Gymnastics rings – What are the best ones, how to use and exercises with them

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Gymnastic rings come in two basic sizes, CrossFit and gymnastic standard, and with two materials, wood and plastic. Then there’s a variety of other factors to consider, such as weather resistance, the durability of the wood, and the quality of the straps. 

We’ve gathered up some of the best gymnastic rings and examined them for different fits with indoor and outdoor placement and for CrossFit vs. gymnastics. 

Overall, the Rogue Gymnastic Wood Rings came out on top for their high-quality wood, excellent straps, and great reputation. They have both CrossFit and gymnastic standard sizes and are not too much more expensive than other wood options. You’re really getting an excellent deal for such good quality equipment that is built to last and feels good to use. 

The Top Gymnastics Rings Reviewed

 Product's nameMaterialSizeMore Info
Best overall
ROGUE GYMNASTIC WOOD RINGS
WoodCrossFit and Gymnastic standardView Product
Titan Fitness Wooden Gymnastics Rings with Cam Buckle Straps, Home Gym Equipment, 8”Best
Titan Fitness Wooden Gymnastics Rings with Cam Buckle Straps, Home Gym...
WoodCrossFitSee latest price
Emerge Wooden Gymnastic Rings with Adjustable Straps |1.1' FIG Certified Olympic Size Ring |Gym Fitness Equipment |Calisthenics Pull Up Dip Station Full Body Workout Training |Exercise Home or OutdoorBest for gymnastics
Emerge Wooden Gymnastic Rings with Adjustable Straps |1.1" FIG Certified...
WoodGymnasticSee latest price
NAYOYA Gymnastic Rings Workout Set with Adjustable Straps for Full Body Strength Training and Bodyweight Crossfit ExerciseBest plastic rings
NAYOYA Gymnastic Rings Workout Set with Adjustable Straps for Full Body...
PlasticCrossFitSee latest price
Black Mountain Products 1200lbs Rated Multi-Use Exercise Gymnastics RingsBest budget option
Black Mountain Products 1200lbs Rated Multi-Use Exercise Gymnastics Rings
PlasticUnknownSee latest price

Find the right Gymnastics Rings for You

Best overall

#1- ROGUE GYMNASTIC WOOD RINGS

Rogue hits it out of the park again with the perfect wooden gymnastic ring. Many athletes prefer wood rings for their natural grip without the need for chalk. In addition, the distinct texture works well with your palms for long-term use.

These durable rings are built in the U.S. to handle Olympic-level training, including ring dips, muscle-ups, and ring rows. 

There are two options, the standard 1.25” diameter used in CrossFit and the 1.11” diameter built to FIG specifications (International Gymnastics Federation). The standard is larger and more challenging.

These wood rings are built for indoor use only. They have been explicitly tested for use in CrossFit competitions and are built for comfort and durability.

You’ll want to look into the Rogue Ring Hanger or the Rogue Rings Door Strap as options for suspending your rings. The rings do come with solid straps and fasteners to start with, but no mounting accessories. 

Pros

  • High Quality
  • Comfortable
  • Durable

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive
  • Wood isn’t weatherproof
  • Wood isn’t weatherproof
Titan Fitness Wooden Gymnastics Rings with Cam Buckle Straps, Home Gym Equipment, 8”

Best

#2- Titan Fitness Wooden Gymnastics Rings with Cam Buckle Straps, Home Gym Equipment, 8”

See latest price

Similar to Rogue’s offering, the Titan Fitness Wooden Gymnastic Rings are also weak to the elements and won’t do well outdoors. Otherwise, they are solid, resilient, and have that natural wood feel. 

These are 1.25” diameter rings, making them CrossFit standard. The included straps are a little basic but work well, measuring 15”. When working with the straps, they don’t seem to secure and move around as well as other straps, making the versatility of these rings slightly lower. But they can support up to 600 lbs. of weight capacity.   

Unfortunately, compared to the Rogue rings, the wood does feel a bit less finished, making them slightly less comfortable to grip. 

Overall, Titan’s rings are good but are out-matched by Rogue’s offering. 

Pros

  • Good weight capacity
  • Solid, natural wood

Cons

  • Slightly worse than Rogue’s
  • Less flexible straps
Emerge Wooden Gymnastic Rings with Adjustable Straps |1.1' FIG Certified Olympic Size Ring |Gym Fitness Equipment |Calisthenics Pull Up Dip Station Full Body Workout Training |Exercise Home or Outdoor

Best for gymnastics

#3- Emerge Wooden Gymnastic Rings with Adjustable Straps |1.1" FIG Certified Olympic Size Ring |Gym...

See latest price

Another solid wooden, the Emerge Premium Gymnastic Ring is a nice alternative to the Rogue 1.1” gymnastic standard ring set. 

It comes with great durability, strong straps, and an 800 lbs. weight capacity. The straps are made from military-grade webbing and feel firm to the touch. However, some reviews have indicated that not all the straps are up to the same level of quality and that there is inconsistency in the manufacturing.

The wood feels great and has an overall smooth finish. As we mentioned before, wood is great for its natural feel and less need for chalk. However, compared with plastic and metal, it can’t withstand the elements and must be kept indoors to maintain its durability.

Pros

  • High weight capacity
  • Solid strap and ring feel
  • Good wood finish for gymnastics

Cons

  • Some quality issues
NAYOYA Gymnastic Rings Workout Set with Adjustable Straps for Full Body Strength Training and Bodyweight Crossfit Exercise

Best plastic rings

#4- NAYOYA Gymnastic Rings Workout Set with Adjustable Straps for Full Body Strength Training and...

See latest price

The best weather-resistant ring set on our list, the NAYOYA Gymnastic Rings Workout Set is a solid set of plastic gymnastics rings.

The main benefit of plastic rings over wooden ones is their ability to survive the outdoors. In addition, these are versatile and can be used in a variety of conditions. The big difference is that plastic grips don’t grip as well and are not preferred by most athletes doing gymnastic rings. 

The NAYOYA rings are durable, easy to use, and can support a whopping 2000 lbs.

Now, it does get a bit tricky when it comes to the straps, as there is only one correct way to install them which could go wrong. Some reviewers have also found that the buckle degrades faster than expected, with a risk of breaking during intense maneuvers. 

Overall, these are an excellent ring set. 

Pros

  • Good quality for plastic rings
  • Good value
  • Can withstand the outdoors
  • High weight capacity

Cons

  • Doesn’t have the comfort or grip of wood
  • Buckle can degrade quickly
Black Mountain Products 1200lbs Rated Multi-Use Exercise Gymnastics Rings

Best budget option

#5- Black Mountain Products 1200lbs Rated Multi-Use Exercise Gymnastics Rings

See latest price

Another solid choice for plastic rings, the Black Mountain Products Gymnastic Rings are durable, more affordable than wood, and have better longevity in different weather conditions. 

These have an interesting, rougher texture than most plastic rings. Still going to need chalk, as the grip is not at a wooden level, but it is a nice touch. They are also surprisingly lightweight.

A bonus with this set is that it comes with a carrying bag. 

You also get those really high weight capacity numbers as a plastic set, with Black Mountain holding up to 1200 lbs. Making it very sturdy for any kind of maneuver. 

The 15 ft of straps are solid, but nothing special – they are only 1” in width of webbing, making them a little lackluster.

Pros

  • Good price and value
  • Interesting texture
  • Better able to withstand weather

Cons

  • Less comfortable
  • Lower quality brand and reputation
  • Thinner straps

How to Install your own Gymnastic Rings

First, you’ll have to decide where you’ll be hanging your gymnastic rings from. Here is a list of conventional anchor points:

  • The tree branch of a strong, stable tree
  • The top bar of a swing set
  • The top bar of a squat rack
  • Rafters or I-beams in a basement or garage
  • Hung from your door frame pull-up bar

The most important thing is proper installation. These are dangerous exercise devices if they are not installed correctly. 

If the straps are going over a rough surface, consider putting some old towels or blankets over the over so that the straps will run over to reduce wear and tear.

While there are a few different options for hanging your rings, clearance is a critical issue to keep in mind depending on the level of exercise you are planning to do. A door frame is probably the most straightforward, but it allows for the least range of movement and isn’t as stable as other options.

Finally, you’ll notice when you start using your rings that your hands might get calloused. You can use a pumice stone to simply scrape off the extra skin, or you can invest in some chalk, either powder or liquid, to help your hands get a solid grip on your rings.

Benefits of using Gymnastic Rings

  1. Fuller muscle workout. Gymnastic rings force you to stay balanced at all times, activating lots of smaller muscles in your arms, chest, and back. The instability of the rings is actually their strength when it comes to the exercise they provide. By doing a pull-up or push-up using them, you activate not just the regular muscles for that movement but quite a bit more.
  2. Surprisingly easy to set-up, if you are willing to go for things like tree branches and pull-up bars. But even if you just have access to a gym or garage, often you’ll already have the support structure built-in to support the rings.
  3. Creativity. Once you get used to using them, you can more easily get creative on gymnastic rings than with a lot of other equipment. You can flow between positions and let the rings’ unstable nature guide you. 
  4. Flexibility training. Compared with other equipment, gymnastic rings naturally force you to become more flexible. The mobility and flexibility it’ll grant you is something you’ll be thankful for in the future.
  5. Strength building. Finally, continuous use of gymnastic rings will provide many of the same benefits as a heavy resistance routine, just using your body weight. Instead of repetitive sets, gymnasts gain strength through their continuous routines that push themselves, not unlike athletes and dancers. 

The Best Gymnastic Ring Exercises

To help get you started, here are 6 of the best gymnastic ring exercises from easiest to hardest:

Hang From the Rings

The easiest exercise to get started, hang from the rings is just what it sounds like. It’ll help you to get started building grip strength, which you’ll likely have very little of to start.

If directly hanging from the rings proves too tricky, you can try lifting most of your weight onto the rings but not all of it. Leave some of one foot on the ground but still lean into the rings.

When hanging, one movement you can try is pulling your neck back past your shoulder blades, then back to relaxing. This is called a scapular retraction. 

Support Position

The support position is lifting your body by your arms as high as you can on the rings. Your arms should be going straight down at the height of this exercise. 

The rings will be wobbling in every direction, forcing you to stabilize them with your arms, activating lots of muscles throughout them.

If you’d like, you can begin practicing this one with your feet on the ground, lifting onto your tip-toes. This makes it an easier exercise to start off with while you’re still learning.

Ring Rows

Ring rows are an exercise on the way up to a pull-up on rings. You’ll want to set the rings up fairly low, around knee height, then lean back with both rings in hand. You should be learning at about a 45-degree angle to the floor.

Now, from the leaning position, pull yourself up by the rings until your head peeks through them, and then go back down to leaning.

You can also change up your feet position to increase or decrease the difficulty depending on the angle.

Ring Chin-ups

Ring chin-ups work the same as on a bar, by lifting your chin above the level of the bottom of both rings using your arms. However, there is added difficulty due to the balance of the rings compared to a regular chin-up. You can also switch up the hand positions to change which muscles it impacts.

Ring Dips

For a ring dip, start standing with the rings at your sides. Then tuck in your knees so you’re in a support position off the ground. Now, dip your body using your arms until your chest touches the rings, keeping your legs off the ground the whole time.

You can also choose to keep some of the pressure on your feet if you’d like to lighten the exercise or build up to it. 

Ring Muscle-up

The Ring muscle-up is the most difficult form yet on the list. It is like doing a chin-up, but going all the way into the support position. 

You begin in a false grip, that is, hands a bit higher up on the ring, with your body relaxed at the below the rings in a hang from rings position. 

Then, pull yourself up into a chin-up position with rings facing forward in your false grip. 

Finally, keep going upward until you reach the support position. 

Extra – performing a false grip:

  1. Place your wrist in behind the ring with your pinky side touching the ring at the base of the hand. 
  2. Grab the inside of the ring along the side.

The false grip is a lot harder than a regular grip for most exercises if you were looking for a challenge. 

FAQs for Gymnastic Rings

Are gymnastic rings worth it?

Yes, depending on how difficult it would be for you to set up. In many home gyms, you might not have a place to hook the rings to the ceiling. You’ll likely want to set them up in the garage or basement. Otherwise, they are a fantastic addition to any workout routine.

Are gymnastic rings a good workout?

Gymnastic rings workout more than one muscle group at a time, and use all your muscles for balance, similar to climbing. The complex combination of muscles also helps with fat burning, flexibility, and strength training.

Can you build muscle with gymnastic rings?

Yes. They are a great tool to work out a large number of muscles at the same time and can be used to heighten the difficulty of many standard calisthenics. 

Conclusion

We’ve found out that there are loads of great reasons to use gymnastic rings. Not only are they great for flexibility and mobility, but they help with strength building too.

There are a few different factors we had to consider when deciding between rings. Foremost among them was whether they worked for CrossFit vs. standard gymnastics and whether they were made of wood or plastic. 

Depending on what set-up you were looking for, different options come out on top. Overall, the best pick was the Rogue Gymnastic Wood Rings, which combined quality, durability, and a great wooden feel. 

However, if you were looking for a solid plastic set, the NAYOYA Gymnastic Rings Workout Set is not bad. It’s less expensive, has a huge weight capacity, and can better deal with the outdoors. 

The Black Mountain Products Multi-Use Exercise Gymnastics Rings are a good final contender, which is great value with the carry bag added. This is probably the best budget option on the list and sports a decent design.

About Julien

Hey! Thanks for being here. I’ve been active pretty much my whole life and I discovered Crossfit about 5 years ago. I want to help you improve your Crossfit performances by giving tips on specific movements, workouts and equipment. You have a question? Get in touch!

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