Sunday, May 7, 2006

Get Your Own

Crossfit makes frequent use of the still rings (I don't know why they call them "still rings"--the things shake more than Keith Richards in rehab). We use them for pullups, pushups, dips, muscleups, levers, etc.

Rings do not provide the same stability as a fixed bar or the floor, requiring the athlete to control the movement in every plane. This makes a ring exercise exponentially more difficult than its normal counterpart. The increased difficulty translates into greater athletic ability. As an added bonus, you can hang rings off just about anything, making them a highly mobile piece of equipment.

Unfortunately, dropping 80 bucks on a pair of rings isn't always an option. If you've got access to a bandsaw and a router, you can make your own pair for $7.99. If you don't have access to these tools, make some new friends.

You'll need:
17" x 17" piece of 5/8" plywood
A compass (the kind that makes circles)
A ruler
A reciprocating saw/bandsaw
A router
Some heavy duty glue/epoxy
A pair of lashing straps (check the load rating)
Athletic tape

We're going to cut out four "half" rings. First, draw quadrants onto your piece of plywood. In each quadrant, make an 8" diameter circle. Be sure to mark the center of each circle. Draw a concentric 6" diameter circle within each 8" circle.

You should now have four rings drawn, each with an 8" outside diameter and a 6" inside diameter. Cut them out using the reciprocating saw/bandsaw. Take your time--the neater your work, better your rings will be.

Take two of the rings (each are half of a single finished ring) and glue them together. Repeat with the remaining pair. You should now have a pair of rings with very sharp edges. This is where the router comes in. After letting the glue set, use the router to take the edges off the rings. Sand the (almost) finished product to your desired smoothness, and paint if desired. I wrapped mine in athletic tape to facilitate grip.

If you've done your homework, this should have costed you exactly nothing. Get scrap plywood from the nearest Vo Tech/dump/construction site and bribe your tool-owning friends with the beer they left in your fridge last weekend. If that doesn't work, threaten them with another lecture on the merits of the Tabata protocol.

The only cost to this project is the lashing straps. I got 13' straps at Home Depot for $7.99. Find somebody in an orange smock and make them do the legwork. Make sure the straps are rated for the load you're putting on them (mine are rated for 200 pounds each).

String the straps through the rings, and find something to hang them off. Then, get on with it. You have rings, and I saved you 70 bucks. Please make the check out to "Cash"...


Post a Comment

<< Home