The parallel bars are a great and versatile piece of workout equipment, that can be either portable, allowing you to train wherever you want, or stationary, to be used at your own home gym.

They are often ignored in detriment of their more popular cousin, the pull-up bar, but for no good reason since there are as many or more exercises that can be done in these bars.

In fact, there is a whole discipline in gymnastics dedicated to the parallel bars and some of the most advanced moves in this domain require this piece of equipment.

So without further ado, here is our guide to buying your own parallel bars.

  • Pros:
    • Sturdy
    • Adjustable Height up to 51”
    • Great customer Support
    • Great Design: Allows for wider range of exercises
  • Cons:
    • Non adjustable width
Our Recommendation
  • Pros:
    • Foam Grip
    • Includes instructional DVD
    • Adjustable height up to 3” taller than standard (appropriate for people of all heights)
    • Lightweight
  • Cons:
    • Slightly above average price
  • Pros:
    • Sturdy
    • Affordable
    • Adjustable height up to 36”
  • Cons:
    • Distance between bars cannot be changed
    • Smaller range of exercises available
  • Pros:
    • Easy to install
    • Heavy duty (up to 300 lbs)
    • Most affordable in category
  • Cons:
    • Not indicated for 6”1′ and taller
  • Pros:
    • Super portable
    • Light
    • Affordable
  • Cons:
    • Parallettes offer a smaller range of exercises
  • Pros:
    • Comes with workout program included
    • Affordable
    • Thiner grip = easier on the wrists
    • Lightweight and portable
  • Cons:
    • Smaller distance to floor = less exercises
    • Made of steel rather than wood
  • Pros:
    • Quality build
    • Light but sturdy Affordable
  • Cons:
    • Smaller distance to floor
#1 Choice
Pros:
  • Sturdy
  • Adjustable Height up to 51”
  • Great customer Support
  • Great Design: Allows for wider range of exercises
Cons:
  • Non adjustable width
4.4
Our Recommendation
Pros:
  • Foam Grip
  • Includes instructional DVD
  • Adjustable height up to 3” taller than standard (appropriate for people of all heights)
  • Lightweight
Cons:
  • Slightly above average price
4.7
Pros:
  • Sturdy
  • Affordable
  • Adjustable height up to 36”
Cons:
  • Distance between bars cannot be changed
  • Smaller range of exercises available
4.4
Pros:
  • Easy to install
  • Heavy duty (up to 300 lbs)
  • Most affordable in category
Cons:
  • Not indicated for 6”1′ and taller
4.5
Pros:
  • Super portable
  • Light
  • Affordable
Cons:
  • Parallettes offer a smaller range of exercises
4.7
Pros:
  • Comes with workout program included
  • Affordable
  • Thiner grip = easier on the wrists
  • Lightweight and portable
Cons:
  • Smaller distance to floor = less exercises
  • Made of steel rather than wood
4.3
Pros:
  • Quality build
  • Light but sturdy Affordable
Cons:
  • Smaller distance to floor
4.6

Best Parallel Bars for Home

#1 Choice – BalanceFrom Multi-Function Dip Stand

Pros:

  • Sturdy, supporting up to 500 pounds
  • Adjustable height of 41 to 52 inches
  • Dimensions: 27. 95″ Wide and 29. 52” long
  • Design is simple and limits risk of injuries
  • Good value for money

Cons:

  • Customer support is not great
  • Some customers regard it to be too wide
BalanceFrom Multi-Function Dip Stand BalanceFrom Multi-Function Dip Stand
4.4
$69.99

Dip Station Dip bar with Improved Structure Design, 500-Pound Capacity

  • Non-slip foot pads protect the floor and ensure your safety.
  • Foam padded grip handles increase friction and minimize your hand fatigue.
01/31/2023 08:36 pm GMT

#2 Best Parallel Bars for Home: RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE Dip Station Power Tower

Pros:

  • Suction cups at the bottom makes it more stable
  • Comes with a body twister plate that rotates frictionless
  • Sturdy 
  • Adjustable height between 39 to 51 inches in 2.6 inch increments
  • Good customer service

Cons:

  • Slightly more expensive than alternatives
RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE | Dip Station RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE | Dip Station
4.5
$84.99
  • Exercise Training
  • Parallel Bar Ab Workout Sports Equipment
  • Dip Stands for Home Gym
01/31/2023 08:41 pm GMT

Best Portable Calisthenics Parallel Bars

Our #1 Recommendation: Lebert Fitness XL Calisthenics Dip Bar

Pros:

  • Comes in different sizes: XL is recommended. The most common downfall with calisthenics dip bars is their height. This model offers a higher range of movements.
  • Strong build, good durability.
  • More stable than other versions of the dip bars.
  • Relatively Portable and easy to set up.
  • Comfortable grips
  • Height: 31”

Cons:

  • Height is not adjustable: If you’re up to 6 feet, this bar should allow you to do all the major exercises without many problems. If you are taller, you might hit your knees on your floor when doing dips.
  • Price could be lower

In summary, this is a solid dip bar kit. It will cost you a bit more than other sets of bars listed in this article but will last longer.

Given the difference is at most 20 to 30 dollars, we consider this investment to be worthwhile.

OUR SCORE: 4.5/5

Lebert Fitness Dip Bar Stand Lebert Fitness Dip Bar Stand
4.7
$119.00
  • Original Equalizer Total Body Strengthener Pull Up Bar Home Gym Exercise Equipment Dipping Station
  • Hip Resistance Band, Workout Guide and Online Group
01/31/2023 08:47 pm GMT

2nd Place: Ultimate Body Press Dip Bar Fitness Station

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Height: 33”
  • Sturdy

Cons:

  • Less Portable than its peers
  • Distance between the bars is not adjustable. i.e. it is fixed with the structure
  • Smaller range of exercises. Australian pull-ups, for example, can’t be done.

This option is great for a home gym setup that needs to be semi-portable.

It’s main disadvantage is the diminished flexibility that the fixed distance between bars gives.

OUR SCORE: 4/5

Ultimate Body Press Dip Bar Fitness Station Ultimate Body Press Dip Bar Fitness Station
4.4
$84.99
  • Will Accommodate Tall & Heavy Person | Knurled to reduce slipping
  • Rubber feet firmly position the barbell rack and to avoid damage to your floor


01/31/2023 08:51 pm GMT

3rd Favourite: Relife Dip Station

Pros:

  • Adjustable Height: From 30.31” to 34.25”
  • Very Stable

Cons:

  • Despite the adjustable height, even at its highest mode, it can still be too short. Users over 6”2′ might still struggle to do dips without hitting their knees on the floor.
  • Not as sturdy as the two previous options.

OUR SCORE: 4/5

RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE | Dip Station RELIFE REBUILD YOUR LIFE | Dip Station
4.5
$84.99
  • Exercise Training
  • Parallel Bar Ab Workout Sports Equipment
  • Dip Stands for Home Gym
01/31/2023 08:41 pm GMT

Best Portable Parallel Bars (aka Parallettes) for Calisthenics

Portable parallel bars offer a smaller range of exercises. The all-important dips, for example, can’t be done with some of these smaller stands.

The best portable parallel bars are Parallettes that are at least waist high.

These allow for the biggest range of exercises, including dynamic ones such as the dip, russian dip, amongst others, and statis exercises such as planches, l-sits, and handstands.

Our #1 Recommendation: Parallette Heavy Duty Dip Push Up Stands

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Extremely Portable
  • Strong and durable build
  • Very Stable

Cons:

  • No foam grip. This isn’t necessarily bad as some people prefer the metal grips. Personally, we prefer metal grips.
  • Non-adjustable Height

OUR SCORE: 4.75/5

Rubberbanditz Parallettes Push Up & Dip Bars Rubberbanditz Parallettes Push Up & Dip Bars
4.3
$69.95
  • Heavy Duty
  • Non-Slip Parallette Stand for Crossfit
  • Gymnastics
  • Bodyweight Training Workouts
01/31/2023 09:36 pm GMT

2nd Place: XL Parallette Bars, Versatile Push Up & Dip Bars

Pros:

  • Foam grips make it more comfortable for prolonged exercises.
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Non-adjustable Height
  • Less sturdy than our #1 choice

OUR SCORE: 4.5/5

XL Parallette Bars, Versatile Push Up & Dip Bars XL Parallette Bars, Versatile Push Up & Dip Bars
4.7

UPDATED STYLE - 9" or 11" Options - NEW Design Assembly, NEW Thicker Grips and Non-Skid Feet for Enhanced Push Ups

  • Multi Use & Versatile Calisthenics Equipment.
  • Heavy Duty & Sturdy Design
  • Convenient Work Out For Anyone
  • Safe And Easy To Use

3rd Favourite: Boundary Movement Heavy Duty Parallettes

Pros:

  • Portable and easy to assemble
  • Nice design.

Cons:

  • Less affordable
  • No foam grips
  • Design is less sturdy
  • Less affordable than previous options

OUR SCORE: 4/5

CALI SPORTS Wood Parallettes for Calisthenics CALI SPORTS Wood Parallettes for Calisthenics
4.6
$41.99

Gymnastics, Yoga, hand stand bars, press up handles

  • Solid beech wood
  • Non slip rubber foam pads
  • Freedom to practice on any surface
  • Absorb the sweat so you can maintain a solid grip.
01/31/2023 09:41 pm GMT

Parallel Bars Workout Exercises:

L-sit:

Difficulty: Medium

The l-sit is one of the most demanding and complete core exercises you can do using the dip bars.

It consists of grabbing the bars with your hands aligned and elevating your legs until they form a 90-degree angle with your upper body.

One possible progression is, to begin with your legs tucked into your chest, then move to a 1 leg extended l-sit, then a normal l-sit, and when you’ve mastered that, move to the v-sit, which consists of elevating the legs even further.

Once again, our favourite video on the l-sit progression is by Antranik:

Push-ups and Dips:

Difficulty: Easy to Medium

Dips are the quintessential exercises for working on your lats.

If you’re trying to get a V-shaped back, this is the exercise to obsess with.

The progression is quite simple: If you can’t do normal dips in the parallel bars, you can do a series of floor exercises, as shown in the video below. Though personally, we recommend working on a dip progression based on resistance bands.

When you can do dips without resistance bands, just add a weight belt.

ThenX has a great video on these two exercises:

Handstands:

Difficulty: Hard

Warning: Doing handstands in the parallel bars is for advanced athletes only. Controlling the fall can be hard and can result in serious injury.

If doing handstands in the floor is no longer challenging, bar handstands are a great progression. They will put a much higher emphasis on wrist control and strength

Seth Travers has a good tutorial on this progression:

Planches:

Difficulty: Medium to Hard

The planche is another great core and upper body exercise. The recommended progression is: Tucked planche, where your knees go up to your chest, one legged planche, and finally the normal plance.

Once this is easy peasy, you can combine the planche with a handstand.

The youtube channel Calisthenicsmovements, which is great by the way, has a very good tutorial on this move:

Final Thoughts

We hope that this article has helped you in your calisthenics journey towards a more flexible, lean, and strong body and mind.

The dip bars will undoubtedly take your home training to another level, opening the doors to a universe of static and dynamic exercises.

If you want more info on a solid calisthenics routine to do a home, read our article on the subject, and as always any feedback or comments are appreciated in the box below!

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