Ring Push Ups | Exercise Guide

ring push ups
  • 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

  1. Ring push-ups are a challenging variation of the traditional push-up that engage more stabilizer muscles due to the instability of the rings. You can use a set of gymnastic rings to do that. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to perform ring push-ups:

    Setup: Adjust the height of the straps of the rings so that they hang a few inches above the floor. Place the rings shoulder-width apart and ensure they are stable and secure.

    Starting Position: Begin in a plank position with your hands gripping the rings and extended directly beneath your shoulders. Ensure that your body maintains a straight alignment from your head to your heels, engaging your core muscles throughout the exercise.

    Descent: Lower your chest towards the rings by bending your elbows while maintaining a tight core and straight body alignment. Keep your elbows close to your body as you descend.

    Push Back Up: Return to the initial position by pushing through your palms and fully extending your arms. Maintain a straight alignment of your body from head to heels during the entire movement.

    Breathing: Inhale as you lower yourself towards the rings and exhale as you to push up position and back up.

    Repetitions: Aim to perform a set number of repetitions while focusing on proper form and control. Gradually increase the difficulty by adjusting the angle of your body or increasing the number of repetitions.

    Modifications: If ring push-ups are too challenging initially, you can start by performing them on your knees or using higher ring pushups and height for increased stability.

    Cooldown: After completing your set, stretch your chest, shoulders, and arms to support muscle recovery and flexibility.

    Remember to maintain proper form, engage your core muscles, and focus on controlled wrist movements to get the most out of your ring push-ups. Start gradually and progress at your own pace to avoid injury and build strength effectively.

    Learn more about The Ring Push-Up Tutorial.

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 forces your core muscles to work harder to stabilize your body during the exercise. This helps strengthen the core muscles, including the abdominals, obliques, and lower back, leading to better overall core strength and stability.

Improved Balance and Coordination

Ring pushup get-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 body weight of the rings or the angle of your body. This allows for progression as you build strength and proficiency in the exercise.

Functional Strength

Ring push-ups mimic real-life movements that require upper body strength and stability, making training them a functional exercise that can benefit everyday activities and sports performance.

Incorporating ring push-ups into your workout routine can provide a comprehensive upper body workout. As with any exercise, proper form, gradual progression, and consistency are key to reaping the full benefits of ring push-ups.

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 pushups back-up variations:

    Single Leg Ring Push-Ups

single leg ring push up

Perform ring push-ups with one leg elevated off the ground. This variation 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 push up

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

To target the chest muscles more during the push-up motion, position your hands further apart than the width of your shoulders on the rings. This variation provides a different angle of challenge for the chest and shoulders.

Weighted ring push ups

weighted ring push up

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 progress your strength and stability with ring push-ups. 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. Remember to prioritize proper form, listen to your body, and focus on quality movements to avoid injury and maximize the benefits of this challenging exercise.

Ring Push Ups FAQs

Are ring push ups good?

Ring push-ups are a highly effective exercise that targets multiple muscle groups, including the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core. The instability of the rings enhances muscle activation and core strength, while also promoting better shoulder health and functional movement patterns. With the ability to scale the difficulty level and versatility to incorporate variations, ring push-ups are a valuable addition to any workout routine for individuals looking to build strength and improve overall fitness.

Do ring push ups work upper chest?

Ring push-ups primarily target the chest, shoulders, and triceps, with some engagement of the upper chest depending on body angle. For more focused upper chest work, consider incline exercises like incline bench press or incline dumbbell flyes.

What do circle push-ups work?

Circle push-ups primarily work the chest, shoulders, triceps, core, and stabilizer muscles. They are a challenging exercise that targets multiple muscle groups for overall upper body strength and stability.

How to do ring pushups?

To do ring push-ups, grip the rings, get into a plank position, lower your chest towards the rings by bending your wrists and elbows, and push back up. Adjust difficulty by changing body angle or ring height.


Mark Bennett. 7 Ring Push ups Benefits (Why they’re the best push up variation). Available at: https://www.marks.fitness/blog/ring-push-ups [Accessed 26 Mar 2024].

Remy Mock. (2022). Ring Push-ups : A Pushup Variation You Overlooked. Available at: https://kensuifitness.com/blogs/news/ring-push-ups [Accessed 26 Mar 2024].

Pat Chadwick. (2023). 8 Types of Gymnastic Ring Push-Up That Will Enhance Your Workout. Available at: https://gymless.org/8-types-of-gymnastic-ring-push-up-that-will-enhance-your-workout/ [Accessed 26 Mar 2024].