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Mastery of the dip—and all the physique and performance benefits that come along with it—is a by-product of repetition. To that end, most guys beat the standard (or weighted) dip to death, never giving the ring dip a shot. This is partly a matter of availability, as most gyms don’t have gymnastics rings, and partly a matter of attitudes. (Who needs rings when you have parallel bars?)
The benefits of the ring dip, however, extend beyond novelty. Ring dips force you into a much harder muscle contraction and recruit a wealth of stabilizing muscles that aren’t activated during a standard variation. Unlike a dip station, the rings will sway back and forth during every inch of the movement, forcing this contraction.
A staple in many CrossFit routines, ring dips work the triceps, shoulders, and chest—just like standard dips—but they also heavily tax your core and a host of auxiliary muscles that support a full, proper range of motion.
The most important aspect of a successful ring dip is getting a full range of motion. In the bottom position, try to get your biceps to touch the tops of the rings. In the top position, make sure both arms are fully locked out and tight to your sides. Because the rings want to drift outward, your pecs have to work harder to maintain an upright position here. Keep your core tight the whole time to avoid form deviations that could lead to injury.
Perform three rounds of 21-15-9 reps of:
Front-rack barbell lunges (135 pounds)
Max-repetition ring dips in 3 minutes