Get a handle on the Ring Dip

This month’s skill focus is the Ring Dip, a movement that requires strength, control and proper technique. If you can’t perform a ring dip right now, don’t sweat it. There’s a lot of skill building and development you can do instead. With that in mind, here are some progressive movements that will help you one day complete the full movement.

Stationary Dips

Stationary dip


The ring dip is challenging because of the instability of the rings. Stationary dips, which are done on a bar, remove that instability. Doing a dip this way will also let you to focus on building the pressing strength through your triceps, shoulders and chest. I recommend you try performing the stationary dip at tempo. This will help you build strength through the entire position. Here is a short tempo scheme that you can perform as a warm-up, or after class.

For three rounds:

Do 5 stationary dips with a two-second hold at the top and two-second lower to the bottom; then, hold for two seconds at the bottom before you do a two-second press to the top (repeat for five reps.)

If you can’t do multiple unassisted stationary dips, you shouldn’t move on to ring dips, instead try:

Ring Supports

Ring support

Once you have the strength to press out of your dip with the stationary bar, it’s time to move on to challenging your strength and stability further on the rings. A ring support is a simple static movement where you support your body weight with your arms and core. To perform:  you just keep your arms locked out at the top of a dip position.

Trying adding this sequence to your warm-up:

Perform three rounds of max ring support (holding each timeto a max of 30 seconds).

Assisted Dips

Assisted dips

If you’ve gained the strength of the stationary dips and the control of the ring supports, but may still be lacking some pressing strength to get out of the bottom of a ring dip, you can add some assistance. Using a band on a ring dip will help put you through the full range of motion while still building some strength and comfort on the ring dip.  Try picking some type of assistance that will allow you to get five repetitions in a row.

Start practicing these movements and adding these small workouts into your warm-up, or after  class, and you will have ring dips in no time!


Broder McNeill is a coach and co-owner at Alchemy CrossFit.

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