However, I'm going to do just that!
I thought of something a while ago. Something that I've never seen, heard or even remotely alluded to ever with strength training. It happened as I read through John Jesse's book, "Encyclopedia of Wrestling and Physical Conditioning." I saw exercises for, among other things, rings and chest expanders. Then, it hit me: what if these two had a baby? What would it look like?
Well, it might look like this...
I'm getting to the point in my training where I can spread my rings out quite a ways apart and still knock out 15 dips without much of a problem. That's usually my cue to look for ways to increase the difficulty. The ring dips (or any other suspension rig) make the dip much harder for several reasons, chiefly the extra work that the pectoralis majors have to do. A quick run down of of the action of the Pec-major...
...has four actions which are primarily responsible for movement of the shoulder joint. The first action is flexion of the humerus[upper arm bone], as in throwing a ball side-arm, and in lifting a child. Secondly, it adducts[moving towards the center line] the humerus, as when flapping the arms. Thirdly, it rotates the humerus medially[rotation towards the mid-line of the body], as occurs when arm-wrestling. Finally it aids in deep inspiration, as in taking a deep breath before jumping in a pool. The pectoralis major is also responsible for keeping the arm attached to the trunk of the body.
Fixed bar dips don't require the pec-major muscle to keep adducting the arm bone nearly as much as the suspension trainer will since they don't move. By adding the spring into the suspension trainer, the spring pulls the arms away from the center line. Now, the pecs have to work harder still. I've tried these a few times and they cut my reps down by a third! More specifically, I struggled (and sometimes failed) to get 10 reps on this set-up.
The key to making these work properly is the placement of the rig. They have to be farther than shoulder-width apart. If they're not, then the weight of the body compresses the springs and there is no pulling-away action for the pecs to resist. Another important key is to find a very strong, extension-type spring. After some searching I found these springs at Lowes (I saw them at Home Depot as well) used for porch swings. They're rated for 300 lbs. If they're too light, then your BW will simply stretch the spring without offering resistance. To sweeten the deal, these springs only cost about $10.00, well worth the investment as far as I'm concerned.
I haven't tried this out yet with push-ups but I'm sure that they'll also make push-ups a lot harder too.
I thought I'd pass this along in case anyone out there is looking for a cheap way to make pushing exercises on suspension gear harder.