This is considered to be the most impressive of the men’s exercises. Involving the use of two rings attached to a platform and suspended from the ground, it exhibits the extensive upper body strength of the male gymnast. The most remarkable manoeuvre is the “iron cross” where the gymnast’s arms are laterally extended horizontal to the floor. This enables the gymnast to assume the shape of a cross, hence the name, in reference to his iron muscles.
The ring builds remarkable power and flexibility in the arms, chest, shoulders and shoulder joints, including the hands and fingers. In addition, it develops a sense of timing and rhythm in the male gymnast. The rings, like the pommel horse, can be performed by disabled or paraplegic males, since they only need to swing their legs to gain momentum.