This week, we take a moment to review Fringe Sport’s Wood Gymnastic Rings.
Item: Fringe Sport Wood Gymnastic Rings
Price: $65 USD (with straps)
Manufacturer: Fringe Sport
If burpess are the most hated exercise in functional fitness, the muscle-up has to be one of the most feared. Basically it’s a pull-up into a dip. Sounds easy, right? Well, easier said than done! Along with my first Fran, and losing my virginity, I can tell you the time and place I achieved my first muscle-up (6:30am class CrossFit East Village San Diego 2010 for the record). I wouldn’t say it was a turning point in my functional fitness career but I probably got more satisfaction out of it than I did during my ‘first time’.
Love them or hate them, the muscle-up is always met with mixed emotions when it’s posted in a WOD. I know guys at my box only use certain rings for reasons including what the rings are made of, the straps, the size and diameter of the ring and even where the rings are located in the gym, all in the belief that they’ll get more reps when using them. I don’t have a personal preference; they’re going to suck regardless of what rings I use. So when I was asked to review the Fringe Sport’s Wood Gymnastic Rings my first thought was, “ah crap, I’ve got to do muscle-ups”.
I took the rings down to a local park where there’s an old set of cricket nets with a horizontal galvanised pipe on one end, which is ideal for hanging rings. On slinging the straps over the support I was pleasantly surprized with the length of the strap – some 15’/4,572mm. I had enough length to comfortably feed the strap through the ring. What was more satisfying was that the strap went through the buckle easily the first time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve struggled to get dodgy straps through sticky buckles, which makes the task of doing muscle ups even more laborious!
Starting with a warm up of a few ring dips the ring felt comfortable in my hand. The ring is noticeably thicker than others that I’ve held (730mm/28.74” circumference). When measuring against the rings I have at home they have a 15mm/0.50” shorter circ. with a thickness of approximately 100mm/4” circ. compared to 95mm/3.74”. 5mm doesn’t sound like a lot but it is a noticeable difference.
Once the straps were deployed to the overhead position I got set up to do 5×5 muscle ups, concentrating on straight arms and turn out at the bottom – one of my deficiencies which will get found out at the upcoming Regionals in May if I don’t make this a regular thing. False grip on and 5 muscle ups completed relatively unscathed. On completing the set and critiquing my set I noticed I didn’t lose my false grip as easily as I had with other rings. The rings felt really good in the hand and more importantly didn’t slip. The textured finish was a welcome difference.
5×5 muscle ups complete, all without too much drama, and all without chalk. I’d usually chalk up at the start of most sets; I didn’t need to with these rings. My hands didn’t even start to show signs of wear on my palms. Granted, I did tape up my wrists for the false grip.
If compared to other gymnastic rings on the market, some offer straps with printed numbers, which indicate the length of the strap without having to adjust and test the height. Would it be nice to have? Yes, but having a buckle that locks and stays locked as these do is more important in my book.
Also offered is a non-adjustable 6’ strap which allows for dips and ring rows when secured to a pull up bar. What would be useful is an adjustable short strap in the event that the rings are going to be a permanent fixture in the gym. Excess strap can sometimes get in the way if not secured properly.
International shipping is one area which may deter potential purchasers. At US$25 to selected countries and US$45 to others it would prove more economical to organise a group purchase or purchase more than one item to amortise the cost.
If you’re in the market for a set of gymnastic rings, it’s hard to pass up at US$69 including free shipping (standard domestic “lower 48” shipping). The texture and feel of these rings in the hand are superior to a lot of others on the market today. The straps are no frills but deliver on what they need to do. Fringe also offers a 365-day satisfaction guarantee which makes the purchasing decision easier.
Rating out of 10
To find out more check out Fringe Sport here.
These rings were provided by Fringe Sport for review purposes