Friends often ask me what equipment I would recommend for working out at home and my first tip is usually to work on bodyweight exercises. As someone who trains and competes (I also have my Level 3 PT), I know there’s nothing more valuable than developing the skill and strength for functional moves, such as push-ups, squats, lunges and core work, using your own body weight.
Then, depending on the person, I might suggest getting a pull-up bar for building all over strength. From hangs, holds and shrugs to pull-ups, chin-ups and other bodyweight work such as L-sits and leg raises, you can develop phenomenal midline strength (as well as stronger back and shoulders). So if you want killer abs, get on a pull-up bar!
Through the lockdowns this year, I spent a lot of time working on strict and kipping pullups and can’t believe how much core strength I gained.
I now have my sights set on strict ring muscle-ups and for those I need triceps like steel, so I was delighted when Pull Up Mate got in touch to invite me to try their parallette bars. Perfect timing!
What are parallettes for?
Parallettes could be considered an essential piece of kit for gymnastics, callisthenics or any bodyweight training. For me, they’re ideal for where I’m at in my crossfit training as they build the right muscle groups for muscle-up progressions and a stronger core.
In previous years I’ve watched in awe as friends use parallettes, so I’m excited I now have a reason to incorporate them into my training for better gymnastics skills.
Don’t worry if you’re not working on this level of stuff, as parallettes are relevant for all levels of fitness. I found this video here that shows some basic moves and progressions.
After a week or so, I started controlling my moves a bit more (rather than just dropping down), and added tuck holds and a weighted vest for extra intensity and load – killer combinations!
Benefits of Pull Up Mate Parallette Bars
Firstly, look how sleek they look. Bold in bright red, they look great just sitting in my living room so I never feel the need to put them away.
On a practical level, they’re just 2.5kg each so they’re easy to pick up, move and use. Despite how light they are, they still feel totally stable and 100% solid, with black rubber ends for grip and stability. They also store neatly as they slot neatly side by side, minimising storage space.
Another great pull is the price – at £39.99 they’re definitely cheaper than a pair of dumbbells right now. Parallette bars could easily supplement any workout routine, whether you’re back at a gym or at home. Unless you go to a functional training gym, parallette bars may not be a common piece of kit in a mainstream gym or leisure centre so having a pair at home would be a useful addition.
Pull Up Mate is also a specialist supplier of pullup bars with the home gym in mind and offer tons of fitness guides and support, relevant for all levels.
Why I Like These Parallettes – In a Nutshell
- Look good
- Super light
- Store compactly
- Easy to move around
- Stable and solid
- Great price
- From a specialist pull-up bar brand
What exercises have I been doing on the parallette bars?
With my programme at the moment geared towards getting my first strict ring muscle up, I’ve been using these parallettes about twice a week for the last few weeks, and can already see the benefit.
I’ve been doing deficit pushups, weighted vest deficit push-ups, L-sit holds and tuck holds. These all work triceps, core and shoulders and might mimic the movement and range of motion I need on the rings.
Like any bodyweight work, work on the parellettes can be challenging and get a bit uncomfortable holding your bodyweight but the aim is to work through that discomfort and slowly add a few more reps or seconds each week.
A typical set for me at the moment, programmed by my coach, is:
- 5 rounds: 5 ring pull-ups + 20 sec L-sit on parallettes
- 5 rounds: 12 horizontal row (on rings) + 10 weighted vest deficit pushups
- 5 rounds: 5 max rep ring pull-ups + 20 sec tuck holds
The best thing about doing progressive training (rather than random workouts) is that results are measurable and over time I can look back and see the progress I’ve made: if right now I can only manage 20 seconds in an L-sit hold, in a few months it might be closer to 40 seconds. A sign I’m getting stronger and moving closer to my goals.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what more I can do on these bars and how useful they’ll be for my training.