Calisthenics parks are awesome but they can sometimes be REALLY crowded. The next best thing, and an EXCELLENT alternative to the bar park is simply a sturdy pair of parrallette bars. They are a sometimes overlooked piece of equipment for anyone serious about bodyweight training but they are a great addition to your home gym. Plus you have the option of practising anywhere outdoors if you want! What can beat that!?
While most portable kinds are not as large or high as the parallel bars you’d find in the calisthenics park, parrallette bars are a great tool for building up your core strength so that you can progress to and maintain more intense body weight exercises (and hopefully hit the bodyweight park when it’s available).
There are heaps of calisthenics body weight exercises that can be done everyday with a pair of parrallette bars and it’s really easy to get started. A good pair will set you back around $50-100 dollars but it’s worth spending the money since they need to support your entire body’s weight. Parrallettes come in a range of sizes, heights and shapes to suit any body type and taste.
So before you start you’ll need a set of parrallettes to start your strength training workout.
To begin working out on parallettes you will need average core strength and endurance as well as strong enough arms (and hands) to support your body’s weight. Don’t worry if you can only hold your body up for a second or two – your hands, forearms, shoulders and core muscles will grow stronger the more you practice. So practice, practice, practice. The benefits of calisthenics exercises with parrallettes include increased core strength, increased endurance as well as increased balance and coordination. Plus they are wicked fun.
The types of exercises you can do range from:
Beginner & Intermediate Parrallette Exercises
- Tucked Planches
- Tucked Shoulder stands
- Static Holds
- Inclined Push Ups
Extreme Parrallette Exercises
- Hand-stand Push ups
- Shoulder Stands
- Straddled L-sit Push ups
The list goes on. Apart from a lot of the static exercises (L-sits, tucked planches) and dynamic exercises (push ups and dips) you will also increase your strength and mobility just by moving between these exercises without resting. This is great for functional fitness and will make a huge difference to your core and arm strength if done in a focused and deliberate manner.
Check out this video from Calisthenicmovement on Youtube for a great parrellette bar beginner tutorial on where to start. He’s using a low-height, long set of parrellettes which are really sturdy and great for beginners.
(Source: Calisthenicmovement on Youtube)
For a more in depth guide into beginner parrallettes training check out the peeps over at GMB for thier fitness training course. They offer an online course which focuses purely on strength training with parrallettes and has all the information you will need to really GET STARTED!
If you’ve just bought a pair of parrallette bars and you want to do a SHOUT OUT to a good brand of parrallette bars or if you just want to share your progress, tips and tricks, or if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the section below.