CrossFit Ring Dip Progression Template

This is the second post in a series of programming templates for individuals looking to improve quickly at the fundamental gymnastics movements in CrossFit. In this article we focus on a CrossFit Ring Dip Progression Template. The first four articles will address these four movements (pull ups, ring dips, Hand stand push ups, and muscle ups) because they have a  high magnitude of frequency in most CF programs and also in the opens/regionals over the last few years. The last article will bring everything together into a comprehensive template to where you can develop these movements at the same time.

The order of this series will be as follows:

In this post i’ll outline a framework you can use to progress to the point where if a workout like Elizabeth came up (21-15-9 of cleans and ring dips) you can do the dips unbroken. Furthermore, getting to phase 3 for ring dips will later be a pre-requisite to phase 1 of the Muscle up progression template.

 

Phase 1 of CrossFit Ring Dip Progression

Current ability: 1-10 parallette dips with feet on the ground. Bent or straight leg.

Goal: 8-10 parallette dips with legs on bench. 25lb for women and 45lb on lap for me. Move to phase 2 when this is complete.

Objective: Strengthening for structures involved in the dip. Primarily focus on triceps hypertrophy.

How to: 3 workouts a week with at 1-2 rest days between each.

Phase 1 weekly template
When Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Volume Assistance Intensity
Warm up 3 sets of 8-12 bench dips. If you go over 12 reps move to a more difficult progression. See below for instructions on how to progress 3 sets of 3-5 close grip push ups. If you go over 5 reps move to a more difficult progression. See below for instructions on how to progress 4 sets 4-7 bench dips at a progression slightly more difficult than day 1.
Cool down 3 sets of 8-12 standard push ups at most difficult progression 3 sets 8-12 of lying dumbell tricep extensions 3 sets 10-20 second static dip holds. See below for progression
Cool down Accumulate 40 band tricep extensions. Add 5/week while in phase 1. Accumulate 40 band tricep extensions. Add 5/week while in phase 1.
Bench dip progression
  1. Knees bent. Gradually get to the point where your legs are fully extended. Demo.
  2. Straight legs dip with heels on the grond. Demo.
  3. Straight leg dip with heels elevated. Demo.
  4. Straight leg dip with heels elevated + weight on thighs.
Push up progression for standard and close grip – Demo
  1. Standing with hands on a tall box
  2. On knees with 2 abmats under your chest.
  3. On knees with 1 abmats under your chest.
  4. On knees with chest touching floor.
  5. On knees with weight on your back.
  6. No knees on the way down. Knees on the way up. Can add abmat if lowering is difficult.
  7. Standard push up
  8. Standard push up + feet elevated
Static dip hold progression

The static dip hold is a isometric exercise intended to build the stabilizing structures that will be used in phase 2 where your goal is to get a bodyweight dip. Each of the following progressions you should have your elbows extended and your shoulders pulled back so that are not in-caved. The parallette’s should be set 1 cubit apart – i.e. the distance from your elbow to the tip of your middle finger.

  1. Parallette’s – feet extended straight with heels on the ground.
  2. Parallette’s – feet extended straight with heels on a bench or box.
  3. Parallette’s – tuck sit with 1 foot on the ground. Gradually take weight off the foot until you can support yourself with no ground contact.
  4. Parallette’s – tuck sit
  5. Static dip hold on dip bars
  6. Static dip hold on rings
  7. Static dip hold on rings + weight

 

Phase 2 of CrossFit Ring Dip Progression

Current ability: 8-10 parallette dips with legs on bench. 25lb for women and 45lb on lap for me

Goal: 3-5 static strict dips. Once you can consistently hit this goal move to phase 3.

Objective: Accumulation phase. Every week do more total dips than the last.

How to: 3 workouts a week with at 1-2 rest days between each.

Phase 2 weekly template
When Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Volume Assistance Intensity
Warm Up Bench dips drop set. Pick a progession where you can do 12-15 reps to failure. Rest 10-15 seconds and do another max set. Rest 10-15 seconds and do your last max set. You are shooting for the following rep ranges: 12-15. 9-12. 5-8. In following week you will either move up on reps or start a more difficult progression 3 sets of 5-8 close grip push ups. If you go over 8 reps move to a more difficult progression 5 sets 3-5 of self-assisted tricep dip. See below for progression.
Cool Down 2 sets of 8-12 of self-assisted tricep dip. See below for progression 3-6 sets 5-20 second holds on the rings. If you are under 10 seconds do 6 sets. If you are 10-15 seconds do 5 sets. If you are 15-25 seconds do 3 sets. Rest atleast 2 minutes between attempts
Cool Down 3 sets of 8-15 standard push ups at most difficult progression
Self-assisted static dip progression – Demo

The self-assisted dip should be performed on a static dip mount. If your gym does not have one, you can put two GHD’s close together and use the handles.

  1. Slow (3-4 seconds) and assistance on the way up and down. Gradually use your legs less to make it more difficult.
  2. Slow (3-4 seconds) and no assistance on the way down. Assistance on the way up.
  3. Slow (3-4 seconds) and no assistance on the way down with 1-3 second pause at the bottom before using your legs to help you get back up.
  4. Normal pace down (1-2 seconds) and back up with no assistance.
  5. Bodyweight dip + weight. Only start adding weight once you can do 5 strict bodyweight dips. Move up in 2.5lb or 5lb increments.

Phase 3 of CrossFit Ring Dip Progression

Current ability: 3-5 strict dips.

Goal: 5 strict ring dips. Move to phase 4 once you can do this consistently.

Objective: Build ring dip strength and start practicing dip technique. This will be a pre-requisite for Muscle Ups.

How to: 3 workouts a week with at 1-2 rest days between each.

Phase 3 weekly template
When Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Volume Assistance Intensity
Warm Up 5×5 ring dips. See below for progression 4×3-5 strict static dips. Each week go up on reps or add weight in increments on 2.5lb or 5lb 5×3-4 ring dips. Try to move to a slightly more difficult progression than Day 1. See below for progression.
Cool Down As Many Reps as Possible of kipping static dips in 2:00 as possible. Each week go up :30 seconds until you have reached 4:00. If you are in phase 3 for more than 4 weeks than each week try and get more reps that last week 2xME decline push ups with 2 minutes rest 5×1 assisted or un-assisted negative ring dip with ME hold below parallel. Once you can do a ring dip do a 3 second hold and go back up.
Self-assisted strict ring dip progression

Set rings so that the bottom is at the bottom of your chest.

  1. Set 18″ box 6-12 inches behind you. When you get on the rings place your toes on the box so that as you go down and up you can self-assist. Use as little push from your legs as possible to be inside the rep range.
  2. Set 12″ box 6-12 inches behind you. When you get on the rings place your toes on the box so that as you go down and up you can self-assist. Use as little push from your legs as possible to be inside the rep range.
  3. Set 12″ box 6-12 inches behind you. Place one foot on top of each other. Use as little push from your legs as possible to be inside the rep range.
  4. Negative only. Get on the rings and lower your self at a 3-4 second descent also with a 2-3 second pause at the bottom. This pause at the bottom will help build the strength needed to come back up.
  5. Standard strict ring dip.
  6. Standard strict ring dip + weight

Phase 4 of CrossFit Ring Dip Progression

Current ability: 5 strict ring dips

Goal: 8-10 strict ring dips and 15-20 kipping ring dips. Move to phase 5 once you can complete this goal consistently.

Objective: Ring dip capacity.

Phase 4 weekly template
When Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Volume Assistance Intensity
Warm Up 3×4-7 weighted strict ring dips. Each week go up on either reps or weight 3×5 strict static dips. Each week go up on reps or add weight in increments on 2.5lb or 5lb As many kipping ring dips as possible in 2 minutes. Add :30/week untill you are at 5 minutes. If you are still in phase 4 at 5 minutes then try to beat reps reps each week.
Cool Down 2xME kipping ring dips with atleast 3 minutes rest Kipping ring dip technique practice

Phase 5 of CrossFit Ring Dip Progression

Current ability: 8-10 strict ring dips and 15-20 kipping ring dips.

Goal: Men 30+ / Women 20+ kipping ring dips

Objective: Build and maintain ring dip capacity.

How to: At this point you should do 2-4 dip specific workouts a month. Ring dips do not come up very often in CrossFit programming and with a finite amount of gym time should go to working on things that have a higher rate of return.Instead, your focus should turn to Muscle Ups. A caveat is if your focus is local comps or regionals and you have difficulty with high rep muscle ups than I would recommend 4-8 days a month until your around 4:00-5:00 minutes for something like 30 muscle ups for time. This is especially true for women since only 12 finished 30 burpee ring muscle ups for time in under 8 minutes in the 2013 regionals and having a high capacity for muscle ups is a big advantage when they come up. This is true for men as well but just more for women.

Phase 5 weekly template
When Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Volume Assistance Intensity
Warm Up or Cool Down 2×8-12 weighted strict ring dips. Each week go up on either reps or weight 2×8-12 weighted kipping ring dips. Each week go up on either reps or weight As many ring dips as possible in 5 minutes
Warm Up or Cool Down 2xME kipping ring dips with atleast 3 minutes rest  As many diamond push ups as you can do in 2 minutes. Go up :15/week and cap out at 3:30