The Best Gymnastic Rings and Chalk (For Indoors and Outdoors)
There are so many gymnastic rings on the market, at different prices and made from different materials so which rings should you buy?
It is important to choose the right gymnastic rings for your individual purpose because there are differences between wooden, plastic and metal rings that you need to know about.
For the Best Grip Choose the Right Wooden Rings
There is a reason that gymnasts use wooden rings in the Olympic games. The grip of wooden is simply incomparable to any other material and grip is particularly important if you are training for exercises like the muscle up. You don’t want a lack of grip to be the limiting factor to successfully performing your exercises.
When I first started training with gymnastic rings many years ago, I originally bought the cheapest pair on amazon. They all looked the same online so I thought I’d go for the most cost effective option.
Unfortunately after 6 months of training this happened…
The ring split in two half way through training!
Safety is important important when training and you don’t want to risk injury because you cut corners on the equipment.
Also the length of the straps were relatively short (and an uneven length) which meant I couldn’t hang my rings over my garage beams and lower the rings to a height where I could perform ring push ups.
So I did the research and bought another pair, with longer straps and that were far better quality, more durable, not to mention a better grip. I have been using these gymnastic rings from amazon for years now and even performed pull ups with and additional 140 lbs (63 KG) and the rings, straps and buckles were as solid as a rock.
I have had these rings for years now and they are definitely worth the investment. The buckles, straps and wooden rings themselves are still in perfect condition and I cannot recommend them enough.
If you Prefer Training Outside use These Rings…
If you want to use your gymnastic rings outdoors and do not want to set up your rings each time you work out then plastic rings are the better option. Wood naturally degrades if its exposed to the weather and will become mouldy if you leave the rings hanging outside all year round.
Plastic rings however, last seemingly forever outside and do not degrade. Therefore you don’t have to take your rings inside every time it rains.
In fact I have a pair of plastic rings that are looped over a tree branch that have been left out for years and are still in perfect condition which I use regularly.
There is a difference between plastic and wood in terms of grip but if you choose the right plastic rings then and use chalk then the difference isn’t much of an issue.
I find these plastic rings on amazon work the best because there is a texture to the plastic which drastically improves the grip compared to smooth plastic gymnastic rings.
With the textured plastic rings I can personally switch between plastic (with chalk) and wood performing muscle ups and pull ups and achieve the same number of reps without an issue.
So if you working out outdoors and it is difficult/ inconvenient to set up your rings each time you want to exercise, go for the plastic rings.
Why Choose Liquid Chalk over Block Chalk?
If you are performing difficult exercises like pull ups and muscle ups that require a lot of grip then liquid chalk will help you out a lot and its better then traditional block chalk. Why? Because…
Liquid chalk absorbs excess sweat, oil, sunscreen residue etc. from your hands to give you the perfect non slip grip.
Liquid chalk has a slight ‘tacky’ quality so your grip stays firm whereas block chalk can dry out your hands too much and you hit a point of diminishing returns where you start to loose grip again.
Liquid chalk does’t form the characteristic powdery cloud (unlike block chalk) when applied which gets all over your gym clothes and you can end up inhaling which can trigger breathing irritation.
You can throw a bottle of liquid chalk in your bag and take it anywhere, whereas block chalk is more difficult to take with you and is liable to break up and cover your bag in powder if its not properly secured.
If I was attempting a muscle up record I would use the liquid chalk every time.
The best liquid chalk that I have used is this one from amazon. The chalk dries to a nice texture with a slight tackiness to it which really helps me maintain my false grip when performing reps of muscle ups. Best of all is that you only need a little each time and the bottle last for ages.
What About Metal Rings?
I personally do not recommend metal rings generally as in my experience they never have enough texture so your grip doesn’t last as long as it does with wood or textured plastic. Also as soon as there is any moisture or sweat on the rings they become much more slippery then the alternatives.
Always go for wood or plastic rather then steel.