Gymnastics Rings – Best Calisthenics Equipment For Workouts

human flag calisthenics

Posted On August 22, 2020

Gymnastics rings were invented by the German Friedrich Jahn in the early 19th century, and since have grown to become one of the grandest apparatuses in modern men’s artistic gymnastics. They require both strength and grace, incorporating both static holds and swinging elements.

Traditionally rings have been suspended on “A-frames”, providing much needed clearance for swinging but also stability. In recent years more portable versions have been released that are capable of strapping on and off.  

Gymnastics Rings Vs TRX

More recently, due to the popularisation of gyms, crossfit and calisthenics; rings have become a household piece of bodyweight training equipment. Although not yet as popular as the TRX suspension system, many are beginning to see the advantages of gymnastics rings over the TRX.

Gymnastics rings are capable of all of the same exercises as the TRX, but can also be used for more advanced exercises above the rings such as dips and muscle ups. In addition to this they can also be used for dynamic and swing elements found in gymnastics.

TRX vs gymnastics rings

Gymnastics Rings workouts are becoming mainstream

It’s no surprise that such a versatile piece of equipment is finally getting some recognition. Gymnastics is one hell of a sport and can have a high barrier of entry. Rising sports like calisthenics and Crossfit are more beginner friendly and attract adults rather than children – and so this has brought more attention to the gymnastics rings.

Calisthenics and Crossfit treat gymnastics rings largely as tools for fitness and building strength. As a result, portable gymnastics rings are sufficient and are becoming increasingly popular. They are typically attached to bars, trees, fences and ceiling beams.

Plastic vs Metal vs Wooden Gymnastics Rings – which is best

Wooden gymnastics rings are generally agreed to be the best type. Wooden gymnastics rings happen to be the type used in gymnastics and are generally preferred due to their structural integrity, feel and superior grip. Wood is lightweight – not as light as plastic – but much lighter than metal.

wooden gymnastics rings vs plastic gymnastics rings

Gymnastics Rings exercises

There are many upper body exercises that can be done on the rings. They include push ups, pull ups, dips, muscle ups and much, much more. Many beginner calisthenics exercises can be done on the rings once they are mastered on the ground and the bar. 

Advanced gymnastics static holds can also be done on the rings such as the iron cross, maltese, victorian, back lever and front lever. This is in contrast to the TRX suspension system, which doesn’t allow completely suspended exercises to be completed, ironically. 

Gymnastics rings test stability and are perhaps the best tool to improve core strength due to their inherent instability. They force the engagement of smaller postural muscles to a much greater extent than exercises using other equipment.  

Gymnastics Rings for sale in Australia

Gymnastics rings are sold at most sport equipment shops in Australia. However premium products are hard to come by. It’s important to assess material, make and quality. At Street Workout St Kilda we sell only the highest quality calisthenics equipment. Feel free to check out our calisthenics shop.

Written by Vic

Melbourne-based Personal Trainer, Calisthenics Athlete and the Founder of Street Workout St Kilda. Super passionate about bodyweight training and the art of movement.
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