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How to Choose Parallel Bars?

Parallel bars are surely known to everyone as an essential gymnastics accessory. What’s less known is that they can be of great help during your home training. Maybe you are thinking that you don’t have space for such a large piece of equipment. The advantage of parallel bars is that there are many types available – freestanding or wall-mounted parallel bars, joined together or separate parallel bars – all in various sizes. This means their use differs as well, depending on what you prefer.

Parallel bars are for everyone – you don’t have to be a top-level Olympic athlete to use them. Using parallel bars requires strength and resolve, but if you persevere, the end result will surely prove to be worth the effort. Regardless of what type you’ll choose, you will effectively exercise the upper half of your body, especially your arms, shoulders, back and muscles supporting your spine. You will improve your coordination as well, since training with parallel bars requires quickly changing hands and positions. If you keep at it, you’ll improve your physical fitness.

What are parallel bars?

They are two bars parallel to each other at a certain distance, usually at the level of the user’s hips (at least when they are standing on the ground). Parallel bars can be also mounted on the wall. They always use mainly to exercise your arms and the upper half of your body.

What to focus on when picking out parallel bars?

If you decide to purchase parallel bars, be sure to think about what you want to use them for. There are many types and it is important to choose the ones that best suit your needs. Focus mainly on the following:

Weight limit

When choosing new parallel bars, the probably most important aspect is their weight limit. This should be the main parameter you take into account. The weight limit will also depend on the type of parallel bars you choose. As stated above, not all parallel bars are joined together. That makes using them more versatile, but their weight limit is lower. Standard joined parallel bars have, on the other hand, much higher weight limit that may not be needed. It is only up to you to decide what the ideal weight limit should be. Choose a product that will make you feel safe.


Of course, you’ll also have to decide on the type of parallel bars:

  • Joined freestanding parallel bars are the most similar to those used by Olympic gymnasts. This is the most stable type of parallel bars suitable for full-fledged gymnastics. However, the range of these exercises is a bit limited at the same time.
  • Separate freestanding parallel bars can be considered more of a multi-purpose workout equipment with various training options. It is not recommended to try classic swings on the separate parallel bars, because they can move apart due to the weight of the user.
  • Multi-purpose parallel bars are also available in smaller sizes that serve as versatile training equipment for exercising the upper half of your body. These exercises include push-ups, handstands, leg raises, etc. This kind of parallel bars is easy-to-store and can be used for outdoor exercises as well.
  • Wall-mounted parallel bars are drilled into a wall, similarly to wall pull-up bars. Affixing the parallel bars to a wall ensures great stability while saving space. Of course, placing the parallel bars near a wall will limit your training options. Even then, it is a simple and effective way to exercise the upper half of your body. If you don’t have enough space at home, you will surely want to consider getting this kind of parallel bars for yourself.

Parallel bars can be also a part of multi-purpose equipment, such as freestanding bars or power towers. If you like to work out, you should consider whether it’s not better to purchase multi-purpose equipment that will allow for several training options.


The base of the parallel bars ensures stability. Generally speaking, the wider the base, the more stable the parallel bars. This is especially important if it concerns separate parallel bars that are not as stable due to their design. The base should have rubber pads to prevent skidding. It is always recommended to place a protection mat under your parallel bars.

Height and Distance Adjustment

Je také dobré zaměřit se na to, zda lze polohu bradel nějakým způsobem upravovat, ať už jde o jejich výšku nebo vzdálenost. Tímto způsobem lze nastavit náročnost cviků. Díky nastavitelné výšce a šířce bradel bude moci na tomto náčiní posilovat více lidí.

Handles and Grips

Some modern parallel bars have foam grips for better comfort during training, or even back and forearm padding. Regular parallel bars don’t have such features.

Now you surely know what type of parallel bars to choose:

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