The Front and Back Lever are very challenging holds that require a lot of back and abdominal strength to pull off. Transitioning from one to the other is also a serious test of shoulder stability and strength, as the body must be kept balanced under load through a very large range of motion.
The Pull-Up and Chin-Up are two of the most iconic bodyweight exercises, and are a great and very challenging way to build power in your shoulders’ upper arc of rotation, as well as the upper back, biceps, and pectorals. Both exercises require you to lift your entire weight from a deadhang, and the grip difference between the two subtly changes which muscles do the most work, with the chinup engaging the biceps far more strongly.
Straight holds are excellent starting exercises on the gymnastic rings. On their own, they help to build strength in the shoulders and major stabilizing muscles (especially the pectorals and latissimus dorsi). As the foundation of a longer ring-based workout, they help build the shoulder stability necessary to safely manage more complex actions.
Gymnastic rings are a versatile and powerful tool for strength training, and an inexpensive way to really boost your workouts at home. We’ll be spending a few weeks developing how to use them effectively, beginning with the 3 basic grips, and the deadhang.