Parallettes – What Are They? And Which Is Right For You?

If you’re already into bodyweight exercises, you likely already own a pair of parallettes. If not, that’s ok, in this article we can help you figure out if parallettes are right for you, and what type you should get.

But first, what are parallettes?

Parallettes are exercise equipment, that come typically in twos. They resemble dip bars or parallel bars but on a much smaller scale. Typically used for fitness by bodyweight enthusiasts they are primarily used as a way to do variations of push ups and gymnastic exercises.

For those who prefer calisthenics as their primary workout style, having a pair of parallettes would be a must. With bodyweight as the main form of resistance. You would constantly get to certain levels, where your exercises have gotten “easy” or not as challenging.

With calisthenics, you would often hear the term “progressions”. Where you may start off with one type of exercise, but after a few weeks or months you would progress to a more challenging workout that is usually just a variation of the previous one.

A simple example of this would be with push ups. As a total beginner that is getting into bodyweight work outs. You would likely want to start here. Get the basics down, and build the skills needed to be properly prepared as you progress to the other levels.

You can see our guide for push up progressions here.

The progressions generally consist of repositioning your hands or feet to make the workout more difficult. Or adjusting your body entirely to get more overload onto the muscles that you’re working on.

All this makes a pair of parallettes useful for this type of workout. Having this simple piece of equipment in your home gym allows a larger array of exercises for you to utilize to get the maximum out of your workout routine.

High Or Low Parallettes?

When finding the right height of parallettes for you, a general rule of thumb for beginners is that the higher bars are off the ground, the easier your workout would be. This rule is more for push ups specifically. Since having an inclined position is typically easier with less bodyweight pressure on your upper body.

With that said, high parallette bars are still recommended for more advanced athletes in calisthenic training, since the free space off the ground would allow you to be able to perform more exercises and different techniques.

Consider the types of workouts you plan on having. If you know you will be doing mostly pushing exercises such as hand stands or variations of push ups. Low parallettes would be all you need, just remember the lower your parallettes are, could minimize the type of activity that you can do.

Performing various exercises such as L-Sits, Push Tuck Dips, or other types of exercise that requires a larger clearance from the ground. Having higher parallettes would help meet those standards.

Having higher parallettes are also good for range of motion in exercises. For example, when doing push ups, having a high enough bar, allows you to dip lower bringing your chest past the bar and working out the upper back muscles at the same time.

Which Parallettes Are Best?

Now that you may have a better idea, as to what type of parallettes you might need. We can now narrow down which set could be best for you. Keeping in mind the types of exercises you will be doing would help you make the best decision.

Best For Push Ups

Having low height parallettes would be best if you are just considering doing push ups or pushing motion exercises. This could include regular push ups, hand stand push ups, inclined push ups etc.

If you’re wondering why not just do these exercises on its own and without parallettes. It may be beneficial to know that there are also positives in including them into your push up workout routine.

Having an anchor point on the parallettes forces you to work on balance and grip strength. The would be a different dynamic when performing a push up whilst holding on to something versus having your hands flat on the ground.

Check out Cali Sports push up bars on Amazon

Best High Parallettes

If you’re looking for parallettes to perform more advanced workouts, such as L-Sits, handstand push ups, etc. Having higher parallette bars would work better for you. As mentioned before, giving yourself enough space from the height of the parallettes to the ground, allows you to better maneuver while exercising.

It is also important to have higher quality bars that are strong, sturdy and steady. You wouldn’t want a wobbly piece of equipment that could potentially hinder your workout routine. You would want your grip on the bars to be strong and the bars itself to have wide enough legs to help distribute the weight.

Check out Rubberbanditz parallettes on Amazon


Best All-In-One

When finding the right parallettes that can allow you to be most versatile. It would likely mean you are going to be doing a wider range of exercises. Or at least have some interest in it. If thats the case, it might be a better investment to find something that can fit your current needs. And at the same time something that would be usable as you progress.

Having the right piece of equipment that is essentially a full home gym for bodyweight exercises would be a good idea in the long run.

Fit! makes a great option with their home gym line that includes pull up bars, dip bars, and parallettes in an all-in-one home gym equipment.


Out of the many options available in terms of parallettes. It’s easy to get lost in the decision making process. Figuring out your goals and the types of workouts you would need to get there could be a good place to start. It could also be helpful to look at some parallette exercises that are out there and see if they even fit what your interests are. This would help in gauging your price range, the height level, or if you even require a pair of parallettes.

If you’re heart is set on bodyweight exercises, considering more all-in-one options is also a valid choice. Having a station to complete all types of exercises involving pulling and pushing motions may be a better move then purchasing all different sets.

Want to learn more about Calisthenics? Start here.

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