Whether you’re an aspiring gymnast or someone looking to build muscle at home without weights, gymnastic rings are a perfect place to start.
In the past, gymnastic rings were mostly seen used by gymnasts in the Olympics. However, this piece of workout gear later became popular as CrossFit and calisthenics equipment. It is also highly versatile as it is suited for various workouts and environments.
Due to their adaptability and affordability, gymnastics rings have become a staple for just about any home gym. If you’re looking to add a set to your fitness regimen, here is everything you need to know about these rings, as well as the best ones to buy.
Benefits of Training with Hanging Gymnastics Rings
There is plenty to gain from training with gymnastic rings – and not just muscle. However, muscle hypertrophy is a big plus, too.
Due to the unstable nature of the rings, you will have to engage even more muscle fibers to stabilize yourself and prevent swinging. This also means longer time under tension, which is a key component in muscle building.
Along with stabilization and muscle gain, these rings are also great for improving your endurance, strength, and mobility. Ring workouts generally involve compound or full-body movements requiring multiple muscle groups to maintain a certain position.
These positions stimulate natural movement patterns, reducing the stress on your tendons and ligaments, and improving your range of motion.
Lastly, a gymnastic ring is a highly versatile piece of equipment, and you can set it up just about anywhere. This way, you can train at home, at the gym, or your local park. Simply find a stable place to hang it, be it a calisthenics pull-up bar or sturdy tree branch.
Best Gymnastics Rings Buying Guide
As with most pieces of workout equipment, you will want to invest in a pair of gymnastic rings that are high-quality and will last long. To ensure you find the right ones, here are the required criteria to consider when looking for the best gymnastic rings to buy.
Gymnastic ring size
Gymnast rings generally come in two sizes. This includes the smaller 1.1-inch FIG size rings (International Gymnastics Federation official size) and the slightly larger 1.25-inch size rings.
The larger of the two is typically used in sports like Crossfit. The size you choose will depend on the activity you plan on using it for, as well as the size of your hands.
Gymnastic ring material
The material of the ring is one of the most important factors when trying to find the right set. Common materials used include plastic, steel, and wood.
Plastic rings are a good option for anyone looking for a durable product. Unlike steel and wooden options, these can be left outdoors and will show little to no wear and tear. However, plastic is usually not preferred as it is not very grip-friendly, especially when you’re sweating.
Steel rings are a popular choice as these are easier to grip. While this is a huge plus, these are heavier to carry around and tend to cause calluses to form on your hands. To prevent this and improve your grip on the ring, consider using gym chalk.
Wooden rings are a favorite among many athletes and gymnasts as these offer a more natural feel, have a lighter weight, and are easier to grip. Unlike plastic and metal, these do not become slippery when you start to sweat.
The only downside to these is that they are not as durable. However, if you care for them properly, they can easily last a decade.
Gymnastic ring straps
Straps are essential when it comes to gymnastic rings safety. As such, you should look for ones with a quality secure-system. The most common secure-system is the cam-buckle, which has either a narrow or wide size.
The narrow cam-buckle is made for 1.1-inch straps, while the wide one fits 1.5-inch straps. The wider secure-system is preferred for beginners as it usually comprises high-quality, heavy-duty materials. These straps also provide greater support and stability, ideal when doing various exercises like ring push-ups.
Review of the 3 Best Gymnastic Rings
Looking for the best rings but unable to find any suitable answers? Here are the details and comprehensive reviews of our top three picks.
- Type: Gymnastics, Calisthenics, Crossfit
- Material: Wood
- Size: 1.25 inch diameter
- Price: $$
Used in the past three Crossfit Games, the American-made Rogue’s Wood Gymnastic Ring is among the very best. These feature a textured, grip-friendly surface, providing a more natural feel than training rings made from steel or plastic.
The wooden finish also provides a classic look, reminiscent of the American wood gym rings of the past. Each set of Crossfit rings comes with Rogue’s heavy-duty nylon straps and buckle system. This allows for quick, easy adjustments and setup.
These gymnastic rings are also highly versatile as you can hang them on a pull-up bar in your gym or outdoors on a swing set frame. Suitable exercises that these rings are designed to withstand include Olympic-caliber ring dips, pull-ups, ring push-ups, levers, and plenty more.
- Type: Gymnastics, Calisthenics, Crossfit
- Material: Gauge Steel
- Size: 1.25-inch diameter
- Price: $$
The Rogue Gymnastics Rings are the brand’s first product, manufactured back in 2006. These two rings helped establish the level of excellence people associate with the Rogue brand. Today, these American-made, heavy-duty steel rings remain a reliable option among gymnasts, athletes, and everyday gym-goers.
The rings feature a 1.25-inch 14-gauge steel tubing that is welded by hand. They are also powder-coated with a zinc phosphate plating underneath, providing a textured and grip-friendly feel.
The steel gym rings come with ultra-durable adjustable straps and a buckle system. These straps are easily adjustable, and you can set up the rings indoors or outdoors.
Regardless of where you set these up, be it in your home gym or outdoors, you’re guaranteed to get a solid workout. Designed to endure everything from bodyweight exercises to an Olympic gymnast regimen, these Rogue pull-up rings are a strength training staple.
- Type: Gymnastics, Strength Training, Conditioning
- Material: Wood
- Size: 9.25-inch outside diameter
- Price: $
PACEARTH specializes in outdoor gear and fitness equipment. Among their spectacular range of products are the PACEARTH gymnastic rings.
These rings are remarkably solid, supporting up to 1600 pounds. They are also environmentally versatile, so they can be used outdoors or in your home gym.
A unique feature of these acrobat rings is the double-sided tape that comes with them. The tape has sweat absorption and anti-dust properties and ensures that your hands do not slip off easily.
Additionally, the set includes two cam buckles and adjustable straps that connect to the rings. The straps are wider, which is more durable and safe. And with a max length of 15 feet, there is plenty of room to make adjustments depending on the exercise you wish to perform.
Gymnastic Rings Exercise Options
A well-structured gymnastic ring workout combines and prioritizes strength, hypertrophy, and joint health. Most often, you can achieve this through pulling movements.
Pulling exercises include pull-ups, rows, and muscle-ups. These are great for developing the muscles in your back and arms while improving your grip strength.
Besides pulling movements, there are many other exercises you can do. You can perform push movements like push-ups, as well as various control or stabilization and core exercises.
Overall, gymnast rings are one of the best tools to develop a strong, healthy, and balanced upper body. To help you get started, here is a list of exercises to include in your gymnastic ring training routines.
- Pull-ups or chin-ups (pull)
- Ring rows (pull)
- Ring push-ups (push)
- Eccentric chest fly (push)
- Ring dips (push)
- Muscle-ups (pull and push)
- Suspension face pulls (joint health)
- Suspension roll outs (core)
- Suspended planks (core)
Best Gymnastic Ring Summary
If you’re looking for a piece of workout equipment that you can take with you wherever you go, a pair of rings is a good option. Whether you use your gymnastic rings at home or someplace outdoors, these are sure to give you a challenging workout.
Just be sure you’re purchasing a good-quality set. With the information provided in the guide above, as well as the product recommendations, you are sure to find a pair that is best suited to your hand size, exercise requirements, and preferences.
Tried any of the products mentioned in the list above? If so, would you recommend them to others too?