Get Rings for a Bigger, Stronger Chest

When it comes to building the chest muscles, it’s easy to think that the bench press is king. However, the biomechanics of the bench press make it a poor chest builder since the movement primarily overloads the triceps and anterior deltoid. Plus, there are many other flaws with a typical bench press that I discussed here. 

So when the goal is to add muscle and strength to the chest muscles, one exercise I use is the rings fly. There are three benefits of the rings fly that a barbell bench press can’t match.

1. Freedom of scapular motion: any exercise that challenges the shoulder joint should allow the scapulae (shoulder blades) to move freely. Rings, of course, allow your scapulae to move like they should, unlike a bench press that locks your shoulder blades into place. This unrestricted movement pattern helps preserve shoulder health while staving off imbalances.

2. Simple progression: the rings fly is easy to modify, based on your strength level. You can place the rings higher from the floor (mid-thigh level) if you’re weaker, and lower the rings as your strength increases. When the rings are just a few inches off the ground, the rings fly will challenge the strongest guys you’ll find.

3. Abdominal Recruitment: the third benefit of the rings fly is that it requires a deep, intense contraction from your abdominals throughout the movement to stabilize your torso. The abdominal contraction is similar to what you feel during an ab wheel rollout.

Check out the video below with technique guidelines for the rings fly from my Rings and Power tour. Get your rings at Christian’s Fitness Factory.

Stay Focused,

4 thoughts on “Get Rings for a Bigger, Stronger Chest

  1. I am enjoying the posts regarding ring training. I am going back to HIAH after doing Body of Fire. Could I substitute ring exercises for one workout in the “Get Big” workouts? If so, what would a series look like for exercises and reps? I have access to TRX-style straps at my gym. Thank you for such great info!

    CW: Yes, use this in place of any bench press, cable press, or push-up variation.

  2. Looks very challenging. What is the target # of total reps (how many reps and reps per set) someone should shoot for with this exercise to build muscle? As you noted above you can increase or decrease the difficulty by raising or lowering the rings.

    How many times per week can these be done?

    I also noticed you did the reps in a slow deliberate manner vs the fast as you can method you have discussed in your book and other articles. What is the proper speed to build muscle for this exercise?


    CW: Perform 5-6 reps at a height that allows you that resistance. Perform 2-3x per week. Do this exercise slow. This is high-tension training, not high velocity training.

  3. Awesome post! Any plans for a new book or product detailing these workouts?

    CW: Yep, it’s in the works.

  4. Can the rings fly be substituted for the rings push up in the targeted HFT? Or can it be worked in along with the rings push up variations?

    CW: Yes.

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