How to Improve Your Ring Dips

For the full run down on the ring dip, check out this post from Tabata Times:

Here are a few snippets from Tabata Times, author Joel Toledano

What tips & techniques can I use to get better at ring dips?

When in doubt, go back to your gymnastics fundamentals. Check out Carl Paoli’s video on GymnasticsWOD, where he lays out the following key facets of a proper ring dip:

  • Start in the support position with the elbows locked and hands turned out
  • Emphasize a long neck and hollow body position
  • Initiate the dip by sending the shoulder forward
  • Reach the bottom of the dip with your shoulder below the elbow (just like proper squat position with the hip below knee)
  • Press back up and finish in the same strong support position in which you started

If it is flexibility — and not strength — that makes ring dips and similar movements like push-ups difficult, your shoulder mobility may be holding you back from performing a proper ring dip.  Skip ahead to minute 2:15 of this MobilityWOD video from Kelly Starrett to see how to prep your shoulder for a strong dip position.

Many people find the ring dip difficult — if not unachievable — when just starting out.

Gymnastics protocols recommend first mastering the support position, which is essentially the starting position of a ring dip.

The support position involves holding your body weight while stationary above the rings, with your arms straight. When you can hold this for over twenty seconds, try introducing partial dips and gradually increase the range of motion as you get stronger until you can do full dips.

CrossFit Rockwall offers some good tips on scaling the ring dips to your ability:

  • If you don’t have rings, or do not feel comfortable with them yet, bench dips are a great place to start
  • Bench dips provide a stable platform while you are required to push less weight than a full dip
  • You can bend your knees at a 90 degree angle to use your legs for additional assistance, or simply keep your legs straight for more of a challenge



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