Maltese Rings Training

Maltese Rings Training – UPDATED 2022 – A Complete Guide

Gymnastics is one of the hardest sports in 2022, and there’s a reason that athletes train from a young age. Even if you’re not taking it to a pro-level though, training with gymnastic equipment like rings can work out your whole body in a new and unique way.

One of the peak examples of gymnastic performance is the Maltese ring move. Maltese rings training might look difficult, but there are updated ways of training yourself to prepare yourself for this workout.

This is a guide to Maltese ring training including how to do it, the benefits and muscles worked, and our complete tips and thoughts on this gymnastics move.


Maltese Rings Training – A Complete Guide

The Maltese ring move is a variation of the iron cross gymnastics move. The iron cross involves two hanging rings that are used to suspend yourself above the floor while keeping the rest of your body perfectly vertical and balanced.

The Maltese on the other hand uses rings to suspend yourself horizontally, with your head pointing towards the floor. It’s a much more difficult variation of the iron cross as it involves your whole body being strained to hold your weight on the rings.

To prepare for the Maltese rings, most gymnasts will initially master the iron cross. As you can guess, the main skills involved in this are balance and upper body strength. It requires great fortitude in all areas of the arms, especially the shoulders, and also immense core strength is involved to keep you centered.

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The Maltese ring takes this to the next level. While still difficult, the iron cross asks that you keep yourself in a neutral vertical position. This is a natural posture for us, but the Maltese cross is much more abnormal. It involves mental strength as well as physical, and an ability to push past feelings of pain or discomfort.

Even if you’re not a gymnast, the Maltese is a great workout for improving your upper body and core strength. But going straight into using the rings for a basic iron cross or a Maltese can lead to injury and just won’t be fun at all.

Some of the best exercises for Maltese training involve preparing your body to take the Maltese position, but off of the rings. You’ll want something like a pair of boxes, or equally stable surfaces for some exercises to elevate yourself.

Here is a complete guide to some Maltese training workouts.

1. Lie on the floor in the Maltese position.
2. This first exercise will focus on the shoulder blades, as the shoulders are essential for performing a Maltese. Tilt your pelvis and your posterior upwards, shifting weight onto your arms and shoulder. Tense your shoulder muscles to support this. Hold the pose for 10 seconds, and then release and repeat 10 times.
3. Next, we can try the Maltese lean hold. Push your feet up behind you so that you’re balancing on them, and your arms in the Maltese position. Make sure to support your upper body to prevent falling. Hold this position for 10 seconds.
4. Finally, the Maltese tuck. Balance yourself in the Maltese position on two parallel, stable surfaces, and lift your legs to your chest. Hold this for 10 seconds.
5. Repeat the above 4-5 times, with rest and stretching in between each round.

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Maltese Gymnastics Rings

Understanding Maltese Gymnastics Rings

The Maltese gymnastic rings are seen as a final goal for a lot of calisthenic enthusiasts. It’s a step up from the iron cross, and an evolution of the planche.

When basic exercises like push-ups, dumbbells, and even barbell routines are no longer a challenge, that’s when people decide to take their routine to the next level by using gymnastic rings.

Obviously, they’re not equipment that just anyone will have around to use. You also might not be able to find them at a gym, as only recently have gyms begun to install rings for consumer use.

The good news is if you’re looking at installing gym rings for the Maltese, they’re cheaper than you might think, at around $20 for a set of basic rings.

If you’re looking to train your upper body, core, and your back muscles then gymnastic rings might be a good option for you. The sooner you look into installing them the better, as a big part of succeeding with the Maltese is getting comfortable with the position.

By incorporating the gymnastic rings into your routine, it will be much easier to use them for more complicated workouts.

Maltese Muscles Worked

Maltese Muscles Worked

We’ve mentioned that the Maltese is a full-body workout, but some areas of the body will indeed benefit from it more than others.

According to academic research, the main muscles worked during a Maltese are the trapezius, the front deltoids, the biceps, and the pectoralis major. Overall, it’s been concluded that the muscles that benefit the most from the Maltese are those in the shoulder area.

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The Maltese also has lesser benefits for the core, as it involves keeping your abdomen area tight and controlling your breath while in the Maltese position.


Maltese Vs Planche – Which Is Harder?

If you’re a veteran of calisthenics, then you might be recognizing some similarities in the Maltese vs the planche. It’s true that they involve a similar form and work similar muscles, but there are some key differences, and one is more difficult than the other.

The most obvious difference between the Maltese and the planche is that the planche is not done on gymnastic rings. This makes it more accessible than a Maltese, but it’s less of a workout.

The Maltese on the other hand is more demanding on the biceps specifically, as well as being an intense workout for every other muscle that the planche uses.

The consensus online among calisthenic fans is that a Maltese is much harder. A planche is a step up from a plank, and a Maltese is about two steps up from a planche.

Maltese Rings

Maltese Rings – Closing Thoughts

Maltese rings training can give a new life to your updated training routines in 2022, and if you think you’ve reached the ceiling of your personal fitness then the Maltese will be a formidable goal to challenge yourself to achieve.

For more tips, workouts, and WOD routines for calisthenics and more, make sure to check back here.

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