Explained! The Difference Between 28mm and 32mm Gymnastic Rings

Wooden gymnastic rings for women

Here at Atomic Iron, we sell two adult sizes of gymnastic rings, 28mm and 32mm. The sizing refers to the thickness (or girth) of the wood of each ring.

But which ring size is best suited to you? Let's start with these questions:

  • Are you a gymnast?

The 28mm rings were originally designed for gymnasts, and 28mm is the official ring size of the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) which are used in all international competitions.

So, if you compete in gymnastics, the 28mm gymnastic rings are for you.

  • Do you compete in CrossFit?

The 32mm gymnastic rings are typically used in general fitness and strength competitions, such as the CrossFit Games.

So, if you compete in CrossFit regularly or plan to compete in the future, you should go with the 32mm ring size.

But what about everyone else?

If you plan to work out with gymnastic rings for personal reasons to stay fit and strong, it’s then a question of where you sit on the hand-size spectrum:

Let's continue with these questions: 

  • Do you have larger than average hands?

If so, the 32mm rings are best for you as the rings will sit more comfortably in your palm, and your fingers won’t overwrap around the rings. Usually, but not always, men prefer the 32mm gymnastic rings.

  • Do you have smaller than average hands?

If so, the 28mm rings are best for you as you’ll be able to securely grip each ring with your fingers being able to fully wrap around the rings. Usually, but not always, women prefer the 28mm gymnastic rings.

What if you have average-sized hands?

This is where it gets a bit tricky, and will come down to your personal preference on how comfortable you want to make each workout.

But importantly, there is no wrong decision, with each size having their benefits.  

  • Added benefits of 32mm gymnastic rings:

If you’re looking to improve your grip strength, the 32mm rings are best.

Another advantage is that due to the larger grip area, you can complete exercises slightly easier as you have much more surface area to hold onto and to gain traction with. This allows you to be able to control your bodyweight to a much higher degree.

Also, although it varies from person to person, it has been reported that 32mm gymnastic rings tend to create a tad less stress on your joints.

  • Added benefits of 28mm gymnastic rings:

It can be a more exhaustive workout because you will have slightly less stability and will have to constantly focus on your balance as the rings become more difficult to stabilize with each movement.

However if you’re starting from a much stronger base of upper body strength, you will find the 28mm gymnastic rings provide the resistance and challenge needed for progressive improvement.

Another advantage of the 28mm rings is that it is easier to perform the false grip, which is the grip needed to complete exercises such as the muscle up.

Still unsure?

The great news is that there really is no wrong decision – both ring sizes allow you to perform exercises to build strength and stamina to the best of your ability. And unless you're a seasoned gymnastics rings user, it's doubtful you will notice any significant and dramatic difference between the two sizes. 

The most important thing is to get started today so that you can start working toward your fitness goals. 

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