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Home made paralett bars

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning' started by bdcochran, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. bdcochran


    Sep 23, 2005
    Los Angeles
    1st a definition. Most people know what a set of parallel bars is. Paralett bars are a diminutive form of parallel bars. They can be parallel bars as low as a few inches off the ground. I made mine 31 inches high. There are at least 25 exercises that can be done on a non full size set of bars.

    I had wanted to put items like a chin up bar and parallel bars in the backyard. So, I researched ready mades on and youtube. Gosh, they were expensive! So, I researched do-it yourself items. Many "plans" reflected poor execution and inferior materials. And, I am just not capable of digging deep holes and setting 4x4s by myself.

    So, I found a guy on youtube who made a set of diminutive parallel bars from PCV irrigation pipe. Then I read the criticisms and the limitations of his result. I knew that the concept was not original, so I went on and found the best selling commercial unit.

    I give this background so that when you want to make your own equipment, you have some places to go.

    I already knew that the commercial PCV unit would have a weight limitation and be designed to the average guy. Nonetheless, I wrote down the measurements and then went for my materials.

    I chose 1 1/4 inch galvanized pipe material. I am a bit taller than the average, so I could not use precut and threaded pipe for the height and the length. I had it cut 31 inches instead of the 28.5 inches used in the commercial pvc tubing unit.

    Other than driving and buying the material, the only required effort was to screw the pipe units together. Yes, I spent some time. However, I constructed a workout device for me - and not the average JOe. Estimated savings - about 60% or more.

    I do go to the YMCA everyday. Based upon the driving time/car expense (and I already avoid the $2 a day parking fee) and the monthly dues, I will have recouped my investment in about 3 months and saved 45 minutes a day in travel time.
  2. hooligan74


    Aug 15, 2012
    Charlotte, NC

    What does your workout program for the paralettes look like? What were you doing at the Y before? Is there any movement/muscle group you were training at the Y that you are having a challenge with replicating at home?

  3. bdcochran


    Sep 23, 2005
    Los Angeles
    I went to elementary school with a lad named David Thor who became an Olympian in gymnastics. He would workout, not in an expensive gymnasium, but in the local park on questionable equipment.

    Years later, I would be driving downtown Los Angeles and pass by old buildings with second story apartments. I would rue that a kid with imagination could construct equipment that would be as good as that in an expensive gymasium.

    I had no metal/woodworking skills and little imagination. Then along came youtube. And, also, I had sessions of physical rehab at Kaiser.

    What exercises with the parallet bars? Just go to youtube and select from the few dozen that are out there and add some.

    One of my Kaiser exercises is to stand on one foot. The other leg is raised and placed horizontally on . . . a bar, a table, a wall . . . any stable surface.

    The first time I did that, I could hold the position for about 9 seconds. Now I do each leg for 5 minutes a day. Oh, I added to that exercise. I had had rotator cuff surgery on both arms. I didn't have quite the range of motion in my left arm. So, I also do a rotator cuff exercise of a towel held in one hand and across the back downwards and held in the opposite hand. So, I am doing two exercises at the same time. And, then, because French is one of the languages spoken at home, I might be listening to some French music on an mp3 player.

    I gave the foregoing example because one of the questions was am I able to do the same exercises. I have been doing that exercise on a foot rest on the middle level of a slant sit up board at the gym. The heavy situp metal slant board can be put at three different levels on a fixed frame that receives one end of the slant board.
  4. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford > OD Glock 32

    Nov 12, 2008
    Nice! I thought about crafting a set of my own. Will probably do so before long, and then use some Tacfit knowledge with their use.