Do you have ambitions of being a professional gymnast? Or maybe you just want to improve your breakdancing skills for your next dance-off showdown.
Regardless of your groovy motivations, developing gymnast-like upper body strength can open up doors to other parts of the fitness world.
For anyone looking to improve their upper body strength and flexibility dramatically, parallette bars might be an intelligent fitness purchase.
Parallette bars are cheap, easy to move around, and provide the ultimate versatility for a home calisthenics routine using nothing but body weight.
With a good set of parallette bars, your home gym becomes an even more advanced training ground for calisthenic and body weight exercises that will continue to challenge your skill and increase your functional fitness.
This article covers some of the best parallette bars of 2022 and discusses which option might be best for you.
But before we get into the details of each product, let’s outline what qualities and specs you should be looking for when starting your parallette bar research.
|XL Parallette Bars||Steel||– 19-inch long rail with non-rounded ends|
– 14.5 inches high
– base is made from 1.5-inch thick gauge metal and has rubber feet to prevent movement while on the ground
Juperbsky Push-Up Stands Bars Parallettes Set
|Steel||– 5.5-inch height|
– load-bearing capacity of 2200 lbs
– comes with non-slip caps and a designed angle on the bars
|Body Power Parallettes||Steel||– constructed from heavy-gauge steel and a carbon base|
– rail length is 24 inches
|JFIT Pro Push Up Bar Stand||Steel||– comes in multiple heights, is lightweight, and is durable|
– designed mostly for push-up and upper chest workouts
|Lebert Fitness Parallettes Push Up Dip Stand||Steel||– weighs only 5 lbs each bar|
– comes with non-slip rubber feet and a load capacity of 400 lbs
|Vita Vibe Wood Parallettes Set||Wood||– use high-quality wood to ensure proper structure and durability|
– made from hardwood ash
|Withgear Folding Push Up Bar ||Light-Weight||– folding design|
– sleek, convenient, and perfect for taking your workouts anywhere
|eHUPOO Parallettes||Steel||– 12-inch high by 24-inch long design|
– constructed with heavy-duty steel and a matte powder-coat to prevent slipping
|Barre Trainer Wood Parallettes Set||Wood||– tested load weight of 250 lbs, a height of 8 inches, and a length of 18-24 inches||Check Price|
How to Choose the Perfect Parallette Bar
Choosing the set of parallettes best for you takes a bit of knowledge about what defines various products, and what specifications might suit your personal needs.
For those who are newbies to upper body exercise, starting with a stable set of parallettes will help tackle the learning curve.
For gymnasts in the making wanting to challenge their skill and progress past beginner level, a more heavy-duty advanced set of characteristics might define your perfect parallette set.
Let’s look at some of the main factors when choosing the best parallette bars to suit your needs.
Length, Height, and Diameter
When purchasing your first set of parallette bars, you’ll need to determine what sort of exercises you wish to aspire to. Your end fitness goal can help you to choose the right set.
Parallette bars all have a similar rail diameter, typically around 1.5 inches.
This allows for a comfortable grip hold and is suitable for more people. If the rail diameter is much wider than this, be sure to check the reviews to see if anyone has experienced discomfort with the diameter being too wide.
The length of the parallette bar refers to the rail length for the grip.
Longer grip rails can be suitable for specific exercises that require more movement, and longer grip length together with a sturdy base can increase stability.
However, the longer the length, the bigger the parallettes will be, making them less portable and harder to carry around or move.
The average parallette length is anywhere from 10 inches to 25 inches, so there are many available choices.
Height refers to the distance from the base of the parallette set to the grip and normally determines a classification of “standard” or “mini” when labeling a product.
Even though these measurements vary from brand to brand, as a general rule, “mini” parallettes usually have a height of fewer than 6 inches.
The lower the height of the parallette bar, the more stability the set has. For exercises that require long static holds (i.e., handstands), short or “mini” parallettes could be a practical choice.
These types of exercises can be quite tricky with a higher set of parallettes.
For exercise that requires a lot of movement around the bars, the higher the parallettes, the more space we have to work with from the floor up.
Dips, pushups, and other lowering exercises benefit from using a set of parallettes with more height.
As mentioned previously, the taller the parallettes, the more prone they are to wobble or fall over. Stability is normally the greatest when parallette bars are relatively short, but in doing so, athletes limit the versatility of their movements.
Adding other elements of stability, such as non-slip rubber grips or heavier bases, can increase the balance and allow for increased versatility while not compromising on stability.
Finding a balance between width, height, and stability comes down to your spatial limitations and fitness goals.
When referring to a weight specification, there are two factors we can consider when purchasing a new set of parallettes.
First is the weight of the product, an important factor for anyone looking to build a portable gym or conduct their workouts outside at their local park.
Higher parallettes are normally heavier (more material involved).
Shorter sets are lighter but limit the type of exercises.
On top of the weight of the product itself, customers should also pay attention to the weight capacity of each parallette set.
Some products are designed for bigger, heavier bodies, while others follow a standard guideline.
Be sure to check if the product is conducive to your body type.
Determining the optimum parallette bar set also comes down to the materials used in the construction.
Like any other product, the material can dictate price, but for those willing to invest in a product that will last the longest and provide optimum performance, it’s good to know what you’re buying.
There are three primary materials used in the design of the best parallettes.
PVC parallette bars or parallettes made from plastic are often lightweight, easily portable, and cheap.
For beginner athletes who want to learn a new skill without making a lofty investment, PVC parallettes might be your way in on a budget.
If your goal is to master the parallettes, do your research and try to find reviews speaking to the product’s longevity. Plastic tends to wear quicker than other materials and does have the strength of wood or steel.
Plastic is excellent for moving the parallette bars around, taking them on the road, and tying to a backpack. They are perfect for short outdoor workouts and for people who live out of hotel rooms.
For those who wish to opt for longevity and quality over mobility or need a more supportive material, wood and steel might be a better option.
Wood Parallette Bars
Wood parallette bars are more readily available and often sought after due to their surface grip and aesthetic.
Wood looks nice, smells nice, and absorbs liquid easier, preventing slipping.
For short parallette sets, wood could be a great option. It’s sturdy, and it can be lighter than heavy-duty steel bars. While PVC will usually clock in the lightest, well-designed wood parallettes can come a close second.
If you’re looking for tall parallette bars, steel might be the best option as increased height brings increased strain, and wood will eventually break.
Steel Parallette Bars
Anyone looking to invest in a set of parallette bars that will last and progress with their personal skill, steel is most likely the route you want to take.
There is no substitute for the durability that steel brings to the table.
With durability comes a weighted price. Steel parallette bars tend to be heavier and less mobile, making it challenging to travel, take on the road, or use in the park.
Steel parallettes can often stay put in the garage, so depending on your fitness goals, this could be positive or negative.
For anyone trying to decide between different materials and their pro’s and con’s, consider getting a more durable set of parallette bars for the home gym and an extra set to take on the road. It’s the best of both worlds.
Best Parallette Bars
Now that we have given you a proper rundown on what to expect when comparing different parallette bar models, here is our list of the best parallettes of 2021.
We start with a strong contender for what could be the best overall option when it comes to a set of parallette bars.
The XL Parallette bars are constructed of 2mm thick gauge steel and coated with a matte grip to prevent slipping from sweat.
Most will find the grip comfortable with a designed average grip diameter of 1.25 inches, preventing wrist soreness throughout the workout.
The XL parallette set has a 19-inch long rail with non-rounded ends to ensure that the entire length can be used as part of an exercise.
While other models will round the ends of the rail for safety and aesthetic, the XL model considers that wasted space and instead ensures the rail is 100% usable.
In addition to the long rail, the XL parallette bars also sit 14.5 inches high, ensuring optimum height for full workouts and versatility in exercises.
Finally, the XL parallettes’ base is made from 1.5-inch thick gauge metal and has rubber feet to prevent movement while on the ground.
These bars are structurally sound and a great value.
Switching gears now, the Juperbsky Parallettes are designed with some different features in mind.
First and foremost, these would be considered “mini” parallettes by most, with only a 5.5-inch height.
For anyone looking to get into serious upper body strength workouts using low lying push-ups, v-sits, and long static holds- these parallettes are strong and stable.
With solid steel construction, this parallette set has a load-bearing capacity of 2200 lbs- the heaviest of the pack.
For big-time weight-lifters or big bodies who need a sturdy frame, these guys will do the trick.
The Juperbsky parallette set comes complete with non-slip caps and a designed angle on the bars designed to prevent wrist fatigue and injury. Reliable rail handles make for a comfortable grip.
While these parallettes may not be ideal for someone looking to explore the full realm of gymnastic moves, they are perfect for athletes who want maximum durability and strength, and mobility.
Next up, the Body Power 12×24 inch parallettes. Constructed from heavy-gauge steel and a carbon base, these bars are sturdy, strong, and a medium height.
As a mid-range product, these would be considered generalists when it comes to parallette exercises.
For anyone wishing to complete full range motion exercises such as pass-throughs, the 12-inch height might not be quite high enough.
Anyone looking for adequate bars for these exercises might want to stick in the 14-15 inch height range.
The rail length is 24 inches, making this product one of the longest on the list. However, the ends are rounded out, effectively lessening the space available to complete exercises.
The grip diameter is 1.5 inches, slightly wider than some of the previous models, and thus sometimes a bit too wide for small-handed athletes.
The Body Power parallette bars are great for various exercises but may be too big and clunky for those looking for a mobile option.
Similar to other bigger products on this list, they are best for the stationary home gym.
If you are on a bit of a budget or want to try parallette training before investing in a set that will set you back, the JFit Pro parallette set might be the mid-range product you are looking for.
What this set may lack in quality, it makes up for in value. As you would expect from a product such as this, the reviews are not perfect but show a general understanding of you get what you pay for.
They are adequate for most people who want to investigate the exercises.
The pro’s of the JFit Pro is that it comes in multiple heights, is lightweight, and is durable.
Coming in both 11-inch and 9-inch height variations, they are designed mostly for push-up and upper chest workouts.
For anyone looking to do pass-throughs of dips, the bars will most likely be too short.
If your goal is to develop more confidence and strength through push-ups and other minimal movement exercises, the Jfit Pro is a great place to start.
Lebert Fitness parallettes come in swinging, with an avid fan base and lots of happy customers.
These bars are of great value and sized appropriately for versatile workouts. While they are on the bigger side, many customers have reported surprising mobility next to size, weighing only 5 lbs each bar.
The Lebert fitness bars are constructed from stainless steel and come complete with non-slip rubber feet and a load capacity of 400 lbs.
Like previous models, they are ideal for push-ups, v-sits, and dips, though taller athletes may find the 12-inch height hard to complete a full complete pass through or dip.
This product also comes in various colors, including the bright yellow for the showman in you.
On top of the bars, customers who purchase through amazon will also receive PDF workout guides to start strong.
Here we have it, our first set of wood parallettes!
The Vita Vibe wood parallette bars are constructed in the USA and use high-quality wood to ensure proper structure and durability.
As mentioned previously, wood construction is favorable to those looking for durability, mobility, non-slip grip, and aesthetics.
The Vita Vibe parallettes are made from hardwood ash, have a comfortable 1.5-inch grip diameter, and are tested to 250 lbs of load weight.
The base is made with heavy gauge steel and secured with rubber feet to prevent movement. Best yet, this made-in-the-USA product comes with a 10-year warranty to ensure customer confidence.
As is typical with wood construction, these bars are a tad shorter than some previous models, maxing out at 10-inch height.
For anyone looking to have full-range pass-throughs and bigger gymnastics practice, the Vita Vibe might fall short.
But for those looking for a well-built product to perform a large variety of parallette exercises, Vita Vibe has come through with a solid set of parallette bars.
For the mobile athletes who like to be on the move, the Withgear Folding push up bar is a unique option that can suit even the most stringent portability needs.
Constructed with duralumin, these push-up bars have a heavy weight load (660 lbs) despite having a folding design.
This product is sleek, convenient, and perfect for taking your workouts anywhere. The fold-up design is particularly attractive to those with a life on the road.
Both designs are incredibly lightweight.
With a height of only 8 inches, these short parallette bars are designed mostly for pushups and low motion exercises.
Customers enjoy this product but have remarked that the lightweight construction can lead to more movement at the base.
It is recommended to use this product on non-slip surfaces such as carpet or grass rather than wood or tile.
Similar to the Body Power and Lebert models above, the eHupoo parallettes cater to those athletes that want to achieve more full-range of motion exercises such as v-sits, pass-throughs, and deeper dips.
With an upgraded 12 inch high by 24-inch long design, these parallettes are designed to evolve with your parallette skill.
Constructed with heavy-duty steel and a matte powder-coat to prevent slipping, these bars aren’t moving anywhere.
They come with additional handle grips and rubber feet to ensure as little movement as possible.
Finally, they are load tested to 330 lbs, making them a good option for heavier body builds.
The eHupoo parallette bars are a great all-around product, competitively priced, and perfect for anyone wanting to add versatility into their parallette workouts.
Similar to the Vita Vibe wood parallettes above, the Barre Trainer wood parallette bars have similar dimensions, similar specs but a lower price.
With a tested load weight of 250 lbs, a height of 8 inches, and a length of 18-24 inches, they are slightly shorter than the Vita Vibe set but the same length.
Made from beech wood and supported by a steel base, these bars are easy to set up and marked with plenty of customer satisfaction.
For anyone looking for the aesthetic and durability of wood parallette bars, the Barre Trainer set is a bit cheaper than the Vita Vibe but does not come with a warranty.
5 Best Parallette Exercises
Now that you’re considering purchasing your first parallette bar set, we figure it’s a good idea to know how to use them.
For beginners just starting, it can be overwhelming how many new exercises are made available with your new parallettes.
So we will keep it simple and give you five easy, beginner level exercises to help develop your parallette strength and technique.
There are a few ways to complete the dip while using parallettes, and this comes down to how high you set is.
For most short parallette sets, the easiest and most effective way to complete a good dip is by placing your hands on one parallette and your feet on the other.
How to do it:
Place the parallettes body length apart so you can comfortably have your hands gripping the bar, palms faced away, and your elbows comfortably at your side.
Place your feet on the other parallette, with the heel of your shoe resting on the rail.
Allow for controlled downward movement as you drop your hips towards the ground, keeping your elbows tucked in to your sides.
These dips work the triceps, the chest, and the stabilizer muscles involved in keeping the core engaged and the body balanced.
For absolute beginners to get used to the exercise, keep the feet on the ground instead of balanced on the parallette.
Using your new set of parallettes is a great way to challenge the body and take your pushup skill to the next level.
How to do it:
Place the parallettes shoulder-width apart, so your hands and parallel to your body.
With each hand, firmly grip each rail and extend your arms completely.
Stretch the legs straight back, creating a strong “V” with the upper body.
Slowly lower the chest down until it is level with the parallettes, and then lift it back to the starting position with control.
For those who want a little extra stretch (and challenge), you can attempt to lower the body slightly below the parallettes, creating a decline movement and engaging more muscles. Work up to this slowly.
Push-ups work the large chest muscles and engage the core.
Those who want a different challenge, bring the feet closer to the parallettes, creating a steeper angle with the back (pike pushup derivative).
Here we have it, everyone’s favorite ab exercise. With your new set of parallette bars, the v-sit just got more challenging (and better).
How to do it:
Place the parallettes should width apart and in line with your body, the same as the push-up.
With one hand gripping each rail, suspend your glutes and hips above the ground and engage the core.
Extend the legs directly in front, with your toes pointed skyward.
Now hinge at the hips, lifting your feet as high as they can towards the sky, creating a “V” with your upper body and your legs.
Start with a 5-second hold, and work your way up from there.
In addition to your core, v-sits also work the stabilizer muscles in your arms and chest, as well as the lower back and legs.
Many aspiring advanced calisthenic athletes and gymnastics share a particular interest in more challenging parallette moves, such as the planche.
A tuck planche is a great way to work your way up to a full planche, handstand push ups, or other more advanced body weight exercises.
How to do it:
Starting with the parallettes on each side in line with the body, lean forward with the chest towards the ground and grip each rail.
Keeping your arms straight, rock your body forward, and try to bring your shoulders forward to the front of the rail.
When you can, tuck your knees up into your stomach, and hold this pose for as long as you can.
The tuck planche works the entire upper body and puts a strong focus on balance and mobility.
For those interested in functional fitness, this move is a great goal to conquer.
This exercise may only be possible for those with parallette bars higher than 12-13 inches.
While it is a bit more advanced than some of the other moves, there is a short learning curve that beginners can conquer with a bit of practice.
How to do it:
Start in a similar position to completing a push-up or a pike push-up, with your legs extended comfortably behind you and your legs straight.
While moving your weight forward, come through the bars bringing your knees into your stomach, and kick your legs out in front.
Immediately bring your knees back to your stomach, and kick your legs back to the starting position.
On the forward kick, try not to let your feet touch the ground, as this swing is one forward-motion exercise.
The parallette swing is a great exercise for the mobility muscles in the shoulders and the abs and lower back muscles. It may sound complicated, but it is worth the practice.
Are Parallette Bars Worth It?
In summary, parallette bars are a way for beginner athletes to embark on a more dynamic fitness routine or add dynamic, fun movement to an existing static program.
For more advanced athletes interested in achieving mobility, flexibility, and serious upper body strength through hybrid exercises, parallettes are an easy choice.
Like any product, investing in quality can and will save you money in the long run.
Those who have tried parallettes and are hooked on the exercises, find a set that is built to your goals and made to last.
For anyone who is just curious, maybe try and practice before you buy, or purchase a cheaper, more versatile set to see if they fit with your routine.