If you want to gain superior upper body muscular strength, one form of equipment that you should be seriously considering are the rings used by gymnasts. Gymnastics rings are just another tool in the Calisthenics “toolbox”.

Because Calisthenics is all about increasing your ability to move your body through “space”, “tools” like pull up bars, dip bars, and various suspension devices (including rings) are critical in developing superior levels of strength.

When used properly, rings help improve your overall functional strength and stability because you have to activate all of your smaller stabilizing muscle groups in addition to your larger muscle groups.

To give you an idea of the type of muscular physique you can develop using rings, just take a look at a male gymnast who works on the rings.

When training in Calisthenics, you need to make use of all the tools available to you. Given that rings are so inexpensive, they really are a must have. They work extremely well when you include other training techniques into your training such as, Plyometrics or Isometric holds.

Let’s take a look at a few points to consider about gymnastics rings before you begin.


Exercises You Can Perform

There are a number of different exercises that can be performed using gymnastics rings and for the most part, the ones you choose to do will depend upon your own physical fitness level.

Basic ring exercises include pull-ups, ring dips, and push-ups. The great thing about each of these exercises is that they will work multiple muscles at once, therefore giving you a very complete workout. They also have progressions so it doesn’t matter what level you are starting out at.

More advanced rings moves include muscle ups, iron cross, and handstands.

You can also smash out your abdominal workouts on the rings with leg raises, L sits etc.

This video below will show you just a few of the exercises available to you with a set of gymnastics rings…



Using the rings in this way will not only lead to massive upper body strength gains, but you will end up with an incredibly strong core as well.


  • You will experience a massive increase in upper body strength
  • You will experience a massive increase in core strength
  • They make a nice change to your workout routine, keeping things fresh
  • They are inexpensive
  • You can set them up almost anywhere so you can train indoors, at the park or wherever tickles your fancy
  • Like most suspension trainers, they are compact so you can take them with you when you travel so you can keep training


  • Beginner users may find them hard to use initially. This is due to the “free” movement you experience. This may increase chance of a shoulder injury if you do not use good form.
  • They will require a high degree of core strength to start, so this could be a limiting factor for beginners


What To Look For

When purchasing your gymnastics rings, make sure you look for rings that have a large enough grip surface for you to comfortably use. Those with large hands will want a 1.2 or larger diameter, while those with smaller hands may be fine with the traditional 1.1 inch diameter.

You may also prefer to use wooden gymnastics rings. I know I do! I find that they are easier to grip. This may be due to their natural ability to absorb sweat but I’m not exactly sure why. I just like the way they feel.

If you aren’t fussed on the wooden variety, purchasing plastic rings is your other option. They can get slippery when you start sweating so you may want to use chalk or some non slip training gloves when you are using them.

Finally, make sure they have a good maximum weight rating. This shouldn’t be an issue with quality items, but its something to be aware of. Also, make sure the straps are long enough to be able to use easily. 8 feet should suffice but it will depend on where you plan to mount them for most of your workouts.


Top Quality Brands…

All three of the brands mentioned below are designed with optimal form and feel in mind. Bear in mind that the Prosource ones are plastic though.

If you are looking for quality items (and you should be) then take a look 3 popular models below:



My First Pick…

  • Product: X Training Equipment
  • Price: $59.95 USD (Retail)
  • Cheapest Place to Buy: The Strength & Stability Amazon Store
  • My Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • User Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Description: CNC Machined, Premium Grade, Wooden Gymnastics Rings. These are great for Crossfit workouts or other suspension type workouts. I much prefer the wooden rings to the plastic ones.



My Second Pick…

  • Product: MD USA Wooden Rings
  • Price: $69.99 USD (Retail)
  • Cheapest Place to Buy: The Strength & Stability Amazon Store
  • My Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Description: You will not find a higher quality wooden ring on the market than the MDUSA Wooden Rings. They are made in the US of high grade multi-laminated wood and finished to perfection. The rings and straps are guaranteed for life.



Last But Not Least…

  • Product: Prosource Gymnastics Rings
  • Price: $59.99 USD (Retail)
  • Cheapest Place to Buy: The Strength & Stability Amazon Store
  • My Rating: 4 out of 5
  • User Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Description: These rings are made out of premium quality lexan with 1000 pounds break strength. Each Ring has extra long, 17′ straps already attached. Not bad but I prefer the wooden rings, especially at this price.



So if you have not yet had a crack at gymnastics rings, now is the time to do so.

They are an excellent way to help challenge your body further in your workout sessions.

They are inexpensive, portable, and when used properly will lead to massive gains in your overall functional strength.

The ball is now in your court.

You can leave a comment below to if you want, or sign up to the Strength & Stability newsletter.

See you!


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