T Nation

Rings and Paralettes


Hi little buddies,

In my quest to became Spiderman, I am going to order myself some rings and paralettes.

I am seeking advice on how to go about starting my gymnastic work. Im planning to go very slowly and will be progressively learning the planche, handstands, L-sits and ring pull-ups.

I am aware the risk of injury when it comes to beginners and gymnastic work, and hence I am happy to progress slowly. I plan to add the gymnastic work into 2-3 of my current sessions.

Anyone here that has done this before? Any advice on ow I should approach this?




I'm practising headstands at the moment using a tutorial on Beast Skills. There's some info stuff over there.

Very early days for me though so no real tips to offer you!


Start REALLY basic on the rings. Here is a short list of things you should get good at:


  • full ROM pullups with pause at top and bottom
  • full ROM dips (thumbs touching pecs)

- support with the thumbs turned out
- inverted rows with a false grip, full ROM (again, thumbs touching pecs)


  • handstand (start practising against the wall)
  • l seat
  • inverted leg raise

get REALLY good at these. There is a lot of fancy stuff to add later, but preparing the wrists and shoulders (support&false grip) and learning tension & balance will take you far. Gymnastic movements are about control, about OWNING the movement. No ugly reps.


Thanks for the advice.

Diddy: how is your handstand progressing?

nighthawkz: do you practice gymnastic moves? How do you program it within your lifting?



I'm practising headstands to get used to being upside down. I've tried handstands against the wall, and after basically hurling myself against the wall a few times I managed a couple but it wasn't pretty so I'm staring with the most basic progressions. I've been doing tripods after my mobility work.

I'm tall and clumsy, so it may take a while, but I was recently inspired to give it a try after seeing a video of a 200+ lb guy repping out handstand push-ups. That would be my long term goal/fantasy.


Bumpity bump.

I need some advice buddies!!
How important are wooden rings? Will plastic ones do? How high do I have to set the rings of the floor? Does strap length matter??



Just 'cause I like ya, Bird:




Thanks buddy. I will download and have a good read of that tonight.

And I like you too.



Parallettes are expensive. I built my own. Google parallettes and PVC since I can't post the link to the instructions


Good idea.
That will be my project for tomorrow.



For those who have made their own PVC ones, what sort of weight do they support? Thinking of making a pair but don't want to end up bashing my face if one snaps.


I went to the hardware store yesterday, and I found all sorts of weird shapes, sizes and configurations of PVC pipe joints, except for the ones I needed. They were quite expensive for what they were anyway. If they did have the right pieces I calculated the cost of making a pair of paralettes would of been close to $40.

I had a look on the net and I can buy a steel pair for $50 from the same place where Im getting my rings. Sometimes trying to save a dollar here and there is not worth the effort.



Not consistently right now, no. But if I did, I would use deep ring dips as an accessory push move, full rom puull ups & inverted false grip rows as accessory pulls, do handstands and/or ring supports at the start of each training sessions and use l seats as your primary core exercise. At least if you're after a hybrid routine.


Bird, google Coach Christopher Sommer, he has a whole course (split into 4 separate progressive courses) that is designed to take someone from a complete beginner to mastery of a Straddle Planche, Manna, Front Lever, Hollow Back Press (basically an advanced form of freestanding handstand push-up, Advanced variations of Single Leg Squats, Side Lever/Human Flag, and Rope Climb (no legs). And when I say mastery I don't mean that you'll be able to do these for 1 shaky rep, but will be able to own each up to Gymnastics standards, not the sloppy Crossfit, Parkour, or BBoy crap (not that Parkour and BBoys aren't extremely impressive in their own right) form that you see most people doing them with on youtube.

He also has a course on truly mastering and performing a perfect straight body handstand.

Hope this helps.


Might get ripped a new one for this but look into the book "Becoming a Supple Leopard" by Kelly Starrett. He has good demos for all sorts of gymnastic related stuff. Also check out the stuff on Gymnastic WOD.


Thanks guys. Will take your advice.

Sentoguy: do you train with rings?



Yes I do.

In all honesty though, I was doing much more "advanced"/intensive ring work before, but I have since realized that I was not really ready for that stuff yet and needed to go back to the beginning and shore up any strength or mobility weaklinks if I ever hoped to really develop the ability to use the rings to their maximum benefit (and consequently be able to do the really fun/impressive stuff).