The strength levels that can be attained through proper calisthenics (a.k.a. bodyweight training) are astounding. Using just your own bodyweight, it’s possible to develop size, strength, and endurance in every muscle in your body. And while you don’t need any equipment, a few good-quality pieces can make all the difference.
Along with a good power tower and some gymnastics rings, parallettes are an excellent addition to your home calisthenics arsenal. They’re cheap, light and versatile. A good set of parallettes (also known as parallette bars) will allow you to complete beginner, intermediate and advanced exercises.
When buying a pair of parallettes for your home or garage gym, make sure to consider their stability, durability, and grippiness. If you’re planning to take them with you when you travel, or your home/garage gym just isn’t that big, you should also consider their size and weight.
Best Parallettes at a Glance
Best Parallettes Overall
These parallette bars from that premiere maker of home fitness equipment are quick and easy to assemble, and built to withstand even the most heavy duty calisthenic workouts. They look great and are built super-tough. They’ll not only facilitate a solid workout, but also keep your floors in good condition with their superior design and protective rubber feet
Best Value Parallettes
These no-frills parallettes from Fringe Sport are the perfect option for anyone who doesn’t want to pay the premium price tag hanging from Rogue’s options. There’s no assembly required, and the design is very straight-forward. If you go with these bars, then you may want to ensure you have chalk handy, or get some athletic grip tape, as the finish can get slippery when wet
The 5 Best Parallettes for Home Calisthenics
#1 Rogue Bolt-Together Parallette Set
For ten years, Rogue Fitness – the Columbus, Ohio-based company – has been one of the most reputable and trusted American manufacturers of strength and fitness equipment. From barbells to full garage gym setups, their US-made products are the highest quality. Their parallette bars are no different. That’s why their top-of-the-line bolt-together parallettes are the most popular models on the market, for athletes and general fitness enthusiasts alike.
These bolt-together parallettes are easy to assemble, so you can put them together quickly and easily right out of the box, and get training as soon as possible. Mine took about 10 minutes in total with a shifter or ratchet.
Each bar features a solid steel 1.5″ diameter body, tough construction, and rubber feet, all of which ensure that they won’t break, shift, or tip over, regardless of how heavy you are or how intense your workout is. Furthermore, they have the textured and grippy black powder coat that Rogue is well known for, so you’ll have a solid grip throughout your workout.
If your home gym is in a room with a wooden or carpeted floor, the rubber feet also prevent any unwanted scratches, dents or tears on the surface, allowing you to do your push-ups, L-sits, handstands, and planches anywhere in the house (provided you have high enough ceilings and the skill for handstands!).
These parallettes are both heavy and tall, meaning they’re not as ideal for travel as some of the options below. Their height can be both good and bad: Good because they give you some extra clearance when doing early l-sit and planche progressions, and the extra height helps you target your lower pecs when doing push-ups. But bad because it makes them unwieldy, and because you have a relatively long way to the ground if and when you’re able to do handstands on them and you inevitably topple at some point.
Finally, they’re more pricey than your other options. However, they’re still the best there is.
#2 Rogue Formed Parallette Set
Unlike their big brother, the bolt-together parallette bars, these formed parallettes from Rogue feature unibody construction from 14 gauge steel, and don’t require any assembly. Also, they come in at only 7 lbs. each and take up minimal space. This makes them a great choice for traveling athletes and coaches.
The formed Set features a black powder coat finish with a rough handle, which allows you to have a solid grip at all times. This is especially useful for more intense, grip-dependent exercises like handstand push-ups. If you’re a fan of versatile equipment, Rogue also suggests that these bars are small enough to use as hurdles for agility training drills.
Rogue’s formed parallette bars strike a great balance between value for money and quality.
#3 OneFitWonder Steel Parallettes
Some of the lowest-priced parallettes on the market, this no-frills offering from Fringe Sport is a cost-efficient set that is durable enough to last you for years. Each parallette bar is 23″ long x 12.5″ tall which should be large enough for most people to do a wide array of workouts, while also being compact enough to store in a cabinet or under your bed when not in use.
Each bar features a 14″ x 23″ base that provides a solid foundation and makes it stable enough to do complex exercises such as handstand push-ups and V-sits. As the surface of these parallettes tends to be smooth and glossy, it’s recommended you use chalk or grip tape to make sure you don’t slip. If you have any problems with the set, Fringe Sports offers a 1-year satisfaction guarantee with any purchase as well as free returns.
#4 Frank Medrano Signature Lebert Parallettes
These Frank Medrano Signature Parallettes are manufactured by Lebert Fitness, a well-known name in the workout equipment space. At just 5 pounds per bar, they are among the most portable steel sets available while still maintaining the stability of heavier options. They come in an eye-catching chrome color that fits well in any home gym setup. At first glance, the material may look glossy and slippery, but at the center of each bar is a non-slip grip area similar to those used in gymnastics competitions.
While these parallettes do require some assembly, it’s a straightforward process that can be done in under 10 minutes. If you’re just getting started with calisthenics, each purchase of the set comes with a downloadable PDF guide developed by the widely revered calisthenics guru Frank Medrano to help you develop an effective routine.
#5 Vita Vibe MP12-W Wood Mini Parallettes
While you probably won’t be working out for hours every day with the Vita Vibe MP12-W Parallettes, their highly compact size is great for people who want to bring their workout equipment with them while traveling. If you want to do your calisthenics in your hotel room when you’re in a different state or country, they easily fit inside a duffel bag, backpack, or carry-on suitcase. The entire set weighs around two pounds, which won’t take up that much of your baggage allowance.
Instead of being made of metal like other models, this set is constructed with a strong ash wood that can withstand up to 250 pounds of weight. Each parallette features a surprisingly comfortable grip and sufficient knuckle room to do dips, push-ups, and even handstands.
There you have it, the 5 Best Parallettes for Home Calisthenics! Developing strength and power via your own bodyweight will be made all the more effective and fun with any of the options above. If you’re looking for a really good, comprehensive guide to training with parallette bars, check out this set of articles from GMB
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Best of luck with your home workouts. Remember: When it comes to our health and fitness we can either make the effort or make excuses, but we can’t make both!