pqtd 92 Don’t get the Summertime Blues- Train with Rings
I know, this time of the year is when those of us who live in the north country get the blues- the Summertime blues- since summer is over, the leaves are changing, and the weather is getting...colder!
“Omigosh!” we say to ourselves, “I have been exercising so well outdoors, carrying my little heavy hands dumb bells and pumping them as I go, and stopping for periodic pushup intervals- it’s been great! But what do I do when it gets really cold, and snowy??”
Well, for me, that doesn’t stop my outdoor walks with the little weights- I just put on boots, and slog through the forest trails of snow! But, if you like to retreat more indoors in the winter months, fear not. Here is your answer, your salvation, your holy grail:
Get a set of gymnastic rings!
I don’t care if this seems intimidating, you think you are too big and heavy to do those crazy muscle ups and skin the cat moves- trust me, this little, inexpensive ring setup will change your physique, your life overall, and especially the way you train.
I got a set a few years ago, the setup was a little over $20. I got some hardware to hang the rings up on my basement rafters, and it is the BEST money I have ever spent on training!
Especially if you are somewhat de-conditioned or heavy, these are a lifesaver. You can do pushups on them at any angle you choose- if you can’t do a regular pushup on the floor, you can do them standing up, on a slight angle! Or at any gradation in between. Just by moving forward or back, you make the pushup exercise harder or easier.
And, doing pushups on the rings puts your body in the most joint sparing, yet total range-of-motion position that is possible. And, if you know me, you know that the pushup is probably the ultimate exercise for total body fitness!
But the pushup is not all, no no no! Rings are ideal for pullups, dips, and pistol (or one-legged) squats, which are the perfect lower body exercise. Also, for rows, pullovers, tricep presses, and flies- all done perfectly safely, and easily graduated so that anyone, of any fitness level, can do them safely and productively.
The rings are kind of like a tiny, inexpensive, incredibly versatile power rack, or “cage”. I have one of these as well, from my old ill-advised weight lifting days, and it is literally a steel cube that holds your weights, so that they can never fall on you- and also, so that you can start at any point in the lift on “pins” that support the bar at various levels. VERY hands, indispensable really, for serious weight trainers! Also, really big, bulky, and expensive!!
The rings are better! Yup, not just OK, but BETTER. You can do squats on one leg, and assist yourself with your arms a little if you can’t quite do it... same with chins, and dips, rows and even curls- just experiment, and any exercise that you could do with a power rack, mountains of weights, and specialized Nautilus and other types of machines, well you can duplicate them, and even do them one step better on a simple set of rings!
Rings are also convenient, and lend themselves to impromptu mini-workouts whenever you feel like it- they are just hanging there, waiting for you! You can instantly adjust them up for squats and wonderful ab exercises like L-sits, or lower them for pushups. You can elevate your legs to make the pushups harder, or stand more upright to make them much easier... infinitely and instantly adjustable!
I have totally rehabbed my shoulders, damaged from years of heavy weights, by using rings. The total range of motion, and the ability to stretch the shoulder joints by leaning forward on the rings is amazingly therapeutic.
So grab the brass ring! Set yourself up for a Winter’s worth of fitness and health! I know it seems a little depressing when the leaves start to fall, but once the cold arrives, you have a new “hang out”- whether it is in your basement, or your garage, or wherever you have a high place to hang a set of rings- all kinds of mounting hardware is available, so you will get the “hang” of it eventually...
And then, you will never, ever again have the summertime blues!