Ings was born in Winchester, Hampshire and grew up in Netley, Hampshire. As a child he attended Netley Abbey Primary School and Hamble Community Sports College. Ings dreamed of playing for local club Southampton, but was rejected for being too small. He signed for Southampton from Netley Central Sports, before being released as a school boy. After his release, Ings played for Itchen Tyro. He subsequently signed a two-year apprentice contract with AFC Bournemouth in May 2008, having progressed through the club's Centre of Excellence while he was still at secondary school at Hamble Community Sports College. He had also previously had experience playing for the reserve team. He made his professional debut for Bournemouth on 6 October 2009, in a 2–1 away defeat to Northampton Town in the Football League Trophy, replacing Jason Tindall in the second half as a substitute. His second season in the youth team was blighted by a long-term abdominal injury, which restricted his playing time. He remained with the youth team until the summer of 2010, when he signed a short-term three-month contract. He extended his contract in September 2010, until the end of the 2010–11 campaign.