Gymnastic rings are gymnastic apparatus used by recreational individuals and gymnasts and build extreme upper body strength.
The instability of gymnastic rings helps engage your core and target muscles traditional exercises can’t.
Below, you’ll find the best gymnastic rings compiled by our expert panel, and how to use them for maximum benefits.
1. Elite Gymnastic Rings
These gymnastic rings are highly durable and safe with its quality texture and trustworthy buckles and straps. With its solid buckles and non-slip straps, they’re quick to set up, so you can jump right into your workout. It even comes with home workout videos to make sure you hit the right muscles and use good form.
The durability, ring texture, quick setup, and additional guidance of these gymnastic rings are why they ranked #1.
2. Double Circle Wooden Gymnastic Rings
If you’re looking for incredibly strong and durable wooden rings, these are the ones to get. They’re crafted with the best quality wood and come with 4 extra strong carabiners for the straps to make sure you never have to do minute adjustments while working out.
With its compact and lightweight rings, you can easily carry them with you to workout anywhere.
3. Emerge Wooden Gymnastic Rings
These are one of the most secure gymnastic rings out there with its heavy-duty trainers and military-grade webbing straps which helps prevent injury.
They fit with you easily making them convenient for you to take anywhere.
4. Black Mountain Gymnastic Rings
One of the easiest gymnastic rings to set up, these lightweight and portable rings can be used anywhere. They’re carved with extra-long nylon wraps and hold a maximum of 1200 lbs.
5. NEXPRO Wood Gymnastic Rings
These gymnastic rings are an advanced design for added stability creating a fun and athletic challenge for any fitness level. They’re sculpted as one of the highest quality wooden rings on the market.
6. PACEARTH Wood Gymnastic Rings
With its secure serrated edge buckle and holding a capacity weight up to 1500 pounds, these gymnastic rings are among the safest. It comes with extra non-slip tapes guaranteeing a firm grip through each movement.
7. TITAN Fitness Wood Gymnastic Rings
If you’re looking to train for gymnastics, these are ideal. They’re made from sturdy, solid wood and are equipped with cam buckle, adjustable straps making them perfect for swinging and gymnastics training.
8. Iron Bull Strength Gymnastic Rings
Furnished with heavy-duty straps made of thick nylon, these gymnastic rings ensure your straps will be safe, secure, and never slip. Since they’re made from heavy-duty solid ABS, they’re one of the strongest plastic gymnastic rings available.
9. Nayoya Gymnastic Rings
These gymnastic rings are made of PC plastic which prevents slipping from a sweaty workout and supports up to 2,000 pounds. They only take 5 minutes to set up, so they’re a great home gym substitute.
10. xFitness Wood Gymnastic Rings
These come with heavy-duty straps to ensure no slipping and sliding during workouts. Their enhanced flexible buckles make them easy to set up saving you time and hassle.
How We Ranked
Firstly, we looked at how durable the rings were when ranking gymnastic rings. If the ring’s not durable, you have a greater chance of injuring yourself. Nayoya Gymnastic Rings are ranked toward the bottom since it’s rings are plastic which is less durable than it’s wood and metal counterpart. However, it supports up to 2,000 pounds which is why it ranked in the top 10. You also want strong straps for durable gymnastic rings which is why Emerge Wooden Gymnastic Rings was highly ranked. Even though NEXPRO Wood Gymnastic Rings are made of wood which although are more durable than plastic, aren’t quite as durable as metal rings, it’s made with the highest quality wood and is an advanced design for higher durability ranking it higher than the gymnastic rings that follow.
Secondly, we looked at how sturdy the grip of the rings are. You don’t want a ring that’s easy to slip off from or that will rip your hands. Grip strengthens your grip and prevents your hands from tearing. PACEARTH Wood Gymnastic Rings earned its way towards the middle of our ranking because it’s rings are built with non-slip tapes to ensure you don’t slip off when doing exercises and to keep your hands rip free. Elite Gymnastics Rings is ranked number with one of its great features being its non-slip grip rings.
Another component you want to take into consideration is how easy the rings are to set up. A ring that’s easy to set up means you can get to your workout quicker. Although xFitness Wood Gymnastic Rings came up short on our list, it made the ranking because it’s enhanced flexible buckles makes for an easy setup.
The final thing we looked at was how portable each gymnastic ring is. Having the capability to workout from anywhere can make gymnastic rings a lot more desirable. Black Mountain Gymnastic Rings ranked in the top 5 because of how portable the extra-long nylon straps are. The wooden durability combined with the portability of the Double Circle Wooded Gymnastic Rings is why it made the top two. Its rings are compact and lightweight making them easy to travel with.
Gymnastic rings decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease. The American Council on Exercise commissioned a study on 16 healthy young men and women aged 21-71 years old to look at the long-term effects of TRX training. (TRX training is a form of suspended training similar to gymnastic rings.)
The results showed 400 calories burned per session and significant decreases in waist circumference, body fat percentage and resting blood pressure after training with TRX bands for eight weeks. Also, the participants improved their muscle strength and endurance as well.
This analysis concludes suspended training likely decreases your risk for cardiovascular disease (1).
Gymnastic rings increase your core strength. A study published by the Journal of Human Kinetics concluded that suspended training activated the core muscles (2). Another study supported this, by showing suspension training activated the core muscles higher than 60% of the maximal voluntary contraction in suspension abdominal exercises (3).
Moreover, a 2014 study looked at the effect a suspended plank had on abs and demonstrated that planks from a suspended position activates the core more than floor-based planks (4).
Gymnastic rings improve the muscular strength of trunk and back flexion. Sanda is a form of Chinese boxing. A 2017 study conducted on 12 Sanda athletes set out to determine the athlete’s trunk power from suspension training compared to traditional training. Suspension training was reported to increase trunk power more than traditional training (5).
Gymnastic rings increase your static strength. Static strength is your ability to hold a position without movement. A gymnastic-specific study was performed on 9 elite male gymnasts to test their maximum strength and endurance over a 4 week training period using eccentric-isokinetic cluster training. The gymnast’s maximum static strength increased significantly from ring movements, proving even top-performing athletes can considerably increase their performance training with gymnastic rings in only 4 weeks. (6).
Gymnastic rings can’t be replicated in other movements. In a study issued in 2009, muscle activity and coordination were examined during a swallow performance on rings, using a counterweight and during 2 training exercises using dumbbells and a barbell.
6 top-level gymnasts participated in the study and showed that when doing the swallow on rings, the pectoralis major participated less in shoulder flexion as compared to its counterweight exercise. Also, it showed the dumbbell and barbell movements to target different muscles (7).
Another study looked at surface electromyography of nine shoulder muscles in two iron cross conditions in gymnastics. 6 male gymnasts performed 10 IC (iron cross) on rings and compared the muscle activation of the shoulder to heridos – a custom device made by coaches to stimulate similar conditions as competition.
The study stated that the heridos did not provide the same level of shoulder activation as the IC on gymnastic rings did (8).
Gymnastic rings activate different muscles than other workouts. One study performed on 10 adult gymnasts was done to compare changes in muscle activity of gymnasts during a handstand on various apparatus. Participants performed a handstand on the floor, a bar, and rings.
It was concluded that the different muscle apparatus led to specific muscle activation during the handstand, and gymnastic rings indeed do target different muscles than other apparatus (9).
Gymnastic rings target your traps and triceps more than other push up movements. The Journal of Sports Medicine hosted a study comparing the different muscles activated during various push-ups. Compared to all the different pushup variations, it founded that the triceps and traps were activated the most during a suspended push up (10).
Gymnastic rings improve your body composition. A 16-week HIFT (high-intensity functional training) study proves that gymnastic rings increase your muscle mass and lower your body fat.
HIFT includes a combination of resistance training, gymnastics, and aerobic training. 9 recreationally trained males and 17 females underwent the training and showed that muscular strength, endurance, and body composition were improved after undergoing HIFT training (11).
Gymnastic rings are versatile. Gymnastic rings are light and can be hung up on a bar or tree allowing you to workout from anywhere. You can do push-ups, dips, pull-ups, L-sits, and various other movements with gymnastic rings for a full-body workout.
Gymnastic rings cause muscle confusion. Since gymnastic rings are completely different than movements people are typically used to, they’ll increase your muscular strength and size.
An experiment tested 21 resistance-trained men to see their muscle response to a fixed 8-week training program compared to having exercises randomly varied each session.
The research supported that varying exercise selection had a positive effect on muscle adaptation in men (12).
Gymnastic rings prevent back injury. Because of the instability, gymnastic rings place on your body, they target your core muscles more than traditional exercises. Core muscles are used to stabilize and control your body movements, and core stability training has been shown to prevent back injury.
A study published in 2013 showed that back injuries reduced by up to 62% after a core strengthening regimen (13).
Gymnastic rings build upper body strength similar to weightlifting. Gymnastic rings are a form of calisthenics that require you to only use your bodyweight to build strength. According to a 2018 study, calisthenics can improve upper body strength.
23 healthy, moderately trained men trained for 3 days for 4 weeks doing various pushup progressions and bench press. The men were randomly assigned to either the pushup or bench press group. The study demonstrated no significant difference between muscle thickness between the two groups (14).
Gymnastic rings build a strong back. With gymnastic rings, you’re capable of performing inverted rows which highly activates the lats and upper back muscles compared to other back workouts.
A 2009 study performed on 7 healthy men from a university showed that inverted rows elicited the highest activation of the latissimus dorsi and upper back compared to other rowing exercises (15).
Gymnastic rings increase muscle activation of selected muscles more than stable exercises. Gymnastic rings are a suspended exercise which has been shown to increase muscle activation of selected muscles contrasted to stable exercises.
In a study, 25 healthy adults had 16 pre-amplified wireless surface EMG electrodes placed bilaterally on: the pectoralis major, middle deltoid, serratus anterior, obliques, rectus abdominis, gluteus maximus, erector spinae, and middle trapezius/rhomboids.
The study resulted in a significant increase in muscle activation in at least one muscle group when performing a suspended activity (16).
Also, during a plank, research has indicated that performing a suspended plank stems the highest level of abdominal muscle activation.
A study was done on 21 people who did a floor plank and a plank with arms and feet suspended and displayed suspended planks activated muscles more than floor planks (17).
Gymnastic rings make you more mobile. ScienceDirect published a meta-analysis examining the effect physical therapy exercise had on the elderly suffering from mobility problems. It highlighted the more exercise the elderly did, the more mobile they were (18).
According to Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, a search was conducted on published exercise training studies from 1960 to 2007 to observe the effect exercise played on mobility among individuals with multiple sclerosis.
The cumulative evidence gathered supports that exercise training is associated with improved walking mobility with people suffering from multiple sclerosis (19).
Gymnastic rings increase your proprioception. Proprioception is important for balance and maintaining coordination. Since gymnastic rings require you to be in the air, this positioning makes you control your body by teaching you to move as one.
Evidence shows that proprioceptive training can yield improvements in somatosensory and sensorimotor function which are both important components for balance and coordination (20).
Gymnastic rings increase your athletic performance. Gymnastic rings are great for increasing your core strength, and core strength is vital to overall athleticism.
A sample of 35 volunteer students from Asbury College performed a series of five tests to determine how much core strength helped with athletic performance. These volunteers tested their double leg lowering (core stability test), forty-yard dash, T-test, vertical jump, and medicine ball throw.
This study concluded that there is a link to core stability and athletic performance (21).
Furthermore, a 2015 study examined the effects strength training had on strength, power, and balance using unstable surfaces. It found that training on unstable surfaces was proficient in increasing participants’ overall strength, power, and balance in adolescents, young adults, and old adults (22).
Also, The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness conducted a 9-week core strengthening exercise experiment to see the relationship it would have on an individual’s vertical jump.
40 volleyball players were tested before and after the 9-week experiment and the study suggested that core strengthening exercises increase trunk stability and the vertical jump (23). The higher your vertical jump, the more explosive and athletic you’ll be.
Gymnastic rings are good for rehabilitation. A 2009 study found that instability resistance training helps rehab a muscle in ways different compared to traditional resistance training (24).
Furthermore, NCBI issued a study that showed instability training should be included in post-rehab plans because it’s more effective than stable resistance training at improving postural stability and power outputs after lower-limb injuries (25).
Gymnastic rings increase your health and performance for all individuals. No matter what age you are, instability resistance training promotes similar effects as stable resistance training on improving individuals balance and functional performance across all age and fitness levels (26).
Another study looked at the effects suspension training had on older adults and exhibited that suspension training can be used as a new approach to optimize improvements in muscle strength, mass, power, and functional performance in older adults (27).
Gymnastic rings make you more flexible. Resistance training is proven to increase muscular flexibility in people. After 12 weeks of resistance training, a 2015 study conducted on older women reported resistance training improves flexibility of different joint movements (28).
Gymnastic rings are bad for your shoulders. According to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, gymnastic rings are the toughest on your shoulders compared to other gymnastic movements. That’s because of the full range of motion they give you, and the more range of motion a joint has, the easier it is to injure.
Gymnastic rings may injure your hands and wrist. A 10-year observational study from 2001 to 2011 comparing the injuring rates of male and female gymnasts found that men’s injuries resulted mostly in their hands and wrist.
This is likely due to the instability gymnastic rings place on your hands and wrists (29).
Gymnastic rings may rupture your chest. Research indicated that bilateral pectoralis major tendon tears have only been reported from bench pressing a load heavier than normal without a proper warm-up, performing dips on a wide grip parallel bar, or by attempting a 360- degree turn on gymnastic rings (30).
Gymnastic rings are difficult for beginners. Because of the instability of gymnastic rings and the ability required for you to lift and control your entire body weight, gymnastic rings may not be good for beginners.
However, if you’re a beginner, you can do modifications using gymnastic rings to progress your way up to more advanced exercises. For example, you can do incline pushups before you try dips.
Gymnastic rings may cause elbow tendonitis. The instability of gymnastic rings places a lot of stress on your elbow joints which can cause you to injure your elbows.
Gymnastic rings can cause you to fall and hurt yourself. Since gymnastic rings require you to be suspended off the ground on many movements, it’s easy to fall and hurt yourself. Make sure you have adequate upper body strength before doing movements in the air.
It’s recommended you use gymnastic rings a few times a week. Doing strength training 2-3 days a week has been shown to produce abundant benefits. Although, training any more than this show no further benefits.
According to PainScience, a study found training less than an hour showed similar results to training five times as much. 34 healthy resistance-trained men were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: a low volume training group, moderate-volume training group, or high-volume training group.
The study showed significant increases in strength in all groups with no significant differences between any (31).
What are the best gymnastic rings for calisthenics? The gymnastic rings we have ranked are all quality gymnastic rings. Since gymnastic rings require you to lift and move your entire body weight, all of them require calisthenics.
What are wood gymnastic rings? Gymnastic rings are made from wood, steel, and plastic. Wood gymnastic rings are carved from wood.
What gymnastic rings are the best? The best gymnastic rings will depend on your preference, but our highest ranked are the Elite Gymnastic Rings. This one is highly durable and quick to setup.
Which gymnastic rings are the best for competition? The gymnastic rings most Olympic gymnasts use for competition are wooden gymnastic rings.
What sizes do gymnastic rings come in? Gymnastic rings come in similar sizes, but they vary. For example, the Black Mountain Gymnastic Rings are 9.3 x 9.3 x 3 inches while the Elite Gymnastic Rings are 9.7 x 9.7 x 2.8 inches.
What are hangers for gymnastic rings used for? Hangers support the gymnastic rings and hang from an apparatus such as a bar or tree. They’re what support your gymnastic rings while you use them.
How do you hang gymnastic rings? Hanging gymnastic rings is simple. You can put them on a home ceiling, garage support beam, pull up bar, football post, or tree branch.
How much space do you need for gymnastic rings? You need enough space overhead and underneath you to support your head and legs. 8 ft. will work for most people. If you don’t have enough space, you either won’t have enough legroom or headroom to perform exercises.
What’s the ideal diameter for gymnastic rings? The ideal diameter for gymnastic rings vary but many are a little over 9 inches.
What are adjustable gymnastic rings? Adjustable gymnastic rings allow you to adjust the length of the straps to various heights. Depending on how tall you are and how high the apparatus you’re using to support your gymnastic rings is, will determine how high you adjust your gymnastic rings.
What are gymnastic rings stands used for? Gymnastic ring stands are used to hang your gymnastic rings on.
What are gymnastic rings straps? Gymnastic rings straps attach to the gymnastic rings which enable them to hang.
What are garage fit gymnastic rings? There are no specific gymnastic rings for your garage, they just need to fit comfortably and allow you enough space for your head and legs when doing suspended exercises.
How do you hang gymnastic rings from a beam? To hang gymnastic rings from a beam, check your ladder for safety, clip your first carabiner to the I-beam bag hanger, and secure the gymnastic ring to the carabiner hanging.
What’s the best gymnastic rings program? A good program incorporates your entire body.
What are gymnastic rings frames? Gymnastic rings frame are built to hang your gymnastic rings on.
What are some good eye bolts for gymnastic rings? Eyebolts are another possible solution for hanging your gymnastic rings. The best one will be sturdy enough to support your entire weight.
How do you set up gymnastic rings straps? There are different ways to set them up depending on the strap and what you use to hang them on.
What’s a good gymnastic rings workout? A good gymnastic rings workout targets various muscles in your upper body.
Can you hang gymnastic rings from a pull-up bar? Yes, gymnastic rings can be hanged from multiple apparatus including pull up bars.
What are steel gymnastic rings? Gymnastic rings are made from a variety of materials with one of them being steel. They’re typically more durable than wood and plastic gymnastic rings, but they’re heavier and need chalk or they’ll likely rip your hands.
What are wood gymnastic rings? Wood gymnastic rings are made from wood and are lighter than metal gymnastic rings, more durable than plastic gymnastic rings, and don’t require chalk to protect your hands like metal gymnastic rings require.
What gymnastic rings are for sale? The gymnastic rings ranked above can all be bought at a lower price than other quality gymnastic rings.
What are gymnastic rings? They’re exercise equipment that lets you do various suspended movements to target a diversity of muscle groups in your upper body.
What are the best gymnastic rings for your home? Gymnastic rings that are light, easy to set up, and will last you a long time.
What are the best gymnastic rings for your garage? The best gymnastic rings for the garage give you enough space and are easy to set up.
How far apart should gymnastic rings be? Gymnastic rings should be approximately 50cm apart, or slightly wider than shoulder-width.
How do you adjust gymnastic rings? You adjust them with straps so long as the straps are adjustable.
How do gymnastic rings attach to pull up bars? To attach gymnastic rings to a pull-up bar, you’ll thread the nylon strap through an S buckle and cam buckle then attach it to the bar.
What workouts can you do with gymnastic rings? Gymnastic rings make it possible to do a variety of workouts including dips and rows.
Are gymnastic rings bad for your hands and wrist? Gymnastic rings can be bad for your hands and wrist since they place a lot of pressure on them.
Do gymnastic rings strengthen my core? Yes, because of the stability strength gymnastic rings require, they’re excellent for increasing core strength.
What are gymnastic rings progressions? Progressions are exercises you do before attempting advanced movements. Gymnastic rings can be used from the ground doing modified progressive movements before you try advanced movements. Incline push-ups and inverted rows are good progressions for more advanced gymnastic ring movements like muscle ups and dips.
Are there any adjustable gymnastic rings? Many gymnastic rings come with adjustable straps to put them at various heights.
Do I need grip or chalk to use gymnastic rings? It depends on what material your gymnastic rings are made out of. Wooden ones don’t usually require chalk but metal ones do. Grip and chalk will prevent you from slipping off when performing exercises.
Can I fall while using gymnastic rings? Since gymnastic rings are suspended in the air and require a lot of stability and balance, you can fall while using them. Make sure you’re strong enough before using them.
What muscles do gymnastic rings work? Gymnastic rings work different muscles in your upper body since they’re capable of multiple upper body movements. They work your chest, back, shoulders, triceps, and core.
Can you do leg exercises on gymnastic rings? Yes, although gymnastic rings are meant for your upper body, you can do assisted squats and pistol squats.
Can I use gymnastic rings every day? You can use gymnastic rings every day just be sure to mix up the movements you do and don’t overwork one muscle group.
Are wooden gymnastic rings better than plastic or metal ones? Wooden gymnastic rings aren’t necessarily better than metal or plastic ones, but they’re lighter than metal rings and more durable than plastic rings.
Should I choose wooden or plastic gymnastic rings? It depends on what you’re looking for. Plastic rings are cheaper and lighter, but wooden ones are more durable and stronger.
How high should I hang gymnastic rings? You don’t want to hang them too high from the ground to prevent injury, but you want them high enough to give you enough head and legroom from the top and bottom.
Where can I hang gymnastic rings? You can hang gymnastic rings from a tree, beam, and pull up bar.
What exercises can I do on gymnastic rings? Rows, dips, L-sits, and pushups are just a few exercises you can do with gymnastic rings.
Are there any doorways to hang your gymnastic rings on? Hanging your gymnastic rings from a doorway is possible. If you can hang up a sturdy bar across your door frame, you can hang your gymnastic rings from there as long as you have enough space for your head and feet to hang from.
Can you build muscle with gymnastic rings? Yes, gymnastic rings allow you to do many challenging exercises that support muscle growth.
What are some moves you can do with gymnastic rings? Gymnastic rings allow you to perform a variety of movements including incline pushups, dips, and inverted rows.
Can you workout anywhere with gymnastic rings? Yes. With gymnastic rings, you can workout from anywhere as long as you have enough space and have a safe apparatus to hang them on.
What’s the difference between gymnastic rings and the TRX band? Both gymnastic rings and the TRX band require upper body strength, control, and coordination, but gymnastic rings allow you to pursue gymnastic movements and pull-ups and dips.
Can beginners use gymnastic rings? Yes, but they’ll have to start from the ground and build upper body strength before suspending their body completely off the ground for more advanced movements.
What workouts are good for beginners with gymnastic rings? Incline push-ups and inverted rows are good chest and back exercises for beginners to start with.
What are some advanced exercises with gymnastic rings? Muscle-ups and L-sits are two advanced movements you can perform with gymnastic rings once you build up enough upper body strength.
Will gymnastic rings rip my hand? Gymnastic rings can rip your hands, so it’s important to use tape if you’re worried about ripping your hands. Also, metal rings are more likely to rip your hand than wooden and plastic rings. If you’re using metal rings, make sure you use chalk to help prevent your hands from ripping.
Where’s the best place to workout with gymnastic rings? The best place to workout with gymnastic rings is anywhere you can hang them. Just make sure you have enough space.
Will gymnastic rings help me lose weight? Yes, gymnastic rings burn calories and build muscle which will help you lose weight. The more calories you burn, the more weight you will lose.
Gymnastic rings are workout equipment used to build strength and muscle in your upper body. Because of the stability gymnastic rings require, they engage your core more than other workout equipment.
However, gymnastic rings are tough for beginners since they require incredible upper body strength, and the full range of motion it provides you are rigorous for your shoulders. If you’re a beginner, you must perform movements from the ground before attempting advanced movements in the air.
For Fitbug’s #1 recommend gymnastic rings, click here.