Tag Archives: muscle-ups

FringeSport Bomba Wood Gymnastics Rings Review

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Bomba Rings – Made in the USA

Muscle-ups are tough.

They’re the holy grail of CrossFit but once you get a taste, you can’t help but to want to do them more often.  Lots of things are require when it comes to getting your muscle-ups. At my gym, I have a standard progression of must “have” things to train in order for the athlete to get their muscle up. There’s a ton of questions during this phase, a lot of “What if…” this and that, but something that isn’t really spoken of is what you’re actually doing the movement on.  I know when I first got my muscle-up, it was on some really thin, slippery wood rings. When I finally got to try out nicer, beefier rings, my whole world changed; never again would I look at rings the same.

 

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Rogue v.s. Bomba

 

The Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) standard ring size is 1.1″ OD, while this may prove better for female athletes with smaller hands, holding these with a false grip as a male hurts like a mother. Typical “CrossFit” ring size is 1.25″ OD, this what you’re going to see used in the CrossFit games, as the equipment is supplied by Rogue Fitness; more comfortable for bigger hands, tougher for smaller hands. If you don’t think that amount of size would make a difference, grab a 15kg bar compared to a 20kg bar. Huge difference, and that’s only 3-3.5mm.

So, what is the standard for how to size your rings? Whatever you can do muscle-ups on, comfortably.  Personally, I don’t have big hands, but I don’t have small hands either. That’s why FringeSport created their Bomba rings in a size that accessible to most people, 1.15″ OD. Falling right between FIG and CrossFit standards, the diameter of the Bomba rings is going to be perfect for most people; not to thin or thick. I’ve got all three sizes of rings loaded up at my gym, but the one I find myself going for the most are the Bomba rings.

 

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Difference looks slight, but feels substantial.

 

Texture is another big thing when it comes to a quality set of rings.  The rings I learned muscle-ups on were awful, shiny and slippery. Let’s not even get started on plastic rings that you’d never get a good grip on; you shouldn’t have to tape your rings up. If your grip is constantly slipping out of the rings, it not only makes your muscle-ups harder to do, it’s also a lot more dangerous. Before I even knew the difference, my coach at the time was telling me about how certain rings felt “softer”. Sounds like a crazy way to describe them, but it actually works when you get your hands on wood this smooth (lol). The artisans that make the Bomba rings use Baltic birch with a triple sanding process that makes the rings texturally perfect. Good ol’ American wood working. No rough edges or divots in the wood to tear up your hands, but “soft” enough to provide ample grip even without much chalk. I could do muscle-ups for days on the Bomba rings, if I could do muscle-ups for days that is.

Hanging your Bomba rings up comes with ease with the included straps. 15′ is plenty long to hang rings from just about anything, and feeding them through the cam buckle system is easy as could be. The straps are a beefy 1.5″ in width so you can count on them not failing on you any time soon. Not to mention the actual cam itself is hefty and is one solid piece of metal.

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Smooth, real smooth.

Will getting a quality set of rings help you get your muscle-ups? Possibly, it definitely couldn’t hurt your chances. Practice and consistency is really the only thing that will definitely get you them, so owning a pair of rings wouldn’t be such a bad idea either. Muscle-ups aren’t the only thing you can do on rings either. Pull-ups, dips, toes to ring, push-ups, rows, skin the cat and the list goes on! If you’re on the go, you can just pack up your rings and go to a park for a workout with such versatile pieces of equipment.

As Allen Iverson once said: “Practice”. That’s the only thing that’s going to really help you get muscle-ups, but you should be practicing on FringeSport’s Bomba rings.

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Face off: Hand Grips – WOD Grips v.s. JAW Grips v.s. Again Faster Grips

As of right now, I think WODies might just be the best hand protection available for functional fitness.  The one thing that I dislike about them is that you can’t use them without the wrist wraps.  To know all that I like about the, go ahead and check out the dedicated review of WODies; I’ll probably be referencing them quite a bit throughout this face-off.

The market is starting to see more and more options when it comes to gymnastic grips.  I think all of us at one point have tried using the standard leather grips.  We’ll get to those a little later on with the “Again Faster Grips”.  The next contender on the block is the “Just Another WOD” grips, and the newest kid on the block are “WOD Grips”.  All offer the same ideology but they all accomplish this in different ways (materials).  So, what do I think of all these offerings?  Well, let’s see which one I dislike the least…

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Leather grips :/

Again Faster Grips (All leather hand grips) – $22

The Again Faster Grips are of standard leather fare. This is probably the most popular material of most of the grips on the market.  There are a few issues with this type of grip that most everyone I’ve talked to agree on. They’re too thick, they hurt until you break them in, and they don’t offer enough grip.  Using this kind of grip will definitely help you work on your grip strength; no matter how much I chalk them up, I can’t seem to hang on to the bar.  Not to mention the break in period is a pain, the parts that go in between your fingers get pinched because the leather is too tough there.  Finally, I don’t have the biggest hands, but I wear medium in the grips according to how you should size them and even the couple millimeters that these add on paired with the inflexibility of leather grips makes holding on to the bar difficult for me.

This review holds true for pretty much every leather grip out there.

Not recommended.

Again Faster Grips Detail
Textured leather on both sides.

JAW Grips – $30

JAW Grips
Get em at WOD Shop!

Just Another WOD grips are definitely a step up over the leather grip type.  The cloth material used here is kind of like thick medical bandage, I’m sure it isn’t but just the color alone reminds me of it.  Like all the grips in this review, the grips go around your middle and ring finger and strap around your wrist.  Make sure that when you cut the holes on these grips, you size them a little smaller because they will stretch out over time, more so than the leather grips will.  You shouldn’t have any issues wearing these grips with your wrist wraps as the strap is long enough to go over your wraps.  There really isn’t much of a break in to these other than them being a little tight when you first size them. Even still, you’ll be able to do all your movements unhindered since the material is more flexible than leather.  It’s not recommended that you wash JAW Grips, since the dirt and sweat that accumulates on the grips will eventually lead to a better grip.

JAW Grips Hands

Personally, while these are (much) better than leather grips, I still couldn’t seem to get a sure grip on the bar like I could with WODies.  I wouldn’t say the number of pull-ups I could do before I start to slip off is halved, but I’m definitely coming off the bar prematurely.  You can think of this as a trade-off for having some kind of hand protection.  Note that these are the most narrow grips of the bunch, but still offer adequate palm protection.  I’ve seen plenty from people at my gym worn pretty badly in 4 months or so, but that’s to be expected from something being put through this kind of abuse.

Recommended.

JAW Grips Detail

WOD Grips – $28
WOD Grips

A new offering to the market are WOD Grips.  While styled very similarly to JAW Grips, the WOD Grips have a more traditional canvas cloth material that is used to cover your palms.  While not the same coverage as WODies that fit over three fingers, WOD Grips offer a bit more protection than JAW Grips.  The wrist strap also accommodates having wrist wraps under them like on JAW Grips.  As with all the grips, size these a bit smaller since the material will stretch over time.  The great thing is that these are the most flexible grip of this bunch, so break in isn’t a torturing process.  You’ll be good to go immediately after sizing these.  You can wash WOD Grips so they don’t get all funky and they won’t shrink on you; you can wash JAW Grips too, it’s just not recommended.

WOD Grips Hand

I was able to get the surest grip out of this bunch with WOD Grips.  Make sure you chalk up thoroughly, you won’t have to that often since these hold chalk pretty well.  The flexibility of the material makes WOD Grips the most unobtrusive grip of the pack.  I won’t get rid of my WODies anytime soon, but for the workouts that I don’t need wrist wraps with, I wouldn’t have any problems going with my WOD Grips instead.

Highly Recommended.

WOD Grips Detail