Best Parallettes - Calisthenics 101's Top 5 Pick
Otherwise known as Gymnastic bars or Dipping bars, Parallettes are a fantastic piece of training equipment that can be used to train a wide variety of bodyweight and gymnastic exercises.
Because parallettes are small and versatile, they are one of the best things to purchase as your first piece of home gym training kit. This also makes them perfect for carrying around on the move such as when staying in a hotel.
Because of their design, they’re extremely scalable to suit a wide range of fitness levels from bodyweight beginners to well-versed calisthenic artists.
In the next section, you can find out more about exactly why this piece of kit should make up some part of your training and also, some of the things you need to take into account when choosing a pair of Parallettes.
If you want to simply jump to the Parallettes review section then click here.
So, what should you take into account when purchasing a pair of Parallettes?
Parallettes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so it’s important to pick the length and height that best suits your needs. Smaller parallettes will obviously be more portable and also more suited to exercises like the push-up to allow you greater depth whilst keeping the movement relatively similar.
Taller parallettes can be used for more advanced movements such as planche variations where you need to really get your whole body off the floor. As well as this, larger parallettes will also allow a greater level of mobility and movement through the exercise which is useful for more active exercises opposed to just static holds. Larger parallettes tend to also be more stable due to their larger base.
Material and Durability
When purchasing any piece of equipment, you really want to make sure that your investment is going to last. Parallettes are no different as they need to support your entire bodyweight.
You can find parallettes in a range of materials from steel to wood. Metal tends to be stronger and more durable, but many people find that wood not only looks nicer but feels more comfortable.
One of the biggest benefits of parallette bars is that you can carry them almost anywhere with you. So, no matter where you are, you can always get in a good workout, especially for your upper body.
Parallettes are perfect for those who are constantly on the move and can never find a suitable gym or spot to workout. Essentially, this piece of equipment allows for you to carry your gym with you. If you couple parallettes with a few other small and nifty pieces of kit, then you’ve always got the opportunity for an effective exercise session.
The best parallettes - our pick of the top 5
Below is our list of the top 5 parallettes, based on a combination of quality, value and suitability. Feel free to jump to a specific product by clicking the jump links:
- Gravity Fitness Pro Parallettes
- skillworx Parallettes
- FunctionalFitness Parallettes
- Mirafit Parallettes / Dip Bars
- EDELKRAFT Parallettes
1st choice - Gravity Fitness Pro Parallettes review
Gravity Fitness first sent me a pair of their parallettes to review back in 2016, and they quickly became my personal go-to pair.
At 45cm long and 30cm high, they are fantastic as a pair of home parallettes which you can use to practice handstands, planche, L-sits and many more exercises, all from the comfort of your own home.
The Gravity Fitness parallettes are made from steel and have a matte grip, which will feel very familiar for those who regularly use steel pull up bars or frames.
Gravity Fitness have managed to build themselves a great reputation in the Calisthenics world for being the most competitive seller in terms of value, whilst still managing to maintain a high quality with all their products.
At around £40, it's safe to say Gravity Fitness Pro Parallettes are our top choice. They even offer a lifetime warranty money back guarantee for those still to be convinced.
2nd choice - skillworx Parallettes review
Image credit: www.dont-quit.de
skillworx's parallettes ooze of class, and you can't get a more sophisticated finish than the natural beech wood finish they offer.
If you're not constrained by budget then these are the best on the market, however, most of skillworx's models are around £100 which push them down to 2nd rank on our list due to not being the best choice for value. (Click here to check the current price).
skillworx parallettes come in either a "Raw" or treated variety; with Raw, the wood is untreated which adds to the natural style Skillworx offer, but if you're looking for something more resistant to dirt and our unpredictable UK weather, then you may want the treated variety.
In terms of size, skillworx offer two different heights; large and small, with the large bars offering a hold height of 30cm and the small bars offering a hold height of 15cm.
If you're not going restricted by space and don't plan to travel regularly with the parallettes, then the larger 55cm variation would certainly be the best option.
3rd choice - FunctionalFitness Parallettes review
FunctionalFitness offer the cheapest "Soft handle" style on the market, and also feature non-slip rubber end caps on each of their feet, making them safe for use on any floor surface without having to worry about the parallettes slipping during use.
These features may be attractive to first-time parallette buyers, but for more advanced users the handles may simply get in the way of certain exercises, and the parallettes don't have a similar feel in quality as some of the better parallettes on the market.
4th choice - Mirafit Parallettes / Dip Bars review
Mirafit parallettes are our recommended choice for anybody who is looking for a bar which can be used to perform dips on.
If you're completely new to the world of bodyweight workouts, then we'd suggest choosing this Mirafit bar. You will get much more use out of it as a dipping bar in your beginner stages whilst you are unable to perform the more advanced moves suited to parallettes.
5th choice - EDELKRAFT Parallettes review
Edelkraft parallettes are only 18 inches high, but they offer the same natural wood look as Skillworx and are unique in that you can quickly assemble and disassemble them for easy travel. Simply turn each end 3x to take the parallettes apart.
Again, the natural wood style parallettes can be quite pricey, as these are also close to the £100 mark, but for anybody looking for a fantastic looking pair of parallettes which can be transported easily, then Edelkraft is your choice.
So there you have it Calisthenics 101 fans; our top 5 picks with something for everybody.
Found a hidden gem that we've missed from our list? Simply tweet us and let us know about it!