Rings - Basics


Backuprise to handstand, bent arm
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  • It is critical to lead with the heels from the bottom of the swing. The gymnast will want to start pushing down on the rings early, which will result in a back uprise to support.
  • Lot of handstand push-ups.
  • Be sure to hollow just prior to handstand to maintain control. The swing will pass right through the handstand if the gymnast is arched at the top.
  • The gymnast should have a strong inlocate.
  • It is critical for the heels to drive aggressivly towards the ceiling and the chest and shoulders to stay down as long as possible. The key is turning over in the rear swing.
  • As the gymnast turns over the rings should be pushed down and out.
  • As the heels almost reach the cables the gymnast should hollow and continue to push on the rings to maintain control and lift.
Basic swing
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  • A good swing on rings takes a much longer time to develop than high bar.
  • The gymnast must keep tension on the rings at all times.
  • On the forward swing the gymnast should try to turn over quickly then push the rings back and extend as much as possible. The rings should be turned in so that the gymnasts palms are facing back.
  • On the rearward swing the gymnast should drive their heels aggressively keeping their shoulders and chest pressed downas they rise. The rings should be turned outward, and pressure must be kept.
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  • Common error is to just swing and let go of the rings. While this does result in a flyaway it will never develop into anything more.
  • A quick turn over at the bottom is important so the toes are directed upwards.
  • Immediately after the turn over the gymnast needs to pull down and back on the rings aggressively. This will generate height.
Muscle up
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  • Generally the first way a gymnast gets on top of the rings. (aside from a coach lifting them there)
  • The first key is teaching the gymnast a false grip. This can and should be done on low rings so the gymnast can see what is going on. The ring should rest fully on the heel of the palm so that the hand is completely on top of the ring.
  • Work pull ups and dips to work the strength required for this move.
  • The transition from pull up to dip is the most difficult part and should be excecuted quickly. The pull up should be used for momentum to pass through the transition point.
  • The transition point can be worked repeatedly on low rings at below shoulder height. Have the gymnast squat below the low rings, get a false grip go through the muscle up motion and back down to hang while maintaining a false grip. This can be done as conditioning as well.
Press to handstand/shoulderstand
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  • The first key here is for the gymnast to lift as they press even when just going to shoulderstand. A very common mistake is to drop the shoulders to the rings and try to press from there.
  • The gymnast needs to think about pushing down on the rings aggressivly as they press. The shoulders should be pushed out, not shrugged.
  • Lot's of presses on floor and P-bars wouldn't hurt.
  • The gymnast should think about turning the rings out to start to develop the habit so that straight arm presses will be possible.
Shoot to handstand, bent arm
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  • Developing a shoot to handstand hinges on a fast turn over and an understanding of keeping pressure on the rings.
  • The gymnast should try to spot the top of the ring tower and direct their toes towards it.
  • A common error is to stop pushing as the shoulders pass the rings. This results in a shoot to shoulderstand, climb/struggle to handstand.
  • It's important to continue to push on the rings throughout the skill.
  • It is also common to throw the hips up, head back and let the feet fall back. This is why it is important for the gymnast to concentrate on directing their toes towards the top of the ring tower.
  • On a cross sled. Lie on your back feet up, head in looking at your toes. Start palms up arms down by your legs and pull through to handstand position. This motion can also be done with stretch tubing or thera-bands.
Support technique
  • In a support the rings should be turned out and the gymnast should be pushed up as high as possible.
  • As the gymnast tries to turn the rings out they will also have a tendency to push the rings out. The gymnast should think about pulling their elbows in against their sides.