5 Essential Gym Rig Exercises to Get You Ripped

5 Essential Gym Rig Exercises to Get You Ripped

Gym Rigs are popular and versatile fitness tools for building strong and beautiful bodies. Rigs can form the foundation for individual and group functional fitness sessions and can be really fun to explore. In this article we introduce the concept of functional and calisthenics rigging and outline five essential movements you can incorporate in your own sessions.

Cross-training and Calisthenics Rigs

If you've ever watched the CrossFit Games or indulged in videos from popular Calisthenics groups like Barstarzz, you're probably already aware of the versatility that a cross-training or Calisthenics rig can bring to your workout.

Made from reinforced steal, these exercise rigs offer maximum functionality for both indoor and outdoor fitness training. They provide the foundation for loads of body conditioning options, from bodyweight and gymnastics exercises, to strength training and powerlifting movements.

Functional cross-training rigs can either be wall-mounted or free-standing, depending the gym layout. These rigs may include squat stations, pull-up stations, Wall Ball stations, boxing bag stations, landmine sleeves, dip horns and even GHD attachments. Rigs have become very useful in functional and personal training gyms, where individual or group sessions can be programmed using the rig as a foundation.

Outdoor Calisthenics Rigs turn the urban landscape into a functional gym or obstacle course. They are a great addition to any residential estate, hotel, school or public space. They offer you a variety of pull-up bars, monkey bars, parallel bars and ladders as central training options to use in versatile body-weight conditioning sessions.

Now that you are familiar with what Rigs are all a bout, let's take a look at five essential exercises to get you going on your local functional cross-training rig. 


Upper and Lower Body Squats

Functional Fitness Gym Image
1. Pull-ups

Pull-ups are a fundamental upper-body strength exercise and have been referred to as "the squats of the upper-body". When done correctly, they train your lats, rhomboids, biceps, forearms, teres major and minor, infraspinatus, levator scapulae, trapezius, pectoralis major and minor, abs, and triceps.

Let's get started.

Hang from a crossbeam with your shoulders active. Pull against the crossbeam, bending your arms 90 degrees until your chin is over the bar. Lower down to starting your starting position, keeping your shoulders active and pulled down. Always move through the full range of motion. If you need assistance, try a rubber band or jump up and slowly lower yourself down through the negative part of the movement. 

2. Back Squats

The back squat, along with deadlifts, is often referred to as the king of all exercises. If performed correctly, this mammoth multi-joint mobilizer can actively work almost every muscle in your body, from the ribs down. Moreover, it works the shoulders and upper back isometrically at the same time.

Let's go.

Enter the Rig from the front to let bar lie firmly across shoulders and traps. Pull the bar down onto you shoulders, shoulder blades drawn together. Stand strong, core braced and elbows pulled down.  Step back from the rig with your feet placed firmly under the shoulders. Squat down to a 90 degree angle, weight on the heels and knees above ankles. Avoid knees moving over the toes. Stand up by pushing outward with knees until your hips are fully extended. Breath in to brace yourself before your downward movement. Remember to breath out as you exert yourself moving up. 

Knee Raises and Tricep Dips

Knee Raises and Dips

3. Hanging Knee Raises

The beauty of hanging knee raises lies in their simplicity. You can perform them on a dip attachment, gymnastics rings, or hanging from the rig. They exert your core muscles as you stabilise, while working your lower abs for a well-rounded six-pack approach. 

Let's do it.

Hang from the crossbeam, shoulders active. Lift your knees until lie are at a 90-degree angle. Let your knees down to come back to the starting position. Switch the focus of the exercise to the obliques by raising your knees to the sides rather than straight up.

4. Tricep Dips

Dips are a great compound exercise that focus intently on your triceps and chest. Mount a dip horn with your arms extended holding your full body weight on your hands. Lower your body between your hands until your elbows are 90 degrees. Keep your elbows angled behind you. Push your body back to the starting position. Keep the body vertical to focus on the Triceps. Bend the body over forward to target the chest more intensely.

Supine Rows

Functional Gym Images
5. Supine Rows

The supine row or inverted row is a fundamental bodyweight exercise that trains  the muscles of the upper back, biceps, forearms and core. They are a great means of training for a pull-up, a safer option compared to a bent-over row and compliment/balance out benchpress exercise.


Let's get on them.


To perform the supine row, rack a barbell low on the Rig. Enter from underneath the bar. Keep your chest in line with the bar, with legs bent or extended fully. Keeping the body in a firm plank, pelvis tilted toward your chin, pull your chest towards the bar and lower the body back to the starting position to complete the rep. 

Assemble Your Own Rig

There you have it, five essential gym rig movements to get you ripped. If you want to learn more about assembling your own Gym Rig for home or business use, explore rigging options and attachments here, or contact one of our knowledgeable consultants for more information

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