5 Awesome Benefits of Ring Chin-Ups/Pull-Ups

When it comes to upper body exercises very few compare to the pull-up and chin-up. They’re both a little different in their mechanics, but each offer great benefits. An alternative and effective movement to both of these is the: Ring chin-up.

We could learn a thing or five (in this case) from gymnast’s and the strength they possess on the rings. Ring chin-ups are a great alternative for those who want a change up from the standard bar. They also provide relief for the joints and improve grip strength. Although, what are the other benefits ring chin-ups offer?

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1. Improve Shoulder Health

It’s not uncommon to see lifters suffer from some form of shoulder impingement. A standard chin-up/pull-up can aggravate impingement due to the limiting range of motion. Impingement for lifters is typically caused from a previous injury, tight muscles (poor posture), or even just wear and tear on the joint over years of use.

The ring chin-up allows us to bring our body through a higher range of motion that a standard bar can’t do. During the pull on rings the shoulders can adjust to make it comfortable by changing the width in which they pull.

2. Provide Joint Relief

In continuance of the above point, ring chin-ups can also provide relief for the elbow joint. Heavy lifting over a lifetime can leave the elbows with degrees of tendinitis. In most cases it’s just a natural part of how our body is aging.

The increase in range of motion rings provide allow the elbows to move more freely. This in return can shift the arms during the pull portion to take stress off of this hinge-style joint.

3. Build Stronger Grip

Ring chin-ups are a great way to improve grip strength. Unlike the normal chin/pull-up, with a ring you’re swinging on a mobile point of contact. This then forces the hands and forearms to truly engage your grip to steady the body. In addition to stabilizing the body, the ring chin-up can increase the range of motion of our pull at the top of the lift (more range of motion, more muscle activation).

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4. Strengthen Stabilizer Muscles (plus core)

The primary muscles utilized during your chin/pull-up are the: lats, biceps, infraspinatus, lower trap, and others. A standard bar limits the amount of stabilizing muscles you can hit throughout a chin/pull-up.

For example, as you pull yourself up on a ring you’ll be much more prone to swing. This in return causes the shoulders, back, and arms to work in unison to stabilize any momentum being caused. The core also becomes engaged to stop momentum, which is something you won’t get as much of in the standard chin/pull-up.

5. Challenging & Fun

If you’re new to a ring chin-ups, then they can be a fun alternative at add to your normal upper body days. They add a degree of challenge due to the increased range of motion, demand on grip strength, and ability to stabilize the body. Plus, as you progress and become better with this exercise you can add weight (hello, grip strength!) and start working on ring muscle ups.

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Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as one of the full time writers and editors at BarBend. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand. As of right now, Jake has published over 1,100 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter. On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and was a writer at the Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office. Jake regularly competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a weightlifting shoe sneaker head. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in Hoboken and New York City.