WHAT ARE PARALLETTE BARS
Parallettes are small gymnastics equipment, employed in pairs, used primarily to simulate the parallel bars that can be found in professional gymnasiums. Parallettes are similar to pushup bars, or dip bars, but they are generally longer and lower to the ground. The parallettes are an incredible tool for building your upper body and core strength. Incorporating Parallettes into your workout is a great way to help you perform all kinds of fitness exercises with a full range of motion, thus increasing overall strength and body control.
COMPLETE TRAINING GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
Working out with parallettes can be especially helpful for beginners who have little experience with bodyweight training. Keep in mind all these tips below before your practice.
- Correct Hand Position
Start by placing your thumb on the top of the parallettes, facing forward. Then wrap the fingers and the thumb around the parallettes. Your wrist should be completely straight, not bent to the outside or inside of the bars.
- Width and Dimensions of Parallettes
Usually, there are three options to set up the width of your bars: narrow (measure the distance between your elbow and your wrist), medium (measure the distance between your elbow and the end of your fist), and wide (measure the distance between your elbow and your fingertips). Medium width is a good place to start.
- How High Should Your Parallettes Be?
There’s no defined height for parallettes. Taller versions are generally better if you’re just starting out, though they can make hand balancing skills more challenging later on. Lower bars are more challenging for skills lower to the ground but can make hand balancing skills more accessible.
FULL BODY WORKOUT WITH PARALLETTES
While parallettes are most commonly used for speed and agility drills, the muscle-burning exercises below are all about strength. Parallettes stand behind the secret of a strong and muscular body of professional athletes. Now you can maximize your hand and wrist strength without experiencing unnecessary discomfort. The parallettes keep your wrists in the neutral position, thus lessen the pressure on your wrist, and distribute it equally on your hands and forearms. Ready to go? Quicken the pace, and you’ve got yourself the best parallete cardio workout ever.
- PUSH UP
The Parallettes adds some incline to this basic full-body move, forcing your upper-body and core to work harder. You’ll also build some grip strength by holding tight onto the bars.
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START: Get into a plank position with each hand holding onto a parallette, your hands should directly under shoulders. Ground your toes into the floor to stabilize your lower half. Brace your core, engage glutes and hamstrings, and flatten your back so your entire body is neutral and straight.
FINISH: Lower your body. Keep your back flat & eyes focused in front of you. Don’t let your butt dip or stick out at any point during the move. Hold this lower position for one breath and then fully extend your arms into plank. Do 8-10 reps.
Here you’ll work a trio of lower-body muscles: quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. If you want to add weight to these lunges, holding a kettlebell in each hand or do a Goblet hold with one kettlebell.
START: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Step your right foot behind you and place your right ankle over the parallette.
FINISH: Lower your body down into lunge, so your left leg forms a 90-degree angle to the floor. Make sure your left knee does not go past your foot. Do 8-10 reps, and then switch legs.
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- TRICEP DIPS
Toning your triceps – the muscles that run on the backside of your upper arm, from your shoulder to your elbow – is the easiest way to tone your arms. A basic yet effective body-weight exercise just with a pair of parallettes.
START: Sit between the Parallettes. Grip the handle of each Parallette. Bend at your hips, knees, and plant feet on the floor about 1 meter from the Parallettes so your butt is able to descend in front of the Parallettes and your arms are supporting your torso.
FINISH: Descend downwards by flexing at the elbow and allowing your backside to move down in front of the Parallettes. The forearms should remain pretty much perpendicular to the ground during the exercise. Once your upper arms are parallel to the ground, reverse the movement by extending the arms back to the starting position. Do 8-10 reps.
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Working on the L-Sit with Parallettes as part of a comprehensive program will build strength and body control for both beginners and advanced trainees.
START: Place your feet on the ground, push your hands down on the Parallettes with your shoulders away from your ears. Make sure to keep your butt directly beneath your shoulders.
FINISH: Bring one foot off the ground at a time, maintaining the angle in your knee. Don’t lean your chest forward to meet your knee. Then bring both feet up at once. From the tuck position, work on extending one leg at a time, holding each side for at least 5 seconds. Now, you’re ready to work on the full L-Sit, extending both legs at a time while keeping the rest of your body solidly in position.