Scaling the Pull-Up With Ring Rows

By Julie Barnes Maurer

In Gymnastics/Tumbling, HD Videos

May 13, 2012

Video Article

For those clients who don’t yet have upper-body strength, the ring row is a good scaling exercise for the pull-up, Julie Barnes Maurer says in this Gymnastics Trainer Course. Immediately putting them on the bar isn’t a good idea, much less having them kip, she emphasizes.

When performing the ring row, “really think about engaging your lats … I don’t want all the stress to be on your elbow and your biceps,” Maurer says.

Maintaining the hollow-body position with the abs engaged is important.

To put it into practice, attendees partner up to spot ring rows. Afterward, they spot ring rows with the athlete’s feet on a box.

Maurer explains that the rings rows prepare the body for the kind of load that comes with pull-ups.

“All of these things are improving the strength for the movement to do your strict pull-ups and chin-ups on the bar,” she says. “And it’s also getting all these little connective tissues and things ready for that kind of movement because that stuff isn’t just ready to go all the time.”

6min 2sec

HD file size: 213 MB
SD wmv file size: 72 MB
SD mov file size: 68 MB

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Additional audio: CrossFit Radio Episode 211 by Justin Judkins, published Feb. 15, 2012.

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5 Comments on “Scaling the Pull-Up With Ring Rows”


wrote …

Coach Julie is fer real. Love ya Jules, an emerging CrossFit superstar.


wrote …

Get Coaching video. I really liked the interactive question about which of the two athletes had better Mid-line Stabilization. Its definitely a good tool for us at home who are trying to learn to Coach to have more opportunities to prepare.


replied to comment from Daniel Martins

*Great Coaching video


wrote …

Great video! I have a question though.

I didn't notice any comment regarding the height the rings should be set at, meaning that the rings should be set low enough to allow constant tension. How do you judge how to set the height of the rings? More specifically, if we're coaching someone completely new to training and has some weight to lose.




We don't worry about ring height. What we tell clients is the more they stand up, or the smaller the angle, the easier the ring row will be. So, start your athlete with their feet directly under the rings, then have them walk backwards until they are able to complete rows under that tension.

Does that make sense?

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