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Ring Push Ups: Exercise Guide

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Jessica Brown
April 24, 2024 July 9, 2024
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  • Ring push-ups, a dynamic and challenging variation of the classic push-up, take your upper body workout to new heights – quite literally! Imagine performing push-ups while suspended on unstable rings, requiring not just strength but also significant stability and coordination. This exercise is not just about building muscle; it’s about mastering control, balance, and proprioception. Whether you’re aiming to sculpt a powerful chest, rock-solid arms, or a stable core, ring push-ups offer a unique and effective way to level up your fitness routine. Get ready to elevate your push-up game with a twist that will push your limits and yield impressive results.

Key Takeaways

  • Engage More Stabilizer Muscles: Ring push-ups engage a wider range of stabilizer muscles due to the instability of the rings, leading to improved overall strength and muscle development.
  • Core Strengthening: The instability of the rings forces the core muscles to work harder during ring push-ups, resulting in better core strength and stability.
  • Balanced Muscle Activation: Ring push-ups help balance muscle activation by targeting multiple muscle groups simultaneously, including the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core.
  • Progressive Difficulty: The versatility of ring push-ups allows for easy progression by adjusting the height of the rings or trying different variations to continuously challenge yourself as you build strength.
  • Functional Strength: Ring push-ups simulate real-life movements that require upper body strength and stability, contributing to improved balance, coordination, and joint stability for daily activities and sports performance.

Ring Push Ups Instructions

Ring push-ups present a challenging twist on the traditional push-up, engaging additional stabilizer muscles due to the instability of the rings. Here’s a step-by-step guide to performing ring push-ups effectively:

  1. Setup: Adjust the height of the rings’ straps so they hang a few inches above the floor. Position the rings shoulder-width apart, ensuring stability and security.
  2. Starting Position: Begin in a plank position, gripping the rings with your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Maintain a straight alignment from head to heels, engaging your core throughout.
  3. Descent: Lower your chest towards the rings by bending your elbows, keeping them close to your body while maintaining core engagement and alignment.
  4. Push Back Up: Extend your arms fully to return to the starting position, maintaining a straight body alignment throughout the movement.
  5. Breathing: Inhale as you lower towards the rings, exhale as you push back up.
  6. Repetitions: Aim for a set number of repetitions, focusing on proper form and control. Increase difficulty gradually by adjusting body angle or repetitions.
  7. Modifications: Beginners can start with knee push-ups or higher rings for added stability.
  8. Cooldown: Stretch chest, shoulders, and arms post-workout for muscle recovery and flexibility.

Remember to prioritize form, core engagement, and controlled movements for optimal results. Start slow and progress gradually to avoid injury and build strength effectively.

Learn more about The Ring Push-Up Tutorial.

Ring push ups pushing movement
Ring push ups
starting position

Sets And Reps

  • For ring push-ups, a typical recommendation for sets and reps is as follows:
    • Beginners: Start with 3 sets of 5-8 repetitions. Focus on maintaining proper form and building strength gradually.
    • Intermediate: Progress to 3-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions as you become more comfortable with the exercise.
    • Advanced: For those seeking a greater challenge, aim for 4 sets of 12-15 repetitions or more.
    Adjust the number of sets and repetitions based on your fitness level and goals.

Ring Push Ups Benefits

Ring push-ups offer a variety of benefits due to the instability provided by the rings, which can enhance strength, muscle engagement, and stability. Some of the key benefits of ring push-ups include:

Increased Muscle Activation

Ring push-ups engage a wider range of stabilizer muscles compared to traditional push-ups, as the instability of the rings requires more muscle activation to develop and maintain balance and control throughout the movement. This can lead to improved overall strength and muscle development.

Core Strength

The instability and tension of the rings force your core muscles to work harder to stabilize your body during the exercise. This helps to strengthen the core muscles, including the abdominals, obliques, and lower back, leading to better overall core strength and stability.

Improved Balance and Coordination

Ring push-ups challenge your balance and coordination, requiring you to stabilize your body while performing the exercise. Over time, this can improve your overall balance and coordination in other functional movements and activities.

Enhanced Joint Stability

The dynamic nature of ring push-ups can help strengthen the muscles around the shoulder joints, promoting better joint stability and reducing the risk of shoulder injuries.

Versatility and Progression

Ring push-ups offer the ability to easily adjust the difficulty by changing the height of the rings or the angle of your body. This allows for progression as you build strength and proficiency in the exercise.

Enhances Functional Strength

Ring push-ups replicate the natural motions of daily life, demanding both upper body strength and stability. By integrating them into your regimen, you cultivate functional fitness that translates to improved performance in various activities and sports.

By regularly incorporating ring push-ups, you can develop a robust upper body while honing balance and coordination.

Your journey to a stronger and healthier you starts now!

Ring Push Ups Variations

Ring push-ups offer a versatile platform for several variations to target different muscle groups and increase the challenge level. Here are some common ring pushup back-up variations:

Single Leg Ring Push-Ups

single leg

Perform ring push-ups with one leg elevated off the ground. This variation of standard push-ups increases the demand on your core muscles and stabilizers, as well as the pushing muscles in your upper body.

Pike Ring Push-Ups

pike ring

Start in a pike position with hips raised and hands on the rings, then perform push-ups. This variation targets the shoulders, upper chest, and triceps while also engaging the core and lower body for stability.

Wide Grip Ring Push-Ups

wide grip push up

Wide Grip Ring Push-Ups are a challenging variation of the traditional push-up exercise performed using gymnastic rings. With the hands placed wider than shoulder-width apart on the rings, this movement targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps while also engaging the stabilizer muscles in the upper body and core.

Weighted Ring Push Ups

weighted ring push ups

Weighted ring push-ups are a fantastic way to challenge your upper body strength and take your ring push-up game to the next level. By adding external resistance in the form of weight plates or a weighted vest, you can increase the intensity of the exercise and promote further muscle growth and strength development.

These regular push ups and variations can help target specific muscle groups, add variety to your workout routine, and help with strength and stability. Remember to maintain proper form and gradually increase the difficulty level based on your fitness goals and capabilities.


Ring push-ups are a beneficial exercise for enhancing strength, stability, and muscle engagement. By incorporating ring push-ups into your workout routine and gradually increasing the difficulty level through variations and progression, you can experience comprehensive upper-body conditioning and core strengthening.

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Mark Bennett. 7 Ring Push ups Benefits (Why they’re the best push up variation). Available at: [Accessed 26 Mar 2024].

Remy Mock. (2022). Ring Push-ups : A Pushup Variation You Overlooked. Available at: [Accessed 26 Mar 2024].

Pat Chadwick. (2023). 8 Types of Gymnastic Ring Push-Up That Will Enhance Your Workout. Available at: [Accessed 26 Mar 2024]