Like the gymnastic rings, they offer a whole new world of different exercise variations that you can master.
The Advantages of Parallel Bars and Dip Bars
Full Range of Motion
This is the main advantage of the parallete bars.
Parallel bars have the great advantage of allowing you to have full range of motion (ROM) on your handstand pushups and other calisthenics movements. If you practice your handstand pushups on the floor you’ll never be able to have a full ROM because your head will hit the floor before you achieve full ROM.
But by elevating yourself with parallettes you’ll have enough space to complete a full pushup. Thus, making your handstand pushups much more effective (and harder) on your shoulders.
Less Strain on the Wrists
By using paralletes, your handstands will stress your wrists a lot less comparing to a normal handstand.
Due to the better grip that you have on the bars, your wrists won’t have to hold so much load allowing to perform more clean reps.
If you’re having difficulty getting your first handstand or you can’t hold for longer than 10 seconds because of wrist pain, give paralette bars a try.
Access To New Exercises and Variations
In addition to increasing the range of motion and keeping your wrists safe, parallel bars will also allow to step up your calisthenics game by allowing you to perform many new exercises or old exercises with a different grip.
The most notable one is of course the handstand, which I’ve already talked about, but also the L-Sit. The L-Sit is a crucial exercise to master in order to able to progress to harder, more advanced exercises.
Note that beginners should practice their L-Sits on the floor first. The reason for this is that if you start on the bars immediately you’ll most likely start cheating.
A proper L-Sit requires you to fully depress your shoulders, and when on the parallel bars, people tend to forget this when then start getting tired.
Depressing your shoulders mean pushing your shoulders down, trying to get your arms as low as they can go.
But when you feel that your L-Sits are getting better on the floor, but your wrists are giving in to soon, give parallel bars a try.
The Straddle Planche is another skill that for me, is a lot easier on the parallel bars than on the floor due to the increased grip and extra tension that the parallel bars provied
Gripping the bars will give you more leverage than you would have against the floor to control your balance.
That will make a big difference in balancing.
Also, the neutral wrist position that you have on the bars is easier for many people than the extended wrist position you’ll use on floor.
You should know that are several types of parallel bars:
The High Parallel Bars ( or Dip Bars)
These are the most common in the fitness industry.
Mainly because they are the only type of parallel bars that allow you to do regular dips, which is the only exercise that most beginners are able to do on this type of calisthenic equipment. But they are an equipment suitable for all levels, an investment for a lifetime. And depending where you live, they’re cheaper than one gym monthly membership.
The Medium Parallel Bars (or Parallettes)
The parallete bars are simillar to the dip bars with one major difference: Their Height.
While both serve the same purpose, the high version is more suitable for exercises like Dips, and the low version is better for handstands and handstand pushups. The reason is obvious: Try falling down paralletes vs high parallete bars and you’ll notice the difference.
The Low Parallete Bars
Low or mini parallete bars like this, along with gymnastic rings, are the perfect fitness travel companion. You can carry them anywhere and reap the full benefits of the parallel bars everywhere you go.
Note: It is very important that the paralletes don’t wobble and that they maintain firm footing, both indoors and outdoors. Always be safe and don’t put yourself in danger when there’s absolutely no need to.
Best Parallel Bars and Best Dip Bars Shopping Guide
Here are the best dip bars and best parallel bars currently available online: