Gymnastic Rings 101: How to Grip the Rings

Whether you are a beginner or an expert, this article will provide some helpful tips for gripping the rings. This knowledge is essential when trying to perform routines like handstands and swinging on ropes.

Gymnastic rings are a great tool for any survivalist. They can be used in many ways, but one of the most important is grip tape for gymnastic rings.

Vintage gymnast hanging on gymnastic rings.

Ryan Hurst is a guest contributor for this series. 

Today, we’ll continue our discussion on how to include gymnastic rings into your fitness and strength-building program. We introduced you to the rings yesterday and gave you advice on which ones to acquire and how and where to hang them. Today, we’ll go over the basics of how to use the rings, such as how to hold them.

Gripping Gymnastic Rings

Before you begin doing rings exercises, you must first learn how to handle the rings properly. There are intricacies to correct gripping, such as when to execute a certain grasp in a specific manner for a specific reason. It all boils down to being able to execute the motions correctly, and even the angle of your wrist may have a significant influence on your technique. You risk developing joint sprains, poor performance, and even injury from falling off the rings if your wrist angle is wrong.

As you begin your rings practice, there are three basic grips you should be aware of and comfortable with.

1. Grip that is neutral

Neutral illustration gymnastic rings grip hold on both hands.

The neutral grip is appropriate for pulling actions and may be used with the rings facing each other or side-by-side, facing outward. Here are some helpful hints for using the neutral grip:

  • The majority of the pressure should be applied on the top area of your palms, just below your first knuckles, in this posture.
  • Wrap your fingers around the rings while also wrapping your thumb around them.
  • Get underneath the rings and do pulling actions while applying pressure to the rings with your hands in this position.
  • Make sure your fingers and thumbs are in the proper place, and that your wrist is neither flexed or bent. Allow your weight to fall entirely on your hands.

False Grip is a term used to describe a person who has a

Gymnastic rings grip false illustration.

The false grip is utilized for exercises like the muscle-up that take you from below the rings to above the rings (detailed illustration of this move coming later this week). Here are some ideas for correct fake grip positioning:

  • Put the rings in your hands a little deeper than you would with the neutral grip — around mid-palm level.
  • Wrap your thumbs over your knuckles and your fingers around the rings.
  • Apply some pressure to the rings by pressing down on them.
  • Your wrists should be bent, but not to the point where they are encased in the rings.
  • Maintain the fake grip with the rings turned out throughout the action — from below the rings to above the rings — while completing the muscle-up in particular.

3. Grip Above the Rings

Gymnastic rings above the rings grip illustration.

For holds such as the top position hold, this grip is employed. Here are a few crucial items to remember:

  • Push down into the rings with your wrists as straight as possible; don’t only use your arms; your shoulders should also be pressing down.
  • It’s not required to squeeze the rings as hard as you can.
  • Keep your arms at your sides and avoid bending your wrists to either the inside or outside of the rings.

Watch the video below for a clear illustration of each of these grips:



Tomorrow, we’ll go through a basic training regimen and answer some frequently asked questions to help you get started with the rings.

Other articles in the series may be found here: 

  • Why Wear Rings, Where to Buy Them, and How to Wear Them
  • How to Get a Good Grip on the Rings
  • A Beginner’s Routine and Frequently Asked Questions
  • What Is a Muscle-Up and How Do I Do It?

What Is a Muscle-Up and How Do I Do It?

Ryan Hurst is a former junior national gymnast with several black belts in Japanese martial arts, as well as years of expertise teaching strength and skills training that incorporates all of his wide knowledge base. He is a co-founder of GMB Fitness (, a company that focuses in training individuals of all athletic abilities how to improve their body skills.

He also offers a free Ultimate Guide to Rings Training for novices, which walks you through all of the advantages of rings training step by step.


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Gymnastic rings are a great way to get in shape. They can be used at home, or if you’re visiting the gym, they can be done on the ground. To grip them, you should keep your feet together and place your hands on top of each other with fingers pointing towards the floor. Reference: gymnastic rings at home.

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