel bar dips, you might still have a difficult time performing ring dips with perfect form.

Ring dips might NOT be the best exercise for beginners who haven’t mastered the regular dips on a stable surface yet due to the increased demands.

✅ Joint-friendly

Since rings are free to move, rings can also accommodate different shoulder width’s and shoulder mobility. This goes not only to dips on rings but also other exercises that can put unnecessary pressure on joints. 


ring versability

Speaking of other exercises, you can do a ton of exercises on rings! Everything you can do on a stable surface, you can do on rings but a lot more difficulty and unforgiving. We highly recommend getting a pair of adjustable rings since you can also hang it anywhere. 😃


Why ring dips? 🤔🤔

Now that we know where the difficulty comes from, let’s talk about why exactly you want to train this exercise and implement it in your regular workout sessions. 

Bigger and stronger💪upper body

If you want to continue growing your chest in terms of strength and muscle mass, ring dips are a great choice.

The second reason is that they’re going to add more strength and muscle mass to your triceps if you compare them with the regular dips.

✊More stability is required in order to perform them properly as mentioned earlier.

Since the rings have an oscillating motion while being suspended from above, it requires additional stabilization from various muscle groups, so that you’re not only working the dip muscles (chest, triceps, shoulders), you’re basically working the whole upper body.

On top of that, the proper technique of support dip hold requires a ring turned-out position or RTO. This is done by turning your hands outwards so that your palms and elbow pits are facing forward. Although this move makes the exercise a lot harder for those who are just starting out, it makes the position more stabilized which helps develop strong shoulders and biceps as well!

💥Stronger general pushing strength

general pushing strength

It’s basically a harder variation of a standard dip so it will increase your general pushing through by a mile.

It will target the same muscle groups with more intensity so expect dips on parallel bars to feel light a breeze once you have mastered this exercise.

Also, 🤜the general pushing strength transfers to other pushing skills such as the handstand, planche, and muscle-ups (dip phase).

💥Straight-arm training

As mentioned before RTO is required at the top position. This straight-arm position conditions the elbow joints which are perfect when you transition to other calisthenics straight-arm skills such as the planche, levers, and L-sits.

Take note: Progress GRADUALLY

Elbow conditioning is an integral part of ring dips if you want to maximize what you can get from the exercise.

Unfortunately, it takes time to develop the straight-arm component especially if you don’t have much experience from this component. Passive structures develop very much slower compared to our muscles.

This might be the reason why you can do ring dips but are still unable to hold the support dip position with RTO. If this is the case, consider regressing with feet assistance or move to the support hold in the push-up position.

If you want to check out the progression for the ring dips, check out the article below:

📌Best Ring Progression

💥Core training

Stabilizing the rings doesn’t only train the upper body, it also further develops amazing core strength.

Have the core disengage and you will find it more difficult to control the dip which might also affect your technique.

With proper form and engaged core, you can develop your core indirectly. You’ll be surprised that you might be able to hold longer holds for planks and hollow body holds thanks to your ring dips.

💥Healthier shoulders

With proper ring dips in a full range of motion, you are guaranteed healthier shoulder muscles and joints.

Not only do you get to strengthen your shoulders with the exercise, but you also improve the mobility of your shoulder joints.

As long as you perform the correct technique and keep your shoulders engaged (shoulders depressed and scapula retracted), ring dips are also a great tool to help strengthen your deltoids

With proper form during ring dips, specifically focusing on squeezing those shoulders blades together, you create stabilized shoulders prepared for the instability of the rings.

Since rings are also free to move, you can do exercises in positions that your shoulders are more comfortable with; alleviating unnecessary tension and force. This leads to lesser chances of injuries and better gains. 


🧐How long does it need to learn proper ring dips?

A major prerequisite of the exercise is the regular full range of motion dips on a stable surface.

If you have mastered that, you can proceed to condition the passive structures, improving your mobility, and even further strengthening your pushing capabilities for ring dips.

📌If you have a solid understanding of the calisthenics fundamentals, expect to learn ring dips within a month or three.

Again, it will always depend on your current skill level and how your body will respond to your training stimulus.


Here are a few things you need to ensure before you proceed to your ring training (which can also apply to other goals as well):

Studying the movement and assessing your current skill level helps you decide smartly on how you will approach the ring dips.

In conclusion

Ring dips are a must-have for any intermediate to advanced calisthenics athlete.

🏆The benefits you get from the exercise are too good to pass on. It’s a challenging exercise that delivers results and can be scaled to suit a wide level of skill even up to more advanced calisthenics athletes.

If you want to further learn more about the muscles involved and prerequisites of the exercise, read:  📌How to unlock Ring dips: Understanding the prerequisites and muscles used

✊Always remember, don’t underestimate the ring dips.

Master the fundamentals before moving forward.💯

Do you think ring dips will suit your current workout?

Let us know in the comment section below!

If you’re unsure if ring dips will work for you, 👉test your body’s capabilities to know exactly where you are in your fitness journey. 👉Determine your starting point so you can create a workout path that will suit your current skill level and goals.




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