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Ring Support Hold for Gymnastics - How to & Benefits

Mastering the Gymnastic Ring Support Hold: Strength, Stability, and Control

Gymnastics ring movements are not only visually impressive but also offer a wide range of benefits for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. One of the fundamental and challenging exercises performed on gymnastic rings is the Ring Support Hold. This exercise requires tremendous upper body strength, stability, and control, making it a favourite among gymnasts, CrossFit athletes, and bodyweight fitness enthusiasts. In this blog, we will delve into progressions of the Ring Support Hold, its benefits, and how to master this impressive feat of strength.

Understanding the Gymnastics Ring Support Hold:

The Ring Support Hold involves gripping the gymnastic rings with an overhand grip while keeping the arms fully extended. The body should be suspended above the rings with the feet off the ground, forming a straight line from head to toe by holding a strong hollow body position. This static hold challenges the entire upper body, including the shoulders, arms, chest, and core, requiring exceptional strength and stability. Been skipping your hollow and arch body work? You’ll regret it when you want to start learning the ring support hold! (and other movements)

Benefits of the Ring Support Hold:

a) Upper Body Strength: The Ring Support Hold primarily targets the muscles in the upper body, including the delts, triceps, biceps, and chest. It helps develop substantial strength and muscular endurance, leading to better performance in various pushing and pulling exercises.

b) Core Stability: Maintaining a straight body position in the Ring Support Hold engages the core muscles, including the abs and lower back. This exercise promotes a strong and stable core, which is essential for overall body strength and balance.

c) Joint Integrity: The Ring Support Hold places significant demands on the wrist, elbow, and shoulder joints. Regular practice can strengthen these joints, improve their stability, and reduce the risk of injuries in other exercises and activities.

d) Body Control and Coordination: Balancing the body in the Ring Support Hold requires exceptional body control and coordination. It enhances proprioception and spatial awareness, improving overall athletic performance and functional movement patterns.

Progressions to Master the Ring Support Hold:

Mastering the Ring Support Hold takes time, patience, and a systematic approach. Here are some progressions to help you build the necessary strength and stability:

a) Support Hold on Parallel Bars: Start by practicing the Support Hold on parallel bars. This allows you to focus on the basic body position, forearm and shoulder engagement, and core stability before transitioning to the rings.

b) On the Hip Ring Support: Once you are comfortable with the regular Ring Support Hold, challenge yourself by transitioning to the on the hip variation. In this progression, instead of gripping the rings with your hands, rest them on your hips while maintaining the support hold position. This variation further engages the core and challenges your stability.

c) Ring Support - Rings Turned Out: Progress to the rings turned out position, which involves externally rotating your shoulders so that the palms face forward. This variation places additional demands on the shoulders and strengthens the stabiliser muscles, improving overall upper body strength and control.

d) Ring Support - Off the Hip: Take your ring support training to the next level by attempting the off the hip variation. In this progression, you will hold the rings with a standard overhand grip, rotate and face the palms forward to initiate the Rings turned out position, then begin to slowly push the rings laterally from the body. This is extremely challenging so move slow and maintain shoulder retraction and depression. This challenges your upper body strength and stability even further, as you need to support your entire body weight without any contact points on your hips. Don’t forget your hollow body hold to help stabilise!

Final note:

The Ring Support Hold is a challenging and rewarding exercise that can significantly enhance your upper body strength, core stability, and body control. By following the correct progressions and incorporating variations such as on the hip, rings turned out, and off the hip, you can gradually master this impressive feat of strength. Embrace consistency, patience, and proper form, and you will soon find yourself achieving new heights in your gymnastic ring training journey. So, grab those rings and embark on a path to greater strength, stability, and control! Remember to progress slowly and add a few seconds to each set as you feel more comfortable.

Enjoy! JQ


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