Buying good parallettes that are not going to wobble and break isn’t as easy as you think…
From personal experience, I know how overwhelming this can be because there are hundreds of different products and brands promising the same things.
- But which parallettes to get?
- What are the main differences that differentiate the good and the bad ones?
- Which are the best parallettes for calisthenics?
- Which ones am I currently using and why?
Hi there, my name is Bozhidar and if you want to learn the answers to all those questions I highly recommend you to read this guide till the end.
As someone who has used parallettes for a very long time I know things most people don’t.
So without any further ado let’s get right into the good stuff…
No time to read the whole article?
If that’s your case I highly recommend you check out the personal parallettes I have used for over a year now – the Body Power PL1000:
I really like these parallettes because they are very sturdy, have wide and square legs and are extremely lightweight and portable.
I really like to use them for handstand push-ups, incline push-ups, tricep dips, l-sit and they still look brand new.
I’ve even taken them for a couple of outdoor workouts because they can easily be assembled by removing the 4 small bolts using a tiny wrench.
In my opinion, these are the best parallettes for calisthenics because they are very affordable, well made and versatile.
With that being said, let’s take a look at what are the other options…
Top 5 Best Parallettes for Calisthenics 2020
Even if the PL1000’s are very good parallettes I like very much that doesn’t mean they are the only ones.
Here are all the 5 products I really like that have good quality, reasonable prices and nice durable.
Top 5 Best Parallettes for Calisthenics
- Body Power PL1000 – Best Parallettes For Beginners
- Vita Vibe Wood Parallettes Set – Best Wooden Parallettes
- Tumbl Trak Portable Parallette Bars – Best Portability
- Lebert Parallettes Stand – Best Overall
- XTEK Gym XL Parallette Bars – Best Stability
Even if all models are parallette bars that don’t mean they are the same.
Each product is unique and different from others so check them out and go for the model that fits your individual needs the best.
Here’s the first one…
1. Body Power PL1000 – Best Parallettes For Beginners
It’s not hard to understand why the first parallettes I’m going to review are the ones I’m currently using.
In my opinion these parallette bars rock in every possible way.
To begin with, they have a very good and affordable price, are great for home calisthenics and are really tough.
Every part of this model is made out of strong steel and both parallettes can easily withstand the impressive 380 pounds of weight.
As I have previously said (if you are a regular reader) the bigger the number the better overall quality of the product.
And that’s why I really like the PL1000.
Another cool feature is the integrated knurling grip you can find on both handles.
This is usually done on dumbbells and barbells on the part that you are gripping in order to help with sweaty palms and I really like this addition.
When it comes to dimensions the holding bars are 24 inches long and 12 inches tall.
That gives you plenty of working surface and enough space above the ground for additional calisthenic exercises.
Because of the black finish, I believe these bars would be a great fit with other home gym machines you may own.
Even if you don’t have any additional equipment they still look great!
Despite the bulky size (they are not small at all), both bars are quite lightweight.
That makes moving and storing them an easy task. The thickness of the pipe is 1.5” making it perfect for most people’s grip.
Body Power has thought about your floors and your safety so these parallettes come with 4 thick rubber feet.
Not only are they going to protect your precious floor from ugly scratches but they also do really improve the overall stability of the bars.
Isn’t that cool?
In addition to the feet, I want to also mention that the TL1000 has a pretty wide and solid base making the whole thing sturdy and safe to use even during handstands and such.
I’ve done countless reps and so far I haven’t felt!
Another cool thing is that it only takes around 5 minutes to assemble the whole thing with a small wrench which is also included.
Finally, I want to wrap this review by letting you know that you are also getting good customer service, a nice warranty, and a return policy.
Even if Body Power PL1000 is not the most compacted model it’s still capable of providing you with everything you need for calisthenics.
It’s sturdy, reasonably priced, well made and comes with good customer service.
It’s a pretty nice choice you should check out.
2. Vita Vibe Wood Parallettes Set – Best Wooden Parallettes
The second set made by Vita Vibe uses a quite good combination of 2 of the best materials – heavy gauge steel and hardwood ash wood.
Yes, I know that sounds really expensive but actually, it isn’t.
You can buy these parallettes at a very reasonable price.
As you can see from the picture the triangle shape design is very unique and tough.
I’ve trained on them once (I friend of mine has them) and they were solid.
There wasn’t any unwanted wobbling or movements even when I was doing very explosive stuff.
I believe that the additional rubber feet helped a lot because they literally glued it to the floor.
These parallettes can hold up to 250 pounds which is a smaller number than mine but it’s still a pretty good limit and it should be enough for most people who are into calisthenics.
But the thing that makes these parallel bars unique is the 2 different length options you can choose.
With Vita Vibe you can choose between 18 inches or 24 inches (If you can choose, go for the bigger option).
The height of these Vita Vibe bars is 10 inches which is shorter than the previous model but it’s enough for the majority of bodyweight exercises.
Everything is powder-coated and the outer texture is a little rough making the whole surface perfect for gripping and more durable towards scratches.
But the best part is the wood.
I don’t know if you are familiar with this but hardwood ash (the wood these bars are made from) is the same material that is used for the creation of baseball bats.
That, my friends, speak for only one thing – quality.
In addition to that wood is really good at absorbing water and doesn’t become as slippery as metal or plastic.
You won’t have to worry about the thickness of the handles too, because they are only 1.5” wide which is the standard.
Another cool thing is that because of the unique triangle design, you are able to place them quite closer parallelly which is something most models can’t provide.
But the best thing is that you will need only a screwdriver to assemble the whole thing (which is included) and you will be ready to get pumped in no time.
Let’s not forget the fact that this is one of the few products manufactured in the USA and that’s why it comes with a 10-year warranty.
The unique combination of wood and steel makes Vita Vibe Parallettes stand out from the crowd.
With their good price, easy set up, heavy and stable design these parallettes are an ideal option for calisthenics.
They are something worth checking.
3. Tumbl Trak Portable Parallette Bars – Best Portable Parallettes for Travel
The 3rd model I’m going to review is very unique and has an outside of the box design.
Tumbl Trak has done an excellent job creating the ideal parallettes for travel.
Because of their extraordinary lightweight and very compact design you can easily place them in your bag and take them with you wherever you go.
In order to achieve this, these portable parallettes use a very clever design.
When not in use, the handles go literally inside the body making everything extremely compact.
So if you are looking for a design that allows you to carry easily your parallettes and travel around this is what you are looking for.
And the interesting part is that you don’t need any tools to do this.
Everything can be done by your bare hands and it takes only a couple of seconds.
I haven’t seen any other model like this and so I find the assembly process quite unique, fast and easy to do.
As it comes to durability they handle well.
They are made from a sturdy aluminum core covered with polymer which makes everything strong and comfortable at the same time.
Let’s not forget the fact that even with the unique design Tumbl Trak has made these parallettes very affordable.
The overall size is pretty nice considering this is a portable model!
We are talking about 12 inches length x 2 inches height x 6 inches width.
It’s not as tall as some as the other models from this list but don’t forget that these are portable parallettes.
And because of the wide bottom, short height and non-slip rubber base you won’t have any stability problems.
I would even say that the size of the rubber area is bigger than most other models I’ve seen making it more stable and safe.
With even that small and portable design these parallettes can easily withstand 250 lbs which is really impressive.
In addition to that, you also get a useful travel bag you can use for storage and easy transportation of all the parts so nothing is lost.
If you decide to get this specific model you will also receive good customer service and return policy.
If you like to travel and want to have the freedom to do calisthenics no matter where you are then Tumbl Trak Portable Parallettes might be the best parallettes for you.
They are lightweight, use a unique assembly design that you can do with bare hands and at the same time, are quite durable, stable and made from good materials.
And don’t forget the great price, customer service and return policy.
4. Lebert Parallettes Stand – Best Overall
The fourth set of parallettes made by Lebert is one of my personal favorites and now you will understand why.
Firstly let’s talk about the price.
The price of these bars is very reasonable having in mind what great quality you are getting in return.
When it comes to design and color Lebert gives you 2 colors to choose from – yellow or chrome.
Even if this isn’t the most important factor it’s still good to know that no other brand offers this choice.
I personally prefer Chrome and find that the overall look it provides is very eye-pleasing and aesthetic.
I want to also mention that for me this is the best looking functional round edge design out of everything I have seen.
The round edges do not only look well – they add additional safety if you accidentally lose your balance and fall on top of the whole thing.
Speaking of edges it’s good to mention that the whole frame is made out of high-density stainless steel which is sturdy and lightweight at the same time.
Each bar weighs only 5 pounds making them easy to carry and store when not needed.
Even with that lightweight frame, this set of parallettes can quite easily hold up 400 lbs.
One of the reasons behind why it could hold so much weight and has very good stability at the same time is the fact that the whole structure uses a pretty wide 16” inch base.
With its 25” length x 12” height, the Lebert Parallettes provide you with plenty of room to do all your favorite movements with enough space from the ground.
Both stands have a handle diameter of approx. 3” which is thicker than most models which can surely improve your grip strength and forearm development.
I know metal can be quite slippery when you are using sweaty palms but because of the 2 pretty long non-slip rubber grips, you won’t have to worry about that.
Everything is easy to assemble but the best part is the free PDF workout program made by Frank Medrano.
Lebert has provided you with everything you can possibly need for a reasonable price.
Their parallettes are very durable, lightweight and look amazing.
The overall quality is nice and with the help of the additional handgrips and wide base, you will be sure that everything is going to stay in the same place.
If you like what you hear click the image below to learn more.
5. XTEK Gym XL Parallette Bars – Best Stability
The fifth and final model is something you shouldn’t want to ignore and pass.
As you can see from the image these parallettes are really tough. As a matter a fact they are made from 2mm gauge steel with a wide and solid base.
With such a solid design, you will have no problems with wobbling and focus more on the muscle and strength building part of the training.
XTEK Gym has made sure to stay competitive with the other brands on the market so they have placed quite a reasonable and affordable price for this model.
Each bar weighs 7 lbs which is little more compared to the previous model but is still lightweight having in mind that it can easily hold up to 300 lbs of maximum load.
All important parts are powder coated for additional protection and improved gripping.
Sadly there aren’t any additional grips and the metal could become slippery if you are not careful.
When it comes to numbers the XTEK parallettes are 19” long and 14.5” tall making this model the tallest and longest parallettes you can find.
Unfortunately, the tubbing is thinner compared to all the previous models with a diameter of 1.25 but even with that flаw, these parallettes are extremely safe.
From my personal experience (my lat pulldown machine has the same rubber feet) I want to say that its 4 rubber feet are solid.
I use them on laminate and everything is holding in one place no matter what I do.
The assembly process takes only 10-15 minutes to connect everything using the included tools and parts.
With this purchase, you also get a 1-year money-back guarantee and good customer service.
If you are searching for a safe and secure set of parallettes for your home then you should check the XTEK parallettes.
They offer everything you can possibly need at a very reasonable price.
Plus you get a complete exercise Ebook.
7 Things You Should Look for When Buying Parallettes for Calisthenics
In this part of the article, you are going to find out what are the most important things which you should look for before you get your first pair of parallettes.
I would highly recommend you not to skip this part if you have the time because it could really save you nerves, headaches, and regrets about your buying decision.
I’m not so proud to mention that I have made a lot of those quick decisions and now I really try to educate myself a lot so I don’t repeat the same old mistake again and again.
Please, don’t be like me!
Now let’s check the first important feature which is…
1. Should you care about size?
In today’s market, you are literally bombarded with different types of parallettes all having different sizes.
Each size has its strengths and weaknesses.
Some are more compacted and small making it ideal for traveling around while others are the exact opposite – big and bulky they are a great addition to your home providing you with a stable and safe base.
And this is just a brief overview. Let’s take a closer look to learn more about each metric and how it is important for you.
When we are talking about parallettes, height is a crucial part when it comes to the number of exercises you can do.
To be more specific I’m talking mainly about the ones that are over the ground. Height is usually separated in short and tall models.
Shorter models are specifically designed to be lightweight, portable with an easy assembly.
Their structure is made in order to take less space so you can put them in a bag and easily carry them outside for a good workout.
Speaking of a workout shorter models are great because they can offer you solid bodyweight exercises such as many variations of push-ups, planche, handstand, etc.
Taller models are known to allow you to do more advanced and difficult moves. With them, you have quite a bigger freedom of movement so you can easily do all sorts of exercises in which you are lifting your whole body off the ground.
For example, I’m talking about many different ab exercises, a deeper range of motion and greater angles for static holds.
These taller types are usually not quite portable, stable, tiny or require additional tools for assembly/disassembly.
If you don’t care about portability and are just looking for the one that can provide you with the biggest number of exercises you can do then go for a taller option. If not the short options can be your friends. Pick the one model that fits your lifestyle the best.
Parallettes Width and Length… Are they directly responsible for stability?
Have in mind that when I mention these 2 metrics I’m talking about the assembled condition of a product. When I’m talking about width there is only one easy trick I use. The wider and thicker the foundation is, the better the stabilization and safety you will receive.
I know that this isn’t the only thing that is responsible for sturdiness but from my own experience without a solid base you have already lost the war before it has even started. Let’s not forget that the wider and longer a set of good parallettes is the more space they will need and the heavier they will become.
That’s why I recommend you only to take bigger models if you don’t have future plans of often movement.
The bar’s length does also matter when it comes to reliability and stabilization. If you decide to go for a longer design you will not be wrong. If the holding surface is long enough you can even do some movements that require your whole forearm to be placed on top of that surface. As of width the benefits of having a longer model are the same.
If for example, you have the option to choose between a model with a total length of 18” and 24” with the small price difference between them I would recommend you to go for the longer model.
Trust me it’s always better to have too much holding space than too little.
2. What material are the parallettes made from?
Should you care about this question? The answer is yes and here’s why.
As you have probably guessed already here are sets made out of quite different materials. Every building material has its own pluses and minuses and depending on your situation you might prefer the one instead of the other.
The 2 most often used materials for the creation of a good model are wood or metal and rarely a combination of both.
I would not go for anything that doesn’t use at least one of those 2 great materials.
Let’s dive deep and find out more about them…
Option 1 – Wood
Parallettes made out of wood are quite strong and durable.
As you have probably guessed they are providing you with a better non-slip grip than the metal option because wood has the ability to absorb sweat and keep the grip securely in one place.
Let’s not forget the great natural feeling you get when you are holding wood. It’s something metal can’t give you. If you decide to go for a portable option made out of wood It’s not really recommended to use it for too long in quite wet or bad environments because of bad weather conditions.
Even with this little flaw, I believe they are one of the best parallettes for calisthenics you can really get.
Depending on the specific model I find some wooden sets quite visually appealing compared to some metal ones but I want to take in notice that this is only my opinion.
Option 2 – Metal
It isn’t too hard to find out that metal is way more durable and strong than wood.
If you are looking for something that has the capacity to hold in one place for a very long period of time, a metal parallettes might do this very well.
Depending on the type of metal being used in the frame sometimes the whole set can be quite heavier than the ones that are made only by wood. Depending on your goals and needs this could either be good or bad.
Unfortunately mostly everything made out of metal does not handle quite good with palm sweat.
As a result of that, the metal surface becomes slippery and uncomfortable to use. The good news is that some of the manufacturers are aware of this problem and try to solve it by adding additional non-slip handles, powder-coat the whole thing and do other useful techniques to improve grip traction.
Some of them work while others don’t and unfortunately nothing can come near close as the good old natural wood. Btw the same problem occurs with gymnastic rings and other types of equipment.
There are models that use quite a clever combination of wood an metal. The holding bars are made out of wood while the whole frame is made out of steel.
I find this quite beneficial because both materials strengths have been used in the most useful way possible.
When it comes to important features this is one of the most important factors when it comes to quality.
Let’s face it your whole body weight is going to be fully reliable on this small construction quite often so you 100% want to have a very durable and well-made product that can hold years of heavy beating.
There are a few things you should check out to make sure how durable is a specific model.
Before we continue I want to tell you that even if a product meets all those tips there just isn’t a 100% guarantee that everything will be good because of quite a lot different factors. Following them will certainly help a lot so let’s start.
The first thing you should look for is the type of material used in the frame and the way different parts are being held together. As you have already read you know that some kind of metal (mainly steel) is going to be the best option and about the holding system look for products that use longer and thicker bolts.
Another useful thing is to see how many bolts are holding the pieces together. The more bolts are being used, the better.
You should also check if the bottom part of the base uses some sort of protective rubber. It is highly recommended to pick a model that uses rubber because it does a lot more than just protect your floors from scratches – because of the improved traction with the floor you won’t have unwanted wobbling.
Regular wobbling can lead to faster wear and tear of the parts so everything will break a lot sooner than expected.
A few more things you should check are:
- The weight capacity – the bigger the number the better
- Who is selling this item – check out his other products, etc
- What other people think about it – read some reviews, ask a friend who uses it, etc.
- How much does it weigh – I know it’s not directly correlated to durability but usually, the heavier models are usually more durable
I know that for some of you this is probably the main reason why you want to invest in this type of equipment. You want to have the freedom to workout at anyplace and anytime.
Unfortunately, not all models are made portable. As you have seen from the 5 reviewed models above some models are quite lightweight, can be assembled with bare hands and don’t take a lot of space.
If you don’t mind carrying an additional assembly tool with you then you can get a model that stands somewhere in between. Yes, it will take you little more time to assemble it but you are still going the get the same functionality as you are using a heavy model designed for home-usage.
A great tip that could help you with portability is to check what type of tool is used for assembly, how fast is the whole process and how much is everything going to weight.
If you are going to carry it with you for quite a distance you surely don’t want it to be too heavy or bulky.
5. Ease of Use / Assembly
If for some reason you will have to do this process quite often then pick a model which design is specifically made with easy assembly in mind. You are in good luck because most manufacturers must be quite competitive with one another and almost every model is made that way.
If you are looking for something you can take in your local park for a quick workout then it would be very convenient if you can assemble and disassemble the set with only your bare hands.
Other models might require screwdrivers, different sizes of wrenches, etc.
Take in mind the size of all the parts because if you are going to carry them around you have to make sure you can easily fit them inside a backpack.
Finally, there are models that don’t require any assembly and come as a single piece.
I would recommend you to skip these types of models because they are usually quite short towards the ground making it quite difficult for you to do most calisthenic exercises.
As you probably know this isn’t an expensive piece of equipment. If we compare it to other calisthenics equipment such as a power tower which costs 3-4 times the price.
I would recommend you to stay away from the cheapest models because they are not durable and are not made with high-quality materials.
You can find some great models for somewhere between $50 – $100.
As you can see you don’t have to pay a fortune in order to get a decent set of parallettes for calisthenics. Getting a product somewhere in this range will be enough. Going below that price may result in bad quality and above in your overpaying.
If your current budget is below $50 I would highly recommend you to find a way to get a couple more bucks.
Spending a little extra more will result in you getting quite an improvement in quality and materials.
If you get a decent item you will see how in time it will pay for itself by keeping together at one piece. Trust me it would eventually cost a lot more if you have to constantly buy new models.
7. Weight Capacity
I find this metric to be quite useful because to some extent it could tell you how well is a set of parallettes really made and if it’s worth the investment.
The minimum requirement I would recommend is 250 pounds. For your own safety don’t go fo anything that offers lower capacity than that. You don’t want any risk of something breaking in the middle of use leaving you with a bad injury.
The bigger that number usually is the better build quality and overall durability of the product. Some brands offer up to 400 pounds of weight capacity.
If I had to choose between 250 and 400 I would go for the heavier option.
What are the benefits of using parallettes for calisthenics?
If you are still doubtful if you should really invest in this piece of equipment then you should definitely read this chapter. Here I will share with you the best benefits you can get from working out with one of the cheapest equipment for calisthenics.
Parallettes provide you with the option to train your whole upper body using a ton of different bodyweight exercises.
With their help, you can build muscle, get stronger, more durable, increase balance and stabilization and build a great lean physique.
Check out this great video to see what type of body you can get and some great basic movements you can learn:
They are great options for people who are just getting into bodyweight training or for more advanced individuals who are seeking for greater challenges and opportunities.
With them being portable, lightweight and easy to carry around you are getting the freedom to train anywhere you like. We are talking about inside and outside at any time you like.
Finally, let’s not forget the fact that even with the enormous amount of different exercises you are provided with they are still amazingly cheap compared to other more expensive calisthenic equipment such as high-quality pull-up bars and power towers.
Final Thoughts (and the winner)
As we have come to the end of this article I’m really hoping that you have picked a model you like that has to offer you everything you really want.
If that’s the case then congratulations, I’m very glad I helped you made this decision. If you have picked one of the 5 models reviewed above you will not have any issues whatsoever.
If you still haven’t decided on which one to choose I would recommend you to go for the parallettes i’m currently using – the Body Power PL1000.
They are amazing.
The height, thickness of the bar, grips, the wide base, and the lightweight design are perfect.
Even if the set is not quite portable I believe it offers you a lot more compared to similar models.
And that was all from me!
Thank you very much for reading my article.
I hope it was useful and you learned useful things from it.
If you liked my content feel free to leave a comment below and share it with a friend.
See you soon,
Hey there, my name is Bozhidar and I’m a certified online personal trainer with University Degree in Sports and Nutrition.
With the help of my knowledge and over 8 years of workout experience, I can help you get on the next level. I own a home gym, do calisthenics, little gymnastics, and love to ride a bike.