If you are really into calisthenics then buying a good set of gymnastic rings is a must-have.
But which ones to get?
There are literally hundreds of thousands of different models, brands, and types.
Don’t worry I get you!
Keep reading because by the end of this article, you will learn what are the best gymnastic rings for calisthenics for you!
But why stop there?
Hi there, my name is Bozhidar and I’m the dude holding the gymnastic rings that is going to help you.
Inside this post, you are also going to learn what are the different types of rings (yes there are important things you should know), what to look for if you don’t want to fall down and break your head (ouch) and how to separate the good ones from the bad.
Let’s jump right in!
No time for me? In a hurry?
Hey, I get you.
If you don’t want to read this whole post I would recommend you check my personal gymnastic rings I’m currently using made by PACEARTH.
Why do you like these rings so much?
Because they are awesome rings to have. I’ve been using them for a couple of months now and they are great.
My favorite things about these rings are the price (they are really affordable), how well they are made and the fact that they are made from solid wood.
I really prefer wood because it doesn’t slip and you get a good and strong grip.
And let’s not forget the fact that they are very lightweight and portable and I really like to train with them in a near park by hanging them from a tree.
Interested to learn more?
If that’s the case please Click Here to check PACEARTH’s latest price on Amazon <<
With that being said let’s get to the interesting stuff…
Top 5 Best Gymnastic Rings for Calisthenics 2020 You Must See
Here’s my list of the top 5 best gymnastic rings for calisthenics you can buy that you are probably going to love:
- Iron Bull Strength’s Wooden Gymnastic Rings – Great for Indoor
- Emerge Wooden Olympic Gymnastic Rings – Great for Beginners
- Black Mountain Gymnastics Rings – Best Plastic Gymnastic Rings
- PACEARTH Wood Gymnastics Rings – Best Durability (Personal Favourite)
- Nayoya Plastic Gymnastic Rings – Most Affordable
All models listed below have great reviews and feedback and are made from trustworthy brands that offer great refund policies and warranties.
In addition, they also have reasonable prices, nice quality and are ideal for your calisthenic workouts.
Now let’s hop on and see which model will be a great match for you and your type of training…
1. Iron Bull Strength’s Wooden Gymnastic Rings – Great for Indoor
The first model I’m going to review is a pair of great high-quality rings made by Iron Bull Strength.
What I like most about these rings is the fact that the rings are made out of heavy-duty baltic birch wood. I really prefer wood over plastic because the wood has way more solid and sturdier grip on your hands.
In addition to that, the wooden surface of the rings has a nice sanded finish providing you with one of the best gripping options available.
Compared to other materials wood is the best option.
The diameter of the rings is 1.25” making them perfect for competitions and great for improving your grip strength.
The thickness of these rings is 32 mm which is the standard.
This set of rings can be used both inside and outside but it’s not recommended to use them for long periods of time out in the open because wood and water are not really compatible.
But the best part is that this model is extremely durable and sturdy and it can hold up to 600 lbs of weight.
Every part of this model is made from good quality materials making it a great investment for people looking for something in the long term.
For example, the 2 nylon holding straps are thick (1.5”) and very long (15 ft – 4.5m) and make the whole setup a great option for places with a high ceiling or open areas.
With this strap heigh you have the option to do all kinds of near the ground exercises such as push-ups, rows, flys, etc.
What I find quite useful and timesaving is the printed scale with numbers you can find every 6 inches on the straps.
That little feature could be really helpful and save you a lot of time during the setup and lineup process.
The steel buckles are very strong and will keep you safe and secure during your calisthenic workouts.
You don’t have to worry about installation because the whole process takes less than 2 minutes.
It’s a simple hang, slide and adjust process anybody can do.
That’s the main reason why this set is quite a good choice for people who want to use them in public places too.
In short, these rings are lightweight, portable and easy to set up and come with a 1-year guarantee.
If you are looking for some affordable, lightweight and durable wooden gymnastic rings for your calisthenics journey I believe these Iron Bull Strength rings could be a great choice.
There aren’t many bad things you can find about this item because they are genuinely good.
And there is a reason for that – it’s a high-quality product.
2. Emerge Wooden Olympic Gymnastic Rings – Great for Beginners
The next rings are quite similar to the first ones but are made from a different brand named Emerge.
This model is again quite budget-friendly and the rings are again made from strong and durable wood.
But the biggest difference is in the ring thickness.
Instead of the average 32 mm these rings are only 28 mm thick.
Depending on your preferences, this option might be a good one for you because the thinner the rings, the less grip strength they will require from you to hold them.
In addition, every gymnastic ring has a nice textured wooden finish in order to help you with good friction, sweat resistance, and nice hand feeling when in use.
As you have already guessed I really like this model because everything is very well made with the goal to last.
Even if these rings are not as lightweight as the plastic versions they are still quite portable because of the way the straps roll-up when not in use.
You can easily hang and use them both outside and inside just for a few minutes.
If we compare them to the previous model they are a little more sturdy with their carrying capacity of 800 lbs.
Another thing I like about this model is the webbing – each strap is 15” long, 1.5” wide and made out of non-stretchy thick military-grade nylon.
All those things combined make it quite versatile and reliable for exercises requiring different heights.
What the other model is missing is the free eGuide which you get if you decide to pick this model.
In it, you get a good explanation about how to set everything up, what exercises to do, how to do them, etc.
You are also backed up by a good replacement and refund policy accompanied by proper customer service.
Even if the thickness of the Emerge gymnastic rings is smaller that doesn’t mean it’s bad.
It’s the exact opposite.
In my opinion these rings have everything you need – good price, durable and high-quality materials in a combination with a great return policy, eGuide, and responsive customer service.
Overall great product that can hold a lot and can be used everywhere.
3. Black Mountain Gymnastics Rings – Best Plastic Gymnastic Rings
The third model I’m going to review is again a great option for all calisthenic lovers (and for any other type of training that uses rings) but this time they are not made from wood.
Instead, these rings are made from hard plastic.
Even if I don’t recommend plastic I can’t argue that plastic is better than wood in some areas.
For starters, plastic gymnastic rings are usually more affordable and wooden ones making them a great pick for a complete beginner who doesn’t want to invest too much money into this type of equipment.
I really like the rough texture finish you get with these rings which does help a little with how slippery they can get but even with this nice addition, they don’t come near close compared to the wood ones.
Because of the plastic material being used the rings are even more lightweight than the previous 2 models making them extremely portable.
Another thing that also helps with that is the additional carrying bag with a strap that you also get.
But the best part about plastic is the fact that it’s 100% weatherproof making them a perfect choice for long outside usage.
They could even be placed as permanent outside gymnastic rings because of that.
If I have to be honest I’m really impressed with the durability.
The Black Mountain rings can hold up to 1200 lbs which is twice as much as the first model and is something you have to consider.
With that huge number, you can be sure everything is sturdy and well made.
This model also uses long and non-stretchy holding straps of 15 ft in length just like the previous 2 models.
The downside is that the webbing width is only 1 inch compared to the 1.5-inch ring’s standard.
The situation isn’t that bad because even with this mistake the straps are again made with strong and thick nylon that can hold a lot of weight (1200 lbs isn’t something we should ignore).
Finally, I would like to add up that with these rings you also get good customer service, lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, and a nicely written manual.
Even if plastic rings are not as good as the wooden ones they are still quite a good option for those who are looking for inexpensive but strong, well made and safe to use rings.
With its lightweight design and additional carrying bag, you can easily take these Black Mountain rings wherever you go.
If anything goes wrong you are backed up by a lifetime warranty and good customer service.
In my opinion they are great rings you should try.
4. PACEARTH Wood Gymnastics Rings – Best Durability (Personal Favourite)
The fourth model for me personally is the best gymnastic rings for calisthenics you can get and here’s why.
With their very affordable price, great benefits (they are made out of wood) and many great features they completely destroy the competition.
These rings are made out of solid birch wood in a combination with great outer texture for improved comfort and grip.
The wood itself is quite good at absorbing sweat and making the whole thing non-slippery. I’ve trained with mine for the last couple of months and everything is perfect.
Both rings are 32 mm thick making them a better choice for people who want to get better grip strength.
I want to also mention that the size of the wooden rings is 9.25” making them perfect for the majority of people.
Quick Tip: The thicker a set of rings, bar or barbell is, the better grip strength you are going to develop.
The PACEARTH rings can support up to 1500 lbs making them very sturdy and safe to use.
The length of the straps is also very good – 14.76 ft (almost 15 ft) which is exactly what you need if you are into exercises such as push-ups, rows and want to have enough range to do them.
You can use those rings even if you have a high ceiling.
The width of 1.5 inches and the thickness of the webbings are also good making them quite strong and safe to use.
What I find some other models are lacking are strap measurements.
Pacearth has done quite a good job adding them into the webbing, making the whole process of setting them up and especially lining them quite an easy and fast thing to do.
I want to also mention that the 2 adjustable serrated edge buckles are a nice touch because of the good biting force they use.
You will not make a mistake trusting them.
Overall the whole set up process is quite easy and fast, making them a good choice for doing regular outdoor calisthenics workouts.
What I find unique that no other model offers are the 2 additional non-slip hand tapes you also get inside the package.
You are given the choice to use them and if you do decide to attach them you will get the benefits of additional sweat absorption, more comfort, and better grip.
With this product, you still get good customer service and return policy.
I highly recommend you to go with the PACEARTH Gymnastics Rings because they are made from wood (which Olympic athletes use) and have great anti-slippery properties.
You also get a nice price, very good quality (they can hold up to 1500 lbs), marked webbing and additional hand tapes.
This set includes everything you need and it would definitely help you get bigger, stronger and faster in short amount of time.
5. Nayoya Plastic Gymnastic Rings – Most Affordable
If you are on a very tight budget or are a complete beginner who doesn’t want to invest a lot then the Nayoya Plastic Gymnastic Rings are exactly what you may be looking for.
From what I’ve seen these are the most affordable set of gymnastic rings that don’t suck.
But even so, they are still quite durable and well made.
These rings are made by special PC plastic which is stronger and a lot better than the average plastic other models use.
That’s the main reason why this model can hold up to 2000 lbs which is absolutely amazing having in mind the low price.
Both plastic rings use extra textured as a finish to help with the slipperiness which is the biggest lacking point of plastic.
Even if that’s something it’s still not as good as the good old wood.
The rings are 1.1 inches in diameter and weigh around 3 lbs.
The hanging straps are about 12 ft long and the webbing is thick and wide enough so it would withstand a lot of beating.
I know that 12 ft is shorter than the usual 15 ft standard but for that low of a price, you can’t expect much.
Placing and adjusting them is quite an easy and fast process to do.
It should not take you more than a couple of minutes to do and that’s why they are perfect for people who want to hang them everywhere they go.
In addition, they are very lightweight and versatile and because of the plastic – weatherproof.
If you are looking for a very budget-friendly set of good plastic rings then you should check out the Nayoya Rings.
They are very strong, well made, lightweight and versatile. You can carry and hang them everywhere you go.
What should you look for when buying gymnastic rings for calisthenics?
Before you jump on and pick a model I would highly recommend you not to skip this part because there are crucial things you should know about gymnastic rings.
Every set of gymnastic rings for calisthenics is made out of 3 different things – buckle, rings, and straps. You want to have all those 3 things to be made really well so you get the maximum out of your rings.
Let’s check each one of them and find out what should you look for in every single one of them.
1 – The Rings
What material is the ring made from?
As you will see below there are 3 different types of materials used in gymnastic rings and every single one has its pros and cons. The 3 materials are metal, plastic, and wood. Out of all 3 types, I would personally recommend you to go for wooden rings and in a quick second you will find out why.
Plastic Gymnastic Rings
Let’s start with the most affordable option which is plastic. As you already know plastic is quite strong, lightweight and quite inexpensive to produce. Because of those things plastic rings are a great option for beginners who either don’t have a big budget or just are unsure if this is the thing for them and don’t want to invest too much.
Let’s face it, it takes hundreds even thousand of years for mother nature to dissolve plastic garbage. That’s why this is one of the best options when it comes to regular outside usage in poor weather conditions. You don’t have to worry about it and can leave it outdoors for a long period of time.
One of the downsides of this type of material is the fact that it is becoming quite slippery when used with sweaty or wet hands. That happens usually after a few sets and it can make your life living hell. I don’t recommend it as long term equipment because it’s not that durable compared to wood or metal. Finally, the feeling when holding this type of ring is not the best and it’s not that comfortable.
Metal Gymnastic Rings
As you’ve probably guessed metal is the most durable and strong option you can find. A set of these rings can stay strong for a lifetime.
Please Note: I’m referring only the rings, not the buckle or the straps. They are usually the parts that break first.
Using metal rings comes with a heavy and secure feeling and that’s why this is the best permanent outdoor solution. If the metal being used is rust-resistant that it can stand literally anything that comes on its path. It can stand decades of everyday beating and usage without any problems.
Some of the negative things about metal rings are that they can be little too rough to hold, can become quite slippery if they become wet and are for certainty not the best option to use barehanded in very cold weather conditions – metal and skin don’t go together this much…
Wooden Gymnastic Rings
These are the rings that Olympic athletes use daily and do you believe they would use them if they weren’t the best. Most wooden rings are made out of strong birch wood which is natural and non-toxic material.
Wood has the ability to absorb sweat making it the best option for a solid grip.
That’s why it is a lot better than plastic or metal and it’s highly recommended. Let’s not forget the feeling you get when you hold wood – if feels great and natural.
Most models have a good anti-slip finish in a combination with a piece of sandpaper (usually included) that provides you with the option to make the surface, even more, rough for better experience if you like. Because of the wooden surface, you will usually get fewer blisters and calluses than for example metal.
Wooden gymnastic rings are another great option for a short outside usage and it’s highly recommended not to use them in bad weather conditions. Finally, I want to mention that these types of rings are usually a little more expensive than the plastic ones but they are worth every single extra penny you pay.
If you have the option to choose between plastic and wood go for the wood!
What is the size, thickness & weight of the rings?
Let’s face it different rings made from different brands and materials come in different sizes, weight, and thickness.
If you have the option to pick one of two options I would highly recommend you to go after the model with the bigger size because the more holding space you get. Also, don’t forget the fact that some people have larger hands than others and will certainly be way more comfortable for them to use bigger rings.
If you are going to carry them frequently from one place to another (take them out for a good workout in the park for example) then you should aim for light and portable options. These are the ones usually made out of wood or plastic.
Heavy metal rings are not a good choice for another reason than weight. Let’s pretend that for some reason you accidentally smack yourself in the head. Believe me, it would hurt a lot more compared to a more lightweight version.
When it comes to thickness and durability you should be looking for rings which diameter is somewhere around 1 – 1.25 inches.
I would personally not go for anything below that for safety reasons.
I don’t know if you are familiar or not but when checking out models you see that there is another thickness unit in millimeters.
The 2 most common sizes are 28 and 32 mm.
If you are looking for thicker rings that would provide you with a better wrist workout then go for the 32 mm option. If you are quite a beginner and don’t have enough grip strength then the 28 mm option could be a great choice for you.
2 – The Buckle
Type of the buckle system
When it comes to overall safety when doing calisthenic movements the buckle system is the most valuable part. You have to make sure it’s made strong and durable, well made and uses good quality materials.
Most models use 2 main types of buckle systems – the cam buckle or carabiners.
Let’s check both of them and see which one is better than the other and why.
Cam Buckle System
The first system is used by the majority of gymnastic rings on the market. The cam buckle system is very secure and safe and people are quite happy with its performance.
It’s a great choice if you have to work with a very high ceiling because this system can help you adjust the webbing height and easily move it up and down when you are not using it so it doesn’t stand in your way.
The main problem with this whole system is the time it takes to fully adjust it. It usually takes a lot of time until you can level both rings at the same height. Here’s where the next option comes quite handy.
Compared to the previous system this one is a lot easier and faster to work with. It has improved leveling and adjustment systems making it quite easy and fast to set the rings up from one place to another.
It’s a great choice for outdoor usage because of that – ideal for parks, public workout playgrounds, outside pull-up bars, trees and whatever else that can hold your weight.
Usually, both carabiners have an equally adjusted pre-set to 10 cm making them quite easy to use because you already know they are aligned properly and you only have to adjust the length of the straps.
Some models even have measurements written down on them making the whole process take only a couple of minutes.
3 – The webbing
What is the thickness of the strap?
The thickness of the strap isn’t something you want to completely ignore and here’s why. If the holding strap is too thin it could potentially snap resulting in injuries. That’s very likely to happen but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Thinner straps can also “dig” into your skin causing unwanted injuries for specific exercises such as dips, muscle-ups, etc when you are in direct contact with them.
The thickness of the holding straps is usually somewhere in the range of 25 – 38 mm. You should avoid anything below that numbers. The thicker the strap is the better – you want something that is thick enough so it can easily hold in one place for thousands of workouts.
The recommended width of the strap should be 1.5 inches. The wider every strap is the safer it’s going to be for you.
When it comes to the material you definitely want it to be made out of thick nylon. Nylon is proven to be one of the toughest materials and it is well known that it can withstand under some severe conditions and long usage.
Is the strap stretchy?
Having stretchy and bouncing straps is a total disaster when it comes to rings. You certainly don’t want a stretchy strap because it would make your workouts pretty unproductive and you will get the feeling that you are on a bungee instead of working out.
This is going to be especially true if we are talking about explosive types of exercises such as muscle-ups and such. When using the gymnastic rings for calisthenics or else the length of the webbing should stay the same no matter what you are doing.
A good strap will have a direct impact on safety, productivity and results.
A quick test you can do is to just pull the webbing and see if it stretches or not. If it does I would highly recommend you to return it back and get a refund. Then use the money to get a better quality set this time.
How long is the strap?
Another thing you should consider before you buy a set is the total length of the holding straps.
A good length checkpoint you can use is the range of 12 to 15 ft.
Anything in this range will be enough and provide you with the biggest variety and freedom.
Your main concern about the length of the webbing is tightly related to the number of exercises you can do. If that number is smaller than 12 feet you will have a difficult time doing lower ground exercises such as push-ups and rows.
Another important factor is the height of your ceiling. If you are having a pretty high ceiling and short strap things may not be quite pleasing. That’s why you need to aim for a product that offers straps somewhere in this range.
If you want to own a product that is going to last a very long time there are quite a few important things you should check.
I want to say that there is no 100% guarantee that a certain set of rings is durable because there are a ton of different factors that play important roles.
I can only tell you that if you follow some of the steps below you have a pretty good chance of getting quite a durable and well-made item.
Here are 5 great tips to find out if a product is durable:
1. Read some of the reviews from other customers that had already used a product for a while or even better – ask somebody you know what his opinion of it is.
2. Another great thing you can do is to check out the type of material from which the rings are made. As you have already read (I really hope so) you should know that there are 3 types – wood, plastic, and metal. If you are looking for durability go for the wood or metal options.
3. Make sure the hanging system aka the straps are made from thick and strong non-stretchy material and also has a minimum width of 1.5 inches.
4. For me personally, the weight capacity of a set of gymnastic rings provides you with is a quite useful data when it comes to durability.
You want a model that can hold at least 600 pounds so you are sure it is well made. Some models can go up to 2000 pounds which is quite amazing. That for me speaks only one thing – strength.
5. Finally, you want a buckling system that is strong, build with good materials and it can be easily adjustable at the same time.
From my observations, the first thing that usually breaks down is one of the buckles. And this can be quite dangerous.
How fast and easy is it to use them?
If you are going to set the rings up somewhere in your home just once and leave them there this might not be quite important for you. But if you are like me and like to train in the open especially when the weather is good then you might want to read this.
Training in the open means carrying them with you and so you will have to perform the process of setting them up and lining them quite often. If you had to do this process all the time, believe me, you would be quite thankful you’re reading this.
As you can see preparing them for use may be a very complex and time-consuming process but does it have to be like that?
Most rings do have quite a similar attachment process but the overall difficulty and length are determined by the buckle it uses. As you already know there are 2 different types of buckles and the one you want for this specific case is the carabiner system.
Some of the models reviewed above do use this system making them perfect for people who often want to use them at different places.
Benefits of adding rings to your calisthenics workouts
If you really like bodyweight training and are quite into calisthenics this piece of equipment is a must for your home arsenal.
Here are some of the really good benefits you get by adding rings into your calisthenic workouts:
Because of the fact that you can rotate the rings at a 180-degree angle, you can easily use them in a neutral position for your hands. The result of using a neutral grip will bring a lot less stress on your wrists and elbows compared to a regular pull-up bar.
Let’s not forget that for around $50 you can get quite a decent set of calisthenic rings. This is a lot more affordable compared to some of the other calisthenic home gym equipment such as power towers, heavy weighted vest, etc.
Some rings are quite thick to hold which can be very beneficial towards your grip strength if used regularly in a decent period of time. (Big forearms here we come!)
I’m really impressed how 2 little rings attached to straps can provide you with such a big amount of possibilities. I’m talking about exercises that you can use to target the whole upper body from different angles.
Some of them are:
- Different variations of pull-ups
- All kinds of abs exercises
- And many more.
Rings work great in a combination with other home gym equipment such as squat racks, power towers, pull-up bars, ceiling hooks, etc. because you can attach them to them. So if you already have something tall and sturdy into your home gym then you are quite ready for them.
Even if you don’t you shouldn’t worry because they are quite versatile and can be attached to almost anything you can think of making them ideal for indoor and outdoor training.
Because of the lightweight and compact design, they are quite portable and great to carry around with you everywhere you go.
Quick Tip: If you are going to travel somewhere you don’t have access to a great gym bring your gymnastic rings and a set of good resistance bands with you. Just with that lightweight equipment, you can literally train every single muscle from your body.
With this type of training, you are literally hanging from 2 straps and every little movement you do will result in swinging around. To stop it you will have to use a lot of stabilization muscles that are usually ignored.
I know that you already know this but if for example, you train only with a pair of rings and nothing else you can still build an amazing physique. And please try not to skip legs…
As with any other sport, it can help you build self-confidence and start feeling better about what you have accomplished.
Here’s a cool video that could be helpful:
Pull-up bar vs Gymnastic rings
If I had the option to choose between a good set of gymnastic rings or a pull up bar I would go for the rings because they are quite more versatile, portable and can provide you with many more different exercises from which you can target the whole upper body.
Are gymnastic rings good for calisthenics?
If even after everything you have read and learned so far you are still not quite sure if you really need to include rings into your training regime then you should take a few minutes and watch this amazing video.
Inside you are going to see what are some of your possibilities and what you can achieve with the help of a good set of rings.
Here’s the video:
As you can see from this short video they are ideal for calisthenics and all other types of bodyweight training.
I can guarantee you that if you have the needed perseverance and push through the process in time you will be able to do some of those movements.
By then you will become quite strong and jacked. As you can imagine they require a lot of strength and endurance. If you don’t believe me go check out a gymnast physique and see for yourself what you can achieve.
Final Thought (and my personal pick…)
As the end of this article is here I’m quite sure you have a full understanding of gymnastic rings, important features and benefits you should look for and why they are a great investment for your calisthenics workout regime.
I have provided you with 5 different models to pick from. Using all the information provided here and your personal preferences and needs please go back and pick a model you like.
If you are unsure which one to pick you can’t go wrong with my personal favorite which is the PACEARTH Wood Gymnastics Rings.
For me personally, they are the best gymnastic rings for calisthenics because of a few quite important things. Firstly, they are reasonably priced, very well made, can hold a lot of weight without any problems, and have a long and thick holding strap in combination with a solid buckle.
And don’t forget the fact that the 2 rings are made out of good wood, making the whole thing easy to grip even with sweaty hands. And you also get 2 additional hand tapes you can use.
If you want to learn more please Click Here to check the latest price on Amazon.
I would be really happy if you took the time and read everything until this point.
It would certainly mean a lot to me if you comment below and share this post so more people can see it.
I’ll see you again in the next one coming soon!