Supine Ring Rows – Everything You Need To Know

Supine Ring Rows

As your back muscles are essential for your body fitness, we recommend you to prioritize back training. If you are looking for the best back training regime, you have come to the right place. We will introduce you to the perfect weight training exercise-supine ring rows.

The muscles on your back are easily the most powerful and the largest in your body. They are very useful in supporting the spine and ensuring a good posture.

Many trainers concentrate on the chest and muscles of the arms. Improper or inadequate training of the back muscles could lead to poor athletic performance, undesirable body posture and an overall lack of strength and endurance.

If you have shied away from the exercise, it is time to gather courage and enjoy unrivaled upper body fitness. The following are benefits of the supine ring exercise-

  • It builds strength and endurance in your upper body
  • Stabilizes muscles and challenges your core strength
  • Increases body posture
  • You can adjust to different strength levels easily

Introduction To Supine Ring Rows

Benefits Of Supine Rows exercises

The supine rows exercise is a fitness approach that strengthens, tones and builds your upper back. Like most CrossFit exercises, it uses the weight of your body as resistance. Think of this exercise as the opposite of the ordinary bench presses. Ring rows are also referred to as inverted ring rows.

In an ordinary bench press, you usually grab a bar and press it away from your body. In this exercise, you will pull your body towards the bar. Instead of a straight bar, this exercise involves a couple of gymnastics rings for some back training benefits.

This exercise primarily targets the back muscles especially rear shoulders, lat muscles, traps and upper back. It can also be very important for your gluteus muscles, arms, hips and front body muscles lining the stomach.

You typically place your legs on a high box as if you were performing a pull-up. As you pull your upper body off the ground, the exercise keeps your legs from assisting and lets the upper body do most of the work.

How To Do Supine Ring Exercise Properly

Achieve the ultimate fitness of your shoulders, back, neck and chest in little time. The following is the correct step-by-step procedure, progression and mobility for ring rows.

  1. Arrange your gymnastics rings and allows the handles to drop to your chest height when lying on the floor.
  2. Place the heels of your feet on a box about a meter high or of the same height as your ring rows. Ensure that the feet are straight.
  3. Move your feet as if walking until you achieve a horizontal position just under the gymnastic rings. While this position may be advanced, a beginner could start at upright angles and then adjust with time.
  4. Grip the handles on the rings tightly and stretch your arms in front of your body.
  5. Brace your abs and glutes and position the body in a straight line. Pull your shoulders down and back into their sockets.
  6. Now while in this position, pull your body up and off the floor using your hands. Let your chest be in line with the rings and your chest. During the whole movement, ensure that your body is in a perfectly straight line.
  7. While in this position, count two or three seconds before reverting.
  8. Drop your body back to start position on the floor and then repeat the next rep in a controlled fashion.
  9. Try to complete as many reps without exerting too much pressure and then rest on the floor in between sets of supine rows.

Benefits Of Supine Rows exercises

  • Building Strength & Endurance In Your Upper Body

Strength in the upper body depends largely on the health of upper body muscles.

These are the powerhouses that support the spine. Supine rows enhance their longevity as well as strength in forearms and biceps.

This is a perfect exercise for you to stretch your anterior muscles while strengthening the posterior muscles.

When at the top of each row, your chest puffs out in an upward direction while your shoulders are pulled back towards the floor. Holding a couple of seconds in this situation places your pectoral and anterior deltoid muscles in a stretched position.

Athletes will achieve an overall large physique as this exercise employs the use of various muscles in the upper body.

  • Stabilizing Muscles To Challenges Your Core

As this exercise uses rings instead of the ordinary bar, there is some instability when grabbing. This lack of stability causes you to strengthen your inner core and align your body.

The wobbling of ropes forces muscles inside the shoulder to work harder to achieve some stability of the upper body. Unlike working for long hours in fixed positions, the supine ring provide extra shoulder health and strength.

  • Increasing Body Posture

It is common for you to spot people with poor body postures. In today’s world where people spend hours sitting in the office or driving, poor posture is a common sight.

Unsurprisingly, many people spend hours working in the gym, but in inappropriate positions. Kyphosis is perhaps the most common type of poor posture. Shoulders seem rounded forwards while the upper back looks hunched over.

Kyphosis is caused by weak posterior muscles and tight anterior muscles. Luckily, supine ring rows help you stretch these two muscles, resulting in an upright posture and overall upper body strength.

  • You Can Adjust To Other Strength Levels With Ease

One limiting factor in most other exercises is that they rarely allow you to vary positions to different fitness and strength levels.

A pull-up for example, cannot be eased without utilizing an assisted pull-up machine, bands or other equipment.
Supine ring allow you to adjust your training approach to achieve different strength levels with easier or harder approaches.

While lying in the most horizontal position creates the most difficult exercise, standing in the most vertical position creates the easiest exercise.

supine ring exercise

Advanced Techniques To The Exercise

Beginners are advised to keep the rings high. As strength and endurance build in the upper back, consider lowering the rings further.

When the rings are closest to the ground, you will find this exercise trickier to perform. Try using boxes of varying heights to challenge your endurance.

When you master the ordinary ring row, you can progress into the more complex ring pull-up and the one arm ring row. Just as the name suggests, a one arm ring row is performed using one hand as opposed to both hands in the entry-level regime.

Do you feel you have mastered this training regime and are in search for a more challenging version? Consider wearing a weighted vest or place your heels on a more elevated position.

Tips For Maximum Efficiency

To take maximum advantage out of the supine ring exercise, the following is a list of cues and tricks that you should always keep in mind.

  • Squeeze Shoulder Blades Together

When you are at the top position of each rep, try to pinch your shoulders inwards together. You engage your mid-back muscles more tightly and results in a full range of motion for each rep.

  • Keep Your Elbows Back

Are you trying to pull your body upwards using your hands? This may not yield the best result. Instead, have the mental cue of driving your elbows downwards as far as you can. You effectively engage your back muscles more effectively.

  • Place Your Body In A Rigid Position

What do you do when something is about to hit your body? You tense your muscles as if to absorb the impending pressure. Tense your stomach and squeeze your glutes in a similar way to align the upper body well.

  • Go As Down As Possible

To achieve a full range, lower your body as much as possible or until your arms are completely outstretched. Hold in this position for a while to encourage muscles to work harder and expose them to tension for a longer period.


We recommend you to allocate more time to supine rows in your daily workouts. The above are just too many and too beneficial for your upper body to ignore.

Remember all the tricks and cues for full range of motion. Just like many exercises, the effectiveness of this one depends on the efficiency of each rep especially while at the very top and at the very bottom. Do not overdo the exercise. Allow muscles enough time to heal.

As you are using your body weight as resistance here, this regime is better than lifting dumbbells and barbells for hours. This is perhaps the reason why supine rows are favorites among CrossFit weight trainers and athletes.

If you dislike this exercise at first, substitute it with other regimes for upper body training. Compare different exercises over time and you will notice that supine ring provide more strength, greater endurance and overall upper body fitness.

Discontinue or regulate the exercises better if you encounter strange pain or a nagging discomfort in any of the upper muscles. More importantly, consult your personal trainer before performing supine ring rows, especially the advanced versions.

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