The 10 Best Gymnastic Rings for Calisthenics

Best Gymnastic Rings

Gymnastic rings are great for your calisthenics workout because they add another level of difficulty to your exercise. In gymnastics, the rings are one of the most spectacular acts with amazing acrobatic stunts being performed on them. These athletes are built big, with broad shoulders and an amazingly powerful core. If you desire a similar physique yourself trough calisthenics or learn to control your entire body, you’ll need the best gymnastic rings too! Today we’ll discuss our top 10 best gymnastic rings, what choices you have and of course, how to use them to mold your body into that of an Olympic superman. So, let’s get started.

Why use Gymnastic Rings?

In short, gymnastic rings give you more mobility and less stability. That way your body needs a stronger, more stable core to perform the same number of reps of whatever applicable exercise you choose to do. It will take more effort on your part to achieve the same number of pull-ups using the gymnastic rings than on the pull-up bars. They are the logical next step when you’ve reached your plateau and are no longer experiencing proper overload of your muscles. By introducing a new dimension of difficulty with the gymnastic rings, you can break through that plateau and reach new heights in fitness. They will be a meaningful addition to your toolkit, especially when it comes to enhancing your upper-body strength and core strength.

Types of Gymnastic Rings

Gymnastic rings come in three basic types, depending on the material they are made from; wood, plastic or steel. They are usually suspended by either rope or, more commonly today, canvas straps. They come in various girths, the best suited for your purposes we will discuss below. The best gymnastic rings are made to the official Olympic girth of 1.1 inch or 2.8 cm. Other common sizes are between 1 inch and 1¼ inches, so not deviating much from the Olympic standard. The Olympic 1.1 inch will accommodate for 90% of athletes’ hands. Nevertheless, a slightly smaller or slightly bigger set of rings may be appropriate for you, depending on the size of your hands.

Suspension straps also come in different sizes where the thicker the strap, the more weight it can carry. Their lengths vary, most often between 9 and 18 feet provided with the rings. The best quality gymnastic rings come with 1½ inch wide straps and are 12 to 15 feet in length.

Overview of the 10 best Gymnastic Rings for Calisthenics 

As you are accustomed too from us, we’ve collected all the available useful information on our favorite gymnastic rings. Our choice in gymnastic rings is fueled by our own dedication and love for calisthenics. This undoubtedly influenced our decision-making. To make sure we’ve not gone overboard with our own zealous enthusiasm, we’ve cross-referenced our own choices with that of top-athletes and of market-leading manufacturers of cutting-edge calisthenics equipment who invest in quality over all else.

#1 Workout Rings Set from GORNATION

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10% off with our code: CWW10

Discount available

10% off with our code: CWW10

  • Size: 1.1 inch Olympic Standard (2.8cm)
  • Material: Birch Wood
  • Maximum load: 1322lbs / 600kg
  • Includes transport bag: Yes 
  • Price: $58.50 / €49.90
  • Discount: 10% off with our code: CWW10  

Firmly in place on our number one spot you’ll find the gymnastic rings from GORNATION. These high-quality rings are made from birch wood, the same wood they use in their paralettes and which is also used to make longboards and skateboards. This type of wood is extremely durable and will last a lifetime if properly stored in a dry place. 

These gymnastic rings can be used both indoors and outdoors. Like with all wooden rings, you should avoid leaving the lying outside, exposed to the elements like rain and snow or large differences in the temperature. We’ll discuss proper care for gymnastic rings of different materials after the review section of this article.

The gymnastic rings by GORNATION come with strong and safe 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) straps, 14ft’9in (4.5 m) in length. These straps can take a total weight of 660lbs (300kg) each, which should be sufficient for any athlete to use. They can be safely hung from the highest bars. You can use the buckles to adjust the length of the straps accordingly. 

With these rings you will get a robust bag made of rugged canvas for safe transport. They’ll also keep the straps free of damages which may be sustained by inappropriate storage. Also included is a loadable door-anchor which lets you attach the ring to your door frame. Combined they allow you to use your GORNATION gymnastic rings at home or take them with you to a calisthenics parc outside.

The great quality of these wooden gymnastic rings, the strength and quality of the straps and the added storage bag and door anchor make the rings by GORNATION our favorite for both beginning and advanced calisthenics practitioners.

#2 Gravity Fitness Wooden Gymnastic Rings

  • Size: 1.1 inch Olympic Standard (2.8cm) or 1¼ inch (3.2cm)
  • Material: Birch Wood
  • Maximum load: 880lbs / 400kg
  • Includes transport bag: No
  • Price: $47.88 / €40.84

Gravity Fitness (GF) delivers great quality with their wooden gymnastic rings. Comparable to GORNATION, they are slightly cheaper to buy yet can’t hold as much weight and you don’t get some of the extras, like a transport bag or door anchor. Available in two sizes, 1.1 inch and 1¼ inch, they cater to a wider public by including people with larger hands or who simply prefer thick rings.

The strong and rugged straps are made of sustainable material which can hold a total of 880lbs of weight (400kg). The length of the straps can be easily adjusted with the buckles.

If you have any Gravity Fitness Pull-Up Rack (portable, rack or power tower) you should buy these as the rings are designed to be paired with these racks and bars. This does not mean they will not work on other racks or bars and they can also be used outdoors in a calisthenics parc.

#3 Pull-Up & Dip Wooden Gymnastic Rings

Discount available

10% off with our code: CWW10

Discount available

10% off with our code: CWW10

  • Size: 1.1 inch Olympic Standard (2.8cm)
  • Material: Birch Wood
  • Maximum load: 880lbs / 400kg
  • Includes transport bag: Yes 
  • Price: $58.50 / €49.90
  • Discount: 10% off with our code: CWW10  

Pull-Up & Dip present themselves as the direct competitors to GORNATION. Their high-quality birch wood gymnastic rings are very comparable to those by GORNATION. You also receive a handy storage bag and a door anchor so you can take your gymnastic rings anywhere and train either from your own home or outdoors.

The 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) nylon straps, 14ft’9in (4.5 m) in length, can hold a maximum of 880lbs (400 kg). They are length adjustable with quick-release buckles, comparable to those of GORNATION. We believe that, for the price, higher quality straps could have been provided to truly compete with the best gymnastic rings on the market. You can still use our discount code to pick them up at a reduced price.

#4 Gymnastic Wooden Rings from Rubberbanditz

  • Size: 1¼ inch (3 cm)
  • Material: “Premium” Wood (unspecified)
  • Maximum load: Any Weight (880lbs / 400kg)
  • Includes transport bag: No 

The gymnastic rings of Rubberbanditz are made of a premium wood, the exact species not being specified. Their finish is smoothly sanded, leaving a comfortable neither slippery nor rough grip for your hands. Slightly larger than normal, being just under 1¼ inch girth, they are not of Olympic standard but not quite as large as other wooden rings. 

The nylon straps come in either 11ft’10in or 16ft’5in (3.6m or 5m) in length with stainless steel buckles for easy mounting and length adjustment. They can be used on any Rack, Pull-Up Bar or even a strong tree branch. No exact maximum load is given but is likely to be between 550lbs and 880lbs (250kg to 400kg). Rubberbanditz seems adamant about the quality and durability of their gymnastic rings and offer you a lifetime warranty.

 #5 Titan Fitness Wooden Gymnastic Rings

  • Size: 1¼ inch (3 cm)
  • Material: “Solid” Wood (unspecified)
  • Maximum load: 600lbs / 272kg
  • Includes transport bag: No 

If you’re looking for cheaper, entry level gymnastic rings the wooden rings from Titan Fitness are a dependable choice. Made of an unspecified solid wood, they are strong and robust yet do feel lighter than the more expensive options. They come with 14ft’9in (4.5 m) long nylon straps of 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) thick. 

The maximum load capacity is 600lbs (272kg) which should prove more than sufficient for most calisthenics practitioners. It is, however, considerably below that of the more expensive gymnastic rings which will come into play with power exercises which put more Newtonian force on the straps, like muscle-ups. For such strenuous, explosive exercises a higher maximum load is preferable.

The wooden rings from Titan Fitness don’t come in a bag or any other features except for buckles. A good choice if you don’t want to spend too much money.

#6 Rogue Gymnastic Rings

  • Size: 1¼ inch (3 cm)
  • Material: Steel
  • Maximum load: Unspecified
  • Includes transport bag: No 

There is an increasing demand for metal rings which Rogue provides for with this set of steel gymnastic rings. Made of 14-gauge tubular steel, they are next to indestructible when it comes to the forces exerted by the human body. The rings are powder coated for protection and rust-prevention and an additional grip-friendly exterior coat for enhanced comfort. They feel amazing in the hand and are a great fit for most athletes’ hands. They are nevertheless made of steel and less forgiving than wooden rings. You are advised to wear gloves while doing your calisthenics with these rings. 

The 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) straps are made of nylon and are 15ft’11in (4.85 m) in length. You get nothing extra with these steel gymnastic rings but you can buy optional accessories like extra straps, a ring hanger, ring pouch or door straps. Somewhat unique compared to other rings, the straps come in different colours of your choosing, for instance ranger green or desert tan for just $3 more.

#7 Wooden Gymnastic Rings from Amazon

  • Size: 1.2 inch (3.1 cm)
  • Material: Wood (unspecified)
  • Maximum load: 1600lbs / 725kg (disputed)
  • Includes transport bag: No 

Our list of wooden gymnastic rings wouldn’t be complete without mentioning those from Amazon. They have no specific brand and it is unknown to us what type of wood is used. They feel comfortable enough in the hand but do tend to get slippery when wet with sweat. This isn’t something that normally would be a problem with wooden rings but the Amazon rings are the exception. They “fix” this problem by providing you with some non-slip gymnastic tape. 

The 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) straps appear to be made of nylon, although we’re not certain. You get an ample 14ft’9in (4.5m) in length of straps. They claim a maximum load of a whopping 1600lbs (725kg) when both straps are in use. Even the canvas straps from GORNATION don’t boast that high a maximum load. Whether this is due to GORNATION being very conservative about their figures or that Amazon is using maximum failure load for theirs or some other (potentially less benign) reason, we don’t know. You’re not going to put so much force on it, but for the price this just seems too good to be true.

At this price range we’d recommend either plastic rings or paying more for a better set of wooden rings.

 #8 Nayoya Gymnastic Rings

  • Size: 1 inch (2.54 cm)
  • Material: Plastic
  • Maximum load: 2000lbs / 907kg (disputed)
  • Includes transport bag: No 

The best plastic gymnastic rings (according to us) are those from Nayoya. Being extremely strong, these rings are durable and will last you a lifetime. Unlike wood, these plastic rings will not deteriorate due to exposure, moisture or age. Slightly smaller at 1 inch, they still feel good in the hand. It is advised to use non-slip gymnastic tape when using these rings. The plastic will get more slippery, more easily than wooden rings. This makes the use of these rings less suitable for exercises which suspend you into a dangerous position should you lose your grip, such as Muscle-Ups, Ring Push-Ups and Front Levers.

These rings should stand up to a whopping 2000lbs (907 kg) maximum load, as reported by Nayoya. This is quite the claim to make, even more so than the claim by Amazon. What we’re almost certain off is that this figure is for the rings themselves, not the nylon straps. We would not be surprised if the higher quality wooden rings would also stand up to this weight. 

A clue that their given figure speaks of the rings and not the straps is the straps themselves. These are made of nylon and are just under 1.5 inches in thickness. That’s less than most other straps and less material usually means less tensile strength. You do get an abundant 14ft’9in (4.5 m) of it.

#9 Nordic Lifting Gymnastic Rings

  • Size: 1.1 inch (2.75 cm)
  • Material: Plastic
  • Maximum load: Unspecified
  • Includes transport bag: Yes

The plastic gymnastic rings from Nordic Lifting present us with somewhat of a conundrum. On face value we’re given a sufficient package to get straight into our calisthenics. The plastic rings are almost of Olympic size and provide a good, firm grip. Like with any plastic ring you should use either gloves or gymnastic tape to prevent slippage. 

You’re given a very generous length of straps, being a lavish 20 feet (6 meters)! This can even be a bit cumbersome as you can easily trip over the straps or tangle them up in the storage bag. Good strap management when suspending these rings is a must. If you’re doing calisthenics from that great old oak in your backyard, however, this might be an advantage.

We’re not given the maximum load by Nordic Lifting. We won’t give you any definitive answer but after testing of our own we could hang 220lbs (100kg) from either ring, for a total of 440lbs (200kg).

#10 Reehut Gym Rings

  • Size: 1 inch (2.54 cm)
  • Material: Plastic
  • Maximum load: Unspecified
  • Includes transport bag: No 

At an absolute entry level, we find the Reehut Gym Rings. These plastic rings are utilitarian at best and should only be used for basic exercises like Ring Push-Ups. They are prone to becoming slippery from sweat, despite Reehut stating otherwise, and you should wear gloves or make use of gymnastic tape. The rings are made of ABS plastic, which is stable and durable even in bad weather conditions.

The 1 inch straps are small compared with the other straps which leads us think they don’t hold as much weight as the others. Again, 440lbs was what we tested and what it carried without problems. You get 14ft’9in (4.5 m) in length.

If you’re absolutely strapped for cash and want to get into gymnastic rings for your calisthenics, you can buy these and use them for basic exercises. Otherwise, we suggest investing a couple dollars more for either the Nayoya rings or a decent pair of wooden gymnastic rings.

Differences in Material for Gymnastic Rings

There are 3 main materials when it comes to rings: Wood, metal and plastic. We’ll go over the pros and cons of all three so you can make an educated decision for yourself.

Wooden Rings

There is a reason wooden gymnastic rings are also used in the Olympics. Wooden rings, especially those made of birch wood, feel great in your hands. Even if you sweat a lot, it still provides grip without the use of non-slip tape. Best for inside use, many are coated and can be used without problem in the outdoors. They do take more care, such as not being left outside, not being left on wet surfaces, be stored dry and at a reasonably stable temperature. You should clean them with a moist cloth and then wipe them dry before storing. Avoid using any chemicals on them. With proper use, care and storage, many will last you a lifetime.

In our opinion, the best gymnastic rings are those made from wood. They offer superior grip, are the most comfortable to hold and are the most environment friendly.

Metal Rings or Steel Rings

Metal rings are heavier and provide great grip and comfort with the proper coating. Paired with strong straps, you can confidently perform explosive calisthenics using steel gymnastic rings. They tend to feel like steel bars and get slippery more easily than wooden rings. Wearing gloves or using tape or chalk is advised. They are often more expensive than wooden rings but come with great strength and durability. Metal rings are hand washable by using a moist cloth and then wiping them dry thoroughly. Avoid using chemicals or you may risk damage to the coating.

Plastic Rings

Plastic rings are the cheapest option and serve a good entry-level option for gymnastic rings. They are very durable as they are unaffected by climate or moisture. They can be cleaned with chemicals with only discoloration as a substantial risk, although just using a moist cloth is usually enough. Plastic lacks the grip wooden rings and even coated metal rings provide. They are prone to becoming slippery quickly from sweaty hands and will always require either wearing gloves or using gymnastic tape.

Training / Workout with Gymnastic Rings

You can make effective and efficient use of gymnastic rings for working out almost all body parts. By hanging them higher or lower, you’ll be affecting different parts like the chest, shoulders, back, abdomen and even the legs. They shine brightest when used to focus on your chest and shoulders or your back and shoulder blades. Here are some suggestion exercises you can do with gymnastic rings:

Hanging the rings high

  • Pull-up
  • Chin-up
  • Front lever
  • Back lever
  • Leg raises
  • Skin the cat
  • Windshield wipers

Hanging the rings middle

  • Assisted pistol squat
  • Chest fly’s
  • (decline) push-up
  • Rows
  • Reverse fly’s
  • Rear delt butterfly
  • Chest dips

Hanging the rings low

  • Push-up
  • Pike push-up
  • Donkey kicks
  • Shoulder anteflexion

FAQ Gymnastic Rings

How To Set Up Your Gymnastic Rings
You can use gymnastic rings almost anywhere where the length of the provided straps allow suspension. Some options to hang your rings:
  • Over a pull-up bar
  • Over a thick tree branch
  • Over a climbing frame
How Do I Hang My Gymnastic Rings?
Your rings are quite easy to set up. First, place the strap over the bar you want to hang the ring on. Second, pull the strap through the ring itself. Last, pull the strap through the buckle from behind. This is very important so it doesn’t come loose when you’re exercising. Press the buckle down so it opens, push the strap through the opening and close it firmly. Now pull firmly on the strap to see if its moves. If you cannot move the strap through the buckle by hand, you’ve seated it securely. If it does give, you’ve most likely fed the strap through the wrong side of the buckle.
How High Should You Hang Your Calisthenic Rings?
Most exercises are performed with the rings high above you (pull-ups), on chest height (dips/Australian pull-ups) or down below (abdomen/push-ups). It is easy to adjust the height by pulling the strap up or down (release the buckle for down). With high exercises, make sure you don’t touch the ground in a dead hang position and with any low exercise make sure your back is straight.

Conclusion

We hope you have learnt all you need to know to confidently buy your own gymnastic rings. In our opinion, the best gymnastic rings are made from wood with GORNATION at the top of the list. But plastic rings or steel rings can also fit your specific situation, say for budget reasons or for particular exercises. Before you make your decision, go over the known specifications of the desired set of rings and make sure they accommodate your needs. Where will you be using them? Are the straps long enough? Indoors only or also outdoors? Do you pair them with a Pull-Up Rack or bar, and does this pair with a specific brand? By knowing these things and knowing what to look for, you can save yourself some problems later on.

Discount available

10% off with our code: CWW10

Discount available

10% off with our code: CWW10

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