This workout is a classic, but with the Elite Rings you can add a new twist to it. The basic idea of the workout is that you perform 10 sets of 10 reps of 10 different kinds of pushups. Nothing new there, of course. However, in this workout, you will perform each set with a different variation of the pushup. Since the Elite Rings move in all directions, you can perform countless varieties of pushups. Limiting yourself to only 10 variations might be the hardest part. Here is a version that I tried recently. At the end of this article, I have some ideas on modifying this workout to make it easier or harder.
1. Archer Pushups (5 each arm)
On this variation, you let one arm go out to the side and the other stays close to your body. The one that goes to the side remains straight throughout the entire rep. You can think of it as a cross between a one arm pushup and a flye.
2. Jackknife Pushups (10 reps)
You can think of this as a standing version of the ab wheel. You start in a standard pushup position and then slide the rings forward. Be sure to keep your back flat and do not let it collapse.
3. Ring Flyes (10 reps)
In this variation, you keep the arms straight, but the rings go out to the side. Unlike the archer pushup, on this one, both rings go out out to the side. This is the hardest exercise in the workout, so you may need to perform it from your knees or elevate the rings.
4. Tricep Pushups (10 reps)
You start this variation in a normal pushup position, but as you descend, you keep the rings just slightly in front of your head. Let your elbows drop, while your hands face forward. Then use your triceps strength to press out.
5. Wide Grip Pushups (10 reps)
This is very similar to a standard pushup, but on this exercise, you hold the rings wider apart at the bottom. Your forearms should stay close to vertical throughout the movement.
6. Reverse Grip Pushups (10 reps)
This variation is also like a standard pushup, but you turn the rings out so that you are now in a reverse grip position. You also hold the rings near your hips at the bottom. This is a deceptively difficult pushup.
7. Dive Bomber Pushups (10 reps)
The Dive Bomber pushup is a multi-step movement. You start out with your hips way up in the air (1). You then imagine that you are sliding your body under a fence. You first descend with your head diving at an angle towards the ground (2). You then slide under the fence (3).
Imagining that your hips are still underneath the fence, lock out your arms and lift your chest while keeping your hips down (4). Now lower your body down in the same trajectory that you came from (5). When your shoulders are under the fence, begin to press upwards as you lift your hips (6).
This will return you to the start position (1). That is one rep.
8. Standard Ring Pushups (10 reps)
These are just conventional pushups on the rings. Keep your elbows close to your sides and your body tight.
9. Single Leg Pushups (10 reps)
On the single leg pushup, you keep one leg elevated in the air. It provides some extra stimulus for your core. Switch legs after 5 reps.
10. Elevated Pushups (10 reps)
This is the same as a conventional pushup, except you elevate your feet. The choice of how much you elevate them depends on how strong you are. 20" is a good place to start.
There are other pushup variations that can be used and you could do some pushups on the ground such as clapping pushups as well. Clapping pushups on the rings really don’t work too well. If you don’t believe me, give them a shot. Be sure to have a video camera running and send me a tape of the results!
Additional Challenges: There are a few additional challenges you can add to this workout. The first is to do it without getting off the rings. The only “rest” you get is in the support position. Another is to do this workout for time. There is something about racing the clock that makes it that much more brutal. You can also try ordering them by difficulty and doing 1 rep of the hardest and 10 reps of the easiest, and 2-9 in between. Many variations are possible!
Making it Easier: If this workout seems a bit daunting to you, all you have to do is elevate the rings. With the rings at waist height, this workout can be done by almost anyone. As you get stronger, you can lower the rings a few inches. Over time you might make it all the way down to the ground. By adjusting the elevation of the rings, you can scale the training intensity very effectively.
Tyler Hass is the founder of ringtraining.com and designer of the Elite Rings. If you have any questions, he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.