With gyms closed for the foreseeable future, now is the perfect time to expand your home workout. This simple, relatively inexpensive DIY parallettes project sets you up for a wide variety of dip bar exercises. Learn how to make your own parallettes with instructions, a materials list and a follow-along video with Primal Health Coach Brian. This post also includes a breakdown of a dip bar workout for beginners to get you started.
What are Parallettes?
Parallettes or planche bars can support an impressive range of exercises, ranging from beginner to advanced. Sometimes these bars are referred to as pushup bars or calisthenics dip bars, however, those tend to be a bit longer and lower to the ground. Though often associated with gymnasts, parallettes can be invaluable tool for expanding anyone’s range of bodyweight exercises.
How to Build Parallettes
Purchasing parallettes at the equipment store can be pricey – with some options costing up to a whooping $100 a piece (and you’ll want two).
Reaping the benefits of parallettes exercises doesn’t have to break the bank. Skip the big spending and head to any hardware or home improvement store to make your own parallettes. The materials cost roughly $20-$30, and building doesn’t require any special tools. These durable and inexpensive parallettes can be made entirely from PVC pipes in just a few minutes.
What You’ll Need
Most hardware stores will be willing to cut the PVC pipes for you to your exact dimensions. Be sure to have these lengths on hand before heading to the store.
- Four 1 1/4″ T-sockets
- Four 1 1/4″ elbow sockets
- Eight 1 1/4″ end caps
In addition to the fittings, all you need to buy is one 10ft 1 1/4 inch PVC pipe. Have them cut into the following measurements:
- Eight 6-inch pieces
- Four 10-inches
- Two 14-inch pieces
Tip: Go when it’s not busy to for the best chance of someone being available to cut them for you.
How to Assemble
- Connect your two 14-inch pieces to elbow sockets.
- Attach your four 8-inch pieces to the other side of the elbow socket.
- Add a T-socket to each 8-inch piece.
- Attach a 6-inch piece to all remaining sockets.
- Place an end cap on each of the 8-inch pieces.
- Make sure each connection is secure and sturdy before beginning your workout.
After this quick assembly, you’re ready to begin your parallette bars workout.
Parallettes Bar Exercises for Beginners
Parallettes strength training uses your own body instead of weights for a Primal workout. Like any new piece of gym equipment, start with simple exercises to become comfortable before transitioning into more advanced movements. Google or YouTube videos might show the impressive feats achieved with parallette bar exercises, but before testing your limits, follow along with these dip bar exercises for beginners to become more familiar with the bars and test your strength.
Parallette Push Ups
Parallette push ups provide a greater range of motion and a deeper stretch in your chest. Keep your back flat and extend fully down, and then all the way back up. Elevate your feet on a well-secured bench for a more advanced take on the parallette push up.
There’s a few approaches to dips.
Place the bars vertically at your sides, with your feet out in front of you, and then proceed to raise up and down while fully extending your arms. You can also place the bars in front and behind you with your feet resting on the bar in front. Your body should make roughly a V-shape on the ground and then lift into an L-shape, parallel to the bars.
Band-Assisted Plank or Planche
Use a workout band to loop your feet behind you, keeping your body parallel to the floor, as you would with a normal plank position. You might find that over time you can remove the band as your strength increases.
To start off this progression, build your core strength by tucking your legs as you lift into a “sitting position” with a parrallete supporting each arm.
You can then continue the progression to supporting your lower legs with a band to achieve the “L shape.” Over time, as core strength builds, you’ll be able to remove the band and move into the “L shape” unassisted.
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