5 Ring Pushup Progressions

Posted by Rob King on January 2, 2014

IMG_9375Guest Post By Rob King

Back in Feb 2012 I ventured from my home town of Newfoundland, a cold rock in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, to venture to another cold place and home of Renegade Gym, New Jersey.

I wasn’t going “down south” as we call it here when we want to escape the cold wet weather of Newfoundland, I was going on an mission to meet a guy that his impacted my life and training, that is Jason Ferruggia.

My girlfriend and I had booked up 2 spots in Jay’s Renegade Workshop and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to see Renegade Gym and to learn from one of the best in our industry. To be one of the best you have to LEARN from the best.

As I tell my students, always be a student and never stop learning.

Over those two days we got to have a lot of fun learning a ton about foam rolling, strength training, squatting, deadlifting, val slides, HIT cardio and more.

One of the coolest things I learned that weekend were using the rings for certain exercises.  We had rings at my gym HWTC but I really didn’t know much about them.

That weekend we learned and practiced a wide variety of exercises from basic to advanced.

One of my favorites was the simple ring push up.

Once I got back to HWTC I started adding more rings and ring exercises into my workouts and my clients workouts.

One thing about my gym is that we do classes of anywhere from 12-25 people in a class mixing different body types and strength levels.

My goal in every class is to challenge EVERYONE which is not easy, but can be done.

So now for every exercise I have a set of progressions & regressions.

Here are 5 Ring Push Up Progressions I use with my students.

  1. Ring Push Up Hold
  2. Ring Push Up Negative
  3. Ring Push Up
  4. Ring Push Up Planche Push Up
  5. Ring Push Up With Chains

So when I coach a class my starting point is “Can you do a ring push up”.  If yes I have a starting point.

If no I regress them back 1-2 steps and find what they can do.

If they can do ring push ups easily I progress them up to planche push ups or weighted ring push ups.

This way I can challenge a group of people at varying strength levels all doing Ring Push ups in a station.

Some key points on each.

1.    Ring Push Up Hold


–       Try to create full body tension

–       Brace hard

–       Lock in your core and glutes

–       Keep shoulders stable

–       Learn to be tense but relaxed

2.    Ring Push Up Negative


–       Learn Full Body Tension

–       Brace and tighten everything and begin a slow negative

–       Work up to a 7-10 second negative

–       Repeat for 3-5 Reps and you should be able to do 1 push up

3.    Ring Push Up


– Full Body Tension (see a trend here)

– Keep the shoulders and elbows packed tight

– Control your decent

– Avoid rounding/banana back or breaking through your core

– When you reach the bottom make your body into a plank and push yourself away in a strong tight position

4.    Ring Push Up Planche Push Up


–       Full Body Tension

–       Proceed as if you were doing a normal ring push up

–       At the bottom position turn your hands so your thumbs turn outward and your palms face toward your face

–       Descend 1-2 inches deeper and then under control push yourself up

5.    Ring Push Up With Chains


–       Create Full Body Tension

–       When using a weight you need to brace your core and glutes even hard

–       Using chains creates an unstable weight so you have to adjust and stabilize even more

–       Don’t allow ANY bad form on this, once form breaks down stop the set.

Rings are a fantastic training tool, they are inexpensive, will last a long time, and are one of the best upper body exercise tools you can use in your training.

Give these 5 ring push up exercises a try and keep and stay strong.


NOTE: Jay is no longer accepting guest post. Please do not submit a request for one.