Gymnastic rings are a handy, versatile tool; you can take them with you in your backpack and hang them pretty much anywhere strong enough to hold your bodyweight, with enough room for you to perform the required exercises. This short guide will go over how to hang gymnastic rings, and where to do it (hint: there are many possibilities).
I myself have built a custom pull up bar in my garden, so I just hand my ring on that and workout outdoors all year long — something that may sound great on those warmer days, but it really isn’t glorious in the winter. In all seriousness though, training outdoors all year long is always a great experience to me, and I find that working out in substantially colder temperatures in the winter, or rain, or both at the same time, is really toughening for the mind.
In any case, some may prefer to anchor their gymnastic rings indoor to be able to train comfortable all year long and not have to take the rings down after each workout, for those who have wooden ones. For those people, I’ll show you how to do just that, and the tools you will need to set them up optimally. It really isn’t hard, and rather quick to do — you’ll see. Everyone has a doorway pull-up bar in their home, but how many people have gymnastic rings hanging from the ceiling?
Determining the required space
Just before you hang your rings, you want to make sure that you will have both enough overhead space when you are above the rings in a support hold type position, and also when you are underneath the rings, like for the bottom end of a pull up. Ideally, and depending on one’s individual height, 8 to 8’2 feet should be largely sufficient.
You may have to slightly bend your knees on exercises like ring dips but nothing uncomfortable. What you don’t want is to be doing a muscle up and end up smashing your head against the ceiling — it won’t be a good feeling. Keep in mind that you can also adjust the rings depending on the room you have, to try and have as little restriction as possible.
It’s rare for one to have enough space to spare to be able to do a full dead hang with straight legs, and also, without changing the height of the rings, be able to go into a locked elbow, support position, but you don’t necessarily need that kind of space. If you are going to be doing movements like muscle ups where you will need to set your rings in a middle sort of compromise as you will be under and over the rings with the same exercise, you can start with an L-sit at the bottom, to finish in the normal position at the top, and back in a L-sit again at the bottom.
Ideas For Different Anchor Locations
Before we go into detail over the different ways of anchoring your rings, let’s have a quick look at the places where you can hang them, temporarily or permanently.
- Home ceiling
- Garage support beam
- Pull up bar
- Football post
- Tree branch
Ways Of Anchoring Them
Lets look specifically at how one can attach their rings indoors, on a ceiling or across several beams. You can make something similar to the picture below, to distribute the weight further across more space, or you can remove the wood planks and drill straight into the ceiling (look at the second picture), which should also be perfectly safe as long as your house is not made of cardboard, and it is done right.
What you will need:
- These X mounts are discrete and solid (4.5 inch diameter of steel), and will do a great job at holding your rings in place. Alternatively, you can go for a cheaper solution with these jungle gym hangers, they are also super solid, but will require you to get the lag bolts, washers, and nuts separately (you can use 3″ lag bolts, Hex bolts, and Carriage bolts for this).
- 2×8 pieces of wood (optional)
- 2 carabiners (optional for the X mounts – only for a faster set up)
- Drill and drill bits
- A saw, if you are going for the wood option upgrade (again, not indispensable)
Setting Up Your Rings
This is the simple part, once you’ve anchored your rings, you can set your rings up once, and if you are using carabiners, you can just remove your rings through them without having to undo the straps when you want to move them out of the way. When first setting up your rings, it’s actually easier than you think to put the strap through in the wrong direction and either end up damaging the buckle, or having the strap slip when you put your weight on it.
Advice On Purchasing Rings
Finding a decent pair of rings can be a bit hard at first when you’ll see the sheer range of different brands that produce some great, and others, not so great gymnastic rings. If you are going to buy them from a place like Amazon, look at the reviews and you should be able to get a good idea of if they are worth your money or not. Amazon has a lot of best-seller gymnastic rings products that are really well rated and should do just fine.
Tips: You can look at this gymnastic rings buyer’s guide here, to jump straight to the ones we recommend.
So hopefully this guide was able to answer any questions you had as to how one should setup their rings and anchor them, and also, where you can anchor them. If you have any further questions, feedback, or have thought about something that should be in this list, too, comment below!
Where do you plan on hanging your rings? What does your setup look like?