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by Philipp Hülsdonk November 12, 2020

Parallettes - the workout equipment for calisthenics athletes. Hardly any other equipment is as popular as Parallettes? Why are the bars, also called P-Bars or Minibars, so popular? And what kind of parallettes are suitable for what purpose? We will answer these questions in this article and the three types of premium parallettes from GORNATION will be presented below in the article.

The advantages of parallettes

First of all, it is unusual to train on parallettes, because the increase e.g. in handstands can cause fear of falling over. However, after some time of getting used to handbalancing exercises, parallettes are more popular with many athletes, because they are easy on the wrist and allow the wrist a neutral grip. When doing handstands or push-ups on the floor, the wrist has to be bent completely and is therefore under a lot of strain. When training on the P-Bars, the wrist remains in a neutral position and overloading or even injuries do not occur as quickly.

Another reason for parallel bars is the grip you have on the wood in the best case. One tip is to use wooden parallettes, because a sweat film forms on metal or plastic when you use it and you either need a lot of chalk/magnesia to counteract this OR the bar is very slippery and it is harder to build up balance and strength. Wood "absorbs" the sweat and provides best grip even with sweaty hands in e.g. warm temperatures or intensive training. Especially this is very helpful when learning or improving the handstand.

If you do a handstand or frogstand on the floor, you have no possibility to counteract with your hands, if your body falls backwards towards the starting position. You can only push back when you fall forward. Here, parallel bars offer the advantage that the athlete can both push back when he tilts forward and pull on the bar when he tilts back towards the starting position. This possibility not only offers improved performance on the parallels, but also builds strong forearms that can be used for other exercises such as chin-ups, muscle ups or the Human Flag.

What should you pay attention to when buying parallettes?

There are many types and shapes of parallettes, so the choice may seem difficult for the buyer. One tip we have already covered is that the parallel bars should have a wooden grip so you have a good grip. 

Metal feet also provide the stability you need for your training. With them, the parallettes are heavier and more robust than pure wooden parallels. 

The diameter of the grips should ideally be 40mm, because this diameter has proven to be the most comfortable and safest to train with.

And as a last point very important: Choose the right height/version for you, so that the parallettes fit to your field of application. More about this in the next section.

What kind of parallel bars do I need?

You should choose your P-Bars so that they fit your training goals and the exercises you want to do on them. Each version of parallettes has advantages that you need to weigh up against each other for your use: 

Mini parallettes / push-up grips (GORNATION ACTIVE Parallettes)

+ Small and handy to take along and train on the road

+ Perfectly suited for home workouts

+ exercises: push-ups, planche leans, L-sit, handstand, frog stand

+ Only 12cm above the ground for little momentum, which is needed extra

Low parallettes / Low, long parallettes (GORNATION PRO Parallettes)

+ Perfect stability even on uneven ground

+ Suitable for combinations with changing grips etc., therefore often the choice of professionals, for handbalancing

+ exercises: push-ups, planche leans, L-sit, handstand, frog stand

+ Only 10cm above the ground for little momentum, which is needed extra

Medium Parallel / Medium High Parallel (GORNATION MAX Parallettes)

+ The most popular parallettes

+ Suitable for the maximum number of exercises, therefore MAX parallels e.g. Bench Dips, Push-Ups, L-Sit, Elbow Lever, Handstand, Deep Handstand Push-Ups etc.

+ 30cm above the floor for exercises where space is needed downwards

+ THE equipment for your home gym during the home workout season

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High Parallettes / Dip Bars (only available from GORNATION Spring-Summer 2021)

+ Suitable for Skill + Reps training

+ The height allows dips, front levers, bodyweight rows and many other exercises to help you make maximum progress

+ Also THE equipment for your home gym during the home workout season ;)

We hope that this overview will help you to make your choice and get your home gym in shape for calisthenics and fitness training and to make maximum progress.

Have success in reaching your goals,

your Team GORNATION


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