Training on rings is the ultimate method of strength training as it demands a huge amount of bodily control and requires you to manipulate your body weight in a suspended state. This develops an unparalleled strength-to-weight ratio and builds a dense, lean body.
Gym rings are now widely available, affordable, and easy to use. As they're so lightweight you can take your gym anywhere and all you need is somewhere to hang the rings.
We wrote this article to help give you ideas on how you can mount and setup your rings in and around your home.
A Breakdown of the Rings
Let's take a quick look at a typical set of fitness rings. There are many rings on the market now but they're generally all designed in the same way;
- Rings: The rings themselves are are usually available in plastic, metal, or wood and varying thicknesses.
- Straps: The straps are what suspend the rings and these are usually made of heavy-duty Nylon webbing, fixing everything in place over your anchor point.
- Buckle: A CAM buckle is used to secure everything in place and allows you to height adjust the rings by feeding through more or less of the webbing.
The whole setup usually works like this;
- Feed the straps through the rings and over the anchor point.
- Press the lever on the CAM buckle and thread the strap through the underside of the buckle. Release the lever to secure the rings.
- Adjust the amount of strap fed through the buckle to alter the height of the rings from the ground.
Hanging your rings
The most important factor to consider when setting up your rings is the anchor point (the object from which you hang the rings).
You can hang the rings from any stable structure that can safely support your bodyweight over which you can pass the rings.
Here are the most common places to hang your rings:
Setting Rings up at Home
- In your garage or basement over the exposed rafters and beams
- Installing eye bolts to the ceiling or beams to thread through the ring straps (it's best to screw these horizontally rather than vertically so the rings aren't pulling down in the direction that they're screwed)
- Through a loft hatch
- Using second-floor stairwells
Or, if you're quite handy, you can consider building your own outdoor pull-up bar like many of our readers.
Settings Rings up in the Gym
If your gym doesn't have its own rings then hopefully you'll have access to pull-up bars or a power cage from which to hang your rings.
- Pull-up bars
- Power cages
Settings Rings up Outside
- Park equipment
- Goal posts
- Trees (when hanging your rings from trees we'd recommend throwing a towel over the branch first so that your straps don't wear on the branch)
- ...or get creative and share your favorite hanging spots!
Things to consider when installing your rings
Some other pointers to keep in mind when mounting your rings...
Height of the Rings
Most Fitness rings come with straps from 16' - 18' and are fully height-adjustable using the buckles.
Ideally, you need enough room so that you can hang from the rings without the feet touching the floor, combined with overhead clearance to perform a muscle-up and hoist yourself above the rings without the fear of concussion!
Width of the Rings
Gym rings should be fixed around 50cm apart or slightly wider than shoulder width, to allow for comfortable training.
The Surrounding Space
We're assuming here that you're strength training on your rings rather than performing gymnastics movements that include swinging dismounts! However, you still need adequate clearance around you to comfortably and safely train without limiting possible exercises.
A 6-8 foot clearance should be enough for most people.
Your anchor point must be solid and stable enough to hold at least double your bodyweight and you need complete confidence in your setup to get the most from your training. Ensure that the hold isn't loose or rocking in any way whilst training.
If your environment meets the above criteria you sound all set for the most effective bodyweight strength training available that will help you build phenomenal strength and athletic ability.
Example Ring Installations
Check out some example ring setups below for inspiration and share your own by emailing to email@example.com.
Garage Ring Setup
The photo below is a standard garage gym setup with fitness rings suspended from the exposed rafters. A towel is placed over the rafters to prevent the straps wearing out.
The garage roof is pitched and the rings are suspended on a centre rafter. The anchor point is around 14' high and provides more than enough room for the muscle-up.
As the rafters are exposed this is one of the easiest and most common gym ring set-ups as the straps simply loop over a rafter and are secured in place using the buckle.
Living Room Rings Setup
This is an example of an innovative ring setup in a living room. This clever solution allows you to install the rings in a removable way and without compromising the flexibility to height-adjust the rings.
Warning: Requires an understanding housemate! ;)
The rings are setup with S-Hooks that are connected to eye-bolts drilled into a beam horizontally. The S-Hooks can be quickly detatched from the eye-bolts to take the rings down when not in use.
A binder clip can be mounted to a wooden rod to quickly reach up and hook or unhook the rings.
Using a custom pulley rig, this ring setup offers an easily adjustable, yet safe ring training environment.
The following components were used in this installation and are all easily available to buy -
- 2 eye screws
- 2 S-hooks (pinched a little for safety)
- Good rope from a sailing store
- Plastic cleat (to secure rope to the wall)
- Single pulley (Harken 2650 used in picture)
- Double pulley (Harken 2638 used in pitcture)
- Strap adjusters
Thank you to Richard Manderscheid for sharing his ring setup.
Portable Pull-up Bar with Rings
A pull-up bar can be a great anchor point for your rings, and if it's a portable bar design, this gives you added flexibility to take your ring training anywhere you'd like to go, from the garden to the bedroom.
The video below shows our Easy Ring Loops being used with rings on a portable pull-up bar at home.
Loft Hatch Rings
Using an open loft hatch with a weight training bar across it (or by installing a removable doorway pull-up bar) can be a quick and easy way of hanging rings for anyone who's short on space or can't mount permanent fixings.
Just make sure that your loft is capable of holding your body weight.
Park Rings Setup
When training on the move, local parks can be a great way to incorporate ring training into your day. The setup below shows rings hanging from a typical park pull-up bar, using the Fitstream Easy Ring Straps for extra quick setup and convenience.
You can share your own ring training environment to help inspire others, please send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also check out our article on building your own outdoor pull-up bar for a permanent outdoor structure to hang your rings from.