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If you’re familiar with gymnastics then you probably know that the rings are one of the most impressive events. Not only do they make certain exercises like pull-ups more complex, but it takes an impressive amount of grip strength to hold yourself up. If you’re interested in taking your home workouts to the next level, then a set of gymnastics rings is a perfect choice. Throughout this article, I will be describing the key features that the best gymnastics rings should have, as well as providing several great options.
If you are looking to cut straight to the chase, then take a look at my number one recommendation below. Emerge wooden gymnastics rings are some of the best on the market. The suspension straps are made out of military-grade webbing, and the rings themselves are made out of solid wood that is built to last. Emerge rings can hold up to eight hundred pounds, so they will never break on you.
Emerge Wooden Gymnastics Rings
- 800lb weight capacity
- 1.5" suspension straps made with military grade-webbing
- Rings are 1.1" thick - regulation size
- Solid-wood construction makes for a good grip
- Portable- Hang them almost anywhere
You don’t want to buy just any set of gymnastics rings. Before you make a purchase, you should look for several key features that will ensure you’re getting a quality product.
The two most common ring materials are wood and textured plastic. It doesn’t really matter which you choose, but you have to consider where you’re going to be using them. If you plan to use them inside, then you should buy wooden gymnastics rings. Plastic has a tendency to crack over time with heavy use, so the wood will always be a superior option.
On the other hand, if you plan to use set-up your rings outside, then I would go with a high-quality plastic option. Wood does not do so well when it’s exposed to bad weather conditions. Depending on where you live, wood may be fine to use outside, but be prepared to replace them sooner.
Straps and Weight Capacity
I’m sure you’ve all seen cartoons where a character is hanging off of a cliff by a thread and then falls. Well, the same applies to real life, if you’re hanging from something that’s not strong enough to hold you, then it will snap. The best gymnastics rings will offer adjustable straps that can bind securely to whatever you’re hanging them from.
Straps are important whenever you’re working with a suspension trainer. Not only should be made with high-quality materials, but they should have the highest weight capacity possible. You need to make sure that the rings can support you, as to avoid injury or snapping.
Certains brands sometimes offer multiple ring sizes. The standard gymnastic ring size is 1.11 inches thick, which is usually comfortable for most adults and children to grip. This is the thickness used by the International Gymnastics Federation. The other common size is 1.25 inches thick, which is the ring size used in CrossFit.
If your plan is to practice gymnastics at home, then you probably want to choose a 1.1-inch model. On the other hand, if you are looking for rings solely for training, the 1.25 inch arguably feels better to use.
Just like the rings themselves, there are several different types of buckles. The buckle is what allows you to adjust the straps, and they are usually metal or plastic. Metal buckles are generally of better quality and they allow for faster adjustments.
How Easy Is It To Set Up?
You should look for a set of rings that is easy to assemble. Generally, the product should come with some instructions to simplify the process. The set-up should be as easy as securing your straps to the hardware your hanging from and then adjusting the rings accordingly.
Unless you’re a gymnast, you may be wondering what ring exercises are out there. Many of them are pull exercises, similar to those that you would do on a pull-up bar. It’s well known that ring workouts take a lot of upper-body strength, but overall they are very effective.
If you think regular pull-ups are great for back development, just wait until you try ring pull-ups. Performing the exercise is fairly self-explanatory, but you want to make sure you’re squeezing your lats at the top of each rep. These are slightly more difficult than normal pull-ups because each hand is gripping a ring and it’s harder to achieve general stability.
One of the best things about ring pull-ups is that they will quickly reveal grip imbalances. If you notice one hand giving out faster than the other, then there’s a good chance you have a grip imbalance. Consistent hanging from the rings will quickly fix this problem.
These are much harder than any sort of pull-up variation, but they are so great for upper-body strength. Some people will perform these as ring muscle-ups instead of doing them in a consecutive manner. It does not matter how you choose to do them, but just know they are quite difficult.
With a spotter, it will be easier to get yourself in the position to perform the dips. Your shoulders will need to be above ring-level to do these properly. If you’re capable of doing regular dips, then you should have no problem doing ring dips, even if you need a spotter to get up.
L-Sits / Hanging Leg Raises
Abdominal work gets way more challenging when you do it on gymnastics rings. Being able to do ab exercises requires more grip strength, stability, and keeping your core tight. Although there are a bunch of different exercises you can do, L-Sits and hanging leg raises are among my favorites.
For L-Sits, the goal is to hold your legs straight out, parallel to the ground. Hanging leg raises require you to raise your legs all the way to the hardware you’re hanging from. Your legs should be kept straight and you should exhale completely as you raise them.
PACEARTH Wooden Gymnastics Rings
One of the most durable options available. PACEARTH only makes rings that are 1.26 inches thick, so these are not FIG approved but they are perfect for home use. This is one of the best selling options online, so let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
The rings are made out of birch wood which is known to be quite strong and durable. They are 1.26” thick and support up to 1500lbs.
The suspension straps are wider than most competing brands. PACEARTH straps are 1.5” wide, while most brands are 1.38”.
There is a metal buckle for the straps which makes them very easy to adjust. The buckle has serrated teeth for extra hold on the straps. You can adjust the straps to nearly any length, with the longest being 14.76 feet.
These rings include YUNIX non-slip hand tapes that you can use for more grip. The wood is already comfortable to grip, but this is a nice added bonus.
Considering that the rings are quite thick, to begin with, the provided grip tape is not very helpful.
Some customers have reported the clasps breaking after frequent use.
You cannot use these rings outside. The wood will quickly splinter or wear down from the elements.
In terms of wooden rings, PACEARTH is a great option, but they are not my number one choice. If the company offered different sizes, they would certainly be a step above. Nonetheless, it’s nice that they provide you with free accessories like grip-tape.
If you’re looking for an outdoor set of rings, then these are perfect. There are certainly better choices for indoor use, but REEHUT is one of the best plastic options. In terms of price, this is a piece of equipment suitable for most budgets.
The rings come with a 16-page instructional e-book to help with set-up and functionality.
Unlike wooden rings, these can be used outside because they’re made out of ABS plastic.
The straps are 15 feet long and have a metal adjustment buckle. These are easy to use and adjust on any sturdy piece of hardware.
REEHUT offers a 30-day warranty on their products.
The straps themselves are very narrow at only 1-inch. Generally, wider straps are more durable and can handle more weight.
These rings only have a weight limit of 300-pounds. If you are near this weight, use these with caution or consider any of the other options.
There have been reports of the rings breaking mid-workout, thus leading to the user falling off.
These are slightly smaller than regulation-sized rings. Expect a thickness of 1-inch compared to the approved 1.11 inches.
Overall, I would probably avoid these unless you are planning to use them outside. Wooden gymnastics rings are just so much better in terms of quality and safety. If you are on a budget or are a smaller person, these are still a great choice.
As I stated at the beginning of this review, Emerge is my pick for the best gymnastics rings. This is a company that puts the safety and satisfaction of its customers first.
The straps are made with military-grade webbing that holds up to 800lbs. Emerge takes faulty equipment very seriously, so they go above and beyond with their straps.
These are 1.1-inch rings which make them regulation-size. Emerge refers to them as pro-style rings, because these are what the elite level gymnasts use.
They are made out of solid wood so they are easy to grip and will not snap over time.
Emerge will replace or refund any purchase that you’re not satisfied with.
They are very portable. You can hang these on any durable piece of hardware.
The rings do not come with an assembly manual or instructions.
Customer service can be hard to reach for this company.
These are wooden rings so you cannot use them outside.
Overall, the pros far outweigh the cons of this product. If you’re looking for gymnastics rings that are made with your safety in mind, then you should consider Emerge. This is an example of equipment that is effective and built to last.
Garage Fit Wood Gym Rings
Most brands do not offer several different strap colors, but Garage Fit is unique. In terms of aesthetics, these are a great option because you can choose your favorite strap color. They also offer two different sizes, making these suitable for competition or CrossFit.
You can get the straps in black, blue, or red. The black straps are numbered so that you can easily adjust both straps to the same length.
You can choose between a 1.1-inch or 1.25-inch ring thickness. The first option is regulation size, while the latter is perfect for CrossFit or home use.
These rings have a weight capacity of 550lbs, and the strap is 1.5 inches thick.
The straps measure 15 feet long and are fitted with a metal adjustment buckle. You can hang these rings from nearly any sturdy piece of hardware.
The wood is not treated so you cannot use these rings outside.
Garage Fit etches its company logo deep into the wood. This can make gripping the rings uncomfortable sometimes.
There have been a couple of instances where customers receive straps that have a defective buckle.
This is a nice set of rings, and the only thing holding them back is the slightly smaller weight capacity. The strap is thick, the wood is solid, and the company gives you options. You cannot go wrong with getting these for home use.
Conclusion and Final Rankings
If you want elite-level upper body strength, then it might be time to consider doing some ring exercises. Throughout this article, I have covered several of the best gymnastics rings you can buy for personal use. You can quickly get a home-gym experience at home with just this one piece of equipment.
Here are the final rankings, with 1 being the highest and 4 being the lowest.
There are hundreds of options out there, so the fact that these four products made the list is quite impressive. Wood is superior to plastic rings, and it will always be that way. Despite this, I still provided a plastic option if you seek to use them outside.
Anyone can benefit from owning a set of rings. Your grip and upper-body strength will improve, and you can add several exciting exercise variations. As always, remember to do your own research before making any purchase, these are just suggestions.