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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Homemade DIY Gymnastics Rings

A big part of training is gymnastics movements.  You must be able to perform handstand pushups, pullups, ring dips, muscle-ups, and many others.  You can practice most of these movements with little to no equipment, but you do need gymnastics rings in order to perform some of these movements.

You can purchase plastic gymnastics rings for around $35-$50.  Plastic rings work just fine, but wood rings seem to be the gold standard.  Wood rings are stronger, more durable (as long as you don't leave them out in the rain), and have a better feel.  Wood gymnastics rings sell for around $90.

I didn't want to pay $90, so I decided to make my own.  Now before I continue, I want to clarify that I am not a professional wood worker.  This is my first attempt at making gymnastics rings and I do not know how durable they will be.  So please be careful if you are going to try to make and use a pair!

Materials:  These are the materials I used.  Using power tools will help make the process much easier. 

Step 1:
Measure and cut plywood into quarters.

Step 2: 
Apply adhesive to face of one piece of plywood and place another piece of plywood on top.  clamp together and repeat with remaining two pieces of plywood.
Allow adhesive to set over night, or longer depending on the instructions on the label.

Step 3:
Use compass to draw two circles.  Outer circle with a radius of 4 5/8" and inner circle of 3 7/16".

Step 4:  Cutting
Use drill to drill starter holes.  Use coping saw to cut along circle lines.
Repeat this process with the other glued pieces of plywood.

Step 5: Shaping
Now you have two roughly shaped rings.  Finishing the rings now requires a little elbow grease and a lot of patience.  Grind down and round the edges of the rings with the rasp until you get the width you want.  I left mine a little wider than normal rings for added strength.  It will also be more difficult to train on the thicker rings.
Mine are not completely done, but they are good enough to use.  I will continue grinding and sanding them until they are where I want them.

I had many of the materials in my "workshop" (laundry room), so I had minimal shopping to do for this project.  I spent around $30-$40 at Lowes for the materials I needed.

I have been hanging the rings on the tree in the front yard.  I am still not able to do a muscle up, but I am getting there!

Gymnastics rings are a great fitness tool.  Whether you buy a pair or decide to make a pair, make sure to be safe and have fun using them!


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