Join the tribe of Movement & Calisthenics Athlete – people just like you that are working with their own body weight to get strength, lose fat build muscle, recover from injuries and live their best lives!
Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned to the calisthenics lifestyle, learning the differences between using gymnastics rings vs bar would certainly be of interest to you. Note, first, that in this article, we’re going to give you some information from calisthenics websites, and as well as discuss insights from workout enthusiasts and online influencers for a more relatable, holistic view.
One thing is for sure: rings and bars are useful in their unique respective ways.
At the end of this article, we want you to get a better picture on why some people would prefer rings and others the straight bar, and we’ll give you our take on it as well.
Two relatively simple training implements, but actually really difficult to perfect.
The gymnastic rings don’t disappoint when it comes to building the strength, stability, and coordination simultaneously. It is a highly effective abdominal and core workout. But so is the straight bar which pushes you further into your fitness regimen.
Some noteworthy comparisons
How affordable is it?
The first comparison we’re going to make is how affordable the two are. It’s a deciding factor especially for beginners, and it might sound obvious but the straight bar goes for cheaper compared to the gymnastics rings.
The straight bar works out best for beginners on a budget, because the stability enables you to progress faster on simple workouts. The rings take longer to get used to but for those who have been doing it a long time, the way it can focus your workouts on specific body parts is certainly a plus.
How convenient is it?
We would say that the rings are worth the investment mainly because it’s portable and adjustable. On the other hand, the straight bar is rigid and adjustable.
Most of the time, rings require high ceilings for you to maximize your exercises such as the muscle up, because without a high ceiling room, it will serve the same purpose as a straight bar.
What are the specific exercises I can do?
The gymnastic rings vs bar argument might still be quite hazy at this point, but let’s talk about some advice from real people to give you a better perspective.
A Reddit bodyweight fitness submission question read, “Is there any point in using the bar or anything else other than rings once I get them? I mean, will ring dips/pushups/pullups always be better to do than the same on a bar or anything else?”
Some of the things we’ve gathered are that first, it was said that muscle ups are easier to do on the rings than the bar because, with rings, one can pull yourself straight through, versus having to go behind the bar. Levers and pull-ups are better on a bar because of the stability it provides.
Giving the bar the credit it deserves in this gymnastic rings vs bar issue, one contributor shared, “It’s fun to play around on bars sometimes. It’s also pretty fun to move a skill that you learned on rings to bars. Levers are so much easier on bars that you’ll be amazed at how much stronger you’ll feel.”
The contributor also added, “Swinging is also much more fun on bars. So while rings are definitely superior in pretty much every way, you can mix it up with bar stuff.”
Can it improve my body stability?
“Frictionless Plane Effect”
As Joshua Naterman shares it, “What the rings do is create a “frictionless plane” effect. This is because there is very little horizontal force acting on the rings to keep them in place, which means that your body has to stabilize the joint while also producing enough force to perform whatever movement you are performing.
That requires greater activation of all muscles involved, sometimes to a large degree, especially in the stabilization muscles surrounding the shoulder joint.
“Rings Are More Challenging”
The reason why many people feel that in gymnastic rings vs bar, the rings are more challenging because it takes more effort from your body’s stabilizers to make you perform the exercise. The bar, being as stable as it is, allows your body to focus all its energy and stabilizers into doing the exercise. Less of a toll on your body means making the exercise feel more attainable.
Given all that’s been said, we would recommend you invest in buying RINGS. You heard it right!
Your workouts can have increased intensity due to the activation of multiple muscles simultaneously. The fact that it’s adjustable and flexible can target specific areas of your body for more advanced workouts, which we feel is its best advantage. Lastly, rings provide for more natural movement and help avoid straining certain muscles.
We wrote down some very useful tips on buying rings from Bass of SPS Gear and summarized it for you. The three things you need to look at are the webbing, buckle system, and the rings itself.
What you want is that there is zero stretch in the straps, such that when suspended, doesn’t add to the instability that your body will have to compensate for.
The buckle system should be easy to use and can specifically be adjusted quickly. If you want to reap all the benefits of the portability of the rings, it’s best that they feature quick and easy adjustment, because no one wants the hassle before a workout. The rings featured from SPS gear even have line guides to make sure your adjustments would be at perfectly equal height for both rings.
We hope we’ve given you enough to help you pick a side in this gymnastic rings vs bar decision. Remember, there are multitudes of resources for more in-depth information, and Calisthenics Academy provides a free assessment to get you on board!
Best of luck and let us know how it works out for you!
READY TO GET ON TEH JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME?
See what our users are saying:
“Would you rather have the ability to boast of bench pressing 300 pounds or to do a one-arm pull-up? To me, pulling my entire body up with one arm is much more impressive. – Michael – Calisthenics Academy User”
“Calisthenics Academy is not the kind of program that demands you to be this physically fit to be able to perform. Instead, it caters to your own strengths and capabilities and keeps track of your progress.”
“Stick with it! It is hard at first, especially if you are stuck on a lower-level, high rep exercise. But persevering is worth it! Finally reaching each goal is so exciting.”