Parallette Construction and Training for Parkour

By: Jesse Woody

One of the most-useful and inexpensive pieces of fitness equipment you could possibly have, the parallette is an absolute necessity for efficient gymnastic skills training. You can purchase purpose-built parallettes from gymnastic suppliers, but they're really cheap and easy to make yourself. Read on for instructions and some training ideas...

A parallette is basically a miniature parallel bar, used to work many different skills, from planches and L-sits, to handstands, presses or push-ups. They're very portable, light and convenient for so many different movements that I would consider them a must-have for anyone serious about their fitness and conditioning.

I started with 1 1/2" PVC. The top piece is 22", Legs are 9", and the horizontal base pieces are 6" each, which makes the total base 16" wide with the added "T" and two end caps.

In total, you will need around 128" of PVC, 4 90-degree elbows, 4 "T" connectors, and 8 end-caps. Also, pick up some PVC Primer and Cement:


Construction is easy. After marking and cutting all of the PVC with a hack-saw, apply primer to the ends of the pipes, as well as inside the connectors. Apply PVC cement to each side as you begin to connect the pieces. I find it works best to make all of the tops (long section + 2 90-degree elbows) and all of the legs (9" pieces + "T". Be sure to place the connector on straight and work FAST, as PVC cement will dry quickly and leave you with super-crooked parallettes. Be sure to do all of this over some old newspaper, or on Mark's back porch:

Once you have them together and straight, take some semi-rough sandpaper and rough-up the top piece. This gives you grip even with sweaty hands and/or with chalk.

From there, the possibilities are nearly endless. Here's a video of just one quick combination: L-sit To Press 

Also, check out the parallette training guide on American Gymnast . Greater core-strength, balance, upper-body power, and confindence on railings are just a few of the huge benefits that will result if you begin to incorporate parallette training into your daily exercise. 


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Written by Jesse Woody   
Tuesday, 08 August 2006 00:53
Last Updated on Monday, 13 December 2010 21:58