At Kelly Starrett’s box, San Francisco CrossFit, ring dips are an intermediate skill.
The key to the movement is external rotation of the arms for the best efficiency and mechanics, says the movement and mobility guru.
During this trainer course, Starrett has three male athletes hold the top of the ring-dip position. None are in the correct position. All three started and finished in internally rotated positions. The turned-out finish position of the arms should be in the 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock positions, he says.
“That’s the stable position of the joint,” Starrett explains. “And as I go to ring dip, I come back to neutral and I have a vertical forearm—unload the shoulder.”
Although one athlete can do a strict muscle-up, he lacks the shoulder mobility to get his arms in the proper positions for efficient ring dips, Starrett notes. This can be problematic during a competitive WOD.
“Why do you think that snatch/muscle-up was such a beautiful, beautiful, evil combination?” says Starrett, referencing the Amanda workout at the 2010 CrossFit Games. “That just destroyed people.”
Additional reading: Applications of the Support on Rings by Tyler Hass, published May 1, 2007.