This post is for Mark Collins - A physio in Toukley, Canton beach Physiotherapy. Mark is a Crossfit enthusiast...just like me!
Ring Dips - What are they?
Do you remember the old tricep dips that you did against your desk or chair? Or even dips on a stand at the gym? Ring dips are like that only better.
From a physiotherapy point of view, Ring Dips are superior because they require you to control your shoulder and use more muscles to control your whole body. But with complexity comes risk. Because the rings move, you can strain your shoulders more easily. But because the rings move, you can also protect your shoulders compared to the standard tricep dip.
Why Physios are wary of Tricep Dips (including Ring Dips)
Basically it is human nature to push yourself. If you have psyched yourself up to even do exercise, you are likely to try hard at doing it, right? What happens when you fatigue is that you start doing movements that are not optimal. With Dips, the most common problem is round the shoulders and then allow the humeral head to translate in the socket...in other words, the arm bone slides forward when it should stay still. This causes a lot of strain on your cartilage (labrum), the biceps tendon and the rotator cuff. Keep doing dips the wrong way and it will start to hurt.
There are quite a number of ways that you can try to keep your shoulder joint in it's socket - I tell my patients to either "create space" in the shoulder - like injecting it with helium...this tricks the brain into using your muscles differently. The other is to feel it lock into the back of the socket - but be careful as you can overdo it too. The best is to get someone like your physio or a gymnastics-trained trainer to help you.
What If I Can't Do One??!!
Like pullups, you can use a resistance band to help you keep good form and develop the strength you need to go on to do them unassisted. Just tie the band to one ring, hold the other end in your hand and then jump and kneel onto the band and you are good to go!
What do Pullups + Ring Dips Equal?
Once you can master these 2 exercises, you can progress to muscle ups!
I would like to hear your tricks and advice on how you do Ring Dips...just comment below. Thanks!