23 Bodyweight Ring and Strap Exercises

The National Geographic Channel has a list of 23 bodyweight exercises that can be done with just your hands or the straps you carry in your backpack. These exercises will help to build upper-body strength and endurance while hiking, camping, climbing etc. Take a look at how these movements can benefit you!

The “pull-up ring exercises” is a list of 23 bodyweight ring and strap exercises. The exercises are done with rings or straps and require no equipment.

Vintage boy doing body weight ring exercise push up.

Joe Hashey, CSCS, has written a guest article for us.

Before progressing to weighted exercises, every lifter must first be able to manage their bodyweight. Bodyweight exercises are always included in our curriculum, even after months or years of training. Rings and straps are a terrific approach for experienced lifters to enhance difficulty while also helping them learn control over their own weights.

The Origins of Ring Training

Ring training originated in Germany in the early 1800s. The initial “rings” resembled triangles rather than circles. We utilize both the circle and triangular forms, as you’ll see in the video at the conclusion of this essay.

Rings diagram illustration for gymnastics workouts.

The first appearance of free hanging rings was in the 1924 Olympics, when gymnastics began to create new exercises. In the 2003 film Old School, Vince Vaughan was shown practicing on the rings. The only reason Old School is important to me is because all of my athletes want to do the iron cross and shout “still holding!”

Is it true that bodyweight exercises are just for the weak?

“You are strong, so why are you wasting your time on bodyweight exercises?” said an experienced gym “guru” to me while I was doing ring dips. Those are for folks who are unable to raise the iron!”

Vintage gymnast on rings.

I challenged him to a set of ring dips, and despite his considerable power, he could only manage one…barely. The rings were swaying all over the place, and he lacked the necessary physical power to keep them in check. To be clear, fitness is a collection of skills, and maintaining control over your weight is towards the top of the list.


Rings and straps have a lot of movement. The rings will vibrate or shift as the lifter pushes against them, and stabilizing this movement causes more muscle activation. During the accessory lift section of our training routines, we employ them often.

Both are also portable, inexpensive to create at home, and simple to set up. Above all, rings and straps are adaptable. Unlike many gym equipment, which have a single purpose, we utilize them for a range of workouts. We execute 23 various exercises with hanging straps and rings in the video below, but we also use them on sleds and other devices.

Ring/Strap Exercises: The Big Three

Many individuals don’t use rings like gymnasts since it demands them to master a new sport. These training tools, on the other hand, may be used with workouts that you already do on a daily basis.

Dip the ring in the sauce. The chest, shoulders, and triceps are the key muscles addressed during the dip. Ring dips, as previously stated, have a completely different training impact than bar dips. Ring dips will need a significant amount of upper-body strength and stability.

Ring dip bodyweight workout for routine fitness.

Push up with a ring. The chest, shoulders, and triceps are the same muscles targeted during the push-up as they are during the dip. The movement of the rings, however, will need a larger level of core strength.

Man doing ring push up bodyweight workout.

Scarecrows. Scarecrows seem simple, but they target your back delts and the muscles around the scapula in a way that few other exercises can. In a standing posture, hold the straps in front of your chin to do the action. Pull the straps apart until your arms are parallel to the ground and your arms are straight to the side. Simply slide your feet forward to make the maneuver more challenging.


Scarecrows rings workout for routine fitness.

23 Ring/Strap Workouts



Rings and straps are a useful addition to any trainer’s toolkit. Rings have been used by athletes for over two centuries. Both training methods have moulded some of the strongest men in Olympic history (in terms of relative body strength).

Thank you for reading, and please leave any questions in the comments section!

Thank you for reading, and please leave any questions in the comments section!

Joe Hashey is a National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He is the proprietor of Synergy Athletics in Endwell, New York, and a former D1AA collegiate football player at Colgate University.

Joe may be found at www.Synergy-Athletics.com, his renowned strength training blog. To all email subscribers, he is presently giving out two useful free reports and a 30-minute film!



The “gymnastic rings on power rack” is a set of exercises that can be done using rings and straps. The 23 bodyweight ring and strap exercises are all functional, which means they help to improve strength, mobility, balance, coordination, and endurance.

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