How To And Why You Should Perform Supine Ring Rows
Your back muscles are some of the biggest and most powerful muscles in your body. They are also incredibly important for posture and structural support of your spine. Supine Ring Rows
Unfortunately, back training is often overlooked somewhat and the more visible muscles like the chest are trained more in favour. Ignoring your back training can negatively impact your strength, posture, athletic performance and your aesthetics. The muscles of your back play a part in all of those aspects.
Therefore, you cannot afford to skip training your back. If anything, back training should be prioritized for most people. An excellent exercise you can use to work all of your back muscles along with some others, which I will touch upon later, are supine ring rows.
What Are Supine Ring Rows?
Also known as inverted ring rows, supine ring rows are an easy to do exercise that uses your own bodyweight as the resistance. To view it in simple terms, a supine ring row is pretty much the exact opposite of a bench press.
Imagine grabbing a bar as if you were about to perform a bench press, but instead of pressing the bar away, you pull your body towards the bar. This is a pretty much what a standard inverted or supine row would look like, minus the bench. Of course, the supine ring row makes use of gymnastics rings instead of a straight bar, which has its own set of added benefits.
Benefits Of Supine Ring Rows
Honestly, this type of row is a great exercise, which means it is going to have a whole host of benefits. I will run through each of the main benefits in a list format below.
Builds Upper Body Strength
In terms of your upper body, your back muscles really are the powerhouses. Your back contains the biggest and strongest muscles in your whole upper body. The supine ring row will work all of these muscles in one way or another. Not only that, they will also work your biceps and forearms heavily as well.
Exercises that demand the use of a large number of muscles are more efficient and effective at building a stronger, more powerful physique.
Challenges Your Core And Stabilizer Muscles
This is where the use of rings instead of a fixed, straight bar has some added benefits.
The rings provide a much more unstable platform from which to pull yourself up. The instability created by the rings forces you to fire your cores muscles if you want to keep your body aligned.
If you let your core muscles relax, you will find that the rings wobble even more.
The unstable rings also force the stabilizing muscles in your shoulder joints to work much harder. This is great for overall shoulder strength and health, which is something that many people suffer with as a result of doing too much work in the fixed positions of resistance machines.
Can Be Quickly Adjusted To Any Strength Level
A problem with many other body weight exercises is that they do not allow for very much variability to cater for different strength and fitness levels. For instance, a pull-up cannot be made easier without the use of extra equipment like bands or an assisted pull up machine.
Supine ring rows do not have this problem. You can instantly make the exercise easier or harder by changing the angle of your body.
Standing more vertically makes it easier, lying into a more horizontal position makes it harder. You can even elevate your feet or wear a weighted vest if you are in search of an even bigger challenge.
Promotes Better Posture
Poor posture is all too common in today’s Western society. Long periods of sitting and driving are largely responsible for it.
One of the most common postures is what is known as kyphosis. This is the type of posture where your shoulders become rounded forwards and your upper back has a hunched over appearance.
There are usually two factors that are in play with a kyphotic posture: Tight anterior muscles and weak posterior muscles. With this information in mind, you know that you must stretch out the muscles on the front (anterior) and strengthen the ones on the back (posterior).
Luckily, supine ring rows can help you to do both of those things at once. I already mentioned that it is a perfect exercise for strengthening those posterior muscles but it does also help to stretch the anterior muscles as well. As you reach the top of the row, your shoulders will be back and your chest will be puffed out towards the ceiling, which puts your anterior deltoid and pectoral muscles in a nicely stretched position.
How To Perform Supine Ring Rows Properly
In order to achieve all of the benefits listed above, you must learn how to perform the inverted or supine ring row exercise with good technique.Here is a step-by-step guide to performing them properly:
- Set up some gymnastic rings so that the handles are around chest height. Grip the rings so that the straps are tight and your arms are straight out in front of you.
- Walk your feet forward until you are in a horizontal position directly beneath the rings.Please note that this fully horizontal position is fairly advanced. You may wish to begin at a more upright angle. You can adjust your body angle as you see fit.
- Position your body by bracing your glutes and abs to keep your body in a straight line. Your shoulders should be pulled back and down in their sockets as well.
- Use your arms to pull yourself up so that your chest is in line with your hands and the rings. Be sure to keep your body in a straight line for the entire movement.
- Return to the start position in a controlled fashion and repeat for the next rep.
Tips For Performing Supine Ring Rows
Here is a quick list of some added tips and cues that you can keep in mind to help you get the very most out of the exercise.
- Keep your body rigid. By squeezing your glutes hard and tensing your stomach like something was about to hit it, you will be able to keep your body aligned properly. There should be no movement at your hips or your lower back aas you pull your body up.
- Drive your elbows back. Instead of thinking about using your hands to pull yourself upwards, think about driving your elbows behind you as hard as you can. This little mental cue should help you to engage the muscles of your back more effectively.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together. At the top of each rep, aim to pinch your shoulder blades together. By pinching them together, you will ensure each rep is completed to a full range of motion and you will engage the muscles of your mid-back even more.
- Go all the way down. This one goes hand-in-hand with the last tip. By lowering yourself until your arms are completely straight, you ensure that a full range of motion is being used for each rep. extending fully in this way provides a bigger stretch, more time under tension and makes your muscles work harder.
Closing Thoughts For The Supine Ring Rows
I feel you should certainly be giving the supine rings row a try in your training program. It simply has way too many benefits to ignore it.
The ability to control and use your own bodyweight is an extremely transferrable skill. Some would even argue that it has better carry over to daily life than lifting barbells or dumbbells. In my opinion, a mixture of external resistance and body weight exercises achieves the best of both worlds.
My advice would be to add them into your upper body or back workouts for a few weeks and see if you like them. I would love to hear how you find them or if you are already using them in your training, be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!