The Position: Part 7—The Ring Dip

By Kelly Starrett and Carl Paoli

Video Article

This video series provides a fresh look at skill-transfer exercises and midline stability, combining the powers of Kelly Starrett and gymnast Carl Paoli. Both San Francisco CrossFit coaches add their expertise to refine basic CrossFit movements with the aim of improving power output.

In Part 7, Paoli demonstrates the ring dip. The same “turning out” used for the bar dip in Part 6 adds external rotation, torque and stability to the shoulder in the ring dip. The shoulder is slightly forward, but as long as there is external rotation, the shoulder is safe and supported. However, internal rotation with the shoulder forward is “trashing the front of your shoulder” and leads to injury, Starrett says.

“What we’re looking for is to use the ring dip as a better skill-transfer exercise, not just do a million ring dips,” Starrett says.

Starrett wants athletes to start and finish in the externally rotated, turned-out position, but he doesn’t want them to lose positioning during the movement.

“I’m always cultivating this external-rotation torque as I press,” he says.

Starrett and Paoli show how the ring dip transfers into the muscle-up and can be scaled to allow work on the starting position, false grip and other aspects of the movement.

For more information, instruction and videos, check out Kelly Starrett’s MobilityWOD and Carl Paoli’s GymnasticsWOD.

8min 31sec

Additional reading: Dips: The Forgotten Shoulder Exercise by Bill Starr, published Jan. 14, 2011.

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12 Comments on “The Position: Part 7—The Ring Dip”


Zach Even - Esh wrote …

BOOM! FIRST comment! on a Friday night!!

does that make me lame??? ha ha

do NOT answer that :)

SERIOUSLY - my shoulder had MAJOR probs, had K Star fix me BIG time
and it was BIG time about organizing and using ext. rotation on my ring push ups, ring dips, NO overhand chins, focus on underhand chins

K Star and CP in the hizzeeeee = LEGIT!



wrote …


Why no overhand chins?



wrote …

Well, I wish these two would have been in the mix back in 07. I know Coach wanted all of us to employ these principals into our movements but it was not so clear as KStar makes it. I have cursed Crossfit as much as I love Crossfit, I have suffered shoulder problems for the last 2 years, ring dips, snatches, HSPU's and muscle ups destroy my shoulder(s) which one varies but I had to ask myself, what would coach say? I thought he would say well if those movements are hurting you then don"t fucking do 'em. Makes sense, right? But this new stuff by KStar is getting me back to doing those movements without so much pain plus the evil lacross ball. Thanks! wish tihs info was about in the beginning.


wrote …

this is good for me i have only been doing crossfit for a few months and i had a go at ring dips the other day and could barely do 2 before losing balance and composure haha so had to scale down. cant wait to get back to the shed and try them out now


wrote …

This is a great series of videos. I have had shoulder issues for over a year but am back to doing a lot of movements pain free thanks to your tips on shoulder rotation. Also, I am amazed at how much the hollow body position helps with so many movements. Learn it and use it, people!


wrote …

I really can't recommend these videos enough. Seeing all these things articulated so well by these guys has helped me start diagnosing and fixing alot of the problems that have been bugging me for a long while. I have to admit I get a little excited thinking about the extra capacity I might gain if I nail this stuff!


wrote …

Such good stuff!! I am 65 years old and have been doing Crossfit for a short time but lifting, triathlons, cycling for over 30 years with and without shoulder problems (mostly with). I am personal trainer who has latched on to Crossfit and KStar and ain't looking back. Crossfit rocks, Kelly rocks and I have had less shoulder pain than ever before...a big thanks to both!!
Oh yeah, Carl P rocks too!!


wrote …

Incredible series guys, thanks for making it. Hip focused episodes next perhaps?


wrote …

love the "gotta make sure my cobra is organized" comment. Great series!!!


wrote …

You called it - I currently have a slap tear of the biceps tendon. It's not a problem with most movements.

Is it possible for this to heal on it's own, or with rehab, or is arthroscopic surgery (biceps tenodesis) the only option? Thanks for any info.

Great video!


Joe Hardy wrote …

Thank you for putting this videos out there.

Today I accomplished my first strict, no-kip, muscle-up! The turn out section of this video helped tremendously along that path and I cannot thank you enough for the accomplishment of a 3 year long goal!


wrote …

Having a hard time getting as much external rot. on lockout as Carl is demoing... I'm also shaking when I turn the palms out forward, eventhough I can link 20+ dips. Like you said "its abot skill transfer, not about getting a million dips..."

Thanks for the info.

Virtuousity for all.

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