Tip: Weak on Rings, Weak Everywhere Else

If ring dips or ring push-ups make you look like you're training in an earthquake, something's wrong. Here's why and how to fix it.

Olympic Rings Equivalency

Ask anyone who's ever had a chance to train on rings and you're likely to hear them mention how difficult these movements are in comparison to their more stable and standard counterparts.

In fact, it's not uncommon for athletes to brag about the dozens of traditional dips and push-ups they can consecutively do while only being able to complete a handful of these exercises when suspended from rings. This is an indication that form and function are greatly amiss.

So let's set the record straight. There should be little if any discrepancy when comparing your numbers on rings to the same movement pattern performed on a stable base such as the floor, bar, or fixed handles.

Choose a movement like dips or push-ups. See how your performance stacks up against the ring variation.

If you can perform standard weighted dips with 90 pounds for 5 reps you should be capable of doing nearly the same on Olympic rings.

For most people, the instability is a byproduct of the body's inability to properly stabilize and not so much a result of the rings themselves being inordinately challenging. This is a result of neuromuscular inefficiency, faulty recruitment patterns, poor mechanics, and weak core activation.

Learn to stabilize by addressing these issues, and the rings will begin to feel nearly as fixed as a set of parallel bars cemented into the floor. Fortunately the fix is relatively simple. Improve technique, train on rings, and utilize other forms of unstable training methods such as the hanging band technique and eyes closed movements.