The Rings-only Arm Routine
Seven huge arm exercises on the rings to beef up the glamour muscles. Calibrate the intensity to make sure you fatigue on the last rep.
Chin ups 2 x 10
Clasp your rings with your palms facing towards you. From standing position with a straight torso, pull yourself up, keeping your palms facing towards you. Slowly lower down 75%, then pull back up. Lowering all the way down will bring your back into the exercise. Try not to "cheat" by using your legs or other muscle groups, we are focusing biceps here. If you can't do a chin up, try lowering the rings and jumping up to top position, then very slowly lowering yourself down (you may need to bend your legs so as to not hit the floor). 2 sets of 10.
Next progression: staggered or band assisted 1 arm chin up.
Chin up 90 degree L-sit hold (30 sec or fatigue)
Perform half a chin up, pausing when your elbow has a 90 degree bend. Raise your legs until your body forms an 'L' shape. Hold for 30 seconds or longer if you can. If your abs give out before your biceps, slowly lower your legs until you get a nice bicep burn out. This is an excellent isometric exercise used by gymnasts, is easy on your joints, and has incredibly high time-under-tension.
Around the world x 5 or fatigue each side
Clasp the rings palms facing you. Pull upward and to the left, bringing your head to the left of the left ring, continuing up and to the right between both rings, down and to the right until your head is to the right of the right ring, continuing in a clockwise circle moving your body in circles using your biceps. Complete at least 5 large circles each direction. Flip your grip to target forearms.
Pelican Curl Eccentric 3 x 3 (8 seconds down)
Lower the rings to hip height and stand between them. Clasp the rings, turning them to bring your palms facing inward. Plant your feet and lean forward, keeping your elbows tucked and body straight until the rings are near your armpits. Slowly turn the rings out and extend your arms behind you. You will notice your rings sliding within your grip as you lower near the bottom. Slowly continue extending until your arms are straight, counting 8 seconds to ensure the decent is even and controlled. Once fully lowered, kneel down and let go of the rings, stepping back to the original position to repeat 3 sets of 3 reps. Adjust your feet forward or backward to decrease or increase intensity.
Next progression: Pelican Curl. Lower only until you feel your grip beginning to slip. Instead of continuing to lower down, pull back up. Since we are no longer performing the eccentric version, try more than 3 reps for each set without doing them in slow motion.
Ring Bicep Curl 2 x 8 or fatigue
Keep the rings at hip height and lay on a mat with the rings above your shoulders. Reach up and clasp the rings, palms facing toward you. Keeping a straight body, pull up with the rings, bringing the rings to your chest. The rings can be raised and feet position adjusted to decrease difficulty, or slow it down to increase difficulty. Aim for fatigue on the final rep.
Ring Tricep Extension 2 x 8
Keep rings at hip height, perhaps lower. Take a step back and clasp the rings, palms facing down. Plant your feet and lean forward, bending your elbows and keeping your body straight until your head is between the rings. Keeping a perfectly straight body, push the rings forward by straightening your arms until your elbows is locked, palms facing the floor. Bend the elbow slowly until you are back to starting position. Don't misjudge by the first repetition, this triceps isolation exercise will get much harder as you approach your 8th rep. This move is easy to cheat, so avoid bringing your chest or back into it and don't twist the arms, work only your triceps. You may adjust your feet position or height to adjust difficulty.
Straight Dips 3 x 8
Set the rings just below your chest. Clasp the rings at your side with your palms touching your abdomen. Push down on the rings to lift yourself up until your arms are straight down, elbows locked and body straight. Keeping the rings touching your side, bend your elbows while flaring them out sideways as you twist your palms to face behind you. Don't hunch your chest forward; keep a straight torso to keep the strain focused on your triceps. Continue until your elbows form a 90 degree bend, then push back up. For beginners, rings may be lowered to keep your feet on the ground to slightly assist, but be sure to do most of the work with your arms. To sneak a chest contraction in, slowly turn the rings out for a moment at the top after locking elbows.
Next progression: Bulgarian dip. While lowering, push the rings away from you to the side, palms facing behind you, until you reach a 90 degree bend in the elbows.
That does it for the ring arm workout. Our other workouts during the week will also bring the arms in to do more compound movements, so they aren't off the hook yet. Be sure to perform three HIIT workouts each week to really burn out the arms, build muscular endurance, and burn fat.